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Howard Dean Explains His ‘Mosque’ Views to Disappointed Glenn Greenwald

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Posted on Aug 19, 2010

Salon’s Glenn Greenwald called Howard Dean’s suggestion that the proposed Islamic community center near Ground Zero be moved the “worst thing I’ve seen him do.” Here, Dean attempts to explain himself.

Part 1:

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By Malcontent, August 22, 2010 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

By Jason Robison, August 23 at 1:14 am Link to this comment

“Furthermore the idea that moving the community center would facilitate
discussion is erroneous. Moving the center would end the discussion. Going
ahead with the center at its current site would force the discussion,..”

Well put.

Report this

By Jason Robison, August 22, 2010 at 9:14 pm Link to this comment

What Mr. Dean fails to acknowledge here is that the “zoning” issue to which he
attributes this discussion has already been settled. The permits have been
granted. Therefore, those who wish the muslim community to relocate the project
are asking them to not exercise their constitutional right.

Furthermore the idea that moving the community center would facilitate
discussion is erroneous. Moving the center would end the discussion. Going
ahead with the center at its current site would force the discussion, and force us
to untangle the link American culture has made between Islam and terrorism.

We need this mosque at ground zero, and we need healing around this issue.

Report this

By samosamo, August 22, 2010 at 10:37 am Link to this comment

****************


By DaveZx3, August 22 at 6:25 am

Uh, what are you talking about? I’ve scrolled up and down 4 or 5
times and this is your first post on this article (unless you’ve
been reported and those others have been deleted) and you’re
asking me:

‘’‘SamoSamo,  I don’t know what you are talking about regarding
“my religion”  I have no religion, and you obviously
misunderstood my previous posts.’‘’

I was responding to spooky 43 but if you insist, just read my last
response to spooky and look into what I suggest he/her look
into. But you indicate ‘having no religion’ so?

But my last line is indicating that now spooky and I know who
we both are, and for me I don’t have any more reason of ever
trying to carryon a dialog with him/her, same with ellis. Not hard
to see how religion breeds obfuscation, nothing concrete of a
basis.

Report this
RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, August 22, 2010 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

This issue is not about religion or even race - it’s about the pretexts for hatred in claiming cultural superiority.

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By DaveZx3, August 22, 2010 at 2:25 am Link to this comment

By Malcontent, August 22 at 2:57 am

If you are asking me if we experience thermodynamics other than 3 dimensionally along a linear time line, I would say no.

How matter/space/time/systems exist and how we experience them are interesting to contemplate.

But it is off the subject of the thread, so I will not bother to delve into it.

SamoSamo,  I don’t know what you are talking about regarding “my religion”  I have no religion, and you obviously misunderstood my previous posts.

Report this

By Malcontent, August 21, 2010 at 10:57 pm Link to this comment

By Spooky-43, August 22 at 1:20 am

“The very idea that there exists linear time, ie: yesterday, today and tomorrow, is an illusion, according to Einstein.  So your concept of “everyday” is itself based on belief and faith.”

I see. No arrow of time? No entropy? Multiple dimensions (beyond 4) in our universe?

Perhaps there are no thermodynamic laws, beyond the horizon of a singularity, like the big bang. But, there are in this universe.

Does your god lord over multiple universes?

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By samosamo, August 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

****************


By Spooky-43, August 22 at 1:20 am

Sorry you think that way, I feel a lot better thinking the way I do,
thinking with what this universe was created with and I was
made from. And much to my delight learning about the origins
of religion which has confirmed long time doubts as to the
legitimacy of religions MOST especially organized varieties.

So, if you ever decided to delve far back into history that
historians have done, to specifically learn about the origins of
religious thought, you might find the very beginnings very
pertinent and beautiful but then you find the eventual ‘religions’
you are so enamored by are the bigoted and despicable things
you accuse me of being just as johnny ellis thinks he knows what
I should be like you profess to judge me the same.

