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Re: (damn) [Re: ifallalot] #1545622
07/05/10 08:58 PM
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http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/porte...8564fa45a2.html

maybe if they had a sign at the beach that said "this aint no video game,death can occur"


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union .. cheers
Re: (damn) [Re: sirfun] #1545623
07/19/10 09:47 PM
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Re: (damn) [Re: sirfun] #1545624
07/20/10 12:59 AM
07/20/10 12:59 AM
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In Gods Country
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The more that "Liberal" "journalists" attempt to demonstrate their superiority with lame attempts at denigrating Sarah Palin, the more I love her.

Q:Who is Hillary Clinton without President William Jefferson Clinton?

A: At best an unknown law professor by the name of Hillary Rodham.

Q: Who made Sarah Palin- a chick that put herself through college and simultaneously pumped out 5 puppies...(try asking your average mommy w/more than 1 kid if she's got time to run for and get elected Governor, my guess is that you'll get hearty laugh in response).

A: Sarah Palin made herself......and "Liberals" (especially the feminazi's and their "male" enablers)hate her for it- which makes her a hero in my book.


"...now tell me that wasn't fun!" Capt. Jack Aubrey
Re: (damn) [Re: CharmingSophisticate] #1545625
07/20/10 07:27 PM
07/20/10 07:27 PM
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With personal judgment like that I'd expect to see Cruella DeVille and Octomom heading up your daycare center.

Sarah Palin is good at being Sarah Palin - that's about it.


Aloha
Re: (damn) [Re: Fuller] #1545626
07/30/10 04:50 PM
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Re: (damn) [Re: sirfun] #1545627
07/30/10 10:18 PM
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Re: (damn) [Re: sirfun] #1545628
07/31/10 01:17 AM
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Quote:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/7/4/881431/-Why-liberals-should-love-the-Second-Amendment



"And while liberals certainly do not argue for lawlessness, and will acknowledge the necessity of certain restrictions, it is generally understood that liberals fight to broadly interpret and expand our rights and to question the necessity and wisdom of any restrictions of them."

The above idiocy is about like Rodney Harrison claiming that Safeties in the NFL generally abhor violence.


"...now tell me that wasn't fun!" Capt. Jack Aubrey
Re: (damn) [Re: CharmingSophisticate] #1545629
07/31/10 09:04 AM
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Quote:

Quote:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/7/4/881431/-Why-liberals-should-love-the-Second-Amendment



"And while liberals certainly do not argue for lawlessness, and will acknowledge the necessity of certain restrictions, it is generally understood that liberals fight to broadly interpret and expand our rights and to question the necessity and wisdom of any restrictions of them."

The above idiocy is about like Rodney Harrison claiming that Safeties in the NFL generally abhor violence.




If the Constitutional framers would have had any inkling that Marijuana or Alcohol would be restricted I'm sure that would have been protected in The Bill Of Rights too.
They knew Governments could be heinous but not that heinous!!

An angry old codger once said "There are too many people in the world, The Government should raise the speed limit and lower the drinking age." I laughed. I really thought that was diabolically funny. This old S.O.B. is part evil! Then I realized "the Autobahn", no speed limit, no drinking age,of course you are not supposed to drive drunk,but avert your eyes as you pass a crash scene and they do sell beer at the rest areas.


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Re: (damn) [Re: sirfun] #1545630
08/12/10 10:30 PM
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Russia's grain issue a preview of worldwide food problem
OPINION

By GWYNNE DYER

It cannot be proved that the wildfires now devastating western Russia are evidence of global warming. Once-in-a-century extreme weather events happen, on average, once a century. But the Russian response is precisely what you would expect when global warming really starts to bite: Moscow has just banned all grain exports for the rest of this year.

At least 20 percent of Russia's wheat crop has already been destroyed by the drought, the extreme heat above 100 degrees for several weeks now and the wildfires. The export ban is needed, explained Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, because "we shouldn't allow domestic prices in Russia to rise, we need to preserve our cattle and build up supplies for next year." If anybody starves, it won't be Russians.

