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