9/11 thoughts

OK, a week late to the party, but here’s my 2p:

I happily skipped all the commemoration stuff on TV, but while I was in the airport last Sunday I couldn’t miss all the stuff on the airport TVs. (Flying on 9/11 didn’t bother me at all, the chances of anyone being killed in a terrorist attack are still like 1 in 25 million or so.) To me, the TV shows and commentary BS is like the 25th anniversary of the JFK assassination when I was a teenager – it’s just shown over and over and over again so it doesn’t seem real and you just end up numb (or I guess if you’re a Tea Party member you get all enraged, who knows, I still don’t get the Tea Party).

Maybe this will be controversial, but the US and other countries lost over 3,000 people in the attacks. That’s a lot of people, and the results could have been worse, but they weren’t – they didn’t need to be, the message got across. And in the 10 years since, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed or displaced in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., and there’s no help getting to them from the US, no memorial services, no national mourning date, nothing. The TSA is a mockery (even the guy who wrote the original bill that started it wants the TSA shut down), the Patriot Act is misused and abused and there’s a whole string of worse stuff that’s happened (the banking crisis and recession brought on by normal human greed, etc.) that IMO outshines 9/11 but could be seen as stemming from 9/11.

And maybe this is even more controversial (although I’ve read it on some news websites and in newspapers, so maybe it’s not just me), but even with Bin Laden dead and sleeping with the fishes, his message is still out there and he ‘won’ in some (many?) respects. Westerners are/can be overly frightened by the media, countries still hate the US, there’s still 130+ countries in the world with US military presence (there’s only ~150 countries in the world), American soldiers (some of them my friends) are sent away for months on end to do pointless military actions, the masses are cowed into agreeing to go with the flow like these backscatter scans, security lines and other stuff, no one blinks an eye at the ‘we have to do this or the terrrorists win’ line, etc.

It seems that maybe some things are changing recently, and I accept things like the company line regarding ‘national security’ will never get back to pre-9/11 levels, but it’s been so ridiculous for many years it’s (been) at comical levels.

I know that living outside the US for going on 8 years has changed my views on being an American, and sorry if I’ve offended anyone, but I definitely think that things changed for the worse for America & Americans after 9/11. Sorry for the rant-ish post!

A new era starts today

Well, Obama’s in and Bush is out, starting today around noon, Eastern Central Time. That’s about 5 PM my time, and while I won’t feel a physical or spiritual anything that tells me when it’s happened, at least I know there’s a change and a new sheriff in town…err, the White House.

I’m even wearing my ‘Obama is my homeboy’ shirt! Underneath a longsleeve tee, though – it’s still cold!

Yes We Did! Obama is my President

Sorry to borrow the soon-to-be-overused line, but dammit, Obama WON!

And not just by a squeaker, not a safe margin, not even a landslide (which is what I thought it might be), but by a damn tail-tucking ROUT!

I was hearing more and more stuff as the days crept closer to the 4th that McCain was getting worse and worse polling numbers, his negative attacks were getting worse and worse and the pundits and news teams were giving him a smaller and smaller chance of winning.

Yesterday I decided I’d stay up as late as I could to watch the returns coming in, so I booked the morning off from work and got some Magner’s Irish cider ready and made a few sandwiches to occupy myself while I watch CNN international, the BBC and NBC coverage on British channel ITV. I also had the laptop open with about half a dozen websites open plus a couple of forums where people were keeping up-to-the-minute with the incoming results. By about 3 or 4 AM it was becoming clear but some states were really close, then Pennsylvania, Ohio were called for Obama and when the polls closed on the west coast all the channels didn’t even hesitate and just called Obama for the win.

And how sweet it was. To see 8 years of W going out the door, with long-time Washington power players getting the hell OUT, that can only be a good thing. Hopefully they’ve learned that negative campaigning doesn’t work and by mobilizing people who’ve been suppressed for decades you can make history.

I’m so proud to have been a part of it.

I’m proud to call myself American again.

I’m even proud to call myself Texan again, since San Antonio was one of the urban areas that went for Obama – even if McCain won the rest of the state.

It’s too bad the crowd at the McCain HQ didn’t have a tenth of the class of the Obama crowd – when McCain mentioned Obama, the crowd booed; when Obama mentioned McCain there were no boos and even a bit of applause. At least McCain sounded like the McCain of old and not the bitter old man he’d turned into earlier this year.