That's a reasonable position for a Russian leader to take, but it does mean that some people will starve elsewhere. Russia is the world's fourth-largest grain exporter, and anticipated shortages in the international grain market had already driven the price of wheat up by more than 80 percent since early June. When Putin announced the export ban, it immediately jumped by another 8 percent.


This means that food prices will also rise, but that is a minor nuisance for most consumers in the developed countries, since they spend only about 10 percent of their income on food. In poor countries, where people spend up to half their income on food, the higher prices will mean that the poorest of the poor cannot afford to feed their children properly.

As a result, some will die probably a hundred or a thousand times as many as the 30-odd Russians who have been killed by the flames and the smoke. But they will die quietly, one by one, in under-reported parts of the world, so nobody will notice. Not this time. But when food exports are severely reduced or banned by several major producers at once and the international grain market freezes up, everybody will notice.

Two problems are going to converge and merge in the next 10 or 15 years, with dramatic results. One is the fact that global grain production, which kept up with population growth from the 1950s to the 1990s, is no longer doing so. It may even have flat-lined in the past decade, although large annual variations make that uncertain. Whereas the world's population is still growing.

The world grain reserve, which was 150 days of eating for everybody on the planet 10 years ago, has fallen to little more than a third of that.

The second problem is, of course, global warming. The rule of thumb is that with every 1.8 degrees rise in average global temperature, we lose 10 percent of global food production. In some places, the crops will be damaged by drought; in others by much hotter temperatures. Or, as in Russia's case today, by both.

So food production will be heading down as demand continues to increase, and something has to give. What will probably happen is that the amount of internationally traded grain will dwindle as countries ban exports and keep their supplies for themselves. That will mean that a country can no longer buy its way out of trouble when it has a local crop failure: There will not be enough exported grain for sale.

This is the vision of the future that has the soldiers and security experts worried: a world where access to enough food becomes a big political and strategic issue even for developed countries that do not have big surpluses at home. It would be a very ugly world indeed, teeming with climate refugees and failed states and interstate conflicts over water (which is just food at one remove).

What is happening in Russia now, and its impacts elsewhere, give us an early glimpse of what that world will be like. And although nobody can say for certain that the current disaster there is due to climate change, it certainly could be.

Late last year, Britain's Hadley Centre for Climate Change produced a world map showing how different countries will be affected by the rise in average global temperature over the next 50 years. The European countries that the Hadley map predicts will be among the hardest hit Greece, Spain and Russia are precisely the ones that have suffered most from extreme heat, runaway forest fires and wildfires in the past few years.

The main impact of global warming on human beings will be on the food supply, and eating is a non-negotiable activity. Today Russia, tomorrow the world.


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Re: (damn) [Re: CharmingSophisticate] #1545631
08/20/10 07:12 PM
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Hey!!!!! Governor Quitter is on Twitter
playing to the Torch and Pitchfork Crowd!!!

Quote:

A statue of this man at ground zero facing the mosque will demonstrate our mutual tolerance.





Damn, that's a good picture


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Re: (damn) #1545633
08/23/10 11:52 PM
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Topless protesters turn heads at Venice Beach
About 200 people, including about 2 dozen women wearing red tape, Band-Aids and makeshift pasties, march on the boardwalk Sunday to demand equal rights to go bare-chested in public.
August 22, 2010|By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
Anne Cusack, Los Angeles TimesMore than 200 people, including about two dozen topless women, marched on the Venice Beach boardwalk Sunday afternoon to protest state laws that bar women from going bare-chested in public.

Participants obtained a permit in advance and agreed to obey the law by covering their nipples with red tape, Band-Aids and other makeshift pasties. Los Angeles police hovered at the periphery as the group marched nearly a mile from Navy Court to Windward Avenue on Sunday afternoon, but did not arrest anyone for indecent exposure, a misdemeanor.

The protest organized by gotopless.org, a website that depicts exactly what its title says was the third of its kind at Venice Beach and one of about a dozen planned in cities across the country Sunday, including San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Denver, Miami Beach and Seattle. The protests were timed to precede the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote Aug. 26, 1920.

