Posts tagged ‘NYC’

August 30, 2011

Irene in NYC

by Vince
June 5, 2011

Manhattan in Motion

by Vince


May 28, 2011

Saturday Afternoon Video: “What song are you listening to?”

by Vince


Ty Cullen stops random New Yorkers with headphones to ask them what song they’re listening to.

January 21, 2011

NYC Timelapse

by Vince
November 20, 2010

Song of the Day

by Vince

The Gorrilaz – Melancholy Hill

Music Video shot just using lights in New York City.
Director: Chateau

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October 10, 2010

Disproving The Fear

by Vince

The beat goes on.

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September 28, 2010

Hard Journalism

by Vince

Anderson Cooper is the man in the above interview with Renee Ellmers. He follows up with each assertion and gives the Ground Zero mosque debate proper and mature treatment.

August 28, 2010

The Commonplaceness of Prejudice and Hyperbole

by Vince

For the important part of Newt Gingrich’s interview, tune to the 3:00 mark.

Newt makes a few comments that have been replayed and analyzed countless times. Newt calls the group that wants to build this mosque radical Islamists (no proof to back that up), they have no interest in reaching out to the community (no proof to back that up, and the essence of the mosque being a community center contradicts Newt outright), they are trying to make a case about supremacy over America (no proof to back that up), and he finishes up with the unintelligent hyperbole comparing how we would never let the Nazi’s put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum, therefore these “radicals” shouldn’t build their mosque. MJ doesn’t know half of the nitty gritty details about this and when I told her that comparison, she knew right away that Newt was talking about two different things.

I gave this a lot of thought while I was on vacation. Beyond Newt’s unfounded demagogic assertions, I see at the core of this the utilization of hyperbole and prejudice. In Newt’s comparison, the victims are the Jews and Americans while the persecutors were radical Islamists and the Nazis. The problem with this comparison is that Newt twists the facts and blurs the lines between radicals and moderates.

I am not very knowledgeable on contemporary Nazism but I would guess there are not many moderates within that party. Within Islam, there seem to be many moderates and the mosque push is headed up by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who was utilized under the George W. Bush presidency. Rauf is seen as a radical because he sees America as partly to blame for 9/11. Do you become a radical terrorist sympathizer when you point out a blatant flaw in America?

I wrap this up with the inner workings of prejudice. In one way or another, many citizens of America have been hurt by 9/11. Some who have been hurt by what radical Islamists committed on 9/11 still hold that hurt today. That isn’t what I am addressing. I see that when we are hurt by a certain person, we respond by placing them within a larger homogeneous grouping. Take Muslims for example. They are only a few thousand around the globe that will turn their religion into jihad. There are 1.57 billion Muslims in the world (23% of the total global population). Look at the damage a few bad apples have done. As we place this certain person into its homogeneous group, we not only lie to ourselves about who they are but insert hate into the equation. I feel we react this way only out of self-protection. We are afraid of this person/group because they hurt us and in a way to take away our feeling of vulnerability, we make ourselves think that they are simpler than they are. This gives us the one up on them and ends any conversation and ultimately any chance of redemption. An dated version of this that I am currently reading is the view of African Americans in Atlanta during the beginning of the 20th century.

This all is right up Joe’s alley when he said how powerful our minds truly are.

August 24, 2010

Insensitivities and Religious Discourse

by Vince

Stephen M. Walt at ForeignPolicy brings up an ironic note within the “discourse” over erecting the Mosque (community center with multiple different facilities included in it) near Ground Zero:

Critics of the proposal are aware that their views contradict the principle of religious tolerance on which the United States was founded, so they have fallen back on the idea that building the community center here is “insensitive” to the families who lost loved ones back in 2001. (Presumably it’s not “insensitive” that the same neighborhood contains strip clubs, bars, and all sorts of less-than sacred institutions). And notice the sleight-of-hand here: first, demogogues raise an uproar about a “Mosque at Ground Zero,” thereby generating a lot of public outcry, and then defend this bigotry by saying that they’re just trying to be “sensitive” to the objections they have helped to stir up.

You throw this together with the straw man group known ambiguously as the families related to 9/11 victims and you have some fallible arguments. Look for a longer essay from me soon on the psychology behind our exaggerations within prejudicial views. It will surely tie in to demagogic comments related to this.

August 23, 2010

Ted Olson on the Ground Zero Mosque

by Vince

Here you have a real example of someone who had a family member die on 9/11 and is speaking about their views on building a mosque near Ground Zero. As one person noted, this “straw man” group known as the “families related to those who died on 9/11” is an arbitrary group that has not been polled on this issue and is automatically assumed to of taken the stand against the mosque proposition. Money quote by Olson:

And that we don’t want to turn an act of hate against us by extremists into an act of intolerance for people of religious faith. And I don’t think it should be a political issue.

August 15, 2010

Right Back At Ya

by Vince

Mark M sees irony in the dispute over placing a mosque a few blocks from Ground Zero:

Just as Al-Qaeda Muslims lump all Americans into one world-destroying pile (conveniently labeled “infidels”), some American’s want to do the same thing to Muslims. We equate the God-fearing, peace loving Muslims of America with the militant nut cases duct-taping bombs under their button downs. By resorting to simple fear and ignorance, we end up denying Americans the same rights the terrorists tried to destroy. President Obama said it pretty well. In reference to the first responders on 9/11, he stated “We do not honor their lives by denying the very Constitutional rights they died protecting. We honor their lives by defending those rights — and the freedoms that the terrorists attacked.”

