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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13758/the-ground-zero-mosque-and-grand-staircase-escalante/

The ‘Ground-Zero Mosque’ and Grand Staircase Escalante

September 2, 2010 by

Regarding the media frenzy about the “Ground-Zero Mosque,” Ryan Long asks: if the land surrounding the World Trade Center is so sacrosanct for some Americans, why haven’t they purchased it themselves? FULL ARTICLE by Ryan P. Long

{ 101 comments }

William E. Beers September 2, 2010 at 8:51 am

I think you are right in that this should be settled by locals. Although I think it is provocation, at least judging by the quotes of the Islamic leaders involved and given the history of Islam on such things, national opinion smacks of a collectivist mentality. While in sympathy to general conservative views about Islam (because it is collectivist and totalitarian in its views, ideology and outcome), I dislike the whole nationalistic frenzy surrounding the issue.

Regardless of what one thinks of individual Muslims (good or bad) I would personally oppose Islam on the same grounds as I would Communism, Marxism, Fascism, or any other type of collectivist philosophy. Muslims can do just as well under a capitalist free market structure as a German or a Russian or a Chinese could. The problem with too many conservatives who oppose the “ground zero” mosque is that they are not careful to distinguish between a people (Muslim) or a race (Arab) verses an ideology (Islam) so it is easy for the left to smear them with falsehoods and transform an issue of liberty and freedom vs. collectivism into an issue of racial hatred.

Austin Austrian September 2, 2010 at 8:56 am

The environmental movement has long since responded to critics’ suggestions that they purchase important (to them) land rather than impose regulations on existing owners. Unfortunately, the way they do it is to use our tax dollars to purchase the land, creating numerous unintended consequences such as those you highlight in Utah.

Philip Lewis September 2, 2010 at 8:56 am

I agree with the premise. The issue should be decided locally. The issue has been invented by, and the flames have been fanned by, the media and enemies of liberty.

Lemmywinks September 2, 2010 at 9:09 am

I’m not sure what everyone means by “the issue should be decided locally”. If the building is private property, no one should be deciding what happens to it except for the owners. The case in Utah seems to be the government effectively taking away property rights, and if any authority (local or national) has an effect on what happens to the Muslim cultural center, it will be equally as unjustifiable.

Patrick Barron September 4, 2010 at 10:18 am

Lemmywinks, you are exactly correct. This is an issue of property rights. Local New Yorkers have no more right to have their say in the “Ground Zero Mosque” matter than anyone else in the country who is removed by many miles. We MUST follow the law.

William E. Beers September 2, 2010 at 9:27 am

Lemmywinks, I think you may be right. Even “decided locally” can be to broad and allows others to trample property rights. Sorry, wasn’t thinking clearly on that.

Tim Kern September 2, 2010 at 9:28 am

Lemmywinks is right on: this is a property rights issue, not a question of which government has the right to usurp private property rights.

Even worse, though, is the popular discussion of this as some sort of “religious freedom” issue. Thankfully, Mr. Long hasn’t fallen for that one!

Dave Albin September 2, 2010 at 10:14 am

I don’t think you implied some sort of state religion? Sure, property rights first, but anybody can practice any religion they want on their property, right?

Mike Elmore September 2, 2010 at 9:28 am

In an ideal world, we could transcend allegedly “polarizing” issues like this and exist in a harmonious, free society. Yes, but this is not an ideal world. As long as you have a murderous politcal cult that calls for the destruction of everything non muslim and is the very antithesis to our constitution and bill of rights (free society) you are going to have people concerned on a national lever. You sir, do not understand Islam, it’s texts, doctrine, history, jihad and legal system. Next, you will talk how they have the right under the first amendment and start defending it on that level and that is why it has become a national debate. Our ignorance of Isalm is a moral and ethical failure and opposite of everything our for fathers fought and died for. The bottem line Islam is totalitarism, misogynist, intolerant and hateful to any thing non Muslim and you owe it to your self and your readers to learn and find out more about it. Thanks for the opportunity to voice my thoughts while I still can enjoy free speech. Have a nice day. Mike Elmore

Thinker September 2, 2010 at 10:26 am

By the same token, as long as you have a murderous political cult that calls for the destruction of everything outside the State and is the very antithesis of a free society you are going to have a serious problem. You, sir, do not understand Statism, its texts, doctrine, history, atrocities, and regulations. Our ignorance of Statism is a moral and ethical failure and opposite to everything our fathers fought and died for. The bottom line is Statism is totalitarian, oppressive, intolerant, and hateful of everything outside the State, and you owe it to yourself and to your readers to learn and find out more about it.

frank September 2, 2010 at 11:01 pm

You’re correct about statism and Mike is correct about Islam. Perhaps there should be local zoning laws passed against owning property for those members of murderous cults who threaten the existence of our country through plane hijackings and attacks on our cities.

Robby September 2, 2010 at 11:52 am

Sorry, Mike, but you don’t lose your right to own and control property just because you’re Muslim or Mormon, as many of the Utahns mentioned were likely to be, or Roman Catholic, or Southern Baptist, or anything else. You get property rights through homesteading and voluntary exchange, which are things members of nearly any religion in the world can do.

JAlanKatz September 3, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Have you read the Bible?

Rockne Johnson September 2, 2010 at 9:31 am

In the same spirit, George W Bush proclaimed a thousand-mile expanse of ocean to the northwest of the populated islands of Hawaii an national monument. He thereby set the stage for depriving Hawaiian fishermen of their access to these fishing grounds and set a trap for those who accidentally “trespassed”. One of my acquaintance was fined $50,000 for doing so. How does one assert property rights in ocean?

Michael R Stoddard September 2, 2010 at 9:45 am

Neither Ground Zero nor Escalante should be local vs national issues. They both should have been private property rights issues! I am from Utah and felt that Utahns got what they deserved because they have never truly understood the morality of property rights and still don’t. It isn’t a matter of local “special interests” vs national “special interests”. I am disappointed to read an article here at mises.org assuming that zoning is anything but a gross, STUPID (economically speaking) and immoral violation of property rights. I’ve found that local politicians (I’ve sat in on hundreds of hours of city council meetings and county commission meetings) are stupider than national politicians. National politicians just seem to have more power and the individual has less influence. “Local vs National” sounds so CONSERVATIVE. Please reread Hoppe and Rothbard. Your rant reminds me of the ending in The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress – Yammer.

