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Monday, September 13, 2010

If the 'Mosque' Isn't Built, This Is No Longer America

I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero.

I want it built on Ground Zero.

Why? Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.

There's been so much that's been said about this manufactured controversy, I really don't want to waste any time on this day of remembrance talking about it. But I hate bigotry and I hate liars, and so in case you missed any of the truth that's been lost in this, let me point out a few facts:

1. I love the Burlington Coat Factory. I've gotten some great winter coats there at a very reasonable price. Muslims have been holding their daily prayers there since 2009. No one ever complained about that. This is not going to be a "mosque," it's going to be a community center. It will have the same prayer room in it that's already there. But to even have to assure people that "it's not going to be mosque" is so offensive, I now wish they would just build a 111-story mosque there. That would be better than the lame and disgusting way the developer has left Ground Zero an empty hole until recently. The remains of over 1,100 people still haven't been found. That site is a sacred graveyard, and to be building another monument to commerce on it is a sacrilege. Why wasn't the entire site turned into a memorial peace park? People died there, and many of their remains are still strewn about, all these years later.

2. Guess who has helped the Muslims organize their plans for this community center? The JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of Manhattan! Their rabbi has been advising them since the beginning. It's been a picture-perfect example of the kind of world we all want to live in. Peter Stuyvessant, New York's "founder," tried to expel the first Jews who arrived in Manhattan. Then the Dutch said, no, that's a bit much. So then Stuyvessant said ok, you can stay, but you cannot build a synagogue anywhere in Manhattan. Do your stupid Friday night thing at home. The first Jewish temple was not allowed to be built until 1730. Then there was a revolution, and the founding fathers said this country has to be secular -- no religious nuts or state religions. George Washington (inaugurated around the corner from Ground Zero) wanted to make a statement about this his very first year in office, and wrote this to American Jews:

"The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy -- a policy worthy of imitation. ...

"It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens ...

"May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants -- while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid."

3. The Imam in charge of this project is the nicest guy you'd ever want to meet. Read about his past here.

4. Around five dozen Muslims died at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Hundreds of members of their families still grieve and suffer. The 19 killers did not care what religion anyone belonged to when they took those lives.

5. I've never read a sadder headline in the New York Times than the one on the front page this past Monday: "American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?" That should make all of us so ashamed that even a single one of our fellow citizens should ever have to worry about if they "belong" here.

6. There is a McDonald's two blocks from Ground Zero. Trust me, McDonald's has killed far more people than the terrorists.

7. During an economic depression or a time of war, fascists are extremely skilled at whipping up fear and hate and getting the working class to blame "the other" for their troubles. Lincoln's enemies told poor Southern whites that he was "a Catholic." FDR's opponents said he was Jewish and called him "Jewsevelt." One in five Americans now believe Obama is a Muslim and 41% of Republicans don't believe he was born here.

8. Blaming a whole group for the actions of just one of that group is anti-American. Timothy McVeigh was Catholic. Should Oklahoma City prohibit the building of a Catholic Church near the site of the former federal building that McVeigh blew up?

9. Let's face it, all religions have their whackos. Catholics have O'Reilly, Gingrich, Hannity and Clarence Thomas (in fact all five conservatives who dominate the Supreme Court are Catholic). Protestants have Pat Robertson and too many to list here. The Mormons have Glenn Beck. Jews have Crazy Eddie. But we don't judge whole religions on just the actions of their whackos. Unless they're Methodists.

10. If I should ever, God forbid, perish in a terrorist incident, and you or some nutty group uses my death as your justification to attack or discriminate against anyone in my name, I will come back and haunt you worse than Linda Blair marrying Freddy Krueger and moving into your bedroom to spawn Chucky. John Lennon was right when he asked us to imagine a world with "nothing to kill or die for and no religion, too." I heard Deepak Chopra this week say that "God gave humans the truth, and the devil came and he said, 'Let's give it a name and call it religion.' " But John Adams said it best when he wrote a sort of letter to the future (which he called "Posterity"): "Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it." I'm guessing ol' John Adams is up there repenting nonstop right now.

Friends, we all have a responsibility NOW to make sure that Muslim community center gets built. Once again, 70% of the country (the same number that initially supported the Iraq War) is on the wrong side and want the "mosque" moved. Enormous pressure has been put on the Imam to stop his project. We have to turn this thing around. Are we going to let the bullies and thugs win another one? Aren't you fed up by now? When would be a good time to take our country back from the haters?