““Religion is belief based on ever morphing ideas from
evangelicals of ‘du jour’ as their ideas just match what they
want or need from their gullible ‘flocks’ Insert that influence
in the burgeoning population and government….”“

Clearly shows me your religion whichever it is ain’t getting the
job done with the state of affairs in the world today.

“”“”“Since the written word of Islam appears to want to dominate,
if not eradicate, other religions, why is it surprising that there
is resistance to the establishment of a mosque anywhere in
America?””“”
************

What a bunch of claptrap, guess america’s imperial drive is so
much weaker and less dominating that those ‘criminal’ islamists
and america hasn’t killed millions from other religions in OUR
rise to power and dominance over the globe all for the soul
objective of stealing what could be considered other people’s
and nation’s property and natural resources.

Want to know where this comes from? Read Mike Davis’ ‘Late
Victorian Holocausts’, lots of real time religious compassion
there, for money that is. Also read Chalmers Johnson’s Blowback
trilogy, some find global compassion there from the u.s.a.

Read John Meacham’s ‘American Gospel’ and learn what the
european religions demanded about the newly discovered lands
in the western hemisphere.

Read up on the roman catholic ‘doctrine of discovery’ also,
marvel at the compassion in that piece of crap.

http://ili.nativeweb.org/sdrm_art.html

So IF you do decide to look into some of these things, just
remember your quote:

‘Within this context, it is unwise, if not outright bigoted,  to
judge another’s “reality”, religious or otherwise.’

If that is what your religion teaches and demands, then you and I
know who each of us are and knowing that, BUGGER OFF.

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Spooky-43's avatar

By Spooky-43, August 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

By John Ellis, August 21 at 3:02 pm

“Whereas, my religion is based on the reality that I do not deserve to live, which gives me a grateful giving mind that always gives all it can give”
——————————————————————————-

I am very sorry to hear that you do not deserve to live. 

I used to feel guilty like that, until I gave up dwelling on myself, and what I deserved or didn’t deserve.  Now, I am free of all that stuff, and whatever I create, I am free to possess or give away, as I see fit. 

It is called being “endowed by my creator with certain unalienable rights”  the most primary being the right not to be judged by every John who presumes to know anything about me, how much I create, and how much of it I give away or keep.

Nothing personal, but your posts are extremely self-centered and self-righteous.

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Spooky-43's avatar

By Spooky-43, August 21, 2010 at 9:20 pm Link to this comment

By samosamo, August 21 at 1:46 pm

“Religion is belief…...It is belief and faith which is far removed from realities such as the
sun rises in the east and sets in the west everyday.
And it ain’t magical, just a devious slight of hand tool”

Very naive post. 

The very idea that there exists linear time, ie: yesterday, today and tomorrow, is an illusion, according to Einstein.  So your concept of “everyday” is itself based on belief and faith.

Ideas which are preposterous to one are reality to another, and within the whole concept of multi-dimensional space/time, one who proclaims unequivocally that something does or does not exist or represent “reality” cannot be taken seriously.

Within this context, it is unwise, if not outright bigoted,  to judge another’s “reality”, religious or otherwise.

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By samosamo, August 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment

****************


johnny ellis,

excuse me, I thought I was getting into a dialog with someone
who wasn’t dependent on mythology for his expertise in all
matters of the world and way too free and easy with his baseless
assumptions of other people he feels unworthy of having a life
that has anything as good as his. This is something I am not
sorry about in the least bit.

Wasn’t the first time I’ve been wrong and won’t be the last time
since replying to your dribble is as big a waste of energy as
reading your dribble.

Report this

By samosamo, August 21, 2010 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

****************

 

Easy to tell those who use ‘belief and faith’ as paths to reality in
this world. Amazing anything gets done. I would think it easier
to live in a world free of the cutter of such stuff.

Report this

By samosamo, August 21, 2010 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

****************


By Spooky-43, August 21 at 5:01 am

Religion is belief based on ever morphing ideas from
evangelicals of ‘du jour’ as their ideas just match what they
want or need from their gullible ‘flocks’. Insert that influence
in the burgeoning population and government and you get…
well, you get the pain, suffering, lying, murder, rape and all
the rest of malicious things happening in this world today. It is
belief and faith which is far removed from realities such as the
sun rises in the east and sets in the west everyday.

