Archive for July, 2010

25
Jul
10

Mosque Madness

First, before I start this post, I think it’s crazy that 1) my blog’s images are SEOed out for no apparent reason. When searching for “bp explosion” (in quotes), I’m one of the first images. Same for some of the other images on this blog. The real crazy part is no matter what I type into Google (even if I put in ‘carsties’ or “carsties.wordpress.com’), I cannot get that photo of the dead whale to come up in the search results. It took me forever to find, and I feel like some BP is somehow responsible for this little PR bandaid. Let me know if I’m doing something wrong!

So, I’ve been trying to write a blog post for a while. Nothing has really gotten me really that angry besides the usual bullshit like this or this or this or this (those are all great articles to check out). Lately, everyone from my friends to co-workers to my mother to Sarah Palin has been asking me “Matt, what do you think about that gosh darn Mosque down at the Ground Zero?” (that’s how Sarah put it). So, I’m going to voice my opinion on the matter and oy vey.

Great Mosque of Córdoba

This is the Great Mosque in Córdoba, Spain. Dear Architects, please replicate.

So, I’d just like to start off with a little background on the subject. First, for those of you who have not been to New York City, the Financial District is NYC’s oldest neighborhood. It’s home of the first area of European settlement in NYC (New Amsterdam), it’s where Wall Street is and where modern capitalism was invented and reinvented. Battery Park is there, St. Paul’s Chapel, Trinity Church (which was made famous by National Treasure) and of course, it was the former home of Twin Towers, which collapsed in an event that defined the last decade and will still have effects 100 years from now. This event was done by radical terrorists who identify themselves with the most extreme of the anti-Americans, Al-Qaeda.  These people also tend to be Muslims.  Just to let you know, there are radical non-Muslims and non-radical Muslims as well.

Soho Properties, a Muslim-run real estate firm purchased the old Burlington Coat Factory in July 2009 for just shy of 5 million dollars; pretty cheap (the property was damaged in the attacks and it was an old Burlington Coat Factory….gross!).  Around the same time, Soho Properties was purchasing other real estate such as this $47 gem in Chelsea (which is ironically 4 blocks away from another old Burlington Coat Factory….conspiracy!). One of the main investors in Soho Properties is “the Cordoba Initiative” which “aims to achieve a tipping point in Muslim-West relations within the next decade, steering the world back to the course of mutual recognition and respect and away from heightened tensions”. They decided to do achieve this goal by building a 100 million dollar Mosque/Center for Islam in the Financial District called the Cordoba House.

Before this even happened, the old Burlington Coat Factory was being used as a Muslim prayer center. From the NYTimes:

“….with the outside rumblings of construction at ground zero as a backdrop, hundreds of Muslims crowd inside, facing Mecca in prayer and listening to their imam read in Arabic from the Koran.”

Mosque NYC

Once again, people in a Burlington Coat Factory with heads down, and praying for better

No one said anytime. Sarah Palin was busy learning where Russia is. On May 6, 2010 Community Board #1 unanimously endorsed the construction of the Cordoba House (recently renamed the less-muslim sounding “Park51”).  I remember reading that article on May 7. Everyone was pretty quiet. I had some comments, but that was it. Then, the national media somehow became aware of this and it was everywhere. Glenn Beck was interested. Keith Olbermann had to respond. Sarah Palin had to add her thoughts. Newt Gingrich is talking about it. SO, here’s my commentary on the subject.

First, I’m going to attack Soho Properties because they’re the first ones to make a stupid move. Everyone involved in this debate rethink things. If I was looking to build what will be the most expensive and elaborate Mosque in the United States, 600 feet from the WTC would not be at the top of my list. I understand, we’re trying to bring understanding to the faith. That’s awesome, and great. I’m all for building a community center where people can learn that Islam is not a religion of violence (well not anymore than Christianity or Judaism), just not so close to where the biggest act of Muslim-perpetrated violence is. Not only that, but your center is going to be the future hate-crime capital. The Cordoba Center is going to be overshadowed by the WTC incident (as well as the current controversy) and people are not going to be rational enough to even listen to anything that the Koran may have to teach. It’s like building a Center of European Excellence in the Selma town square or a Shinto Temple on walkway to the USS Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor. It’s just really stupid and there are better places. How about in the East Village, which is a very liberal, understanding area that also has had, time and time again, a huge impact on the culture of this country?

Next up on my list of morons, is this Board that approved it. This should have never have been approved. I’m going to assume that everyone on this board was paid-off to approve this. No one could be this stupid.

Mosque at Ground Zero

This is the mosque that is going to be built at Ground Zero. Pretty sweet actually.

It was a unanimous vote? Come on….   No one considered that this might cause a controversy? They are on that board to make judgment calls for what is in the best interests of the residents and businesses and I have a feeling that a unanimous vote does not reflect the opinions of such constitutes. Note, Soho Properties didn’t have to get the Board’s approval.

