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I want to second Riverdaughter

On this whole mosque – Park 51 inanity. Many Muslims died at Ground Zero on that awful day. We’re all in this together. We’re all equal in the eyes of the law … and of God.

On a personal level, I’m boggling at the amount of froth coming from so many over this. I mean, say what? It’s a building. Where people meet for some reason. Like the strip club and the McD’s Wonk the Vote pointed out just down the road. New York’s a big place. Lots of buildings. People meet in them for various reasons all the time. Don’t they know that?

Friday Fast: Flood Relief

"The quality of mercy is not strain'd"*

It’s time for another Friday Fast.  Here’s how it works: give up a meal today and send the money you might have spent on it to a cause that needs it.  If you have suggestions for recipients, please put them in the comments below.

Today’s Friday Fast is dedicated to Flood Relief.  My recommended recipient is the UN High Commission for Refugees.  Please see this important message from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for details:

For those of you who want the short summary, you can aid the people of Pakistan by texting the word “SWAT” on your cell phone to the number 50555.  Reply by typing “yes”.  $10 will be sent to the UNHCR and will show up on your cell phone bill.  How simple is that?!

That money can add up very quickly and can help the UNHCR provide shelter and clean drinking water to people displaced by the flooding.  Right now, the immediate threat to Pakistanis is not the force of the flooding itself.  It’s disease, like cholera, and malnutrition.

For those of you who would like to keep your money closer to home, consider the American Red Cross, who  still works tirelessly for hurricane and flooding disaster relief.

*From William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice:

The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.