jump to last post 1-9 of 9 discussions (26 posts)

This is America? Nicholas Kristoff in the NYTimes

  1. Ralph Deeds profile image65
    Ralph Deedsposted 7 years ago

    For a glimpse of how venomous and debased the discourse about Islam has become, consider a blog post  in The New Republic this month. Written by Martin Peretz, the magazine’s editor in chief, it asserted: “Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims.”

    Mr. Peretz added: “I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment, which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse.”

    Thus a prominent American commentator, in a magazine long associated with tolerance, ponders whether Muslims should be afforded constitutional freedoms. Is it possible to imagine the same kind of casual slur tossed off about blacks or Jews? How do America’s nearly seven million American Muslims feel when their faith is denounced as barbaric?

    This is one of those times that test our values, a bit like the shameful interning of Japanese-Americans during World War II, or the disgraceful refusal to accept Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe.

    It would have been natural for this test to have come right after 9/11, but it was forestalled because President George W. Bush pushed back at his conservative ranks and repeatedly warned Americans not to confuse Al Qaeda with Islam.

    Now that Mr. Bush is no longer in the White House, nativists are back on the warpath. Some opponents of President Obama are circulating bald-faced lies about him that are also scurrilous attacks on Islam itself. One e-mail bouncing around falsely accuses Mr. Obama of lying and adds, “His Muslim faith says it’s okay to lie.”


    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/12/opini … asdkristof

    1. profile image61
      paarsurreyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Islam is a peaceful religion and Muslims are peaceful and peace loving except a handful terrorists who are doing politics in the name of religion.

      If one is open minded and reads the oft-quoted lone verses  from Quran with the context of the verses, some verses preceding and some verses following, one would discern the peaceful reality and rationality of Islam.

      I appreciate your post.

    2. profile image0
      Brenda Durhamposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Obama has a habit of saying "Let me be clear", yet he has never been clear about his faith (or his lack thereof), and all for political reasons!
      So, I suppose it's a question of whether being intentionally deceptive is "lying".   
      Duh.   I say it is.

      1. Ron Montgomery profile image61
        Ron Montgomeryposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        He has been crystal clear (not that it matters). Obfuscation on the part of right-wing commentators and the willful ignorance of their lemmings does not equate to deception by the President of the United States.

        1. profile image0
          Brenda Durhamposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Tell me about him, then, Ron.
          Tell me who and what Barack Obama is and what his goals are for America.  Remember to be crystal clear based on his transparency, okey dokey?!

          1. Ron Montgomery profile image61
            Ron Montgomeryposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            Let's start with your original false claim (lying is still considered a sin among Christians right?) He has publicly stated that he is a Christian, and you are aware of that. (again it doesn't matter, a person's faith has nothing to do with his fitness to govern)

            As to the rest of his history, it is also very well documented, including, but not limited too his own writings.

            Who is he? What are his goals for America?  Look at his past and listen to his words without the deceitful lies supplied by the wingnut media.  Start with the fact, supported by leading economists, denied by the teabagging "brain trust", that his first goal-successfully accomplished, was to keep the Bush recession from becoming the Bush depression.

            Work your way up from there.  C'mon, I know you can do it. smile

            1. profile image0
              Brenda Durhamposted 7 years agoin reply to this

              Okay, starting with your first point-----ummm it's obviously a lie that he's a Christian, because a Christian wouldn't do some of the things he's done on his agenda.

              But on that one, I'm.....not sure that he himself has ever said he's a Christian......?   Maybe you recall?

              So....perhaps the lie originates from those people who want to portray him as a Christian...

              However, since he's aware of the controversy,  all he would have to do is to actually behave as a Christian should, and stake claim to being a Christian, and the whole hoopla would be cleared up.  Yet he does not.  So, that's his own fault, his own lie, perpetuated by him because he refuses to clear the issue up.

              1. Ralph Deeds profile image65
                Ralph Deedsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                "t's obviously a lie that he's a Christian, because a Christian wouldn't do some of the things he's done on his agenda."

                For example?

                1. profile image0
                  Brenda Durhamposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                  A Christian wouldn't advocate for gay "rights" when everyone including homosexuals and every race in America already has the same human rights.

                  A Christian wouldn't advocate for aborting his own grandchild just because his daughters might get pregnant unintentionally.

                  A Christian wouldn't try to make excuses for a Church where the Pastor condemns current Americans for the sins of forefathers.

          2. Ralph Deeds profile image65
            Ralph Deedsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

            He has stated his goals quite clearly, e.g., end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, reform health care, improve relations with our allies, re-activate nuclear disarmament and Palestine peace talks, allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, protect the environment, end the recession and balance the budget, put Social Security and Medicare on a sound financial footing, improve education, etc. All very sinister in your beady mind, no doubt.

