Tag Archives: 9-11

9/11 brought unity while we stand divided in the moment of the now

We stood together. In shock, in disbelief, in mourning, America stood together with social and political divisions irrelevant.
 
We stood together as Americans. That continued for I-don’t-know how long or brief. We stood together.
 
Now, today, we are foreign to each other. Enemies over what differences we can find and decisions we can react to. And the toughest part of all is knowing how we’ve moved away from the concept of unity. We’ve moved away and displaced ourselves from the values and practices that make America great.
 
Wrongs were committed and the atrocious transpired on September 11th, 2001. A different kind of atrocious transpires seventeen years later. If only we, the people, would wake up to it instead of standing firm with divisional and thinking/acting for self and striding away from each other.

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The Good Old Days

As everyone knows, there are conservatives out there at current who are adamant Bill Clinton was soft on terrorism and has been trying to paint that picture since earlier this month through every disinformation channel available to them.

Yet, to those who actually believe Clinton was soft on terrorism or just plain didn’t do enough to fight terror — look at what Orrin Hatch, Trent Lott and others of the GOP were up to stopping President Clinton from having some of the very same issues that Congress now rubber-stamps for President Bush today.  That link and the following quote from CNN in July of 1996:

“We need to keep this country together right now. We need to focus on this terrorism issue,” Clinton said during a White House news conference.

But while the president pushed for quick legislation, Republican lawmakers hardened their stance against some of the proposed anti-terrorism measures.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, doubted that the Senate would rush to action before they recess this weekend. The Senate needs to study all the options, he said, and trying to get it done in the next three days would be tough.

One key GOP senator was more critical, calling a proposed study of chemical markers in explosives “a phony issue.”

I wonder if old Orrin stood up and argued how the entire gels-and-liquids scare that has helped slow down the queue in airports for the last few weeks was phony… Or did he “wise up on the issue” where politicians who change stances today are known as flip-floppers?

But wait, it gets better.

Back in April of 1996 — the US House approved an anti-terror legislation that was severely watered down from what President Clinton had been proposing and the Senate had passed.  This was near the one-year anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing and several months prior to TWA Flight 800’s crash (along with the Centennial Park bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta):

Republicans were divided on whether the legislation would be effective.

“We have a measure that will give us a strong upper hand in the battle to prevent and punish domestic and international terrorism,” Senate Majority Leader and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole said Wednesday.

But Sen. Don Nickles, R-Oklahoma, while praising the bill, said the country remains “very open” to terrorism. “Will it stop any acts of terrorism, domestic and international? No,” he said, adding, “We don’t want a police state.”

Some lawmakers took a more prudent view of the bill. “The balance between public safety and order and individual rights is always a difficult dilemma in a free society,” said Rep. Gerald Solomon, R-New York.

(emphasis added by me)

Now what’s my point in this and what constructive items can we take from it?

Ten years ago, there was a sensible conservatism out there that said individuals had rights, and it’s a thin line between individual rights and safety. The Republicans once knew that and they put the country’s civil liberties before the terrorism fight.

Now? Well, you should know…

The world didn’t change on 9-11 as the neoconservatives in control of the Republican party have worked very hard to make the country believe. It was our national courage that did. If you’re giving into your fear for the sake of safety and blaming all of this on the other guy in order to feel more secure at this very moment, you’re a coward and a fool who has become blinded from right-and-wrong with thanks to your party-of-choice in power.

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the three I's of current

I grew up a fan of the WWF and I re-acquired my fondness for wrestling late int eh 1990’s during the WCW/WWF wars. One of the performers for the WWF (now WWE) was former Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle who played a pompous and crass patriot who embodied everything that you could dispise about an athlete. Selfishness, arrogance, etc, etc.
Kurt had a good “angle” though and played the part well. Still does in fact. One part of his repetoir was talking about his three I’s — three words begining with I that were his guiding principles — of Intensity, Integrity and Intelligence.