I say right now. Let's each of us make a statement by donating to the building of this community center! It's a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and you can donate a dollar or ten dollars (or more) right now through a secure pay pal account by clicking here. I will personally match the first $10,000 raised (forward your PayPal receipt to webguy@michaelmoore.com). If each one of you reading this blog/email donated just a couple of dollars, that would give the center over $6 million, more than what Donald Trump has offered to buy the Imam out. C'mon everyone, let's pitch in and help those who are being debased for simply wanting to do something good. We could all make a huge statement of love on this solemn day.

I lost a co-worker on 9/11. I write this today in his memory.


"The man who speaks of the enemy / Is the enemy himself."
-- Bertolt Brecht

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

6 Daily Habits For Living Longer.

Do you eat breakfast everyday? Do you always take the stairs? Whatever your daily habits are, there’s no denying that they impact your health. Even though the things we do as part of our daily routines might seem small, over time the small things can add up. So, by keeping your daily habits healthy, you can literally add years to your life.

Here are six daily habits for living longer.

1- Always opt for exercise

Technology exists to make our lives easier, but it doesn't always make us healthier. Daily exercise, however, is a definite boon to health. In fact, studies suggest that daily exercise can add up to three years to your life. Although finding time for structured exercise can be pretty much impossible for many guys, the good news is that opportunity for exercise is everywhere -- just be creative. Whenever you can, walk to work. You don’t even have to walk the whole way. If you take public transit, just get off a few blocks sooner and enjoy a stroll. If you live or work in a high-rise building, just take the stairs. It’s really that simple.

2- Eat a healthy breakfast

Including breakfast in your daily routine is a great healthy habit for living longer. Over the years, researchers have found that those who eat an early morning meal are less likely to be obese and get diabetes compared with those who don’t. Breakfast-eaters also report feeling better both mentally and physically. All in all, it seems that eating breakfast is a great and healthy way to start your day. To get the full benefits of breakfast, though, the Mayo Clinic recommends a meal with carbs, protein and a small amount of fat. The key is to keep your meals varied to ensure you get a good mix of nutrients, so spice up your breakfast diet every once in a while.

3- Get enough sleep

A lack of quality sleep can shorten your life. At least that’s the conclusion drawn from a number of studies conducted over the past decade. Although it’s not entirely clear how many hours of sleep we really need, failing to get at least seven hours of sleep or only sleeping at odd hours appears to heighten the risk of major illnesses including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. But it’s not just a lack of sleep that can be dangerous; a lack of relaxation can leave a lasting mark as well. We all know that stress and anxiety are killers, and so it follows that finding ways to relax each day can be a lifesaver. Whether it’s classical music, massage therapy or meditation, whatever you use to relax will most certainly add years to your life. It may even help you sleep better.

4- Brush and floss daily

Flossing can add 6.4 years to your life, says Dr. Michael Roizen in his book The RealAge Makeover. Although that estimate might be a little far-fetched, the thinking behind it is probably pretty sound. The reality is that poor oral hygiene can lead to nasty gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis. These inflammatory diseases can actually lead to a narrowing of the arteries, a common cause of cardiovascular disease. By simply brushing and flossing daily, we rid our mouths of the bacteria that cause inflammatory gum disease and save our heart a little bit of trouble.

5- Stay in touch with friends

There’s an old saying that says a good friend is cheaper than therapy. Oddly enough, researchers now hold this to be true, though it’s not just about friends; any social network, whether it be through church, a sports club or cooking class, can positively impact your physical and mental well-being. Social networks can provide us with useful information, like encouragement to go see a doctor; they can give physical support, like helping us run errands; and they can provide emotional support, like listening to our problems to help us overcome depression and anxiety. All of these seemingly minor perks can literally add years to our lives.

6- Stay hydrated

Our bodies are nearly 70% water, so it should come as no surprise that water is essential to maintaining health and prolonging life. We use water to regulate body temperature, protect our joints and organs, and to help transport oxygen to cells. But in order for water to keep our bodies in check, we need to make sure that its levels are constantly replenished. The solution is simple: hydrate. Although the common prescription of drinking eight eight-ounce glasses of water per day has been called a myth, the message isn’t necessarily a bad one. As long as you hydrate frequently, from various sources, not just water, you’re probably in the clear.

making daily habits count

Many of us are set in our daily routines. We eat the same meal, wear the same clothes, take the same route to work, and work the same old job. But what we sometimes fail to recognize is the huge impact that our daily routines can have on our health. By making just a few small changes here and there -- and sticking to them -- you can add a significant number of years to your life. Although change isn’t always easy, it can be done. Set small goals, ease in changes one at a time and it won’t be long before you notice a positive change to your health and mood.

p/s:wink wink