And it ain’t magical, just a devious slight of hand tool.

Report this

By EB, August 21, 2010 at 3:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As an atheist, I’m regularly creeped out by the sociopathic behaviors sanctioned by religious freedom. I feel the world would be a saner, kinder and less dangerous place if there were no religions and no social approval, let alone support, for these deranged fantasies.

That said, there is something very disturbing about Dean’s position about this in a country in which religious freedom is a defining principle. It is not logical. It is based on fear or perhaps pandering to frightened bigoted anti-intellectual voters. It is particularly disturbing to hear this from Howard Dean.

I don’t believe in just spouting the liberal line. On the matter of burquas, for example, I believe that women’s rights and prevention of domestic abuse against women and children takes precedence against religious freedom. But my position is that there is not something special about Muslims, that abuse can happened anywhere in any group and that as a society we have a responsibility to keep an eye out for it.

This is not a popular view and I have gotten into heated arguments with my fellow lefties on the matter. But, again, the position I am taking is not that Muslims are somehow different than other people, but rather that abuse is prevalent in all groups and traditions that interfere with external monitoring of such problems should not be sanctioned by society.

But this business about the mosque is very troubling. On the one hand, it seems like one of those stupid issues that the right uses to clog the airwaves and fire up the great unwashed’s attention, all the better for them to be manipulated. Of all the things to get fired up about, this is what people are riled up about? Wall Street has robbed them blind, corporations are playing havoc with the legal system all the better to exploit the citizens and shift more and more of the balance of wealth into the hands of a few. The oil in the Gulf, wars, global temperature rise, the power shift in the control of the public food supply, all these truly significant issues, and we’re supposed to get het up about and focus on this trivial crap? To the folks who beat their chests and moan about the lack of respect towards the dead, I say DO SOMETHING IMPORTANT THEN. Do what you can to prevent violence, don’t get drawn into a cause that promotes it by fanning the fires of bigotry. This is like “supporting” the troops by putting a sticker on your car instead of making sure that they have proper equipment like body armor. This is crap.

I worked on Dean’s presidential campaign. I’m a long time supporter. But he’s sounding like McCain here. He’s lost it. It’s a pity and it makes me very sad.

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UreKismet's avatar

By UreKismet, August 21, 2010 at 3:01 am Link to this comment

I hate to be logical on an issue were peeps have allowed themselves to be cranked into hysteria by those who want to exploit emotions for their own ends; but given that (i) the mosque is gonna be built blocks away from ‘ground zero’ and (ii) amerikans place a great deal of emphasis on their devotion to the artificial concept of ‘property rights’ - how can any amerikan oppose the desire of the owners of the land to build an islamic community centre on their own property?
Now if amerikans supported the notion of communal ownsership or even reality, that no one owns anything.  That any object be it a block of land, a farm, a TV station or even a child’s toy actually belongs to whoever uses it for as long as they use it, after which ‘ownership’ goes to the next user, then maybe I could understand this fixation with telling owners how they may utilise the land they have purchased.

But amerikans don’t believe that.  Or at least very few believe that. But hells bells a big chunk actually believe that the current stooge of Wall St, the latest puppet of the rich, Barrack O’blamblam, is a socialist! 

Which sort of says it all really. 

In today’s amerika there are no facts, no opinions, just the latest collection of fantasies the people who own the means of communication have tipped over most other amerikans each day.

Oh!  one more thing:
To the drongo who claimed that islam is a form of imperialism.  Thanks for restoring my faith in the total ignorance of the real world you and your compatriots have hold on to despite living in the information age, being plugged into the sum total of all the world’s human knowledge you all still manage to get everything wrong.  It may come as a surprise to you to hear that xtianity is the only major religion that encourages followers to proselytize their superstition.