DD5.2 September 2, 2010 at 11:50 am

“Please reread Hoppe and Rothbard.”How about expanding your horizons beyond Hoppe and Rothbard for a change?

Michael R Stoddard September 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm

And what would you recommend on this topic ? ;-)

Barry Loberfeld September 2, 2010 at 9:58 am

Like Saddam Hussein, the “Ground Zero Mosque” is yet another not-involved entity to be linked to the WTC attack. At this point, you have to conclude that the still-at-large bin Laden is the only Muslim the Spite Right doesn’t blame for 9/11.

Abhilash Nambiar September 2, 2010 at 10:44 am

I am not sure it is a non-involved entity. Definitely not a directly involved entity. Definitely not a entity that would condone such actions. But certainly an entity bound by the same ideology and hopes to achieve same ends through different means.

Fred Kurz September 2, 2010 at 11:21 am

Ooh, let the frenzy continue! IF the purpose of the mosque remained in the mosque, who cares. That is the libertarian and my view too. But, its function is to proselytize and that takes place everywhere except in the mosque. islam will no doubt buy the land and build the mosque, but let there be as much stink as possible while it is still a frenzy, so that there may erupt the slightest understanding of what this so called “religion” is about. I spent 17 years working in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, thus have a background of experience which gives me some right to declare it is an insane dogma. And as such needs to be exposed. If this is one of the ways, let it happen and let it spread as far as it can with as much noise as it can before Libertarian principles resume.

Abhilash Nambiar September 2, 2010 at 11:42 am

The people trying to build a mosque there are Sufis. Sufism is a very moderate form of Islam that cannot be openly practiced in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabi Islam is the state religion in Saudi Arabia. It is most certainly not compatible with libertarianism. Having said that it is considered unIslamic for land to pass to the hands of non-Muslims once it is obtained by Muslims (be it legitimately or through force). A Sufi in need of money may sell his land to a Wahhabi to keep his faith rather than to you, me or Bill Gates. That is possible. Wahhabis has easy access to oil money. But other sects of Islam are not as financially well off. So knowingly or unwittingly they end up being accomplices.

The bad Muslim flies a plane into a building, the good Muslim builds an Islamic monument to honor the many that his misguided brother killed. The process can repeat itself indefinitely until there are no non-Muslims left to protest.

jeff September 2, 2010 at 11:36 am

This article really says nothing more than the government should no longer be responsible for creating national monuments, since the government should be essentially powerless to the almighty dollar. And patriots should purchase land, or whatever, to secure “landmarks”. And there you have it! Mr. Long should have stopped there and I may have been on his side.

BUT it is somewhat offensive for Mr. Long to use the mosque controversy as a spring board for his essay. This is nothing like what happened in Utah. Where were the exploding planes? People diving to their deaths? Loved ones senselessly killed by attackers that never saw their faces? Rescue workers from all over that perished in collapses and fires trying to save lives? Where was the pollution that has destroyed many folks’ health? The fear that has arrested a nation for years? Where was the violence and terror that brought an entire nation together for rebuilding and strength. All of this destruction was sadly done in the name of Allah, by evil people.

People from all over the US, and the world, were in NYC (my home) to help. Contributions came in from the 4 corners! All of those people DO have a voice in this. All Americans do have a place to voice their views in this mosque controversy. I know that New Yorkers, majority speaking, respect what a Catholic grandma in Kalamazoo or an Islamic student in Seattle has to say since the WTC site is where America was attacked, not just New York City. But it is private property, and even though the rec center may be receiving funds for states that sponsor terrorism (as inferred by FOX news), which sux if true, but money is money to the Libertarian and one thing is for sure in this, if party A owns the property and party A follows the rules, party A can build an Islamic rec center. There is really no debate under the law. It is just a rec center after all.

I do think that it would be a good idea for there to be a race by patriots to buy this ground zero “landmark” if it were to go back on the market. And to one up it, make it even better by making the race into a reality TV show so that networks can cash in on the advertising. Then the networks will use some of that profit to pay off politicians. Why haven’t we created the “Hunt for Bin Laden” reality TV show? There is some money to be made and national crisis closure to be had. So the Big Wheel keeps on turning…

Ernie Gurzler September 2, 2010 at 11:57 am

Given a belief in limited constitutional government and the United States Constitution, and that the federal government really followed the constitution.

It would seem to me that the federal government has no authority to own any land except territory not inside a state or territory that is ceded by legislation by the state to the federal government.

No national forests, monuments, parks, or BLM land.

Just throwing the idea out there, what do you think?

Ken September 2, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Yeah right, its a local issue… Nobody should care about anything outside their small circle of existence – how does a 10 mile radius sound? We should just stay in our little circles and never be concerned about the world around us while a self appointed elite decide what issues we should or should not care about.

Come on people, 911 was an attack on the United States of America as a whole. It was not some frustrated ex-employee with a personal grudge against some bad boss. It was a significant coordinated attack by Islamic fundamentalists against all Americans and everything we stand for. I simply cannot see how anyone can say this mosque isn’t incredibly insensitive at the very least. To me, its an insult to all of us and to say its strictly a local issue is unfathomable to me.

Would any of you condone erecting monuments to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebol anywhere near Columbine High School? How about a memorial for Timothy McVeigh near the Federal Building in Oklahoma City? Of course not and you should be allowed (expected?) to state your opinions.

Its just too easy to say that this is simply a local issue because then you don’t have to take a stand on it. You can just sit back and critique all the different points of view and be “above it all”. You might as well just stick your head in the sand.