You realize that the country currently has it’s own three I’s? These aren’t principles that are guiding us but they are factors in our daily lives:

Inflation – you will not hear the Federal Reserve chairman talking about inflation, nor will you hear the Bush administration talk about how costs have skyrocketed over a short period of time. Everyone knows about gas prices, but real estate prices, durable goods, groceries, insurance premiums, medical care — everything is spiking for the common person. The federal governent is just concerned with the mega-ultra-large corporations in how they deal with this. Corporatiosn are going strong right now while workers wages are stagnent. It’s been almost a decade since minimum wage was increased in the United States and instead of promoting better treatment for employees, the Bush administration has worked vigilently to repeal work laws so corporations can profit and not be stradled by the costs of labor.

Intolerance – you reep what you sow and that is the case with the Dubai Port World deal and George Walker Bush signing off on the deal. Bush made Arab’s into the boogeyman of the 21st century with his rhetoric after 9-11. The propoganda coming out of the White House tied Iraq to 9-11 in order to justify the invasion of Iraq. People were scared and reacted to just that, signing off on the war because those damn Arabs attacked us first! (wwhich is a flat out lie and ignorant assumption by the citizens of the US)

So the Dubai Ports deal comes through and Bush has no problem with it — it’s a furtherment of his pro-big business agenda. Bill Clinton signs off on it and does what he can to help out behind the scenes (as Slick Willie has always been a proponent of Globalization — as is New York Times writer Paul Krugman). Everyone expects a free pass over this as that is how the country has operated since 9-11 (allowing Bush to get whatever he wanted)…

…Until the public learns about the deal.

Everyone cries foul — Republicans and Democrats alike. The Xenophobia of the Arab Boogeyman that Bush’s administration has so well played rears it’s ugly head. An Arab country in charge of US Ports?! An Arab country with ties to 9-11?!?

And yet, Krugman had a good point in a recent article which denounced this intolerance. The United States should be an active player in the global economy and we cannot run scared from a country in the middle east because of the ignorant and arrogant propoganda show that was put out by the Administration to further it’s agenda.

Of course I could go on about intolerance — everyone beign afraid of homosexuals, blacks and whites in the continued racial war of poverty, faux-Christians sullying Christian ideals and justifying hatred, violence and greed in His name, etc…

Isolationism – Go it alone, “with us or against us,” and the country trumping the world in matters of global politics (be it war, peace, treaties, signing off on elected officials in other countries or dispatchign elected officials in others)  The US has become largely islolated with thanks to it’s policies while being depedant and indebted to cheap foreign labor and despot oil suppliers.

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Selfish Nation and International Disaster

I know it is a day after a national holiday and people are not focusing at all right now on the news but…

I’m disenchanted — outrightly disgusted — with the lack of news regarding a major earthquake iand tidal wave has devestated parts of Asia and Africa. this wasn’t just a minor rumbler that ended up destroying the third world — this was an 8.9 magnitude earthquake with aftershocks tipping the scale at 7.3.

And what news can you find on national television in the States as Asia and Africa awake to continue dealing with the devestation?

Nada. Zip. Zero.

The national news channels that pride themselves in being 24 hour news services are airing their regularly scheduled documentary-like programs. One of the worst international disasters of our time and “CNN Presents” is more important? 11,000 people are confirmed dead by this catastrophe — and that is just the begining. And documentary programming on news services takes precedence over reporting the issue? Keeping people informed? Displaying where to send financial aid?

9-11 was a man made attrocity that was helped by taking place in the media capital of the world… Yet when the third world gets rocked out of nowhere, when more people die form more countries in the hardest hit areas than almost any Natural Disaster we have ever seen, America and the American Media are allowed to turn a blind eye because it isn’t ratings? It isn’t news unless it’s got an American tie?

It’s cynical to say “Yup” but that seems to be the case — and I am not going to let my anger go on this. This is where you are supposed to jump to help someone. This is when youa re supposed to keep the public informed. This isn’t one town, one city, one country effected. This is millions across Asia and Africa (and the world with the number of tourists involved in this)….

