OPINION | August 27, 2010 Op-Ed Columnist: This Is Not a Recovery By PAUL KRUGMAN Policy makers keep telling us the economy is continuing to recover. Unfortunately, that’s not true, and they should be doing everything to change that fact. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/opinion/27krugman.html?emc=eta1
Got home and saw that parents made spicy chicken wings and baked beans. So if u read my earlier tweet about gas, it just got more intense. And food I bought may last me an extra gastro-intentistinally interesting day. Not as effective as fried mushrooms on Artesia Blvd in Torrance, and closer to toilet, but glad I am closer. No bus ride to hold it in for. This TMI update brought to you by … um … Something else that gives you too much information.
Tumbling from my phone, so forgive 2-part post. Contrary to what the worker said, she (as all on-stage Disneyland employees) are indeed a character in a show. I believe it was right for Disney to have to accomodate her by designing a headdress. But when she refused, I think they are within their rights to suspend her. The only thing that they should maybe do differently is to let her wear a hijab of her own that matches the outfit. Barring that, I’m looking for work. They could hire me. I’m completely for religious freedom but, having worked at Disneyland, I understand their policies. I believe they have made reasonable attempts to accomodate her. I truly hope they reach a mutual agreement, but if not, I side with Disney. As long as they don’t object to a mosque being built in the vacinity if it comes up.
A Disneyland restaurant worker has been fighting with the company to wear her hijab at work. Disney says it doesn’t fit their costume (Disney-speak for uniform) guidelines. They offered her other positions out of the public eye where she could wear one (making what she currently does or more per hour). At first, I was torn on this issue. I am a full believer in religious freedom. But she’s been there for two years and is just now demanding this. Understandable, considering she learned about religious rights studying for her citizenship test. But Disney also designed, at her request, a bonnett was designed for her to conform with her sensibilities. She said no whe she saw it, saying it was “enbarassing.” Look, I used to work at Disneyland. Almost every costume they have is a little embarassing to wear. We got degrading comments from teens when I walked around looking like a banana in my bright yellow pants and shirt. But it’s Disneyland. The costume is part of the gig. I support Disney in this one.
OK, the time has come to tackle this one. With the mosque set to be built
at near Ground Zero, this debate has hit a fever pitch. I’ve gotten used to debates every Christmas about whether crosses/trees/the word “Christmas” can be used in public. I’ve gotten used to debates every Easter over whether nativity scenes can be displayed on public property. I always write these arguments off as being from hateful atheists who think “Freedom of Religion” means that they have a right not to be exposed to the religion.
Let me be clear. I am an atheist. But you know what? Your belief in some invisible being who has done such a damn good job of watching over “His people” does not, in any way, infringe on my right not to believe in him. You believe what you want, and I’ll believe what I want. If you want to put up a 30 foot cross in your front yard, fine by me.
Many take it too far. Some people believe that any acknowledgment of religion violates the separation of church and state. This just simply isn’t the case. You can have your National Day of Prayer. I’ll spend it in a bar. You do your thing, I’ll do mine. We only have a problem if you tell me that I have to pray. Then I just drink more, pray to the porcelain god, and call it good. If you tell me I must go to church on Sunday, we’ve got an issue.
Now there’s the furor over a mosque being built near ground zero. Do a Google search for “masques Manhattan.” On the map directory, there are ten existing locations listed, eight of them on the island of Manhattan itself. It’s not like this is anything new. It’s just something that is being politicized. And a reason for “loving” Christians to show the true hate that lies inside many of them (you know, like the gay marriage debate).
Yes, the Imam in charge said he “doesn’t believe in religious dialogue.” He also helped the FBI with counter-terror efforts. You can twist his beliefs any way you want to, as those on both sides of this debate often do. Opponents say that it’s “always the Muslims” who attack us. Because Timothy McVeigh was a Muslim (oh, wait, no he wasn’t). And the people killing doctors who provide abortions are Muslims (Oh, wait, they’re Christians).
Let’s break this down into simple terms. The First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. This country was founded by mostly Christians. That is true. But part of the reason that they were fed up with England was because the rules were being made by the Church of England, and they didn’t believe that a religion that they did not believe in should dictate the way they lived.
And here we are, over 200 years later, with people invoking “the intent of the Founding Fathers” to use religion to tell others how to live. The fact of the matter is that, in Obama’s first statement on the mosque, he was correct in saying that religious freedom is a basic tenet of American life. He then screwed up by backing down and “not commenting” on the wisdom. In other words, he flip-flopped mentally, though he only flipped (not flopped) verbally.
Look, I understand that there are hateful, warlike Muslims. Just like there are hateful, warlike Christians. And hateful, warlike atheists. And we are, as a whole, a hateful, warlike, country. Our National Anthem is about war.
We are fighting two wars where we haven’t accomplished anything (OK, we got Saddam out of power, and now Iraq is more dangerous than it was because of it). We have not caught Osama bin Laden. We have not made Iraq or Afghanistan safer. We have killed a whole lot more innocent civilians in our attacks in those nations than were killed here on 9/11. All we have done is invite more attacks. To then deny religious freedom in the name of our own failure as a nation is ignorant.