            1. profile image0
              Brenda Durhamposted 7 years agoin reply to this

              Gays and lesbians have already served openly in the armed forces, openly as just soldiers like anyone else.
              It's not the Military's fault that some of them want to shout their immoral habits from the rooftops.

              And....improving education???  That's a laugh!  LOL

              Because it's proven that the focus is not on the basics of education, but on educating our youngsters about things that Obama and his ilk want to incorporate into young minds that should be being taught how to spell properly, read properly, and add properly, and how to interpret the Constitution normally instead of twisting its simplicity into Obama's agenda.

              1. Jeff Berndt profile image87
                Jeff Berndtposted 7 years agoin reply to this

                "It's not the Military's fault that some of them want to shout their immoral habits from the rooftops."
                A promiscuous straight soldier doesn't get discharged for having too much sex, even if he does shout about his immoral habits from the rooftops. A monogamous gay soldier gets discharged for merely mentioning his boyfriend. Double standard, anyone? Gays do not have the same human rights in the US. Stop pretending that they do.

                "Because it's proven"
                No it isn't. You obviously believe what you're saying, but that doesn't make it true.

      2. Ralph Deeds profile image65
        Ralph Deedsposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Deceptive? He attended a Christian church in Chicago for many years. And people like you criticized him because of some comments by the pastor, Reverend Wright. You can't have it both ways, Brenda.

        1. Joe Badtoe profile image61
          Joe Badtoeposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          Ralph D

          You're a smart man and I enjoy reading your well thought out topics and responses. But there comes a time my friend when you have to accept that there are some people that are unable to shift from a standpoint that began with ignorance and has grown into complete stupidity.

          It's better to throw a ball in the park for them and let them chase it.

          Keep up the good work Ralph it's folk like you that make all the sense.

  2. Aficionada profile image89
    Aficionadaposted 7 years ago

    I appreciate the post and the link also.  For those who may not follow the link, Ralph Deeds' post is a copy-paste of (roughly) the first half of the NYT op-ed by Nicholas Kristof, "Is This America?" (9/11/10)

  3. anime_nanet profile image60
    anime_nanetposted 7 years ago

    Just kill each other, why don't you? Americans, pfff...

  4. Mighty Mom profile image87
    Mighty Momposted 7 years ago

    Mr. Obama's personal faith is irrelevant, except for the fact that narrow-minded so-called "Christians" obsess on it.
    Being a Christian is not the show of going to church on Sunday but then spouting vitriole the rest of the week.
    Mr. Obama exemplifies the Christian spirit of tolerance, forgiveness and good will. He may not claim himself to be such, but he is actually an excellent role model of Jesus' teachings!!

    As a practical matter, he is NOT working on behalf of any church. He is working as the President of the United States. It is a NON-SECTARIAN position. His job is to execute (read: carry out) the laws and policies of the nation. Again,for those so inclined, that means the Constitution, its amendments, and current and future laws as voted upon by Congress.

    In short, he's gone a vast amount of GOOD and would have done a whole lot more if not cut off at the knees by the Rebumplicans.

  5. Mighty Mom profile image87
    Mighty Momposted 7 years ago

    Brenda,
    I ask you think in all sincerity.
    What would you do if Mitt Romney was elected president?

  6. profile image0
    Brenda Durhamposted 7 years ago

    Ah, I see anti-conservative sentiment still runs rampant, along with their usual brand of insulting labels and name-calling.
    Guess I should stop wondering why liberals are so intolerant and afraid of individuality, and just accept the fact that it's....well, just a fact.  Apparently an unchangeable one.

    1. Joe Badtoe profile image61
      Joe Badtoeposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Maybe more people see things differently than you? You're pretty free with your generalisations and labels and whenever you're challenged you react as if your being publicly stoned.

      Can't see anyone calling you names at all.

      Or is that you looking to run off to Admin and get someone banned?

      Why can't you just accept that some people disagree with your somewhat constricted view?

      1. profile image0
        Brenda Durhamposted 7 years agoin reply to this

        Um...that's actually what I was saying.
        I didn't say anyone called me a name personally, and I didn't threaten to report anyone; that's not my intention.
        It's just that people continue to call Republicans "Rebumplicans" or whatever, which makes me believe that I won't get any relevant conversation from people who make those kinds of labels.   It means they don't take me seriously, are closed-off to listening at all,  and it means that I, in turn, should not take them seriously.

        Okay.  So I'm done discussing, since it's apparently useless.

        1. Joe Badtoe profile image61
          Joe Badtoeposted 7 years agoin reply to this

          oh come on Brenda! look at the tone of your posts! You clearly have an intense dislike of your current President and you're happy to beat him down at every opportunity with accusations that are proved to be false. You hold homophobic views (I refer to your 'immoral' jibe at lesbians and gays) and you've been happy to mock people from the other side of the political fence. Now you turn the whole debate around as if you're the victim and no one is capable of debating with you.

