September 9, 2011

"We’re not France... Mr. Bloomberg is pretending we’re a secular society, and we are not."

Complaints about Mayor Bloomberg's exclusion of clergy from NYC's 9/11 ceremony.

It's the old controversy of causing controversy through the effort of avoiding controversy. It's important to observe that the controversy you see is the one you got from the effort at controversy avoidance. You have to envision what the avoided controversy would have looked like. Religious people are good at envisioning the unseen, are they not?

Also, the exclusion of clergy is not the exclusion of religion. It is only the exclusion of individuals whose métier is the purveyance of religion. There is good and bad in that, but consider that silences, in which people do pray, are better than a cast of characters whom some will undoubtedly consider hucksters, getting attention, and maybe saying something offputting or incendiary.

And no, I don't think the bogus mystification of doing something Native American is the right solution.

83 comments:

Oligonicella said...

"Also, the exclusion of clergy is not the exclusion of religion. It is only the exclusion of individuals whose métier is the purveyance of religion."

Parse, parse, parse. No, it's the exclusion of religion.

Quayle said...

Bloomberg is striving for the perfect diversity of zero.

Tank said...

Classic dilemma. No good answer.

Exclude clergy - get hammered.

Include clergy, with Islam too - get hammered.

Include clergy, no Islam - get hammered.

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, but it's better to get hammered by an empty abstraction than a specific set of concrete entities.

Ann Althouse said...

The one thing that really is inappropriate is to include specific religions and exclude another. If the exclusion was Islam, it would be expressing hostility to that religion, in this context. Bloomberg wisely made that a nonissue.

Ann Althouse said...

And by "inappropriate," I mean unconstitutional... and also wrong and unwise.

Dave said...

Isn't the suppression of the free exercise of religion by the state (city in this case) inherently unconstitutional? The exclusion is suppression of religion and discriminates against the religious. Exclusion of religion is not a neutral act. Exclusion of only Islam would simply be a more pointed form of discrimination.

Oligonicella said...

One needn't avoid including an Islamic religious leader. Just choose one who expressed outrage at the attacks when they occurred.

edutcher said...

This is about making kissy-face with the Muzzzlims.

Guess what?

It ain't gonna work.

Ann Althouse said...

Yeah, but it's better to get hammered by an empty abstraction than a specific set of concrete entities.

If Scott Walker had felt that way, you'd have had a boring year.

traditionalguy said...

The value of faith traditions are to avoid fears of the unknown.

Religion is a repeat performance of a known and safe ritual acknowledging a faith system. In God We Trust!

The goal of the anti-religion whiners is to stop a proclamation of a faith in public that might change the way people see themselves and eliminate the fear that Government tyrants rely upon to rule over people.

Al Qeada's goal is to instill fear.

Faith's goal is to instill courage.

Government tyrant's goal is to sell its protection racket against the fear (another crisis to be taken advantage of).

Ergo the government tyrants block faith to keep the rubes afraid.

But we must FEAR myths of Global Warming when all other Tyrant's tricks fail.

Oligonicella said...

Ann Althouse --

"The one thing that really is inappropriate is to include specific religions and exclude another."

"And by "inappropriate," I mean unconstitutional... and also wrong and unwise."

Could you elaborate on why it would be unconstitutional?

The Drill SGT said...

Tank said...
Include clergy, no Islam - get hammered.


You could invite one non-Chaplain type to speak and stay un-hammered. a Guy who was in the lobby of one of the towers ministering to the FDNY as they went up the stairs to their doom.

In a recent (Nov 2001) Wall Street Journal article, Peggy Noonan quotes Father George Rutler, a Roman Catholic priest:

“We have learned that the age of genius is over and the age of the hero begun.” She goes on to quote him: “As New York’s firemen, the first and still greatest warriors of World War IV, passed the priest on the way to the buildings, they would pause for a moment and ask for prayers, for a blessing, for the sacrament of confession. Soon they were lined up to talk to him in rows, ‘like troops before battle.’ ”

She goes on: “He took quick confessions, and finally gave general absolution ‘the way you do in a war, for this was a war.’ ”

Ms. Noonan observes: “They knew. The firemen knew exactly what they were running into, knew the odds, and yet they stood in line, received the sacrament, hoisted the hoses on their backs and charged.”