The chanting women caused a stir. Wait staff at boardwalk cafes paused to watch them pass, diners climbed on tables to catch a glimpse of the crowd, some bystanders flashing their breasts as men in surrounding apartments hung out of windows and balconies, cameras in hand.

Equal rights did not seem to concern many of the men who gathered to gawk at the topless women, record amateur videos and snap photos with cellphones as girlfriends and wives looked on.

Topless protester Kat Kaplan, a dancer and rapper, admonished the crowd using a small megaphone.

"It's not just about taking pictures you got to back the cause and wear a bikini top, men," Kaplan said.

About 50 men strapped on red bikinis supplied by organizers to show their solidarity. Protesters hoisted signs that said, "Free your breasts! Free your mind!" and "Demand topless equality."

"If we are not allowed, men must be forced to hide their chests on the basis of gender equality," said organizer Nadine Gary.

Some men in the crowd said they agreed with her reasoning.

"We walk around topless. They should be able to if they want," said Jesus Romero, 22, of Phoenix, a furniture store worker who stumbled across the protest while on vacation and joined in, as did his stepbrother, both wearing bikini tops.

Just as the march was about to start at 2 p.m., two counterprotesters showed up from the Bible Believers church in Los Angeles, toting signs and shouting at the crowd on the sand.


"Women and men are completely different. Just because men do things doesn't mean women need to do them," shouted Mark Steven, wearing a "Trust Jesus" T-shirt.

"You ought to be offended there's kids here!"

One woman, incensed, flashed the pair. A few other topless women posed for photographs in front of them. Police briefly intervened. Eventually, the topless women marched away and the crowd followed, chanting.
AdvertisementAmong the bystanders was Kirk Montgomery, 52. A freelance television producer visiting from Kona, Hawaii, he described himself as a "liberal conservative." He has an 18-year-old daughter and said he would not necessarily recommend that she go topless especially given the gawkers Sunday but if that was her choice, he would support her.

"Women should have the right to express themselves as they want, as long as it doesn't hurt someone else," Montgomery said.

Mike Maute, 38, drove down from the Antelope Valley to visit Venice Beach on Sunday with his wife, sister, 11-month-old nephew and a cousin visiting from Oklahoma. The topless protest took them by surprise.

"Maybe Venice Beach boardwalk isn't the place to do it, but they should have a place," Maute said as his group got caught in the congestion. His cousin from Oklahoma just laughed, saying bare breasts were one of the tamer things she'd seen on the boardwalk.

As the protesters reached Windward Avenue, Gary was pleased about twice as many people showed up as last year, she said.

Just then, a stranger approached her. Dave Robinson, 57, an artist from East Los Angeles, was wearing one of the red bikini tops.

"Thanks for giving us this," he said. "I don't want to be a gawker I want to do something."

Gary thanked him. As they talked, he stripped off his bikini. Gary asked why.

"It's itchy," he said. "Now I know how you feel."


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Re: (damn) #1545635
08/26/10 06:48 AM
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OP-ED COLUMNIST
Now Thats Rich
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: August 22, 2010