So let them build the mosque. Be vigilant in watching for extremists, but let’s not put the extremist label on anyone just for believing something that we don’t. Some say that Ground Zero is hallowed ground. I don’t believe in hallowed ground. Should there be a memorial? Absolutely. But the site of the World Trade Center is being made into the American Mecca. And this will only lead to more hate.
During this post, I’ve tried hard to see both sides. I’m sure I’ll get hate mail from the right wing. Now it’s time to REALLY invite the hate mail. New Orleans has survived hurricanes, floods, oil rig disasters, all without enough help. And they keep on keeping on. New York has been given more money than they can spend for national security since 9/11. They keep asking for more, when they haven’t spent what they have been given. Then they whine about a non-Christian religion having a place of worship in the city. I’ve been to New York. Only once, so I’m not going to pretend like I know everything about the city, but I’m gonna say it: New Yorkers are the biggest wimps I’ve ever seen. Get over yourselves. And to Muslims going to your new mosque when it is built, be ready for these wimpy New Yorkers to act tough. Just keep walking. Maybe through in a “Hey! I’m walking here!” I will smile when you do.
It’s gotten to the point where the real terrorists are in Congress, the White House, Fox News, and MSNBC. They aren’t the people down the street facing Mecca to pray.
The terrorists won. We let them turn us into a nation that lives in constant fear. If I die, even by the hand of a terrorist, I will die a free man, not someone scared of every shadow I see. As Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
[[update 8/19/2010]] Yesterday, the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 2007 court decision, saying that 14 crosses erected along Utah roads to commemorate fallen state troopers was a violation of the separation of church and state. All because some jerks at American Atheists, Inc., based in Texas, decided that this was somehow evil and that motorists would believe that Christians would get preferential treatment from troopers. The crosses were erected with private funds, not taxpayer dollars. Again, freedom of religion does not mean freedom from having to see any sign that a religion exists. Oh, and I found it interesting that this is the same court that ruled, in 2008, that it was OK for Las Cruces, New Mexico to have crosses in their city logo. So not only was yesterday’s decision stupid, even from the point of view of this atheist. It was also in direct contradiction to that court’s own precedent.
[[edt: corrected “Atheist” to “atheist” - no sense capitalizing a non-religion.]]
Watching Emmitt Smith being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame brought back a fun memory for me. After the Cowboys won the Super Bowl in 1996, Emmitt did one of those “I’m going to Disneyland!” commercials. If memory serves, it was the next day that he and his family visited the park.
I worked there at the time, and I was working the ice cream cart on Main Street, between the entrances to Frontierland and Adventureland. Who should I see coming towards me? The NFL’s greatest rusher. He was limping, seemingly barely able to walk. Not broken, just exhausted.
So not only did I have the privilege of selling a few ice cream bars to a living legend, I got to learn more about the man. When you work at Disneyland, you are not allowed to call attention to celebrities. No autograph or photo requests, no “Oh, look who’s here!,” no “Hey, I know you!” So as I served him, pretending to not know who he was, and watching him walk away in pain, I got it.
Emmitt’s work ethic is the reason behind his success. He put absolutely everything he had into the season, and into the Super Bowl. He gave until he had no more to give, then he found a way to give more. The pain afterward didn’t matter. All that mattered was the game, and being the best damned running back that he could be.
And so, even though I had nothing to do with his success, I felt wonderful watching him get the award. I knew he had earned every accolade, every record, every ring. And to see how special he knew this moment was made me feel proud to have shared space with him for the 30 seconds that I had.
Thanks, Emmitt. You are one of the reasons that football is great. And as long as new players come in and try to be like you, football will continue to be great. I just doubt that any of them will live up to the legend that is Emmitt Smith.
Today Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th Major League home run. It just goes to show that if you are dedicated, you work hard, and you really set your mind to acheiving your goals…a fucking cheater will end up winning instead. As far as I’m concerned, this steroid-pumping goon has zero legitimate home runs. It’s the culture of America…the hard-working real people never have a chance, because the greedy always find a way to step on others to keep them down. So congrats, A-Rod. You are truly the epitome of America - the self-serving, cheating, detestful America that we have become.
Not one to post random pics, but I bought that cel several years ago from a collection at Universal Studios (I know, strange place to get a Disney cel).
I was curious about its history so I went to the Sotheby’s website, as they auctioned this piece off back in 1989. Their auction result history doesn’t go back that far, so I sent them a message hoping they can provide some background as far as whether these are original cels (I believe they are), and perhaps what they sold it for (the price tag when I bought it was $2,000, but this was 18½ years after the Sotheby’s auction).
I posted that last one so I could give Sotheby’s a better frame of reference in case my description wasn’t sufficient. After all, this auction was before the internet was big!
Basically, I’m trying to guesstimate this item’s worth. I really don’t want to part with it, especially since it’s autographed by Charles Fleischer (voice of Roger) and Gary K. Wolf, author of the novel. Still, I’m unemployed, and I could use the money. If any of you have suggestions as to where else I can look for information, I’m all ears.