NYTNewYorker said...

NYC overrun with bedbugs.

NYC bans trans-fats from restaurant menus.

NYC bans salt everywhere.

NYC bans smoking everywhere.

NYC bans religion from 911 program.

This Bloomberg is a controlling little freak but you can't stop us from praying.
You couldn't stop the people from praying that jumped into the 110 story abyss that tragic day.

You can't stop the rescue workers from praying as they watched bodies land at near terminal velocity into the ground.

Better to ban all politicians from the 911 program and let the people and their faiths remember and pray about that fateful day.

Politicians get me sick....SPITS.

Geoff Matthews said...

You know, this is why diversity is NOT a good thing. We don't have these common cultural touch points that we can agree on. We don't have common cause.
And so people get slighted, feelings are hurt, and we are no longer unified in our course of action.

phx said...

Good for Bloomberg.

phx said...

Sometimes I think the clergy and whatnot are just different kinds of politicians.

Cedarford said...

Ann Althouse said...
And by "inappropriate," I mean unconstitutional... and also wrong and unwise.

=======================
I don't think the Constitution says anything other than make no law discriminating against a religion.
It doesn't say 70 established religions, sects. and cults deserve equal time.
There were 2600 Christians killed, a hundred or so Jews, a hundred or so atheists, and small handfuls of Muslims, Wiccans, Buddhists, Hindis.
If proportionality was employed in alloting "religious speech time", one second per victim? Several Christian religious leaders would get to split 45 minutes amongst them.
Jews would get about a minute and a half.
Muslims 20 seconds if you don't count the dead perps.
Wiccans 3 seconds.
And a Native American shaman/medicine man would get 2 seconds to speak.

robinintn said...

Exclude clergy. Exclude first responders. Exclude "politics". Build a mosque.

He just seems like such a fussy weasel.

phx said...

"...a hundred or so Jews, a hundred or so atheists... Jews would get about a minute and a half."

A lot of people are probably not gonna like that minute and a half that atheists get to explain 9/11 from their POV.

Bender said...

In October, Pope Benedict will be hosting an interfaith meeting for dialogue and prayer in Assisi with representatives of all the world's major religions, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of such a gathering organized by Pope John Paul II.

The Pope routinely is involved in such interfaith meetings, especially whenever he travels. And leaders of other faiths similarly meet in interfaith dialogue and prayer routinely.

These men and women of extreme diverse religious backgrounds have these meetings without controversy, without cries of intolerance. Instead, they are respectful of one another.

This action by Bloomberg to tell religious leaders to shut the hell up and stay the hell away is not an act of avoiding controversy, it is not an act of seeking tolerance. It is an act of bigoted ignorance.

traditionalguy said...

Phx...You got that backwards.

The politicians today are just different types of clergy.

Cedarford said...

I don't even like the idea of proportionality (speaking time as a function of how many dead of their faith they can claim) for including religious speakers.

Even less, the recent practice of droning out names of the dead for hours as some sort of sacred ritual.

I have heard that "naming the roll call of the dead" has some roots in small soldiers groups and local commemorations, even jewish congregations taking a few minutes to read off a few dozen, few hundred names.
That the idea was hijacked by gay activists in the late 80s as part of the AIDs quilt project where they demanded and got "people standing in respectful silence for an hour as a thousand or so strangers names maybe a smattering of names they knew was read.

Then we got the early 2000s 9/11 commemoration ceremonies - including the practice of the ritual of some entitled group doing live TV droning of 9/11 names for hours on CNN. Then Ted Koppel thought it was a splendid idea to spend a whole "Nightline Show" droning out names of the Dead Heroes of Iraq in 2004.

Give me a 3 minutes of a Mullah, a Warlock Wiccan, and 3 minutes for a Buddhist nun and a Native American Sham-Man with the 3 for the CHristians and 3 for the Jews, etc..ANYDAY over any "full roll call of the dead Heroes of 9/11"...lasting several hours.

phx said...

Holypalooza!

rcocean said...

Will this hurt Bloomberg among the NYC voters? Doubtful.

phx said...