Islam has no organised structure, no administration.  Unlike every xtian cult from the trailer park baptist parasite feeding off 4 poor families’ tithes to the episcopalian real estate sharks, alla the xtian scams have secretaries, clerks, sextons, vergers, deacons up the wazoo, whereas islamic positions are generally held by peeps who have day jobs and there is no organised attempt to recruit new members.

Whats the betting that a considerable chunk of those peeps getting all hot under the collar about another superstition ‘competing’ for the gullible,  were the same people that only last week,  were the ninnies who were all cranked up about ‘the guvmint’ blowin up the ‘world trade centre’ with pre planted demolition charges.

The other big player in this manufactured ‘controversy’ are the holders of the millenium award for advancing the most hypocritical position held by any person or group of people, whilst having the least amount of facts to support their outlandish revelations,  Ladies and gentlemen a big hand for New York’s zionists.

Drum roll accompaned by a counterpoint of police batons crushing skulls whilst former lefty intellectuals unashamedly argue for the ethnic cleansing of the Jordan Valley.
A busy week for them firstly the fight to stop islam from getting a toehold on Mahhattan, then the frenzied blogging to conflate opposition to israel’s cruel decision to deport the children of workers from the Indian sub-continent with israeli amerikan media manufactured dislike of Mrs Israel, Sarah Netanyahu.
This cruel expulsion of 400 infants, to be followed by banishing thousands of minors over 5 years of age despite all of the children being born in the Jordan Valley, unlike most of those illegal squatters on Palestinian land, who were arguing in favour deportation has been supported by the usual amerikan zionist cheerleaders.  Shame on them all!  Yet theis are the class of human which is trying to stop a group of muslim philanthropists from building a community center.

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Spooky-43's avatar

By Spooky-43, August 21, 2010 at 1:01 am Link to this comment

What is this magical thing called religion that it is free to be practiced with no restrictions, and with no other considerations?

It is a delusion.  There is no such thing as freedom of religion, not in America or anywhere else.  Neither is there a universally accepted definition of the word “religion”.  Think of all the religious acts which have been practiced over the eons, and tell me that there is freedom to practice them all, without restriction.  Most are cults, not religions, but to be called religion gives rights, so all claim to be called religion, and we give them all rights, in a tragic error. 

But, so far, religion has been absolutely subservient to secular law, and wherever it contradicts the law, religion becomes illegal.  As such, secular governments establish religion, or at least establish the limits which religious practices must conform to. 

So it would not be incorrect to say that religious practices are only free where they conform to local laws, ordinances, planning and zoning.  Religion is invented by and controlled by men, and it exists to give men the warm, fuzzy feeling that there is something eternal that they can control by institutionalizing it in their cultural religion.

And because religions are invented by men, there are thousands of religions out there.  Many world religions practice acts which would be considered illegal in the USA.  A lot of them are practiced in the USA anyway, in secret. 

If there was a Creator, who gave the right to practice any religion without restriction, then man would have nothing say.  But a Creator cannot be proven to exist, as the atheists consistently remind me, so rights cannot (from the point of view of the state) be considered to be granted by anything but secular governments, irregardless of the writings of the founders.  Reality is, the government giveth, and the government taketh away, for there is no higher universally accepted authority. 

It is all smoke and mirror political rhetoric, full of paradox, and self-serving on all sides. 

As such, if you want to practice your religion in my neighborhood, it is NOT your absolute right, in my opinion.  Where there may be certain practices in your cultural/religious paradigm which are abhorrent to the existing culture of my neighborhood, these practices are going to be unacceptable, if not illegal, in the neighborhood, and are going to cause friction, not healing. 

Tolerance is an ideal, but jamming groups with significantly polarized views into small geographical areas has never worked yet, without one eventually dominating and forcing the other out. 

Since the written word of Islam appears to want to dominate, if not eradicate, other religions, why is it surprising that there is resistance to the establishment of a mosque anywhere in America? 