“They bought the land; they were not required to appear before us,” says Ro Sheffe, chair of the financial district committee for Community Board 1. “They are good neighbors.”

Yo Sheffe, you could have at least voted against it, which would have given Soho Properties a yellow light instead of the a green.

Lastly, are “the patriots“. I don’t complain when you erect another idol worshipping mega-church; I laugh. So stop trying to determine the values of this country for everyone. You don’t like Muslims because of 9/11? lol. Get a fucking life. This country is supposed to be built on tolerance (continually being “perfected”) including religious tolerance. There are about 30 churches in the Financial District (do a Google Map search, I lost count around 20), the closest mosque is on Warren Street in Tribeca.

“Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesnt it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate,” – Palin in a Tweet

“Refudiate” is some sort of Palin concoction of “refute” and “repudiate”. I kind of like it actually. I can’t really comment on the meat of this Tweet. I don’t really understand why people in the “heartland”, i.e. the “real Americans” are so concerned about what buildings go up in a city that most of them hate.  I think Wal-Marts are pretty much town-killers and it stabs me in the heart when I see one and all the local businesses they’re killed. If we refudiate the Ground Zero Mosque, maybe you can refudiate a Wal-Mart or two.

“The former Speaker of the House [Newt Gingrich] has announced his opposition to a $100 million Islamic Center and mosque planned for a site two blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan, because no synagogues or churches are allowed in Saudi Arabia and he wants to know the center’s funding sources.”

Really Newt? We’re going to go copy Saudi Arabia? Also, you want to see the funding behind a private corporation? Great, let’s take a look into some of your recent financial escapades as someone who’s looking for a presidential 2012 run.

Basically, yes Park51/The Cordoba House/Ground Zero Mosque was a stupid idea to begin with. Oh well. It’s been decided and now the argument is over. Let’s stop acting like Mohammed himself was the pilot of the plane and let these people build their mosque.

Robert Rubin, Sanford Weill, and John Reed (NYTimes)

Robert Rubin, former Treasury secretary is being welcomed "abroad" Citigroup in this picture. He would go onto take 120 million by socializing the financial risks while keeping profits private.

It’s going to have a swimming pool, theater, a library and a whole bunch of other amenities that will be open to the public. Also, it is conveniently located next to the Dakota Roadhouse, one of NYC’s finest drinking and fried food establishments. I will be able to swim, drink and read up on 12th century Muslim Imams all on the same block.

You know what is insulting that’s in the Financial District? Wall Street. You want something to be angry about? That. I want those banks liquidated. I want wall street executives in prison. That is what should happen when you willingly steal, repeatedly, from the American people. That to me is 1000x more revolting than a mosque. Let’s pay attention to that.  Let’s get angry about that, and let the Muslims build their community center to show us how awesome they say they are.

02
Jul
10

BP – “Beyond Persecution”

I normally start my entries with a rant about whatever, but I want you to be as pissed as I am at BP, so I’m going to start with some photos. Also, the only people who visit my blog are coming for the photos (yes I’m referring to those of you who are google imaging “sandlot squintz” and “banksy west bank”).

Let ‘er rip!

I say we tar and feather Tony Hayward ASAP, see he how likes that combo

The Louisiana Coast; March 2010's Most Vibrant, Beautiful and Ecological Diverse Place

Grade A Jackass

Carl-Henric Svanberg is BP's Chairman and a Grade A Douche.

Fuck You Whale!!!!

This is what you get when you add a dying whale, BP oil, and the Gulf sun.

11 Deaths

The effects are not all environmental. Let's not forget the 11 workers who were killed in the explosion that was the result of BP's neglegence

I Just Want My Life Back!

Yes, we all want our lives back, especially if those lives involve yachting. It's nice Tony Hayward has someplace to escape to unlike the wildlife of the coast or the already screwed over (and now even more screwed over) residents of the Gulf.

BP's First Human Victim

Wednesday morning, William Allen Krause, a boat captain BP had hired, shot himself in the head. Peace out Mr. Kruse. We'll get the fuckers.

I was reading a Facebook post that we shouldn’t be too angry, clearly BP and the US government are aware that there is a major problem in the gulf and it could spell out the beginning of the end for BP and put a big black mark on the Obama administration. They certainly want to fix things and we can’t expect Obama to put on a wet suit and get down to the leak.  Point taken.

Counterpoint – We also don’t expect Obama to grab an M-16 and get over to Afghanistan (well I do, but I can understand if you think that’s unreasonable).  However, I think we all agree that we expect the Obama Administration to take charge of situations. Hey Barack, you wanna know whose ass you gotta kick? I got some names, dog.

