New York City Panel Clears Way for Mosque Near Ground Zero

A New York City panel voted unanimously Tuesday to reject landmark status for a building near the World Trade Center site, paving the way for construction of a mosque and an Islamic community center.

Opponents of the project, including 9/11 first-responders and family members of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, have said the location would be insensitive.

The mosque is slated to be part of an Islamic community center to be operated by a group called the Cordoba Initiative, which says the center will be a space for moderate Muslim voices.

Several members of roughly 50 people who attended the hearing applauded the ruling, while others shouted “shame” as commission chairman Robert Tierney called for the vote. The city Landmarks Preservation Commission then proceeded to vote 9-0 against granting landmark status to the site’s 152-year-old building, which can now be torn down to make way for the Islamic center.

One opponent, Linda Rivera, of Manhattan, held a sign reading, “Don’t glorify murder of 3,000. No 9/11 victory mosque.”

Read more here.

Khamenei: Music not in tune with ‘Islamic values’

If you thought it impossible Iranian society could take any more steps backwards into the stone age of civilized development, I am sorry to bust your balloon:

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said today that music is “not compatible” with the values of the Islamic republic, and should not be practised or taught in the country.

In some of the most extreme comments by a senior regime figure since the 1979 revolution, Khamenei said: “Although music is halal, promoting and teaching it is not compatible with the highest values of the sacred regime of the Islamic Republic.”

Khamenei’s comments came in response to a request for a ruling by a 21-year-old follower of his, who was thinking of starting music lessons, but wanted to know if they were acceptable according to Islam, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. “It’s better that our dear youth spend their valuable time in learning science and essential and useful skills and fill their time with sport and healthy recreations instead of music,” he said.

Unlike other clerics in Iran, whose religious rulings are practised by their own followers, Khamenei’s views are interpreted as administrative orders for the whole country, which must be obeyed by the government. Last month Khamenei issued a controversial fatwa in which he likened his leadership to that of the Prophet Muhammad and obliged all Iranians to obey his orders.

What a soulless goon this fellow is. And the idea that he thinks he’s some kind of modern day prophet Muhammad is an interesting fact flake in light of Iran’s unrelenting drive for nuclear weapons.

Crazy, deluded people should not have nuclear toys to play with. In burning their own fingers, they may end up igniting a conflagration that engulfs the Middle East and beyond.

The Lame Duck Session Could Get Lamer

There has been much concern about the Obama administration attempting to ram through various bills, such as Cap and Trade, after the November elections when Democrats will have no fear of influencing voters against them — especially if they have just lost their election bid.

Elizabeth Letchworth served in the United States Senate as Secretary for the (Republican) Majority and the Minority, with 26 years of service in the Senate. Writing at Project Shining City, she points out:

“But, there are 6 U.S. Senate seats that are different. They are the seats where appointed Senators were selected to fill vacancies like the one created when Pres. Obama won the Presidency. They are CO, DE, FL, IL, NY & WVA. The state election law in each of these states (except NY) says that once the Nov. elections take place the winner of the Senate race becomes the Senator right away, and doesn’t wait until January to be sworn-in.”

In other words, the Democrats could lose up to five Senate seats if the voters in Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois and West Virginia are disgusted with the moves of the Obama administration and elect Republicans and Ms. Letchworth urges us all to tell our friends in those five states to go vote because their vote really does count in the Lame Duck session.

Being able to filibuster Cap and Trade shouldn’t hang by one vote.

TEACHERS UNIONS

Teachers Unions are, I believe, the single most dangerous institution in this country. Teacher’s unions care only about protecting teachers .. no matter how incompetent .. and padding teacher pay. The more teachers (the smaller the classroom) the more members and the more members the more dues and the more dues the more money to donate to Democrats and the more you donate to Democrats the more powerful you are. All of this done in the name of “educating” your child. The National Education Association in the most influential of these unions, and thus the most dangerous. They are also influential when it comes time to vote. They’ve got the purse strings and they aren’t afraid to use it.

So where is the NEA spending its money when election time rolls around? On Democrats. Are you listening? Since 1990, the NEA has contributed $31 million to congressional races with 93% of that going to Democrats. I’m sure that the statistics are similar for teachers unions around the nation.

The quickest way to improve the quality of government education in this country is to make it illegal for government school teachers to engage in collective bargaining. Not gonna happen, but it’s a thought.