I don't see what's wrong with just being able to rake our own hearts for meaning and succor for this event.

Maybe that's where God is after all, instead of on a stage with a bunch of other speakers.

Oligonicella said...

phx --
"A lot of people are probably not gonna like that minute and a half that atheists get to explain 9/11 from their POV."

Why exactly would that be?

Bender said...

8. The same determination that condemns every form of fanaticism and religious fundamentalism must also oppose every form of hostility to religion that would restrict the public role of believers in civil and political life.

It should be clear that religious fundamentalism and secularism are alike in that both represent extreme forms of a rejection of legitimate pluralism and the principle of secularity. . . .

9. The patrimony of principles and values expressed by an authentic religiosity is a source of enrichment for peoples and their ethos. It speaks directly to the conscience and mind of men and women, it recalls the need for moral conversion, and it encourages the practice of the virtues and a loving approach to others as brothers and sisters, as members of the larger human family.

With due respect for the positive secularity of state institutions, the public dimension of religion must always be acknowledged. A healthy dialogue between civil and religious institutions is fundamental for the integral development of the human person and social harmony.

10. In a globalized world marked by increasingly multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies, the great religions can serve as an important factor of unity and peace for the human family. . . .

11. The year 2011 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Peace convened in Assisi in 1986 by Pope John Paul II. On that occasion the leaders of the great world religions testified to the fact that religion is a factor of union and peace, and not of division and conflict. The memory of that experience gives reason to hope for a future in which all believers will see themselves, and will actually be, agents of justice and peace.

12. Politics and diplomacy should look to the moral and spiritual patrimony offered by the great religions of the world in order to acknowledge and affirm universal truths, principles and values which cannot be denied without denying the dignity of the human person.

--Message of Pope Benedict for the World Day of Peace 2011

AJ Lynch said...

Didn't Native Americans immigrate here from somewhere else?

AJ Lynch said...

Also, I heard Mayor Bloomberg described himself as "spiritual not religious" when he was on Match.com

Bender said...

O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.

God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.


Prayer at Ground Zero, New York
Sunday, 20 April 2008

The ONLY proper response to this is a loud and sincere "Amen," and not to tell those who would give such a prayer to go away and shut up.

AJR said...

This is truly fascinating. Believers and the faithful are really muddying the waters in issues like this right now.

Nobody is keeping religious people from praying (or whatever) on their own during the ceremony. Religious people will be attending. What will be missing from my understanding are religious leaders speaking and prayer service. I would think if people of faith had something that they could cling to in times of great stress and torment - something divine and concerned for them as individuals - it would be ALL they needed. That alone would be enough to make them happy. But, in this circumstance, it doesn't make them happy. Instead, religious folks who are upset about this issue want to hear from.... Billy Graham or Rick Warren or Feisal Abdul Rauf.

With all due respect, if God is on your side, why is Bloomberg's decision so devastating? If non-believers are doomed, why does it matter what they say since they're wrong anyway? Help me understand here.

phx said...

The ONLY proper response to this is a loud and sincere "Amen,"

You know the punchline of the old joke: Oh, those believers like to believe they are the only ones here.

Bender said...

Are you offended phx?

Exactly what do you find offensive about that prayer phx?

phx said...

Bender I'm not offended. More than the prayer's invocation of an afterlife that everybody is supposed to join in on, however, I find your "the ONLY proper response" to be a bit, you know, well. You know how some religious and political ideologues can be.

Peace.

Bender said...

I find your "the ONLY proper response" to be a bit, you know, well.

No, I don't know, well. Tell me.

What is improper about love, compassion, and healing? What is wrong about desiring eternal light and peace for those who have died? Should we instead believe or want to believe that these honored dead were simply pounded into nothingness? Is that what you offer instead here? Nothingness?

phx said...

I'm not offering anything Bender. But why does anyone have to swallow what you are offering?

Does your salvation depend on converts? Or your spiritual peace depend on others believing in God as you do?

I really don't care what you believe. The question is why should you care what I believe, and why do you your belief must be the default belief?

timmaguire42 said...