People feel that they have the right to protect their local culture, which they do not, legally, but it will be a constant source of intense friction where one culture starts to displace another.  It never results in healing. 

It is really just one version of imperialism in action.  Islam, in practice, is an extremely imperialistic movement, which will be resisted by America, not for racial or xenophobic reasons, but for the preservation of American culture, which the majority really, really like, warts and all.  And why should that be considered so strange? 

So, from my perspective, don’t bother building your mosque near ground zero.  Don’t bother building it anywhere else either.

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By Malcontent, August 21, 2010 at 12:52 am Link to this comment

That was impressive. He danced around one question for twenty solid minutes.

Now, that’s a politician!

What a schmuck.

@ Wexler:

I second RayLan’s response to your complicity in hate.

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, August 20, 2010 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

“This is a highly emotionally charged issue for some persons who lost family, friends, and a sense of national security and regardless if you agree with their emotions or not they are real.”

Being emotional about losing family is quite a different issue from the dangerous, completely offensive, and unconstitutional presumption that their loss can be equated with Islam.
I have no sympathy for such prejudice regardless of its motivation. We are witnessing the full pendulum swing of the feminization of politics reaching the right - all about feelings- and then you can break into song.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, August 20, 2010 at 2:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dean compares this to the fight for civil unions in Vermont a decade ago.  No minds were changed as the result of endless discussions on the issue.  People became more entrenched in their views.  What changed over time was that the bigots saw that the sky didn’t fall, that God did not destroy the state of Vermont, and that the sanctity of heterosexual marriage continued its own downward spiral.  All of this together took the wind out of their sails and they gradually gave up the fight.

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, August 20, 2010 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Discriminate against Muslims so that we can have a discussion about discrimination.

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By Mg8, August 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The question I see here is: who has the more legitimate fear? Glenn Greenwald, who is Jewish and knows the fear of the awful potential of racism and the level of hatred an entire society can produce? Or Howard Dean, whose fear of being a forgotten politician has caused him to get touchy-feely with those attached to the memory of the victims of 9-11? It’s clearly Glenn Greenwald. Dean is just wrong, from an emotional as well as rational point of view.

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By Usha Abramovitz, August 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

GoyToy,

I never heard Howard Dean “yes, but” in connection with “freedom of religion” or
with the “constitutional right to build”. In fact, I don’t think I even heard him say
the they should build elsewhere, in deference to their detractors. All I heard him
say, was that he recognized the validity of various people’s emotions and reactions
and thought this would be an opportune moment for each side to communicate
with each other and build goodwill by attempting compromise. That is all I heard
him say. Mr. Greenwald, however, would not take that for an answer. I stand by my
earlier statement!

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William W. Wexler's avatar

By William W. Wexler, August 20, 2010 at 11:10 am Link to this comment

Both men raise good points.

Glenn Greenwald is taking the hard line leftist view that whomever plans to build on the site has the legal and Constitutionally-protected right to do so and should not cave in to pressure.  They should especially not cave into pressure generated by the right-wing noise machine as it indicates an unwillingness to stand up and fight for principles.

Howard Dean is saying that a reality-based dialogue on this topic is in order.  Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should do it.  This is a highly emotionally charged issue for some persons who lost family, friends, and a sense of national security and regardless if you agree with their emotions or not they are real.

I usually agree with the hard-left position but this time I’m with Dean.  I think he’s on the right track to make a political win on this instead of winning a battle and losing the war.  Not that politics is everything, and not that the Democrats are going to fix the world, but it would be a shame to lose in November over this relatively unimportant wedge issue when there are so many real things to talk about.

I wish Obama would have kept out of it.  He’s put himself into a can’t-win position. 

Also, contrary to what someone else said, I wish Dean was still heavily engaged in the Democratic Party.  He is an incrementalist, but he favors moving in the right direction.

-Wexler

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By Annie, August 20, 2010 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How disappointing that a professed liberal would take such an offensive position.