We need to pinch pennies these days. Dont you know we have a budget deficit? For months that has been the word from Republicans and conservative Democrats, who have rejected every suggestion that we do more to avoid deep cuts in public services and help the ailing economy.
But these same politicians are eager to cut checks averaging $3 million each to the richest 120,000 people in the country.
What you havent heard about this proposal? Actually, you have: Im talking about demands that we make all of the Bush tax cuts, not just those for the middle class, permanent.
Some background: Back in 2001, when the first set of Bush tax cuts was rammed through Congress, the legislation was written with a peculiar provision namely, that the whole thing would expire, with tax rates reverting to 2000 levels, on the last day of 2010.
Why the cutoff date? In part, it was used to disguise the fiscal irresponsibility of the tax cuts: lopping off that last year reduced the headline cost of the cuts, because such costs are normally calculated over a 10-year period. It also allowed the Bush administration to pass the tax cuts using reconciliation yes, the same procedure that Republicans denounced when it was used to enact health reform while sidestepping rules designed to prevent the use of that procedure to increase long-run budget deficits.
Obviously, the idea was to go back at a later date and make those tax cuts permanent. But things didnt go according to plan. And now the witching hour is upon us.
So whats the choice now? The Obama administration wants to preserve those parts of the original tax cuts that mainly benefit the middle class which is an expensive proposition in its own right but to let those provisions benefiting only people with very high incomes expire on schedule. Republicans, with support from some conservative Democrats, want to keep the whole thing.
And theres a real chance that Republicans will get what they want. Thats a demonstration, if anyone needed one, that our political culture has become not just dysfunctional but deeply corrupt.
Whats at stake here? According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, making all of the Bush tax cuts permanent, as opposed to following the Obama proposal, would cost the federal government $680 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. For the sake of comparison, it took months of hard negotiations to get Congressional approval for a mere $26 billion in desperately needed aid to state and local governments.
And where would this $680 billion go? Nearly all of it would go to the richest 1 percent of Americans, people with incomes of more than $500,000 a year. But thats the least of it: the policy centers estimates say that the majority of the tax cuts would go to the richest one-tenth of 1 percent. Take a group of 1,000 randomly selected Americans, and pick the one with the highest income; hes going to get the majority of that groups tax break. And the average tax break for those lucky few the poorest members of the group have annual incomes of more than $2 million, and the average member makes more than $7 million a year would be $3 million over the course of the next decade.
How can this kind of giveaway be justified at a time when politicians claim to care about budget deficits? Well, history is repeating itself. The original campaign for the Bush tax cuts relied on deception and dishonesty. In fact, my first suspicions that we were being misled into invading Iraq were based on the resemblance between the campaign for war and the campaign for tax cuts the previous year. And sure enough, that same trademark deception and dishonesty is being deployed on behalf of tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
So, for example, were told that its all about helping small business; but only a tiny fraction of small-business owners would receive any tax break at all. And how many small-business owners do you know making several million a year?
Or were told that its about helping the economy recover. But its hard to think of a less cost-effective way to help the economy than giving money to people who already have plenty, and arent likely to spend a windfall.
No, this has nothing to do with sound economic policy. Instead, as I said, its about a dysfunctional and corrupt political culture, in which Congress wont take action to revive the economy, pleads poverty when it comes to protecting the jobs of schoolteachers and firefighters, but declares cost no object when it comes to sparing the already wealthy even the slightest financial inconvenience.
So far, the Obama administration is standing firm against this outrage. Lets hope that it prevails in its fight. Otherwise, it will be hard not to lose all faith in Americas future


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Re: (damn) #1545637
08/28/10 09:11 PM
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I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy .. in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry and music.
John Adams (1735-1826) 2nd President, United States


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Re: (damn) [Re: sirfun] #1545638
08/29/10 06:55 AM
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OP-ED COLUMNIST
The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party
By FRANK RICH
Published: August 28, 2010