Greg September 2, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Buy into propaganda much? 911 was not some attack on the American way of life. We were not attacked because of our freedoms. We were attacked because of our foreign policy. If bombing brown people and starving their children through sanctions is all you care about, then perhaps 911 was an attack on “everything you stand for”. Not what I stand for.

DD5.2 September 2, 2010 at 2:24 pm

“Buy into propaganda much? 911 was not some attack on the American way of life. We were not attacked because of our freedoms. We were attacked because of our foreign policy. If bombing brown people and starving their children through sanctions is all you care about, then perhaps 911 was an attack on “everything you stand for”. Not what I stand for.”Look who’s talking. As opposed to coming to a conclusion through the mental act of reasoning, you’re just parroting the sound bytes of Ron Paul and Raimondo.Go watch the Bin Laden tapes, and then get back to us when you shake off your exercises in confirmation bias.

Greg September 2, 2010 at 3:04 pm

You’ve bought into Bin Laden propaganda as easily as American propaganda.

Russ the Apostate September 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm

“We were not attacked because of our freedoms.”

No, we were attacked because we aren’t Islamic, and their religion tells them to use whatever means necessary to conquer nonbelievers. The mosque is just another battle in this war. If we stop them from building it, then that mean whitey is keeping them down, and that gives them an excuse to hate us. If we don’t stop them, then we are shown to be weak-willed, spineless cowards who won’t stand up for ourselves and yet somehow still outperform Islamic culture in almost every way, and that gives them an excuse to hate us, too. Either way, they are going to hate us, so I say we show some backbone, and at least give them a reason to hate us. Stop the mosque.

By the way, anarchists and non-US citizens, spare me the critiques about the number of times I used the word “we”. By “we” I meant Western civilization in general, and you guys are all part of that, whether you want to be or not. We (those of us here at mises.org) get to sit on our asses and be armchair philosopher-kings and criticize our governments all day, and other people are allowed to read our brain-droppings, precisely because we are products of Western civilization. Do you really think this would be tolerated under Sharia law?

Abhilash Nambiar September 2, 2010 at 2:59 pm

I wish you where wrong, but unfortunately you are right. It is a damned if you do, damned if you don’t kind of situation. So one should decided which of the lesser two evils to pick.

Greg September 2, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Interesting theory. So you’re saying that the Muslims created this issue as a double-bind to win a propaganda victory either way. The only possible flaw I could see with this theory is that it wasn’t the Muslims who made this an issue. It was our news media, which is decidedly non-Muslim.

And with your last couple sentences, are you saying that we may be subject to Sharia law anytime soon?

Russ the Apostate September 2, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Most of the media aren’t Muslims, no, but they are Western-civilization-hating commies, and so see a common cause with their fellow Western-civilization-haters, the radical Muslims. And radical Muslims know how to play these useful idiots for their own interests.

“…are you saying that we may be subject to Sharia law anytime soon?”

Define “soon”. If we let things go for too long, I think we will become like Europe is right now, with entire major cities ringed by areas that are effectively no longer European territory. How long will it take Europe to fully decline into dhimmitude, if they don’t do something? I don’t know.

newson September 2, 2010 at 9:31 pm

europe’s problems are with the second-generation muslims, not their parents. had the welfare not been doled out, they’d have had to work and become assimilated. instead they’ve had too much time on their hands and no hope of moving up the ladder, easy prey for radicalization.

Walt D. September 2, 2010 at 3:43 pm

“Do you really think this would be tolerated under Sharia law?”
It was also rumored that NYC was going to issue Muni Bonds to finance the Ground Zero Mosque. I wonder what Sharia law has to say about debt financing and charging interest?

newson September 2, 2010 at 8:30 pm

“we” belongs to michael. don’t trespass.

Ken September 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

The poor misunderstood terrorists ….. everything must be our fault because we hate brown people. Here’s some propaganda for you:
# 2002 (April): Explosion at historic synagogue in Tunisia left 21 dead, including 11 German tourists. # 2002 (May): Car exploded outside hotel in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 14, including 11 French citizens. # 2002 (June): Bomb exploded outside American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 12. # 2002 (Oct.): Boat crashed into oil tanker off Yemen coast, killing 1. # 2002 (Oct.): Nightclub bombings in Bali, Indonesia, killed 202, mostly Australian citizens. # 2002 (Nov.): Suicide attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killed 16. # 2003 (May): Suicide bombers killed 34, including 8 Americans, at housing compounds for Westerners in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. # 2003 (May): 4 bombs killed 33 people targeting Jewish, Spanish, and Belgian sites in Casablanca, Morocco. # 2003 (Aug.): Suicide car-bomb killed 12, injured 150 at Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia. # 2003 (Nov.): Explosions rocked a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, housing compound, killing 17. # 2003 (Nov.): Suicide car-bombers simultaneously attacked 2 synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 25 and injuring hundreds. # 2003 (Nov.): Truck bombs detonated at London bank and British consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 26. # 2004 (March): 10 bombs on 4 trains exploded almost simultaneously during the morning rush hour in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 and injuring more than 1,500. # 2004 (May): Terrorists attacked Saudi oil company offices in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, killing 22. # 2004 (Sept.): Car bomb outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, killed 9. # 2005 (July): Bombs exploded on 3 trains and a bus in London, England, killing 52. # 2005 (Oct.): 22 killed by 3 suicide bombs in Bali, Indonesia. # 2005 (Nov.): 57 killed at 3 American hotels in Amman, Jordan. # 2006 (Jan.): Two suicide bombers carrying police badges blow themselves up near a celebration at the Police Academy in Baghdad, killing nearly 20 police officers. Al-Qaeda in Iraq takes responsibility. # 2006 (Aug.): Police arrest 24 British-born Muslims, most of whom have ties to Pakistan, who had allegedly plotted to blow up as many as 10 planes using liquid explosives. Officials say details of the plan were similar to other schemes devised by al-Qaeda. # 2007 (April): Suicide bombers attack a government building in Algeria’s capital, Algiers, killing 35 and wounding hundreds more. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility. # 2007 (December): As many as 60 people are killed in two suicide attacks near United Nations offices and government buildings in Algiers, Algeria. The bombings occur within minutes of each other. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, formerly called the Salafist Group for Preaching, claims responsibility. It’s the worst attack in the Algeria in more than 10 years. # 2007 (December): Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistani prime minister, is assassinated in a suicide attack on Dec. 27, 2007, at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. President Pervez Musharraf blames al Qaeda for the attack, which kills 23 other people. Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban leader with close ties to al Qaeda is later cited as the assassin. # 2008 (May): At least 12 worshipers are killed and 44 more injured when a bomb explodes in the Bin Salman mosque near Sana, Yemen. # 2008 (June): A car bomb explodes outside the Danish Embassy in Pakistan, killing six people and injuring dozens. Al-Qaeda claims responsibility, saying the attack was retaliation for the 2006 publication of political cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad. # 2008 (August): At least 43 people are killed when a suicide bomber drives an explosives-laden car into a police academy in Issers, a town in northern Algeria. # 2008 (August): Two car bombs explode at a military command and a hotel in Bouira, killing a dozen people. No group takes responsibility for either attack, Algerian officials said they suspect al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is behind the bombings.source: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0884893.html#axzz0yP8tPNay