I'm seeing a lot of ginned up controversies around the net (did you know that first responders are not invited! How dare they exclude these 20,000 people from the 4,000 person forum?!?)

So far, I see no evidence that Bloomberg isn't navigating the shoals just fine. Which is rare for him

phx said...

"Why must your belief be the default belief?"

Dave said...

"Nobody is keeping religious people from praying (or whatever) on their own during the ceremony"

True. You're right. It's not a legally actionable active suppression of religion so much as a glaring omission. A ceremony like this without God is dismissive and insulting to the faithful. Although this is likely not intended, I expect they gave it very little thought. So while I recognize the brush off, "devastated" way overstates the emotional reaction of , I'd expect most religious people. In this era dismissal is the expected norm.

edutcher said...

As long as Bloomie had invited representatives from all the faiths of the people who died in those buildings - including Hindus, Buddhists, and Moslems - it would be OK with everybody but the Moslem crazies and people like phx because people from all over the world worked there, but NOOOO,

he had to pay the Chamberlainesque dhimmi and wallow in PC.

I'll bet he uses CE instead of AD.


Bender said...

In October, Pope Benedict will be hosting an interfaith meeting for dialogue and prayer in Assisi with representatives of all the world's major religions, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc., on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of such a gathering organized by Pope John Paul II.

The Pope routinely is involved in such interfaith meetings, especially whenever he travels. And leaders of other faiths similarly meet in interfaith dialogue and prayer routinely.


That's because Benedict really works for peace and doesn't just throw the word through the air while he sneers at anybody who doesn't see the world his way.

AJ Lynch said...

Didn't Native Americans immigrate here from somewhere else?

Yeah, somewhere east of Vladivostok.

WV "jursi" State to the east of Pennsylvania.

caplight said...

This is not about the United States Constitution. I'll call BS on that. The allowance of religious observance in the midst of civil ceremonies has a long and storied history in the country from day one to this very day. To argue Bloomberg is justified on constitutional grounds is a bridge too far.

It is a rejection by the elites, of which Bloombeerg is a classic expression, of the values of the masses (pun intended). It is a denial of the life of faith that brought comfort and meaning to so many after the attack especially to the cadre of Fire Fighters and other first responders and their families. If it takes belief in the Eucharist and the occasional or regular attendance at Mass to engender the courage in men to climb the stairs, look death in the face and to risk and ultimately give their lives to save others then we can afford as a culture to have a clergy person or two on the platform and yes they can even pray.

Then there is the whole deal of who helped and served in in the aftermath and again the story of faith based organizations and churches themselves loom large in the telling.

If Bloomy wants it to be secular and all about the role of government that's on him and his kind. It continues to demonstrate how petty, pretentious and presumptuous he is.

And that is my soft-sell.

edutcher said...

phx said...

I'm not offering anything Bender. But why does anyone have to swallow what you are offering?

Nobody is asking anybody to "swallow" anything, but phx is apparently afraid if he listens to a prayer, he might actually start believing. Worse, yet, some of those others won over to materialism and government dependence might see the light.

I really don't care what you believe.

Of course he does. As long as there are any of those Theists out there, the Glorious World Socialist Revolution is in jeopardy.

The question is why should you care what I believe, and why do you your belief must be the default belief?

He didn't say that, but nice little straw man.

All Bender asked was a show of respect, but people like phx can't do that because they have no respect for anybody who disagrees with them, no matter how many times they say, "Peace".

Bender said...

But why does anyone have to swallow what you are offering?

So what is it that you are choking on here, phx?

I'm not asking that you swallow anything. I'm asking you to explain yourself. I'm seeking to engage in peaceful dialogue with you. Tell me what your objections are.

You don't have to swallow or accept the prayer. You have every right to say "no" instead of saying "yes" to what it says.

But I repeat, the ONLY proper response is to concur with these sentiments. You want to be hateful and intolerant and give an improper response instead, you want to give rancor in response to a call for healing and peace, you are free to do so. But that would not be an appropriate response.

phx said...

Nobody is asking anybody to "swallow" anything, but phx is apparently afraid if he listens to a prayer, he might actually start believing. Worse, yet, some of those others won over to materialism and government dependence might see the light.