ANOTHER weekend, another grass-roots demonstration starring Real Americans who are mad as hell and want to take back their country from you-know-who. Last Sunday the site was Lower Manhattan, where they jeered the ground zero mosque. This weekend, the scene shifted to Washington, where the avatars of oppressed white Tea Party America, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, were slated to reclaim the civil rights movement (Becks words) on the same spot where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had his dream exactly 47 years earlier.
Vive la rvolution!
Theres just one element missing from these snapshots of Americas ostensibly spontaneous and leaderless populist uprising: the sugar daddies who are bankrolling it, and have been doing so since well before the death panel warm-up acts of last summer. Three heavy hitters rule. Youve heard of one of them, Rupert Murdoch. The other two, the brothers David and Charles Koch, are even richer, with a combined wealth exceeded only by that of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett among Americans. But even those carrying the Kochs banner may not know who these brothers are.
Their self-interested and at times radical agendas, like Murdochs, go well beyond, and sometimes counter to, the interests of those who serve as spear carriers in the political pageants hawked on Fox News. The country will be in for quite a ride should these potentates gain power, and given the recession-battered electorates unchecked anger and the Obama White Houses unfocused political strategy, they might.
All three tycoons are the latest incarnation of what the historian Kim Phillips-Fein labeled Invisible Hands in her prescient 2009 book of that title: those corporate players who have financed the far right ever since the du Pont brothers spawned the American Liberty League in 1934 to bring down F.D.R. You can draw a straight line from the Liberty Leagues crusade against the New Deal socialism of Social Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission and child labor laws to the John Birch Society-Barry Goldwater assault on J.F.K. and Medicare to the Koch-Murdoch-backed juggernaut against our socialist president.
Only the fat cats change not their methods and not their pet bugaboos (taxes, corporate regulation, organized labor, and government handouts to the poor, unemployed, ill and elderly). Even the sources of their fortunes remain fairly constant. Koch Industries began with oil in the 1930s and now also spews an array of industrial products, from Dixie cups to Lycra, not unlike DuPonts portfolio of paint and plastics. Sometimes the biological DNA persists as well. The Koch brothers father, Fred, was among the select group chosen to serve on the Birch Societys top governing body. In a recorded 1963 speech that survives in a University of Michigan archive, he can be heard warning of a takeover of America in which Communists would infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the president is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us. That rant could be delivered as is at any Tea Party rally today.
Last week the Kochs were shoved unwillingly into the spotlight by the most comprehensive journalistic portrait of them yet, written by Jane Mayer of The New Yorker. Her article caused a stir among those in Manhattans liberal elite who didnt know that David Koch, widely celebrated for his cultural philanthropy, is not merely another rich conservative Republican but the founder of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which, as Mayer writes with some understatement, has worked closely with the Tea Party since the movements inception. To New Yorkers who associate the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center with the New York City Ballet, its startling to learn that the Texas branch of that foundations political arm, known simply as Americans for Prosperity, gave its Blogger of the Year Award to an activist who had called President Obama cokehead in chief.
The other major sponsor of the Tea Party movement is Dick Armeys FreedomWorks, which, like Americans for Prosperity, is promoting events in Washington this weekend. Under its original name, Citizens for a Sound Economy, FreedomWorks received $12 million of its own from Koch family foundations. Using tax records, Mayer found that Koch-controlled foundations gave out $196 million from 1998 to 2008, much of it to conservative causes and institutions. That figure doesnt include $50 million in Koch Industries lobbying and $4.8 million in campaign contributions by its political action committee, putting it first among energy company peers like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. Since tax law permits anonymous personal donations to nonprofit political groups, these figures may understate the case. The Kochs surely match the in-kind donations the Tea Party receives in free promotion 24/7 from Murdochs Fox News, where both Beck and Palin are on the payroll.