Walt D. September 2, 2010 at 3:58 pm

Ken you are trying to confuse people with facts! The real bigots and hypocrites here are the politically correct. Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda have no interest in any type of hypocrisy or political correctness – they believe their cause is just – they do not care what we think. It does not matter how many square miles of ass President Obama kisses, it will not change their beliefs.
Bin Laden gave his reasons for ordering the attack on 911 – we would do well to take him at his word. There is no point trying come up with some bogus alternative interpretation – it is not going to change anything.

newson September 2, 2010 at 9:25 pm

for the counterpoint, see william blum’s various books, “killing hope” etc (search the torrents). yes, he’s an appalling socialist, but he does a good job chronicling us foreign adventures and the resulting blowback.

JAlanKatz September 3, 2010 at 9:48 pm

Hiroshima, Dresden, Nagasaki, thousands of dead children in Iraq (it’s worth it, says Madeline Albright), …

Joe September 2, 2010 at 12:26 pm

First I think most people on this site would agree that without property rights we have no rights. Without property rights we are all slaves.
I learned a long time ago that freedom is sometimes uncomfortable and can challenge your believes when emotions get in the way.
Freedom of Speech is a right we all can agree on and would and have fought to protect this freedom. But let’s think of a situation where you might want to usurp this right. Let’s take a parade in Chicago and it happens to be a Fourth of July parade and everyone is having a good time and feeling good about the great country we live in and the sacrafices made to freedom and liberty.
Now let’s look at a parade that was organized by the Klu Klux Clan and they are marching in Chicago.
Most people would be appalled and very upset. They would ask why such people could parade in this country and why didn’t the local authorities stop this bigoted display.
This is the real test of Freedom of Speech. This is why we live under a Constitutional Republic and not a Democracy. Most people don’t even know the difference.

J. Murray September 2, 2010 at 3:20 pm

It’s not that practices may be used against you, they WILL be used against you. It’s inevitable that any law or rule passed will ultimately be used to the detriment of those who supported it. Such is the devastation of the State.

Russ the Apostate September 2, 2010 at 3:45 pm

It’s also inevitable that if a civilization accords its enemies (i.e. people who wish to kill you) the same rights as its own citizens, this civilization will eventually collapse due to the politico-moral equivalent of AIDS.

J. Murray September 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

And it’s a rule that if you walk into someone’s home and smash their stuff, they’ll become your enemies.

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Commie talk there, Murray.

Russ the Apostate September 2, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Yeah, we’ve done such horrible stuff to Muslims, like help Afghanistan push out the Russians, help defend Saudi Arabia at the request of their rulers, and acknowledge that Israelis also have a right to live.

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm

Russ is truly an idiot on a few subjects, it’s quite a spectacle. Nothing even worth refuting. Michael would be proud of this latest post if he specialized in this area of defending the Empire.

Russ the Apostate September 2, 2010 at 4:37 pm

So let’s see…. insults, no content… I can always tell when I have won, when you start resorting to leftist methods of “debate”.

“Michael would be proud of this latest post if he specialized in this area of defending the Empire.”

Yeah, well, even a stopped clock…

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Yeah, no content. Anyone who says “the Muslims [this or that]” is an idiot. That’s all there is to it.

And you *never* win these, I kick the crap out of you every time and you run. This time you’re just *too* lame to even bother with.

Russ the Apostate September 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm

“And you *never* win these, I kick the crap out of you every time and you run.”

No, you don’t kick the crap out of me, and no, I don’t run. It’s like this; you start name-calling (things like “squirming creep”) and insulting when somebody dares to disagree with you, like a typical lefty. At that point, I assume that whether or not I have “won”, you have lost. I decide that you have stopped debating, and started whatever it is lefties do instead of debating. At that point, I start ignoring you. Like now.

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Bull, this is how it usually goes when you’re not as incredibly weak as you are today, chickenhawk:

http://blog.mises.org/13726/the-best-work-of-its-kind-since-rothbards-for-a-new-liberty/#comment-719214

And check out maybe his all-time creepiest comment there.

And there is no debate, you don’t get our money to persecute Muslims because you are scared.

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm

And what a goofy ploy. There is nothing more stupid or rotten as your position, nothing easier to refute. Because I indulge in insulting the type of low-life who has dedicated his internet career to shilling for the Pentagon, that means I lose? Nope.

- – - – - – -

You know why he’s so scared? Projection. He’s scum and he’s so scared that his enemies will treat him the way he’d like to treat them.

BT September 2, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Hey guys:

No need for name calling; it isn’t productive. This site is intended for spreading knowledge, educating, and changing people’s minds…..not beating someone down for disagreeing with you.

And just FYI: neither one of you can declare victory for yourself; you need a third-party with an unbiased opinion to do that. Obviously, both of you think “I am the one who is correct.” Unfortunately, both of you think you are the one who is “right” because you each have your own philosophy, and, as long as your argument is within the confines of your philosophy, both of you will continue thinking “I am right.”