So in one quick summary sentence for anyone whose been hiking in the woods since April or a 1985 Marty McFly, here’s what happened. BP’s oil rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded off the coast of Lousiana and killed 11 workers. The explosion let loose a leak of oil that has been estimated to have already released as many as 120 million gallons (that’s about 12 Exxon Valdezes). They can’t figure out how to plug the hole.

The messed up part is that BP has pretty much taken control of the situation, shared very little information, and won’t let anyone else intervene. The government seems to be alright with this. Bill Clinton is in favor of blowing the whole thing up unless BP’s engineers fix it. Hey Bill, just outta curiosity, are BP’s engineers the top engineers at fixing underwater oil leaks? Doesn’t look that way. Why are we letting these people continue to run the show down there? They’re not letting the press in and seem to be blocking all sorts of content (it took me about 30 minutes to find that picture of the whale, even though there are about 70 stories on it, a bunch with fake pictures of said whale).  And Barack Obama wants to know whose ass he has to kick.

Meanwhile, at the BP executives just want their lives back. Their yacht filled lives where they have affairs and vacations. Carl-Henric Svanberg (the douche in the photo) let us know that BP cares about “the little people”. Basically, the mentality of BP is “we’re working very hard, but not too hard. We care about the people, but not too much to consider them equals. We respect the government and press, just not enough to involve them”. Meanwhile, the government is thinking “Man! I hope they fix that soon!”

I like Bill Clinton’s #4 suggestion. Basically he said, since we’re going to leave it up to BP at plug the leak, stop it from reaching the shores, and clean up the spill, we need to figure out who screwed up. That’s our job.

I want ALL the information regarding this explosion, leak, spill, everything.  Everything BP knows, we have to know. They’re sending internal memos regarding how much oil is leaking? No fucking way. We’re treating these people like some sort of higher authority than the US government when they’re the ones who messed up.

Here’s the kicker. Here’s how awesome the government is at doing stuff. Remember all that crazy stuff going on in

Onshore Drilling

This is what BP considers onshore drilling. It is 3 miles off the coast of Alaska. Even if you're pro-offshore drilling, you have to admit this is deceitful, sketchy, and illegal

previous years about drilling in Alaska (remember that idiot woman bouncing around saying “Drill Baby Drill”). We weren’t going to do that. That was a bad idea. In retrospect, given the current situation, that’s an especially bad idea. Hey government, what do you think? Yep! Do it! Also, the only one that’s allowed to drill there will be BP. They’re great with fragile, pristine environments. Offshore drilling of course has been temparorily banned until the public forgets about the oil spill, but BP built an island 3 miles off the coast of Alaska. That constitutes “onshore drilling”.  In regards to the environmental safety, the NYTimes reports: ”

BP has defended the project in its proposal, saying it is safe and environmentally friendly. It declined to respond to requests for further comment.”

Has everyone lost their fucking minds????? We’re going to let BP, the company that is directly responsible for the ongoing and worst environmental disaster in US history, drill a well, that should be illegal, in the pristine Alaska?

I give the shit up. This is more ridiculous that letting a horse judge run FEMA or the Vice President shooting someone in the face. You win Obama. You win sir.

Here are additional minor things that worry me.

1) The chance (and high probability) that the oil will hit the Loop Current in the Gulf, which spits it out into the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream goes all the way up the east coast, and very quickly. We could be looking at an oily winter in NYC!

2) There’s no promises that the relief wells (the two wells should  be done by mid-August) will work. It’s very probable that they will, but that’s the same story as every other plan BP has. Who knows. What’s the long-term plan? This article mentions that we’ll use an existing platform. Is that really the best idea? Maybe, but I think we need more open information to know for sure. Slick Willy says we should blow the holes up so a “bunch of rocks and stuff fall on top of the hole; plugging it up”. Right…..

3) Oilcanes! Take 1 part crude oil, mix with one class 3-4-5 hurricane and you have an oilcane. Basically a hurricane that contains bits of oil and chemical dispersant. Fun! I don’t think we’ve ever seen an oilcane, so who knows what will happen. Fields covered in oil (that’ll be fun to see once some lightning strikes and those oil drenched towns are lit up.) Talk about making an entire area inhabitable. This season is gearing up to be a big hurricane season and we have an always growing oil spill. Trouble brewing.

In short, I can’t believe that this situation is now on Day 73 and we’re still letting BP, who caused this mess run the

Badass City

This is Eisenhower preparing troops for D-Day. You can consider him a "community organizer"

show. It’s embarrassing. Barack, you couldn’t kick Malia’s ass. We elected you to lead us through what we knew were going to be some troubled times and you can’t even handle BP. What happens when Iran starts throwing it’s weight around? Step up to the plate, kick these assholes out of the area, and get some stuff done. What would Eisenhower do? What would Washington do? Certainly not stand around and hope that some foreign company is going to have our interests in mind. It’s absurd to think that would be the case, especially given the past 73 days. Then to let them drill in Alaska just really begs the question as to where our priorities are. Please, please, please do something.