That's not fair at all edutcher. Bender said "The ONLY proper response to this is a loud and sincere 'Amen,'" and that's what I specifically took issue with.

AJ Lynch said...

Educther:

Great and so since that means I too am technically a Native American, where do I go to get my own casino license?

Bender said...

I repeat, what do you find so hard to swallow about "love, compassion, and healing? What is wrong about desiring eternal light and peace for those who have died? Should we instead believe or want to believe that these honored dead were simply pounded into nothingness? Is that what you offer instead here? Nothingness?"

What makes you choke here?

phx said...

But I repeat, the ONLY proper response is to concur with these sentiments.

And therein is the nub of the problem. To concur with that response is to concur there is a personal God. That's to leave no one else a choice.

It's also to concur in an afterlife, which some of our pious friends insist is the ONLY proper response, and if we feel different WE should just shut up.

Is that what religion is about? Is that spirituality?

Thorley Winston said...

And no, I don't think the bogus mystification of doing something Native American is the right solution.


Yeah, I thought that was the weakest part of last week’s premiere of “Sons of Anarchy” as well.

phx said...

And if your religion says You either say the prayer or you are 'hateful and intolerant' - well, do you blame me for not wanting something like that to be a part of an event that is profoundly meaningful for me as well?

Oligonicella said...

edutcher --

"All Bender asked was a show of respect, but..."

Actually no. He asked for a very specific show and declared it to be the "ONLY proper response", meaning that if I show respectful silence, it's still not good enough, I must shout "Amen" sincerely.

You get that means I need to convert, right?

I think I know what he meant so I really have no issue, but you can't undo the words.

phx said...

Love, compassion and healing are beautiful, they are sacred. Coupling them with a mandatory belief in a personal God and an afterlife is what's inappropriate.

edutcher said...

phx said...

Nobody is asking anybody to "swallow" anything, but phx is apparently afraid if he listens to a prayer, he might actually start believing. Worse, yet, some of those others won over to materialism and government dependence might see the light.

That's not fair at all edutcher. Bender said "The ONLY proper response to this is a loud and sincere 'Amen,'" and that's what I specifically took issue with.


All it means is "So be it" to a request for peace and consolation. I think even Buddhists, Taoists, or Confucianists, who also don't believe in a God would say that.

It's considered good manners. And I know the problem the Left has with that.

phx said...

If that's true educther, why don't we all say "So be it," instead?

Why is the default that others must be polite to you rather than you be polite to others?

Oligonicella said...

"It's considered good manners."

As is respectful silence.

"And I know the problem the Left has with that."

Not a left/right issue.

Bender said...

Love, compassion and healing are beautiful, they are sacred. Coupling them with a mandatory belief in a personal God and an afterlife is what's inappropriate.

So, it is the hope that these honored dead have not dissolved into the total nothingness of a nihilistic abyss that offends you?

And leaving aside the anamoly of you using the word "sacred," WHERE in this prayer or in any "Amen" (which means "let it be so") is there even a hint of demanding a mandatory belief in a personal God?

phx said...

And leaving aside the anamoly of you using the word "sacred," WHERE in this prayer or in any "Amen" (which means "let it be so") is there even a hint of demanding a mandatory belief in a personal God?

I'm not saying the prayer demands a mandatory response. YOU DO. That's what I've been insisting all along.

And you know nothing of my spiritual life, physician.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bender said...

If that's true educther, why don't we all say "So be it," instead?

OK, fine. Say that instead.

Since the use of a Hebrew word would choke in your throat, I revise what I said before and say instead --

The ONLY proper response to this is a loud and sincere "Amen" or "So be it," and not to tell those who would give such a prayer to go away and shut up.

Happy now?

J said...

"Also, the exclusion of clergy is not the exclusion of religion. It is only the exclusion of individuals whose métier is the purveyance of religion."

Heh. Brings to mind Ambrose Bierce's bon mot on Lawyers: one skilled in the circumvention of the Law.

Bloombergism is what should be excluded.

phx said...

Oh, I meant say "so be it" without the prayer.

Bender said...

I'm not saying the prayer demands a mandatory response. YOU DO. That's what I've been insisting all along.