Lou Cypher September 2, 2010 at 6:58 pm

Leave my boy Michael out of it, he’s doing good work elsewhere.

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 7:05 pm

You are definitely right, BT. Spooner and I are right from our perspective and Russ and Dick Cheney are right that they’ll probably be dead before their evil brings down some *real* terror around here.

- – - – - – - -

I also wish I could find the examples of when Russ immediately calls anyone who starts to talk about motivations for 9/11 a “leftist”, or that they are using “leftist talk”. Probably the dirtiest thing he can think of, and a real argument winner.

- – - – - – - –

Lou,

haha

BT September 2, 2010 at 7:33 pm

mpolzkill:

I am not implying that you do not have valid and logical points (as a matter of fact, I agree with you…see my other post). I just think that reacting as you do does not actually spread your idea too well. This is coming from experience. When I first began reading on the Mises web site, I found people like you very annoying, and your arrogant attitude and name calling repulsive. I always agreed with the financial economic/taxes type “stuff”, but, until recently (1 yr. ago), I was never willing to accept the anti-war mentality constantly posted here. And, sometimes, I think people here do view the world in a little too utopian manner; humans will always fight….government just takes it to the ultimate level (i.e. war). It was not until I sat down on my OWN and traced problems back to their root that I became convinced government is ALWAYS the cause of major problems in the world! And thus, I became an anarchocapitalist!

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Yeah, BT, I pretty much always take it one notch higher than the opponent, wherever that is. This guy probably more notches, but he *really is* a #*&^Q)$&!!

No one was going to stop you from going where you were going, and nothing is going to move this guy from where he parked, I just really think people like him and Dick Cheney need to be excoriated at every turn is all.

BT September 2, 2010 at 7:55 pm

mpolzkill:

One other quick note. I noticed in one of your posts that “you kick the crap out of Russ and he runs.” Is this really the kind of verbage you want to use when you are trying to pass yourself off as a peaceful human being with a desire for prosperity? Just food for thought.

BTW: I say the jury is still out on the whole muslims are peaceful, muslims are violent, evil people. I know there are good ones (I have friends who are muslim; one of them, ironically, is a corporate pilot); however, one can hardly deny that it is muslims who have committed something like 95%+ of the terrorist acts over the past 4 or so decades; and many of their modern day practices are dispicable (WALT D. noted some of these acts in another post). Furthermore, while some here have given book recommendations that “prove” the muslims are good people who are misunderstood and persecuted, I could just as easily recommend the book “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam” which CERTAINLY doesn’t take this viewpoint! Who are we to believe? It is funny that nowhere in the Islamic world (that I am aware of) is there even the closest resemblence of freedom, but libertarians seem content to continue the praise of muslims. Should they be free to worship, trade, etc. as they please? Absolutely! What they aren’t free to do is to impose their religious beliefs via Shariah law on everyone under the sun!

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 8:03 pm

I don’t know, BT…as you speak I *do* have a picture in my mind of some Christians in a Forum being eaten by lions.

Russ the Apostate September 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm

“I know there are good ones (I have friends who are muslim; one of them, ironically, is a corporate pilot)”

I have worked with Muslims who, as far as I could tell, were perfectly good people. I’m certainly not saying that all people who identify themselves as Muslims are evil.

“however, one can hardly deny that it is muslims who have committed something like 95%+ of the terrorist acts over the past 4 or so decades; and many of their modern day practices are dispicable (WALT D. noted some of these acts in another post).”

Yes, and why is this? I think it’s because those despicable practices are what Islam (the Qu’ran, the hadith, commentaries on Sharia law) tells them to do. I believe that most of the “good Muslims” who live in the West are ones who don’t really pay too much attention to what their religion actually says. For these people, Islam is just a traditional part of their family lives, like Christmas is for some of us. The “bad Muslims” tend to be the ones who actually take Islam seriously, and embrace the harsh things it tells them to do. The difference between Islam and Christianity is that Christianity has the New Testament, which gives modern people an excuse to ignore Old Testament verses like Ecclesiastes 22:18; “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.” (At least, I don’t know of any Christians who take that literally nowadays, and go out whacking Wiccans.) Unfortunately, Islam does not, and cannot, have something like the New Testament. According to Islam, the Qu’ran is the seal, the final word of God; no new revelations are forthcoming, and anyone who claims to have a revelation newer than Muhammad’s is a heretic who must be killed.

That is the problem we face, IMO. There are two Islams; #1) the Islam of the Qu’ran, Shari’a, etc., which is horrific, and #2) the Islam that is in the minds of people, which can be good or bad, depending on the person’s understanding (or lack thereof) of #1. Yes, there can be “good Muslims” (from our point of view). But if these people start taking what their religion says seriously, and become good Muslims from the Islamic point of view, they become bad Muslims from our point of view.

How do you let people into this society and give them religious freedom without problems, if their religion tells them that this society is irredeemably evil, and will remain so until it is turned into something completely unlibertarian? Is our society obliged to commit suicide to honor the rights of people who don’t honor our rights? I, for one, don’t think so.

The reason anarcho-libertarians are so opposed to the idea that Islam is any danger is precisely because, if Islam really is a danger, then maybe anarchism wouldn’t be able to deal with it, and thus a government is necessary. It’s easier to stick one’s head in the sand and not see the threat, than it is to re-examine one’s fundamental prejudices.

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 9:04 pm

See, BT, it’s irritating:

“The reason anarcho-libertarians are so opposed to the idea that Islam is any danger [lie] is precisely because, if Islam really is a danger, then maybe anarchism wouldn’t be able to deal with it [lie], and thus a government is necessary [lie]. It’s easier to stick one’s head in the sand and not see the threat [propaganda], than it is to re-examine one’s fundamental prejudices [kettle pot black].”