The New Yorker article stirred up the right, too. Some of Mayers blogging detractors unwittingly upheld the premise of her article (titled Covert Operations) by conceding that they have been Koch grantees. None of them found any factual errors in her 10,000 words. Many of them tried to change the subject to George Soros, the billionaire backer of liberal causes. But Soros is a publicity hound who is transparent about where he shovels his money. And like many liberals selflessly or foolishly, depending on your point of view he supports causes that are unrelated to his business interests and that, if anything, raise his taxes.
This is hardly true of the Kochs. When David Koch ran to the right of Reagan as vice president on the 1980 Libertarian ticket (it polled 1 percent), his campaign called for the abolition not just of Social Security, federal regulatory agencies and welfare but also of the F.B.I., the C.I.A., and public schools in other words, any government enterprise that would either inhibit his business profits or increase his taxes. He hasnt changed. As Mayer details, Koch-supported lobbyists, foundations and political operatives are at the center of climate-science denial a cause that forestalls threats to Koch Industries vast fossil fuel business. While Koch foundations donate to cancer hospitals like Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, Koch Industries has been lobbying to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from classifying another product important to its bottom line, formaldehyde, as a known carcinogen in humans (which it is).
Tea Partiers may share the Kochs detestation of taxes, big government and Obama. But theres a difference between mainstream conservatism and a fringe agenda that tilts completely toward big business, whether on Wall Street or in the Gulf of Mexico, while dismantling fundamental government safety nets designed to protect the unemployed, public health, workplace safety and the subsistence of the elderly.
Yet inexorably the Koch agenda is morphing into the G.O.P. agenda, as articulated by current Republican members of Congress, including the putative next speaker of the House, John Boehner, and Tea Party Senate candidates like Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, and the new kid on the block, Alaskas anti-Medicaid, anti-unemployment insurance Palin protg, Joe Miller. Their program opposes a federal deficit, but has no objection to running up trillions in red ink in tax cuts to corporations and the superrich; apologizes to corporate malefactors like BP and derides money put in escrow for oil spill victims as a slush fund; opposes the extension of unemployment benefits; and calls for a freeze on federal regulations in an era when abuses in the oil, financial, mining, pharmaceutical and even egg industries (among others) have been outrageous.
The Koch brothers must be laughing all the way to the bank knowing that working Americans are aiding and abetting their selfish interests. And surely Murdoch is snickering at those protesting the ground zero mosque. Last week on Fox and Friends, the Bush administration flacks Dan Senor and Dana Perino attacked a supposedly terrorism-tainted Saudi prince whose foundation might contribute to the Islamic center. But as The Daily Show keeps pointing out, these Fox bloviators never acknowledge that the evil prince theyre bashing, Walid bin Talal, is not only the biggest non-Murdoch shareholder in Fox Newss parent company (he owns 7 percent of News Corporation) and the recipient of Murdoch mammoth investments in Saudi Arabia but also the subject of lionization elsewhere on Fox.
No less a Murdoch factotum than Neil Cavuto slobbered over bin Talal in a Fox Business Channel interview as recently as January, with nary a question about his supposed terrorist ties. Instead, bin Talal praised Obamas stance on terrorism and even endorsed the Democrats goal of universal health insurance. Do any of the Fox-watching protestors at the ground zero mosque know that Foxs profits are flowing to a Obama-sympathizing Saudi billionaire in bed with Murdoch? As Jon Stewart summed it up, the protestors who want to cut off funding to the terror mosque are aiding that funding by watching Fox and enhancing bin Talals News Corp. holdings.
When wolves of Murdochs ingenuity and the Kochs stealth have been at the door of our democracy in the past, Democrats have fought back fiercely. Franklin Roosevelts triumphant 1936 re-election campaign pummeled the Liberty League as a Republican ally eager to squeeze the worker dry in his old age and cast him like an orange rind into the refuse pail. When John Kennedys patriotism was assailed by Birchers calling for impeachment, he gave a major speech denouncing their crusades of suspicion.
And Obama? So far, sadly, this question answers itself.