Nowhere -- NOWHERE -- have I demanded a "mandatory response," much less the "mandatory belief" that you said before.

To make it clear, even to you, let me change the emphasis a bit --
The only PROPER response to this is a loud and sincere "Amen" or "So be it."

Responding is not mandatory. But if one does respond, the only decent and right and proper response is to concur with the sentiments of healing and peace, both for the survivors and for those who died.

Oligonicella said...

You two actually agree now. Amen or any other religious equivalent or just respectful silence. Pretty much runs the gauntlet.

edutcher said...

phx said...

If that's true educther, why don't we all say "So be it," instead?

Why is the default that others must be polite to you rather than you be polite to others?


Bender wasn't the one who got nasty. He just wanted a little common courtesy.

Cedarford said...

Bender - "But if one does respond, the only decent and right and proper response is to concur with the sentiments of healing and peace, both for the survivors and for those who died.

1. This is a commemoration of a historical event that affected all of America. NOT just the victims. Pearl Harbor is commemorated as a tragic historical event, not a regurgitated funeral every year for the survivors, victims, victim families of Pearl Harbor.

2. Not a continuation of the Therapeutic Mournathon where the only goal is to get "Healing and Closure".

3. Many Americans do not have the feelings of PEACE, TOLERANCE that simpering Do-Gooder milquetoasts instruct us are the only proper response to 9/11.
*Peace after we kill the people behind it.
*Tolerance only if the Islamists knock off the shit and are ready to tolerate others.

Jose_K said...

In France and most Europe but the UK and Spain, Until Zapatero and the PSOE is gone, they would be there.The European Human Right Court allowed the Crossifix to be in schools. And not only the crosss as Germany ruled before.

J said...

Bloomberg taking the coward's way out, eh C4. An ecumenical service would not have been such a big deal--include priests, preacher,rabbi,imam--include a few non-traditional sorts if need be.

Instead Bloomberg shows his spinelessness, as per usual

AJ Lynch said...

Being un-PC here, but I suspect most Americans would favor we ban the travel of all Muslims to the USA until Muslims get their radical members under control.

jimbino said...

How do they accommodate the Quakers, who have no clergy, or we Atheists who have Dawkins?

The whole memorial bit is a religious exercise, as are funerals and moments of silence.

What I like to see is a memorial to all the dead and disappeared Latins killed by Kissinger et al in Operation Condor and to the innumerable civilians who were mere collateral damage in our foreign excursions.

I was in Latin Amerika where they cheered the "it's about time" comeuppance message that the terrorists delivered to the Amerikan people on 9/11.

Trooper York said...

New York Daily News September 9, 2011Manhattan prosecutors are urging a judge to spare Mayor Bloomberg and his staff from answering some dicey campaign finance questions under oath.

Defense lawyers in the $1.1 million grand larceny trial of GOP operative John Haggerty want to ask about his claim that the mayor routinely hid campaign expenses and used his foundation to buy political support. Assistant District Attorney Eric Seidel contends the questions are "irrelevant" to the prosecution and would "confuse the jury."

Haggerty is accused of stealing $1.1 million from the mayor during Bloomberg's successful 2009 run for a third term in City Hall. The case is under close scrutiny in political circles because it raises questions about why the mayor and his inner circle used a back-door method to pay Haggerty.

Those involved included First Deputy Mayor Patti Harris, former Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey and campaign manager Bradley Tusk. The mayor and some of his aides admitted to a grand jury last year that they sent $1.2 million to the Independence Party to hire Haggerty.

His job: "ballot security," a vague term for activities that include the politically embarrassing tactic of trying to eliminate opposition votes on technicalities.

Seidel said he expects Haggerty to claim his arrangement with Bloomberg was "part of a sanctioned practice" of hiding expenditures by filtering money through third parties and using his foundation to buy support from community groups.

"Because this issue is irrelevant, collateral and would confuse the jury, the defendants should be precluded from introducing it," Seidel said in letter to Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Ronald Zwiebel.

Defense lawyers have not responded yet. Zweibel is expected to make a decision next week.

Bloomberg's official campaign committee reported spending more than $109 million to get him reelected in 2009. The money sent to the Independence Party came out of his personal checking account and was not included in that official tally.