Of course, Islam is a threat, kind of like how some people face a threat from vultures. Statists in America and Europe have nearly destroyed Western Civilization.

mpolzkill September 3, 2010 at 1:34 am

BT,

I also can’t help but think of Russ’s masters and how they sold the Red Scare for almost 50 years. We’re in a war to destroy memes. We did a terrible job on that one, the Soviets just went belly up on us. The Pentagon and all the other security scammers were in a pickle, but after murdering (with another ex-ally’s help, albeit) a few score thousand Iraqi children, they were soon able to turn on a sect of Muslims who *were* their allies, somehow conflate them with all other Muslims in the television/sex/food addled minds of their subjects and now sell *them* as the next mythicaly/mystically powerful evil “other.” We’re obviously losing this war too, and I’m open to any of your suggestions on how to kill these memes. Some days I do better than others, usually when I realize that the Russes of the world are as pitiable as a scared-of-the-dark 5-year-old hiding under the covers with a flash light. Other days I forget because they are more repulsive than any children I’ve ever met. Like here, where Russ insulted and objectified all Muslim women in a most vile manner:

http://blog.mises.org/13726/the-best-work-of-its-kind-since-rothbards-for-a-new-liberty/#comment-719231

“Either way, they are going to hate us, so I say we show some backbone, and at least give them a reason to hate us.”

I don’t care for the bangs he gets for our bucks.

J. Murray September 3, 2010 at 6:17 am

Muslims do NOT commit the most terrorist acts in the world. This only shows our incredibly narrow view on the world. Do you know who the most prolific terrorist organization since 9/11 has been, including suicide bombings? The Tamil Tigers. The Tamil Tigers are:

A. Not anti-American
B. Secular

This puts a major crimp into the notion that terrorist organizations are out for Western blood and are doing it for religiously motivated reasons. There is a common thread amongst ALL terrorist organizations; they are all political in nature and they are all targeted at a group that is currently involving itself in a place that it does not belong. Name a terrorist organization and I’ll demonstrate those two factors. They’re universal amongs all terror groups, foreign and domestic.

Muslim = terrorist is the logical fallacy of Correlation Does Not Equal Causation. The only reason the groups appear to be religiously motivated is becuase of the degree of intervention that the United States is engaging in regions that happen to be predominantly Muslim. If the USA was engaged in such activities in India, for example, then you would somehow equate Hinduism with terrorism and assume that 95% of terror acts were caused by Hindus.

JAlanKatz September 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Sure, no point in understanding your own damn history.

michael September 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm

“And it’s a rule that if you walk into someone’s home and smash their stuff, they’ll become your enemies.”

You make an interesting point, JM. Isn’t it a fact that the reason the Arabs are mad at us is our military support of an expansionist Israel? We facilitated their walking into the Arab homeland and smashing their stuff.

And isn’t the reason the Iranians are mad at us the fact that we toppled the first democratic government they ever had, putting a despotic Shah back into power?

Okay, how about Iraq? Our good reason to invade was what again?

Or even Afghanistan? A full year before 9-11 the Afghans tried to give us Bin Laden. We wouldn’t take him.

How about Egypt? We keep the fossilized Mubarak regime in power, probably the most thoroughly detested government anywhere in the Arab world, with billions of dollars a year in military equipment.

I could go on. What’s not to hate about America’s foreign policy?

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 4:55 pm

The aging hippie liberal douche is right. A mercantisitic empire is one ugly thing that drives a lot of even uglier things, and you are one sad sack of a libertarian if the biggest one in the history of the world isn’t always your primary concern.

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 5:14 pm

* total brain blip: “mercantilist”

“And radical Muslims know how to play these useful idiots for their own interests.”

Yeah, they got them to ignore Bush administration/Pentagon lies and hype the insanely stupid wars that are going to end this Empire.

Jon Leckie September 2, 2010 at 7:19 pm

michael, such a rare, genuine pleasure to agree with you. Wow. Did not see that one coming. :-)

Jay Lakner September 3, 2010 at 6:08 am

Seconded. :)

Walt D. September 2, 2010 at 5:21 pm

How can a libertarian, (or a liberal feminist) support:
1. Honor killings?
2. Domestic violence against women?
3. Female genital mutilation?
4. Stoning women for committing adultery?

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 5:29 pm

They can’t, you show me the ones who do.

How can a libertarian support theft and enslavement committed by a bunch of gangsters who pretend to care about this stuff so as to make a nice propaganda opportunity for you. These guys support the foul Saudi gangsters, for the love of Pete.

Walt D. September 2, 2010 at 6:00 pm

mpozkill – let me be more specific. There is a town in New York State called Kiryas Joel where all the inhabitants are Orthodox Jews. They even have school prayer! What if a group of Orthodox Muslims want to set up their own town in New York State, on land they have purchased, and impose Sharia Law, including the customs I listed above? Am I being a bigot (or a hypocrite) as a libertarian if I express an opinion opposing their right to practice their religion as they see fit, because I disapprove of these customs?

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 6:10 pm

IMO, of course you can do more than that, you can fight them.

Hell ,as soon as were done fighting statists here in America, let’s you and me go over there.

Jon Leckie September 2, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Walt, I’m about to marry a Muslim girl. She’s also French, a socialist and and IP lawyer to boot, so her stocks wouldn’t be too high around here (for all that she’s the most wonderful girl you could dream to meet, and I did buy her a French translation of Hayek which she’s reading while holding her nose). In the course of this relationship I’ve read a bit about the history of Islam and the expansion of the Arab people and the culture it’s left behind. You should visit some of these countries, maybe North Africa, especially southern Spain and see al-Ahambra at Granada. It’s mindblowing. My girl, her family and her friends (who are in North Africa) would be as appalled at your four points as any other normal, compassionate, empathetic member of society. They are highly educated, decent and cultured people.

Your four points are backward customs. They’re not at the core or even the periphery of Islam – they’re right at the margin and not representative. You can find some pretty nasty shit in the Old Testament, just ask Richard Dawkins. Let’s apply a bit more nuance and balance to this debate, because it’s going to be going on for quite a few decades yet. There is a school of Islam that is in my view quite clearly incompatible with liberalism. But there are many others that might be compatible.

