August 3rd, 2010


Pleasant surprises in the air

I almost always fly US Airways. It's partly out of habit, partly because they mostly go where I want to, and partly because the options have been limited in Ithaca until the last couple of years. Consolidating frequent flier miles in one place is also a good habit. If I've flown other airlines, it's almost always been because I'm flying from somewhere else (such as when seity1 and I went to Scotland on IcelandAir, or when I go on trips with my parents, leaving from NYC).

This spring's trip to and from Israel was on Continental, so I figured doing a little more travel on Continental could go a long way toward my miles in their program. That's one of the reasons I booked my flights to and from Oklahoma this weekend on two different airlines... Delta out and Continental back.

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"That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here."

Thanks to Wendy for pointing out New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's remarks today on the controversy over a proposal to build a new mosque and Muslim community center in lower Manhattan in a building adjacent to the World Trade Center site.

“Of all our precious freedoms, the most important may be the freedom to worship as we wish. And it is a freedom that, even here in a City that is rooted in Dutch tolerance, was hard-won over many years. In the mid-1650s, the small Jewish community living in Lower Manhattan petitioned Dutch Governor Peter Stuyvesant for the right to build a synagogue – and they were turned down.

“In 1657, when Stuyvesant also prohibited Quakers from holding meetings, a group of non-Quakers in Queens signed the Flushing Remonstrance, a petition in defense of the right of Quakers and others to freely practice their religion. It was perhaps the first formal, political petition for religious freedom in the American colonies – and the organizer was thrown in jail and then banished from New Amsterdam.

"Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question – should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here. This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions, or favor one over another."

( Mike Bloomberg's full remarks... )