Anyway – I’m glad. I’m proud. I’m happy. I’m eager! And I’m anticipatory. I hope he maintains this momentum during his ‘first 100 days’ when the press watches to see who he gathers around him, who he picks for his cabinet, etc., and carries the momentum for the next four years.

Now to get W out of the White House, tar and feather the bastard and get the Obamas in!

Sometimes it’s embarassing to say you’re from Texas…

I’ll just quote this blog post, it basically says it all:

The latest shooting-itself-in-the-foot-moment for the Lone Star State is based on a panel to create its state science curriculum (oh, you already know where this is going, dontcha now?). Out of the six seats on the panel, three are going to creationists! And not just any run-of-the-mill creationists, but one of them is Stephen C. Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute.

I will pause a moment while the air leaks back into your room.

Ready? OK then, let me say this again: Texas has placed a creationist who runs the Discovery institute — a hotbed of creationist deceptions — on a panel that will decide what “science” the children of Texas will learn.

And who will lead this panel of three reality-based scientists and three people dedicated to destroying reality? Why, it’s our old friend Donald McLeroy! Remember him? He’s a creationist. He hates science. He thinks abstinence-only education works (if you want teen girls to get STDs and get pregnant, then you’d be right). And he’s proven that he has no business being within three hundred yards of any sort of educational process.

Why I hate politics

Lies and not being able to bang people’s heads together to prove they aren’t lies.

More videos about the ‘straight-talking’ John McCain:

1. The Real McCain 2: Watch as McCain’s YouTube problem became his nightmare in the video that received over 4 million views.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEtZlR3zp4c

2. Less Jobs. More Wars: What is this ‘Iraq war’ charge on my bill?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh-T2iGkLJY

3. John McCain vs. John McCain: Tell McCain to get off the Double Talk Express.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioy90nF2anI

4. McCain’s Spiritual Guide: The video that caused McCain to renounce Rev. Rod Parsley’s bigoted endorsement.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXZbIGJrDkg

5. Why Won’t McCain Sign the GI Bill? Presenting the most blatant hypocrisy of the McCain campaign.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pK_9sI7hzAc

Want some torture with your peanuts?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/weblo…-your-peanuts/

Quote:
Just when you thought you’ve heard it all…

A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers. This bracelet would:
• take the place of an airline boarding pass
• contain personal information about the traveler
• be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage
• shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes

The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it’s referred to as, would be worn by every traveler “until they disembark the flight at their destination.” Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and that it would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if he/she got out of line?

Clearly the Electronic ID Bracelet is an euphemism for the EMD Safety Bracelet, or at least it has a nefarious hidden ability, thus the term ID Bracelet is ambiguous at best. EMD stands for Electro-Musuclar Disruption. Again, according to the promotional video the bracelet can completely immobilize the wearer for several minutes.

So is the government really that interested in this bracelet? Yes!

If this thing actually makes it on the wrist of people who board US airlines, that puts the nail in the coffin of me wanting to live in the US or visit. One of my mates at work asked today why don’t I want to live in the US with the high petrol prices and crap weather in the UK. THIS ^^^^ is one of the many many reasons not to. What sort of idiotic policy-minded bureaucrat would actually want to strap this on American citizens and visitors to the US? One of the comments to the article said that this would be the death knell to the airline industry, and I don’t think they’re far off. How ridiculous. Taser location-tagged bracelets for every airline passenger. Right! I hope this is some fantastic hoax…but I fear it isn’t.

I had another convo with a different mate this evening about US politics and what’s ‘going down’ – he said he wanted to live in the US and we started going on about how hard it is to get a visa for the US vs the UK, etc., and I started remembering traveler’s horror stories of missing laptops, security lines, luggage x-rays, the TSA (and Canadian customs as well) going through MP3 players and laptops looking for copyrighted material, habeus corpus and civil rights disappearing, all this serious stuff, all the way down to internet neutrality and bandwidth throttling. Oh, not to mention the price of fuel going up 200% in 5 years and worse to come.

sorry…ranting but it’s shite like this bracelet thing that just really really irk the hell out of me. One of the comments at the moment says the people complaining about this possibility ‘do not value their lives’ and ‘what freedom will you have when you are wearing a head scarf or dead’ and finally ‘What do you hope to leave the next generation?????’ Apparently this guy is happy to leave the next generation in an Orwellian, Judge Dredd-like militia state where no one is trusted, only the rich and powerful have any say and everyone is watched for the least little bit of unpatriotic behavior. May the Flying Spaghetti Monster save us!