And to Russ the Apostate, Israel’s policies do piss a lot of Muslims off. It’s not hard to get at why that might be. Western support for corrupt statist governments that gather up all productive processes for the connected elite pisses a lot of the locals off too, and that anger is fed by some regimes into popular anti-Americanism. But that doesn’t make them supporters of Bin Dickhead and his merry troop of brainwashed retards or the truly appalling barbarity of the Taliban. There’s a lot of good people who call themselves Muslim, and I reckon most would want the same things that many Westerners want: just to be left the hell alone to live and prosper in peace.

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Of course that is really well reasoned and true stuff, Jon. I wish to hell that had some effect on these yahoos.

Jon Leckie September 2, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Well, mpolzkill, for the yahoos, I found Bernard Lewis’s Classic “A History of the Arab Peoples” a short and very engaging introduction. I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more.

What particularly impressed me was the realisation of the enormity of the social, cultural, political and economic forces that are washing through the Islamic world and have only been doing so really since the fall of the Ottoman Empire after WW1. Then the region got totally punked (like everywhere else caught up in the same process) through decolonisation after WW2 and then caught up in Cold War rivalries, and that’s left a lot of baggage. Life in some parts of the Middle East had remained – until 100 years ago – pretty much as they’d been for 400 years before that. That’s a lot of history to catch up on, and it’s going to be a little messy for a while until these forces work themselves out. I think there’s room for legitimate optimism about the long term future: the Arabs (using the term at its loosest) have a brilliant history that developed a culture of outstanding depth and richness and intellectual achievement. It’ll be back.

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Thanks, Jon, I must get that. What I’m reading right now is “The Wretched of the Earth”. A lot of it is about how it serves Empire to keep things as messy as possible.

Walt D. September 2, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Jon – congratulations, you will be very happy – I have several Muslim friends from Iran, Egypt and Morocco, and they are all highly intelligent, kind, generous and very trustworthy. I was not my intention to tar all Muslims with the same negative brush. I have been to Morocco and Tangier. What I found interesting was that Malcolm Forbes and one of the Woolworth heirs had chosen to buy homes there, when the could have chosen anywhere else in the world -they obviously discovered something very special. Also, as a retired mathematician, I remember the word algebra comes from Al Jabra. The usual stereotype of countries such as Iran as backward intellectually is very wrong – check where the Iranian teams finish in the International Math and Physics Olympiad.

Jon Leckie September 3, 2010 at 6:23 am

Thanks Walt, that’s nice of you to say. Agreed on Iran. When you look at the history of the place and the people, its current state is terribly sad. A great people, a great country, a great culture and a great history, all governed by a bunch of nasty moralising totalitarian bigots. I hope history’s stage sees off this current regime and leaves the Iranians to take their rightful place in the world.

There’s a great animated film from 2007 called Persepolis. I highly recommend it, it’s very moving.

newson September 2, 2010 at 10:29 pm

to mpolzkill:
mafiosi eat pizza (we like pizza). arab gangsters eat halal (we prefer pizza, thank you). it’s that simple.

newson September 2, 2010 at 7:35 pm

#3: fgm is not exclusively a muslim tradition.

Greg September 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm

Who cross-posted this blog entry on welovecheney.com?

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Any of you (probably unwitting) Pentagon propagandists here read the article? Why don’t you get together and buy all the land you need for a blowback memorial?

newson September 2, 2010 at 10:31 pm

they’re planning to exercise eminent domain on your backyard for that very purpose. cheney will do the ribbon-cutting.

Russ the Apostate September 2, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Any of you propagandists read the post by Abhilash, to the effect that Muslims cannot, according to their religion, resell the land to non-Muslims?

mr taco September 2, 2010 at 11:16 pm

but they can buy land from non-muslims ?

Abhilash Nambiar September 4, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Most certainly. Or appropriate through war.

mpolzkill September 3, 2010 at 12:49 am

Let’s see, how many of God’s own soldiers (and by his grace Russ’s protectors) still in Germany, Okinawa and Iraq?

sucker4lush September 2, 2010 at 4:43 pm

More like “Russ The Drama Queen”.

The only historical application of the situation you are describing is the founding of the USA itself. I mean, how could those Native Americans keep trusting the US- a country whose president wanted to “exterminate” them- after the US broke 10 or 20, much less 373 seperate treaties?

They were 100% of this country and now they are less than 1%.

Ken’s body count above could easily be surpassed by the Trail of Tears alone.

Joe September 2, 2010 at 4:44 pm

The frog is slowly being cooked and will never jump out of the pot. So why is this? I contend that people of liberty allowed the public school system to be established and then allowed the socialists to perform their magic on the minds of their children. Not all parents but enough parents who preferred a day care center school to get the little rug rats out of their hair and into the brainwashing welfare state elitists. Walk up to a school aged child or even a college student and ask them what form of government we live under. They don’t know and probably could care less. Yes you need individual responsiblity, morals and values to retain the liberty this country once had. Unfortunately more and more people are beholden to government. They found out they can successfully have the government steal for them when they distribute wealth. Many people call me a cynic and I am. To answer Russ The Apostate, this country will implode before the Muslins have a chance to take over. Eventually the producers will all go to Colorado and live in their hideout.

Kermit September 2, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Subsidized hot water for all frogs. ‘Gets my vote for sure.

Matt September 2, 2010 at 4:57 pm

I don’t think this kind of political article really belongs on the Mises blog. Look how much idiot noise it has brought in from the baser parts of the internet.
The mosque indeed should be decided locally — between the current owner of the building and the group who wants to use it for a mosque.

Walt D. September 2, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Matt – it is amazing how much energy we are devoting to this blog when we could be kicking the sh*t out of Paul Krugman!

Joe September 4, 2010 at 9:45 am

Matt,
Get a life.

sucker4lush September 2, 2010 at 5:32 pm

C’mon Matt! It’s an article about property rights. What bigger issue is there for libertarians? What more libertarian pursuit is there than supporting the property rights of politically unpopular or minority groups?