And no one in the US would care to find out more about it or to try to find out how to help 🙄

🙁

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Never forget.

I’ve said my piece and I’m sticking to it

9-11-01… Never forget. And never forget how you’re fears have been manipulated.

We miss you Dennis “trane” Gomes

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Less Defense, more Beauracracy

Beside George Tennet, I wonder how many people see the proposed breakup of the CIA as a step backwards instead of a step forward?

There are already a handful of security and intelligence agencies int eh United States and a handful of Investigative agencies as well. The 9/11 Commission cited lack of communications/cooperations between agencies as part of the reason 9-11 happened.

So why is it that breaking the CIA into three is supposed to be the way to mend the problem? You have more agencies that need to answer to other agencies and more groups that may or may not share data. It’s taking the wrong approach to finding a solution.

Just like the Department of Homeland Security is giving the Defense Department a day off from defending the United States of America so that they can go ahead and be the Offense Department and take War elsewhere, changing the CIA to three different agencies doesn’t rectify the problem – it just adds bureaucracy so that other groups can focus on other things instead of solving the real problem — the glut of agencies and the lack of coordination with them.

I’m not totally opposed to the dismantling of the CIA but then again? I want to see the FBI and ATF factored into this group. I would think one super agency with divisions for national Investigation and law enforcement as well as international intelligence is going to be more beneficial than adding more groups to an already crowded field of agencies that are only loosely connected… And of course, having one person overseeing those agencies is not going to help cooperation and coordination between them…. It’s just going to add to the mess.

And what are other politicians going to tell you? That dividing and confusing is going to make America safer? That’s hardly a way to protect America… It’s more likely a way to contribute to more trouble – both Political and Geo-political – in the future.

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Summer Doldrums

I still haven’t been posting much on the site because I want to make statements on here and not personal diatribes. My anecdotes aren’t that funny or I tell them better one-on-one with close friends instead of telling them to the masses all at once.

I got into a little argument last week with Melanie over politics. She is indifferent towards them and I am urging her to see “Fahrenheit 9-11” and we got into a dispute because of the purpose of the film and shit like that. It made me realize there’s something worse that comes out of partisan politics and corruption than just disgust — apathy. Anyone who is elected will be corrupt because power corrupts, money corrupts and the President of the United States is the key to both money and power.

Meanwhile I bought a couple of domain names and have some visions of grandeur. I’m not saying the names because it could lead to trouble… But it’s something to pass the time with.

Speaking of passing the time and domain names, I’m almost done with Rocheleau Cabinetry Inc’s web site. It’s not the most excellent design in the world but it’s good enough for government work. Hopefully this will help me pay off some debt.

And what else is there? My buddy Bill left Entec and is happy about that but of course also struggling because he wants to be doing something most of the time now… I’m in the same boat because I am getting around better now but still don’t have much to do besides trying to push myself to do more things online and offline.

I’m trying to keep myself busy… Maybe that means a lot more Stonegauge from now on because I don’t have hockey news to cover on Boltsmag.

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Oldsmar Florida gives Michael Moore a Standing Ovation

Fahrenheit 9-11 was a sold out this evening and my older brother attended the showing at AMC Woodlands Square this afternoon…

Now, this isn’t a first hand report, I’m relaying this story because I didn’t attend, but the movie had people in tears and roaring with laughter at other times… It also received a five minute standing ovation upon conclusion of the film.

AMC Woodlands Square 20 caters to a very large range of movie viewers due to it being one of the only movie theaters in North Pinellas County… I can’t say anything about who was in attendance, it it was a college crowd, minority crowd, a general mix of people of all age groups (which I would hope for) or a predominantly retiree crowd (which I would be shocked with — but North Pinellas County does have a large population of retirees here)… But it’s nice to know that liberal or not, people could appreciate the mixed emotions provoked by the movie.