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By samosamo, August 20, 2010 at 8:08 am Link to this comment

****************


I guess glenn greenwald didn’t think it necessary to ask dean if
he still thought a bunch of lunatic arabs, probably from Iraq,
were who attack america on 9/11/2001.

Report this

By Robert Ross, August 20, 2010 at 7:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think Greenwald has some real problems. Most
obviously with his logic. To consistently equate this
center with the civil rights movement is not a valid
argument. No African Americans flew an airplane into
a building in the 1960’s. The real problem is that
the issue is with Islam as a religion and the fact
that sharia law by definition makes it a theocracy
this is in direct conflict with the seperation of
church and state. The seperating of church and state
is a two way street. It is part of the first
amendment to be able to express the concern that
building a muslim community center near a place where
muslims (extreme or not)took part in a horrific act
that has drastically altered the course of this
country is perhaps insensitive. It is furthermore not
out of hand to suggest that if the aim of the Muslim
group is to foster peace and understanding then it
would be in it’s best interest to move the center to
a location where it could accomplish that goal.
That being said. There exists a long history of
conflict between the western tradition and political
Islam (for example the siege of Vienna 1529
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siege_of_Vienna) What
makes freedom of religion work is that there is no
“first among equals”. Because Islam has not gone
through a reformation, like Christianity has, the
personal relationship with God that was emphasized in
the reformation and eventually in Vaticant II that
allows for a seperation of church and state by
countering the theocratic tendency in religion is not
present. This I believe is just the beginning of a
meaningful conversation on the place of Islam in
America.
Lastly, We cannot build a mosque at ground zero and
fight “radical Islam” in Afghanistan at the same
time. This does not work. For my money I would let
the mosque be built if it meant pulling the troops
out of Afghanistan (and all the way out of Iraq for
that matter).
Peace
Robert

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, August 20, 2010 at 4:48 am Link to this comment

The ‘emotion’ is fueled by a false perception, even if it’s shared by a lot of people. The fact of majority opinion carries no legal or moral weight. It’s the cultural facism of political correctness that is holding sway here - very similar to the Laura Schlessinger debacle. If we are to be controlled by irrational gut responses based on simplistic biases , the nation would descend into a reality show chaos.

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By Walldizo, August 20, 2010 at 4:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I see no point in raising all this fuss about having a mosque near or even in place of G Zero.If God is the one to be worshiped ultametly not the $,then let it be.This is a price usually paid by morons and lunatics.

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By GoyToy, August 19, 2010 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

Usha Abramovitz:

I don’t think YOU understand that there is NO “yes, but” when it comes to freedom of religion in this country. It’s apparently also something Mr. Dean does not get.

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By thegrowlingwolf, August 19, 2010 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Howard Dean is a fool.  Quit recognizing him when he raises his hand—tell him to go back to Vermont and shut up.  We are the captives of idiots like Howard Dean. Ground Zero is just another Power Elitist real estate deal and eventual tourist attraction—the private equity gangs and real estate dealers and tourist agencies DON’T WON’T THAT MOSQUE DOWN THERE—think about it—putting a mosque right across the street from that “hallowed real estate development” will effect the huge rents they’re gonna be charging the preferred tenants on their preferred tenants list—the first big-time tenant to sign up for a few high floors in the Freedom Tower was the largest real estate dealer in China—that’s right, a Commie Chinese Capitalist Pig Real Estate Company headquartered in Beijing.  They later backed out of the deal when the politics down there was getting deep with bullshit, Capitalist shenanigans, and money grubbing. Most wingdinger Whites, by the way, also know in their conditioned minds that Muslim terrorists initiate their plots under the safety of these mosques and the “maybe terrorist-connected” Imans.  This is all a distraction, folks.  Look how much valuable airtime Glenn Greenwald wasted on Howard Dean…YeeeeeeeHawwww—the sound a donkey makes when he’s stubborn.

thegrowlingwolf

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By Usha Abramovitz, August 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think we know what Howard Dean is saying and I think Glenn Greenwald is
“badgering the witness”. I think that Mr. Greenwald is trying to make news.

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