… wait, if that were the case I would have seen some articles here about the smallest US minority with the largest property rights grievances- the Native Americans. But I never have. Not one.

mpolzkill September 2, 2010 at 5:39 pm

I think a lot of people here have a sympathy towards the surviving aboriginal Americans, s4l. Here’s one sympathetic article:

http://blog.mises.org/3807/largest-mass-execution-in-american-history/

Can’t help but have a really grim laugh at squirming creeps like Russ, the bearer of Western Civilization here [Ha!]. The world is shaping as one massive Little Big Horn, but nothing will stem their insane arrogance as they charge on.

J. Murray September 3, 2010 at 6:29 am

That’s because you:

a. Just arrived today and saw only the three articles on the front page.
b. Didn’t bother using the search function.

BT September 2, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I am a latecomer to the debate, but I find this particular subject very interesting. Just a little over a year ago, I would have sided with the notion of “the Muslims shouldn’t be allowed to build.” Fortunately, over the past year or so I have moved into true libertarianism/anarchocapitalism. Unfortunately, my thoughts aren’t well received by vehement warmongerers, and I have taken flak from many and ,at times, felt like I have betrayed my heritage in political philosophy. Today, though, I would agree that the U.S. foreign policy is a mess, and we stick our nose into too much of everyone else’s business. Furthermore, our national defense is laughable. Through historical books I have read, I “know” (at least according to the books) that Bin Laden could have been arrested many times before…the U.S. had the chance but did not act on it. Instead, the U.S. waited until he masterminded a horrific attack and then used political expediency to ramp up a couple of war efforts which should have never been done as it was not an act of war (i.e. no COUNTRY/STATE was directly responsible for the attack). If the U.S. had handled Timothy McVeigh’s attack on the FBI building the way it handled the Twin Towers bombing, then it would have dispatched its planes and warriors onto American cities and the surrounding countryside! For those of you upset about this “scandal,” you are too emotional about it. I do agree that this mosque will cause some serious issues, but that is a result of human emotion. I came to the conclusion weeks ago that, if the ground is so hallowed, then the people so concerned about the mosque should buy or have bought the land themselves. With that being said, I do think this mosque being built is not a good idea for the muslim-American relationship, but the muslims do have the RIGHT to do it provided they bought the land. Furthermore (something I did not really read in the thread/posts) I do not think I, as a federal taxpayer, or any other taxpayer should have to foot all or ANY of the building process as I have heard is being done. The muslims are allowed to build mosques, and I am entitled to not have my money confiscated from me to build things that I do not deem important to me personally! And one more point: if the muslims are going to be allowed to purchase land and build a mosque, then the Greek Orthodox church in New York City (near ground zero) should CERTAINLY be allowed to REBUILD (on land it ALREADY OWNED) its facility destroyed in the attacks!! That is all.

Franklin September 2, 2010 at 9:12 pm

Quite apt. And welcome.
I’m not aware of the Greek church issue, but you’ve hit upon one of the antagonizing attributes of this rubble — hypocrisy.

The empty-suited egomaniac on Pennsylvania Avenue is going to mouth the words “private property” because it’s his opportunity to appear Presidential.
He doesn’t believe it any more than most U.S. citizens do. Further, there is acceptance among the populace (generally) that busy-body politicos (ostensibly given authority on zoning and planning boards) have some say in what should be built and what shouldn’t.

Most citizens buy into the nonsense that majority “views” should drive policy; i.e., those are MY elected officials, managing MY town, with MY rules and regulations, so that MY city block should not offend MY sense of decorum. The circus comes alive with all manner of monkeys climbing the stairs of City Hall to argue what’s right and wrong in their line of sight.

So whether it’s the mosque or a drug store, a peep show hall or a single car garage, the city officials (who are allegedly beholden to the taxpayers and citizenry) monitor the brain child of every so-called “property owner.” The citizens accept this. And have accepted it for centuries. For this acceptance, they want a say whenever some two-by-four is going to meet a nail. Most citizens believe they have (and ought to have) a direct influence on what should be built on…. property they don’t even own!
What more is necessary to see that the mire of bureaucratic spaghetti only instigates the cacophony.

This Ground Zero issue, in particular, stirs emotions, so logic is thrown out the window, a reminder of how distant is the dream. And such a pity. The minority party in the US Congress could have led the way, as heroes and guardians of the peace via tolerance, stellar examples that a truly liberal view of individual rights is the future.

Only the libertarians seem to be consistent enough to see human beings — not colors or sexes or religions. Unfortunately, heh, they number around twelve, scattered about the country.

Good luck in getting your church rebuilding approved.

北京搬家公司价格 September 3, 2010 at 2:15 am

Only the libertarians seem to be consistent enough to see human beings — not colors or sexes or religions. Unfortunately, heh, they number around twelve, scattered about the country

Peter Surda September 3, 2010 at 4:15 am

Dear Russ,

as you might have noticed, I try to stay out of the debates about “morality”, so I’ll continue that trend here too. I already explained my objection to your claims in the past, but you didn’t reply. My objection is that even if all the assumptions you are making were true, the policies implemented to mitigate them would be at best useless, moreso counterproductive, downright stupid and a colossal waste of money. Rather than eliminating the threat, the government’s oppression of their own citizens (in both the muslim countries and in the western ones) expands in the name of vague phrases. The governments need the atmosphere of fear, they need each other and the propaganda. Even if the fear is substantiated, they are unlikely to undertake measures that actually eliminate or reduce it.

mpolzkill September 3, 2010 at 7:23 am

Or in one name (and taking care of the morality issue, too):

Abu Ghraib

Enjoy Every Sandwich September 3, 2010 at 8:15 am

This controversy highlights the sad fact that for too many people in this country, liberty is nice to talk about but a luxury that we can’t afford when we’re under a existential threat. Which, conveniently, seems to be all of the time.

But, hey, our government still supports liberty! Don’t they still print the word on the cheap pot-metal coins they issue, with the pictures of dead kings presidents on them? You can’t love liberty much more than that!

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