Dear Prudence: The Government Needs to Butt Out of the Islamic Cultural Center's Finances
Emily Yoffe, aka Slate advice columnist Dear Prudence, has evidently been driven to distraction by the prospect of an Islamic cultural center/mosque two blocks from the former World Trade Center.
"In his remarks [Mayor Bloomberg] seems to carve out a (tax-exempt!) space for people to engage in any kind of speech whatsoever as long as it’s under the guise of religion: “This is about giving those people the right to say what they want to say. … Even if I disagree with it, they have a right to call for anything they want.” Really?
This must mean Bloomberg has quite a beef with Barack Obama, who has authorized the assassination of Islamic cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki for his incitement to murder Americans: Awlaki’s sermons were the inspiration for, among others, the Ft. Hood shooter, the attempted Christmas airplane bomber, and the would-be Times Square bomber (whose motives Bloomberg first opined were probably opposition to health care reform)." [Slate/XX]
Is Yoffe really oblivious to difference between pursuing criminals based on evidence vs. targeting apparently upstanding organizations for state scrutiny based on their religious affiliation? For the record, I oppose Obama's targeted assassination program, but that's neither here nor there. Yoffe was just looking for an excuse to mention the Fort Hood shooter in the same breath as Cordoba House.
Bloomberg didn't mean that Cordoba House, or any other organization, has carte blanche to break the law. He meant that the Attorney General shouldn't be singling out Cordoba House with zero evidence because it the group has the temerity to put an Islamic cultural center where Rick Lazio and his buddies don't want one.
This week, Lazio lost the battle with the landmarks preservation commission and he's sulking. Now, Lazio wants Attorney General Cuomo to give him the petty revenge at public expense. It's disgusting. Good for Cuomo for obliquely telling Lazio to take a hike by reiterating that allowing the project to proceed is a matter of religious freedom.
Journalists, and even advice columnists, are free to play detective all they want. If Yoffe thinks the mere fact of the Cordoba House's Muslim faith makes it suspicious, she's welcome to investigate further. I suspect the results will be about as juicy as investigating her local YMCA or Jewish community center, but, hey, it's a free country. Remember?
However, the government should never use its investigative powers to settle scores by harassing groups with unpopular ideologies.
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Big tech is making its opening moves into the health care scene, but its focus on tech-savvy millennials may miss the mark.
- Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google have been busy investing in health care companies, developing new apps, and hiring health professionals for new business ventures.
- Their current focus appears to be on tech-savvy millennials, but the bulk of health care expenditures goes to the elderly.
- Big tech should look to integrating its most promising health care devise, the smartphone, more thoroughly into health care.
Turns out pushups are more telling than treadmill tests when it comes to cardiovascular health.
- Men who can perform 40 pushups in one minute are 96 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease than those who do less than 10.
- The Harvard study focused on over 1,100 firefighters with a median age of 39.
- The exact results might not be applicable to men of other age groups or to women, researchers warn.
Here's why universal basic income will hurt the 99%, and make the 1% even richer.
- Universal basic income is a band-aid solution that will not solve wealth inequality, says Rushkoff.
- Funneling money to the 99% perpetuates their roles as consumers, pumping money straight back up to the 1% at the top of the pyramid.
- Rushkoff suggests universal basic assets instead, so that the people at the bottom of the pyramid can own some means of production and participate in the profits of mega-rich companies.
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