Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bill Maher on "liberal bullshit" about Islam

By Noel Sheppard
April 20, 2013

Bill Maher on HBO's Real Time Friday made a statement that will make the Right cheer as the left predictably cringes.

After his guest Brian Levin---the director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino---said of the Boston bombings and how it relates to radical Islam, "We have hypocrites across faiths, Jewish, Christian who say they're out for God and end up doing not so nice things," Maher marvelously responded, "That’s liberal bullshit right there."

BILL MAHER: So you're obviously the perfect person to have here today. You study this all the time, the mind of crazy people who do horrible things. I'm always interested to know how people like the people we caught today up in Boston can have two minds going at the same time. I mean, if you read what the older brother wrote on his, on the internet, he said his world view: Islam. Personal priorities: career and money. And we see this a lot. I mean, the 9/11 hijackers went to strip clubs the night before they got on the plane.

BRIAN LEVIN: Could I just interject? Look, it's not like people who are Muslim who do wacky things have a monopoly on it. We have hypocrites across faiths, Jewish, Christian who say they're out for God and end up doing not so nice things.

MAHER: You know what? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know what? That's, that’s liberal bullshit right there. I mean, yes, all faiths…

LEVIN: There are no Christian hypocrites?

MAHER: No, there are.

LEVIN: You make a career on that.

MAHER: They just, they're not as dangerous. I mean, there's only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the prophet. There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith. [Being] an ex-Muslim is a very dangerous thing. Talk to Salman Rushdie after the show about Christian versus Islam. So, you know, I’m just saying, let's keep it real.

LEVIN: Well, I guess I have a girl for you, Pam Geller you could maybe meet. No, I really disagree with you.

MAHER: I don't know what that means.

LEVIN: Well, she’s an Islamaphobe. But, no I…

MAHER: I’m not an Islamaphobe. That’s wrong. I am a truth lover. All religions are not alike. As many people have pointed out, “The Book of Mormon.” Did you see the show?

LEVIN: No, it's hard to get tickets.

MAHER: Okay, can you imagine if they did "The Book of Islam?" Could they do that? There’s only one religion that threatens violence and carries it out for things like that. Could they do “The Book of Islam” on Broadway?

LEVIN: Possibly so.

MAHER: Possibly so? Tell me what color the sky is in your world.

LEVIN: Here's my difficulty with your premise here, Bill, and that is look at how religions over history have had things done in their name that have been terrible.

MAHER: Absolutely. But we're not in history. We're in 2013.

LEVIN: But what I would tell you…

MAHER: You're right, during the Middle Ages, I would say Christianity was the bigger problem.

LEVIN: If I may, though. You are making an error in that Islam has over 1.4 billion adherents. There’s a heterogeneity to it. Are there extremists who are horrible people who would slit your throats? Yes. But there are also folks that are fine, upstanding people.

MAHER: Of course.

LEVIN: And I'm very worried you have a national audience where we're promoting Islamic hatred.

MAHER: No, you're wrong about that and you're wrong about your facts. Now, obviously, most Muslim people are not terrorists, but ask most Muslim people in the world, if you insult the prophet, do you get what's coming to you? It's more than just a fringe element.

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The bike lobby at work saving the planet

Jeffrey Tumlin

The folks at ENUF send this for our consideration:

Let us consider looking into some of the relationship issues between the SFMTA and their contractors and the lobbyists. Then let us consider writing some letters describing what we have found.

How many masters can one man serve at a time?

Has Jeffrey Tumlin been working for SPUR, the Bicycle Coalition, and this bicycle lobbyist all along?

Look at the the list of people that the lobbyist is sending information to. Evidence suggests that Tumlin has been working with bicycle lobbyists at the state level to enact legislation that would allow them to financially benefit from the placement of parking meters in San Francisco.
Dave Snyder

And is Andy Thornley working for Serco or the people of San Francisco?

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Polk Street project: Lies and anonymity

Gavin Newsom and David Villa-Lobos

Not surprising that the Bicycle Coalition and the MTA/City Hall support the "improvements" to Polk Street. It's their project, after all. But there are no names on the Folks for Polk website. Under FAQ they cite the MTA, the Bicycle Coalition, and Streetsblog. Seems like the website and the Facebook page---they've edited out my comments there---were created by the city and/or the bike people. Otherwise, why the anonymity?

Paul Skilbeck, "a cycling specialist journalist"---for him it's all about bikes---on provides another pro-bike column on Polk Street (the first was discussed here) that recycles the Valencia Street lie along with some new bullshit, including a slur---that opponents of the project packed the March 18 meeting---from an anonymous source.

Skilbeck calls Polk Street "one of San Francisco's most dangerous streets," which is a straight-up lie, since Polk rates only a mention (page 25) in the latest city Collision Report, and not a single Polk Street intersection is on the list (page 8) of intersections with the most accidents.

The head on Skilbeck's story trumpets the endorsement of something called the Community Leadership Alliance, which seems to be a one-man operation---David Villa-Lobos---with a sketchy website.

The slur:

The CLA decision runs counter to an earlier suggestion by the SFMTA that it might consider revising the project proposals in response to a stormy meeting of the Middle Polk Neighborhood Association on March 18th. It has since emerged that merchants along Polk Street are said to have admitted that they stacked that meeting with friends and family from out of town, according to sources close to the CLA.

Anonymous "sources close to the CLA"? Could that be Villa-Lobos himself?

Streetsblog is unscrupulous enough to pass on someone else's anonymous slur, even making it the head on their story. They "haven’t had a chance to get the opponents on the record" to deny the charge, you understand, but they had time to repeat it, along with the lie about the safety of Polk Street.

Skilbeck: "The safety benefits of the SFMTA's plan are not in dispute. The controversy surrounds the impact on businesses of reducing parking spaces on Polk Street." But they are in dispute. The city still hasn't provided any serious evidence that Polk has a safety problem.


Mr. Bert Hill, chair of the San Francisco Bicycle Advisory Committee, said, “Much the same happened on Valencia Street and upper Market Street a few years ago. Merchants tend to say 'I will go out of business'. OK, it may not be good for every business, but it will be good for commerce overall, so if we are talking about what's good for the prosperity of the city then these changes are beneficial.”

Hill is a long-time bike activist---I first blogged about him way back in 2005---in San Francisco, so he knows the Valencia Street example is untrue, that no street parking was eliminated to make those bike lanes. That makes Hill a certified liar, along with Andy Thornley and Dave Snyder---leader of the Bicycle Coalition for years before the Shahum regime---who provides a comment on the article. Recall that Snyder was the author of the devious, illegal City Hall strategy to sneak the Bicycle Plan through the process without any environmental review.

The Bicycle Coalition and the city are worried about the opposition to the Polk Street project. They were able to push through anti-car "improvements" on upper Market Street, Ocean Avenue, and 17th Street in spite of opposition from small businesses on those streets.

But the Polk Street neighborhood is better organized and determined to prevent the bike lobby and City Hall from taking away their street parking to make bike lanes. It would be a serious, much overdue, much-deserved defeat for the Bicycle Coalition and the anti-car MTA, which is why they're piling on the lies and slurs in a desperate attempt to push this project through.

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