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Thoughts on Pat Tillman — former NFL player killed in Afghanistan

Pat Tillman, former NFL player who gave up the game and turned his back on millions from the Arizona Cardinals to join the Army Rangers after 9-11, was killed while involved in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. I know at the time he joined up and news was everywhere about it, I was a little put back by this — for political reasons, admittedly — but now I have such a new appreciation for him and I can’t fathom the amount of sacrifice this man has made for America.

I wrote a couple of “Letters to the Editor” at the St. Petersburg Times over this, and I won’t repost it entirely because I took jabs at Simeon Rice, Defensive End for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former Defensive End for the Arizona Cardinals who put down Tillman in general in the media after he enlisted (and personally I like taking jabs at that pompous son of a bitch when I can get the chance) but I did make the statement that Tillman has made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, and he is a prime example of why we here in America are able to enjoy the comforts we know and live a good life where we can do things like play a game for a living in the first place.

Tillman was fighting on the front that mattered IMHO… Someone attacks the US and you go find the source and deal with it… And to lose your life trying to stand up for your country… that just means a hell of a lot to me. That’s Patriotism, that’s what the government has distorted and perverted for Politics since 9-11 happened.

It further cements certain ideals in me… That Iraq was wrong (and costing us billions while costing US Soldiers their lives to fight for a rich man’s principles), that the War on Terrorism needs a new game plan, etc… Yet it gives me a better understanding of how and why we should appreciate the comforts we have…. Because these comforts were paid in the price of blood by many before us. It also makes me feel a monumental appreciation — that’s not even the right word, admiration might work better — for Tillman who gave it all up, who turned his back on MILLIONS to fight to protect his country. Fighting to protect makes me feel so much more for a war than fighting to spread an ideal. Vietnam was fighting to spread an ideal and it wasn’t the right thing to do. Iraq is fighting to spread an ideal and it’s spreading hatred instead and helping the forces we wanted to stop in Afghanistan It’s ironic I blasted Rice because I admire Defense so much more than Offense as these political statements make.

I could go on about political beliefs here and thoughts on war but this should be Pat Tillman’s post… because Tillman’s sacrifice can’t be dismissed.

Rest in peace, Pat Tillman. And let honor ring around your name as it rings around the names of those who have fallen before you to protect the nation and the world.

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Respect for him from 9-11 or disdain for the other 3 years on the job?

I was reading about global protests from yesterday’s 1 year anniversary of War in Iraq and, while reading a local article on local protests of the war, came across this gem of a quote that absolutely infuriated me with it’s ignorance:

“Man, did I ever come to the park at the wrong time,” said St. Petersburg resident Carole Hall.

Refuge Ministries’ Rev. Bruce Wright, 42, caught up with Hall as she walked away from the rally. After asking reporters not to talk to her because the media favors her point of view, Wright and Hall engaged in a heated conversation.

“The man has done a tremendous job,” Hall, 62, said of President Bush. “If only they would remember 9/11.”

It’s ignorance like this that really pisses me off when it comes to Americans support for George W. Bush. His administration is nothing when 9-11 isn’t considered and after 9-11? He has been nothing less than terrible. Lets look at the facts of the Bush administration for a moment, just a few bare facts: Hedismissed Richard Clarke’s assertion that there was an imminent terrorist threat and it should be taken seriously (the very cause of 9-11), he has attacked another nation on false pretense (I grew up when Saddam posed a REAL threat to the Middle East back in the late 80’s and early 1990’s), left numerous world treatieslead to their deaths hundreds of United States Armed Service Men and Women (and maimed thousands more) due to the false pretense of war, not to mention the “collateral damage” deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001), made the world a more hazardous place to live due to environmental laws that promote pollution, and of course how can we forget the corporate terrorism that has been in place since Bush came into power? Enron? Tyco? MCI Woldcom? The RIAA?

Not to mention the economy and the lack of attention to the nation.

So, I am supposed to forgive all of this? Should every American dismiss all of the above (and so much more) and simply look at George W. Bush for how he handled 9-11? Are you insane, Carole Hall, or are you just living in a bubble like so many people in America? :rolleyes

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