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Re: (damn) [Re: sirfun] #1545639
09/11/10 10:42 AM
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By SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN
Published: September 10, 2010
Sometime in 1999, a construction electrician received a new work assignment from his union. The man, Sinclair Hejazi Abdus-Salaam, was told to report to 2 World Trade Center, the southern of the twin towers.

In the union locker room on the 51st floor, Mr. Abdus-Salaam went through a construction workers version of due diligence. In the case of an emergency in the building, he asked his foreman and crew, where was he supposed to reassemble? The answer was the corner of Broadway and Vesey.

Over the next few days, noticing some fellow Muslims on the job, Mr. Abdus-Salaam voiced an equally essential question: So where do you pray at? And so he learned about the Muslim prayer room on the 17th floor of the south tower.

He went there regularly in the months to come, first doing the ablution known as wudu in a washroom fitted for cleansing hands, face and feet, and then facing toward Mecca to intone the salat prayer.

On any given day, Mr. Abdus-Salaams companions in the prayer room might include financial analysts, carpenters, receptionists, secretaries and ironworkers. There were American natives, immigrants who had earned citizenship, visitors conducting international business the whole Muslim spectrum of nationality and race.

Leaping down the stairs on Sept. 11, 2001, when he had been installing ceiling speakers for a reinsurance company on the 49th floor, Mr. Abdus-Salaam had a brief, panicked thought. He didnt see any of the Muslims he recognized from the prayer room. Where were they? Had they managed to evacuate?

He staggered out to the gathering place at Broadway and Vesey. From that corner, he watched the south tower collapse, to be followed soon by the north one. Somewhere in the smoking, burning mountain of rubble lay whatever remained of the prayer room, and also of some of the Muslims who had used it.

Given the vitriolic opposition now to the proposal to build a Muslim community center two blocks from ground zero, one might say something else has been destroyed: the realization that Muslim people and the Muslim religion were part of the life of the World Trade Center.

Opponents of the Park51 project say the presence of a Muslim center dishonors the victims of the Islamic extremists who flew two jets into the towers. Yet not only were Muslims peacefully worshiping in the twin towers long before the attacks, but even after the 1993 bombing of one tower by a Muslim radical, Ramzi Yousef, their religious observance generated no opposition

We werent aliens, Mr. Abdus-Salaam, 60, said in a telephone interview from Florida, where he moved in retirement. We had a foothold there. Youd walk into the elevator in the morning and say, Salaam aleikum, to one construction worker and five more guys in suits would answer, Aleikum salaam.

One of those men in suits could have been Zafar Sareshwala, a financial executive for the Parsoli Corporation, who went to the prayer room while on business trips from his London office. He was introduced to it, he recently recalled, by a Manhattan investment banker who happened to be Jewish.

It was so freeing and so calm, Mr. Sareshwala, 47, said in a phone conversation from Mumbai, where he is now based. It had the feel of a real mosque. And the best part is that you are in the epicenter of capitalism New York City, the World Trade Center and you had this island of spiritualism. I dont think you could have that combination anywhere in the world.

How, when and by whom the prayer room was begun remains unclear. Interviews this week with historians and building executives of the trade center came up empty. Many of the Port Authoritys leasing records were destroyed in the towers collapse. The imams of several Manhattan mosques whose members sometimes went to the prayer room knew nothing of its origins.

Yet the rooms existence is etched in the memories of participants like Mr. Abdus-Salaam and Mr. Sareshwala. Prof. John L. Esposito of Georgetown University, an expert in Islamic studies, briefly mentions the prayer room in his recent book The Future of Islam





Moreover, the prayer room was not the only example of Muslim religious practice in or near the trade center. About three dozen Muslim staff members of Windows on the World, the restaurant atop the north tower, used a stairwell between the 106th and 107th floors for their daily prayers.

Without enough time to walk to the closest mosque Masjid Manhattan on Warren Street, about four blocks away the waiters, chefs, banquet managers and others would lay a tablecloth atop the concrete landing in the stairwell and flatten cardboard boxes from food deliveries to serve as prayer mats.

During Ramadan, the Muslim employees brought their favorite foods from home, and at the end of the daylight fast shared their iftar meal in the restaurants employee cafeteria.

Iftar was my best memory, said Sekou Siby, 45, a chef originally from the Ivory Coast. It was really special.

Such memories have been overtaken, though, by others. Mr. Sibys cousin and roommate, a chef named Abdoul-Karim Traor, died at Windows on the World on Sept. 11, as did at least one other Muslim staff member, a banquet server named Shabir Ahmed from Bangladesh.

Fekkak Mamdouh, an immigrant from Morocco who was head waiter, attended a worship service just weeks after the attacks that honored the estimated 60 Muslims who died. Far from being viewed as objectionable, the service was conducted with formal support from city, state and federal authorities, who arranged for buses to transport imams and mourners to Warren Street.

There, within sight of the ruins, they chanted salat al-Ghaib, the funeral prayer when there is not an intact corpse.

It is a shame, shame, shame, Mr. Mamdouh, 49, said of the Park51 dispute. Sometimes I wake up and think, this is not what I came to America for. I came here to build this country together. People are using this issue for their own agenda. Its designed to keep the hate going.


We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union .. cheers
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