This is a short post but packs many punches. I liked how Mark mentions the other mosques near Ground Zero that have so far gone unscathed.

This has obviously ended in a clear case of anathema for some of the critics. It has lead some to act out of emotion and not with reason. How sadly ironic is it that some are responding in ways similar to the Jihadists? Take away the planes into buildings and look into the thought process – fringe, emotional, sometimes uneducated, and there you have it.

August 13, 2010

How the Country Wins You Over

by Vince

Winifred Gallagher descriptively describes the differences living in Manhattan to Dubois, Wyoming:

The altitude supplies the first three of those natural antidepressants, and Dubois enjoys some 220 brilliantly sunny days per year, compared with Manhattan’s 98 or so. Presciently observing the connection between beneficial rays and people’s mood and energy levels, Aretaeus, a prominent physician of the second century B.C., advised, “Lethargics are to be laid in the light and exposed to the rays of the sun, for the disease is gloom.”

I don’t know when the next time will be that I will live relatively close to a major city. For the past five years, I have lived in a college town and a small suburban/urban town. That is after 22 years of living in a suburb of Philadelphia. I can already smell what is next: horses!

Living in the “country” compared to the metro’s suburbs does slow down my life but I am looking forward to what more of a remote lifestyle will bring.

July 25, 2010

The Ground Zero Mosque Ctd.

by Vince

Scott Wheeler was interviewed by CNN recently over the ad he created. Watch the interview yourself here.

His ad fires up citizens across the country but all without any evidence. Wheeler says that the new mosque is tied to al Qaeda but can’t prove it. Wheeler says that the new mosque will be a “military barrack” but can’t prove it. He poorly tries to construct an argument that the media has given us proof that the mosque is tied to al Qaeda before he starts to crumble in his attempt to make a point. I commend you Allen Chernoff for asking thought provoking questions and getting at the root of Wheeler’s claims.

In the end, this has 52% of New Yorkers not wanting a mosque built 2 blocks from Ground Zero. It may just be too close to the heart of many peoples pains.

July 23, 2010

The Ground Zero Mosque Ctd.

by Vince

Above is the TV advertisement playing the “they” card.

Daniel Larison responds to the “they” comment:

Anti-jihadists keep making the same errors over and over. Instead of exploiting differences between jihadists and non-jihadists, among different kinds of Islamists, and between different groups of jihadists, anti-jihadists have been perfectly content to roll all of them into a single “Islamofascist” menace. That artificially inflates the strength of actual jihadist enemies by lending credibility to their propaganda, and as a result it makes jihadist causes more appealing. In this case, anti-jihadists are compounding their error by confusing the equivalent of Muslim ecumenists with hard-line Islamists. That is exactly what Gingrich does when he claims that the project is a “a test of the timidity, passivity and historic ignorance of American elites” in the face of demands from aggressive Islamists. It’s not just that anti-jihadists are conflating any and all Muslims together here, but they are vilifying as aggressors some of the least aggressive Muslims around.

Anti-jihadists such as Sarah Palin are ignorant to the reality that all Muslims do not in fact want to be suicide bombers or take time to sing, dance, and sing praises when Americans die.

D. True mulls over this topic:

Still, why not begin with an appeal to reconciliation? The mosque is intended to be a symbol of our refusal to be alienated from one another by the terror, hate, and fear. Why then, allow ourselves to be divided by our deepest and most sacred convictions? Indeed, wherever we find meaning and purpose, don’t many of us believe in the path of reconciliation and peace? What could be more American?

July 23, 2010

The Ground Zero Mosque…and Strip Club?

by Vince

Conor Friedersdorf bounces back the arguments condemning a mosque being built near Ground Zero:

You’ve probably heard about “The Ground Zero Mosque,” an Islamic community center planned in Lower Manhattan. But I bet you haven’t heard of The Ground Zero Strip Club.

As yet, I haven’t heard anyone wonder why our political class is silent as the sex industry operates on sacred ground. It would be a bizarre complaint: It’s Manhattan, where you can find anything mere blocks from a given location. The closest strip club to Ground Zero happens to be two blocks away, a fact that has nothing to do with our reverence for the place where so many Americans were killed by terrorists. As you’ve probably noticed, it doesn’t even make sense to call it The Ground Zero Strip Club.

But it makes no less sense than naming an Islamic community center “The Ground Zero Mosque”–as much of the media have done–because it’s going to be located a couple blocks away.

As an American in good standing, I’d like to be heard–and to make sure that James Madison, a colleague of mine in citizenship, is heard too. The fourth president of the U.S. once wrote, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It’s a line that National Republican Trust neglects to remember. Perhaps “the political class” isn’t doing anything to stop the construction of an Islamic community center because the Constitution forbids it.

Although Conor’s argument on the strip club is debatable, he makes good points later in the Forbes post about the wording often included in this: “they” declared war against us. “They”?