Prosecutors insist Haggerty defrauded Bloomberg because he wanted the money to buy out his brother's half of their family home in Forest Hills, Queens.

They asked the judge to block Haggerty from suggesting that if anyone was defrauded, it was the Independence Party - which took the mayor's money and then paid most of it to Haggerty.

Seidel insisted the fraud occurred the moment the money was wired - before the party spent it.

Elections lawyers said Thursday that that if the judge rules out those issues, Haggerty will have no defense and no way to challenge the credibility of key witnesses.

Trooper York said...

Bloomberg pays off his critics.

That's why he can do what the does.

Trooper York said...

The criminal justice system can't touch him.

Trooper York said...

He could rape a maid in Times Square during New Years Rockin' Eve and nobody would say shit.

Trooper York said...

New York City is a very corrupt place.

Nobody is more corrupt than Mayor Nanny Bloomberg.

Heart_Collector said...

FUCK islam.

Bender said...

From the Archdiocese of New York --

On Saturday the 10th at 3:00 PM at St. Patrick’s Cathedral (5th Avenue and 51st Street) there will be a prayer service led by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan for the New York City Fire Department.

Archbishop Dolan will celebrate a Memorial Mass on the morning of Sunday, September 11, at 9:00 AM at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The archbishop will celebrate another mass at 12:30 PM that same day at which Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop Emeritus of New York, will deliver the homily at St. Peter’s Church, across from the site of the World Trade Center, on Barclay and Church Street.

At 3:30 PM on Sunday the 11th, Archbishop Dolan will speak at the Cantor Fitzgerald memorial service in honor of the 658 employees whose lives were taken at its World Trade Center offices.

In addition to various commemorative events within the Archdiocese of New York, many churches throughout the city will toll their bells at 8:46 AM and 9:03 AM, the times that the Twin Towers were struck.

Try as he might, Mayor Bloomberg will not prevent the sound of faith from being heard.

The Drill SGT said...

so Trooper,

what are ya saying about my comment that it would be hard not to invite: Father George Rutler?

AJR said...

Dave, I didn't understand a bloody word you just wrote.

And I still haven't gotten an answer for my question so I'll repeat it with a little more clarity: Why, when the faithful believe they have a personal God and a heaven waiting for them, do they care if a religious leader speaks at this event? Why is prayer from the microphone as important as prayer to one's self during the ceremony?

Not only that, from a religious perspective, how can you say this ceremony will be absent of God because of Bloomberg's decision? Isn't God suppose to be all around you no matter what?

Trooper York said...

Sarge I agree with you. I will be with a family who lost some people on 911 for a private mass.

Joe said...

Clergy should be told to go to hell, since from the interviews I've heard from them is that they want to make themselves the center of attention. The religious don't need clergy to worship.

What was the scripture again about praying in secret?

J said...

Bender---this site's being trolled by one or two creepy atheist-wiccans (as opposed to the few rational, intelligent sort). That's probably phx, and others. So pay no mind--just here to dissemble--that's how it gets its jollies. It's also...the creep aka "titus"

Tari said...

Bloomberg's decision proves yet again that he is a cowardly weenie completely out of touch with the beliefs of a majority of his fellow citizens.

But that just increases his street cred among the chattering classes, doesn't it? Which makes him just another politician who knows which side his bread is buttered on.

SukieTawdry said...

Ann Althouse said: Yeah, but it's better to get hammered by an empty abstraction than a specific set of concrete entities.
9/9/11 9:59 AM

Yes, by all means, let's always choose the path of least resistance.

Ann Althouse said: And by "inappropriate," I mean unconstitutional...
9/9/11 10:02 AM

And why is that, because Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof?

Slice this however you like; the fact remains that Bloomberg is a prissy little elitist tinpot who always knows best because, well, he's that Bloomberg. Never could stomach the guy.

Bender said...

Bender---this site's being trolled by one or two creepy atheist-wiccans (as opposed to the few rational, intelligent sort). That's probably phx, and others.

Perhaps, but sometimes it is appropriate to confront them directly and shine the headlights on them so that they can play the deer.