          And then you run away!

          Not the smartest move is it?

    2. Jeff Berndt profile image87
      Jeff Berndtposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Liberals (generally speaking) aren't intolerant of--or afraid of--individuality.

      I do not tolerate people who speak falsehoods, however. If someone says something that isn't true (especially if the falsehood is meant to discredit someone, or to convince folks to vote one way or another) I'm going to speak up and call out the falsehood.

  7. Mighty Mom profile image87
    Mighty Momposted 7 years ago

    Yes, I believe you are correct on that, Brenda.
    Ideologically we (meaning liberals or progressives vs. conservatives) are 180 degrees apart.
    When we each define what we believe is "good" and "right" for our country and its citizens in such opposite ways, there is little (read: no) common ground.
    And that's what's happening in today's Washington, which reflects the bitter divide of its people.
    Politics is a system of compromises. No one gets their way 100% of the time. But if our elected officials are willing to put partisan bickering aside, everyone can get their way some of the time.
    I'm not gonna change your mind and you're definitely not gonna change mine. So truce, k?

  8. Ralph Deeds profile image65
    Ralph Deedsposted 7 years ago

    James Fallows on Marty Peretz's anti-Muslim rant:

    Earlier this week I wrote an item about an incredible instance of public bigotry in the American intelligentsia. I decided not to push the "publish" button, because -- well, I didn't need to say it. Other people were pointing out the bigotry. I had no special standing as attitude-cop in this case.

    But Nicholas Kristof's column today makes me realize I was wrong. The upsurge in expressed hostility toward Muslims -- not toward extremists or terrorists but toward adherents of a religion as a group -- creates an American moment that isn't going to look good in historical retrospect. The people indulging in this kind of group-bias speech deserve to be called out.

    Kristof has called out one of the people I had in mind: Martin Peretz, listed as editor in chief of the New Republic, someone I have known very slightly since the days when he was a young instructor at Harvard and I was a student. What he wrote, which the younger version of himself would have excoriated, was this:

        >> [F]rankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to Muslims. And among those Muslims led by the Imam Rauf [of the NYC "mosque" project] there is hardly one who has raised a fuss about the routine and random bloodshed that defines their brotherhood. So, yes, I wonder whether I need honor these people and pretend that they are worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse. <<

    What's the point in piling on now, when these words have been so roundly condemned in so many quarters? Here is part of what I meant to say last week:

        >> Martin Peretz's stated complaint about mainstream Muslims is that they don't step up to condemn egregious acts by people who could be considered "their own." Let's apply that logic here. Around the world, Martin Peretz would be seen as one of "our own," for people in the press and at his magazine. He is an American, and a prominent member of the media. So by his standards, we should raise our voices to say about one of "our own," this is wrong. Rather than seeming to condone the sentiments through silence, or to grant their author a pass because of his connections and standing, we should, again, say: This is wrong, and un-American. Anyone saying such things does not speak for "us." <<

    I can't at the moment think of another mainstream publication whose editor-in-chief has expressed similar sentiments -- whether about Muslims or blacks or Jews or women or any other class -- and not had to apologize or step down. Or a national political figure: compare this with Trent Lott's objectively milder statement about Strom Thurmond, which cost him his job in the Senate leadership. Peretz can of course say whatever he wants. It's a free country, and he is entitled to the "privileges" of the First Amendment, much as I might think he is abusing them here. But Nicholas Kristof has set an example of people stepping up to say: That's him, not us. This representative of "us" is entitled to say what he chooses, but we think he's wrong, and on this he does not speak for us.

    ___
    UPDATE: Peretz has now issued "an apology" for his comments, of an unusual sort. See for yourself here. What struck me was:
      - "I wrote that, but I do not believe that." ???
      - "I apologize for my sentence, not least because it misrepresents me." See above. "My sentence" has become the bad actor here, as if one were apologizing on learning of misbehavior by "my associates" or "my dog when off the leash."
      - " 'Frankly, Muslim life is cheap, most notably to other Muslims.' This is a statement of fact, not value."
      Again, judge for yourself, in full context.



    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc … ted/62613/

  9. profile image0
    Brenda Durhamposted 7 years ago

    You mean the way Obama apologized for saying someone "acted stupidly" in the Professor Gates situation and defended "his own" mistakenly by assuming "his own" is always in the right?   Ummm he issued NO APOLOGY.   And that's not the only instance, by far!   And yet he seems to have people fallin' all over themselves issuing apologies when HE gets offended.  Well, the ones who cave in to his hogwash issue apologies anyway.
    So, I put little stock in the value of the apologies of anyone in politics or news media these days, since they either fall prey to the Administration's powerful accusations/rhetoric or else they're "one of his" and therefore only half-apology or not at all.

 
working