Speechless

September 29, 2006

Our congress, well, someone’s congress because I don’t feel like its mine, has just voted to give His Majesty Bush II the power to decide who gets tortured. I’m sorry, I mean “aggressively interrogated.”

I am super proud to be an American today.

Seriously, if nothing changes from the mid-term elections (and I fear nothing will) I have to really consider if I belong in this country. I am almost at the point where I will uproot my family and go somewhere else before this gets any worse.

And it isn’t going to change when he leaves office. The decisions that have been made are far reaching. The members of the Supreme Court are there for life, folks, and look at the jokes in robes Bush has given us for the next 40 years.

This country is rapidly becoming…something. I don’t know what, but its not a democracy.

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Focus on the Family Where it Doesn’t Belong

September 20, 2006

It’s too early for my blood to be boiling, but this article in the Washington Post managed to do it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/15/AR2006081501098.html

Any church, ANY CHURCH that sticks its nose into politics and voter moblilzation should immediatly lose its tax-exempt status. Dobson and Focus on the Family can claim it is non-partisan but does anyone believe that?

Conservative churches, liberal churches, it doesn’t matter. If you play politics you should pay taxes.


Four

September 19, 2006

Four games and the Yankees clinch the division title.

As I live in the so-called Red Sox Nation, it feels good to be this close. I’m not going to jinx it by saying its a done deal, but it sure is quiet up here, even after the Sox took 3 of 4 from New York this weekend. There is some “Wait until next year” talk, but not much about the here and now.

Its kind of nice to listen to the silence.


I Heart New York

September 10, 2006

Boy, we love our anniversaries in this country. Americans just can’t get enough of commemorating events by putting on huge displays and making speeches and having white sales. And not just on the day of the anniversary, but for days, even weeks, beforehand, the media builds it up and , in the case of tomorrow’s happenings, the President himself preps the nation with a series of speeches. Yes, its been five years since the WTC attack and the American Remembrance Machine is operating at its full potential.

Let me just say, and this is strictly personal, It’s not for me.

I’ll explain:

On 9/11/01 I dropped off my wife at the PATH train station at Exchange Place in Jersey City, NJ, right across the bay from lower Manhattan. I kissed her goodbye and she went into the station, I started to drive home (we lived in Bayonne, NJ right next to Jersey City) listening to Howard Stern on the way. I learned of the first airplane hitting from him. By the time I got home and turned on the TV the second plane had hit.

My wife’s train ended in Manhatten at the WTC station. In all of the aftermath news shots of the big hole, the platform she arrived at could be seen half intact.

Let me say now that my wife passed through the Trade Center about 5 to 10 minutes before the first plane hit and she made it to her office in mid-town without any trouble.

Of course, I didn’t know that at the time. To make things really fun, all of the telephone cables connecting NY and NJ relayed through the Trade Center Communication Center, so I couldn’t call her. She had no cell phone. And she was four months pregnant with our daughter.

We were finally able to communicate after about 3 hours by calling my Mother-In-Law in Ohio and talking through her using her call-waiting.

I watched the towers fall from my porch. I watched the smoke and dust rise and cross the bay. I worried about friends that lived downtown. I wondered if my wife would make it off the island. I waited all day for something else to blow up.

My wife finally got to NJ, with hundreds of others, on packed water taxis and tour boats. I picked her up in Hoboken. It looked like what I imagine Ellis Island in its heyday must have been like. Hundreds of people getting off boats looking for familiar faces in the waiting crowd. The arriving people were separated into two groups: Those that were above and those that were below 14th street. The latter group had to be checked for asbestos and decontaminated. My wife was above the line so saved that part, but we worried about the health of the baby for months until everything proved OK.

In the days and weeks that followed the City tried to get back to normal and it slowly did, amid the anthrax scare and the false alarms. As the media and the country took up the call and the cause, I can remember a feeling among New Yorkers of needing a little time before everybody else joined us in this. I’m not saying that it wasn’t a national tragedy, that it didn’t affect everyone in America, but it hit us at home. Our real, everyday homes. The media slogans and graphics, the political rhetoric, it all came a little too soon. We were still sweeping up the stoops, calling friends to check-in and wondering if it was going to happen again tomorrow or the next day. The tough talk and revenge speak coming out of the mid-west, the south, the west, places that felt immeasurably far away in the aftermath didn’t seem to have anything to do with us. It was just words from people that weren’t there.

So five years out, a move to New England later and I still don’t feel ready to commemorate anything. I feel lucky that my family is here with me and healthy. I feel lucky that my friends made it through. I am happy that I get to visit NYC and see them and play in the city that I love. But my remembrance is quiet. I don’t want speeches, movies, shows of might. Certainly nothing the government has done since in the name of 9/11 has made me feel better. I mourn the city that was before. My city. The one I moved to when I was young and stupid and excited to see buildings so tall. The one where I reconnected with the woman that became my wife. The city I got married in. That city has changed. It has lost the innocence….well, I guess I lost my innocence about the city. And that makes me sad. But it is my grief, not the nation’s.

The tragedy of 9/11 belongs to everyone in America, everyone in the world. But it haunts New Yorkers and I think the media circus that happens downtown every year seems alien to them. It certainly does to this long-distance New Yorker. I suppose the rest of the country needs it, and the City lets its happen for them. New Yorkers remember everyday, very quietly, just going about the daily business of living.


Another Report Tells the Truth. Anybody Listening?

September 9, 2006

Here we go again. Another report undermining the administration’s reasons for going to war in Iraq.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/09/08/iraqreport.ap/index.html

How many of these reports do we have to have before everyone wakes up and admits we were lied to and Americans are DYING because of it? Where is the outrage? Where are the marching throngs? This is beyond bad, This is a total collapse of our government. Nothing is working the way it was intended. We have a king that is running wild in the White House. We have a group of courtiers posing as a Congress doing what ever the hell the monarch wants and blocking the will of the people. Magna Carta was written because of this. The Constitution was written because of this.

Tony “Working for the White House is the Same as Working For Fox News” Snow answered questions about the report by saying if people wanted to argue about three years ago, they were welcome to. What is important is now and the futere.

In other words, Yeah, we lied, but its too late now so give us a pass and lets move on.

No More Passes. Lets get rid of this pointless GOP congress in November and then get rid of this dangerous administration as soon as possible. Lets win in Novemebr and investigate the s**t out of these guys.

God help us all if the Democrats fail to take the House.