September 11, 2012

9-11 — 11 years later

I was headed into work Tuesday, Sept.11, 2001, at the time the second plane hit. I was listening to classical music on the radio, and don't normally watch TV when I get up, so I had no idea bout the first plane.

But, it was clear what was up was more than just an accident. And, although not at a daily, I was in the newspaper biz, as I *still am* today .

So, one of our ad salespeople had friends she knew were in NYC, and we got through to one of them before cell phone service was overwhelmed.


A week later, I wrote an “open letter to President Bush” editorial column, asking that he NOT use this as an excuse to create something like what became called the Patriot Act.

A year later, I wrote a column noting that, while 9/11 deaths should not be minimized, they should be put into context, especially related to self-destructive deaths. And, no, not suicide. I noted that cigarettes killed as many people every couple of days, and alcohol abuse every week or so, as 9/11 did.

But, even today, some people think we didn’t overreact. And need to be refuted.

Meanwhile, we continue to play “whack a mole” with alleged Taliban leadership in Afghanistan, when it’s clear that it’s structured differently from a U.S capitalist corporation and keeps on keeping on. Beyond that, Dear Leader, President Obama, can’t explain why we remain in that doorknob-forsaken place propping up a kleptocratic ruler.

And, then, there’s Iraq. War in the name of a lie, as Obama, albeit perhaps in part for political reasons but more for reasons of state, refuses to bring the liars to justice. That's even as it's clear than ever that even before the Aug. 6, 2001 famous Presidential Daily Brief, Bush had clear information al Qaeda was looking to strike inside the U.S.

Are we “safer”?

Maybe it’s the wrong question to ask. Maybe we need to rethink the issue of “safety.”

We've had attempts at further actions since then. Maybe they would have been worse without the bureaucratic Department of Homeland Security; maybe not. Maybe they wouldn't have been worse without invading Iraq.

And, speaking of, a weakened Iraq has emboldened Iran, which in turn has tempted U.S. neoconservatives and Israeli hardliners with the dream of a pre-emptive strike against its nuclear development, whatever it is.

And, since Obama’s election, our “post-racial president” has seen increases in presidential threats, veiled attacks on race, and domestic terrorism against Sikhs, Muslims, and federal government employees.

As far as the other U.S. wet dream, more that of Cheneyites than true blue neocons, control of Iraq hasn't done much for oil prices. If anything, Bush's Great Recession (with Dems helping it out somewhat) plus fracking for shale oil, have been the primary factors in keeping oil prices away from that $147/bbl speculator fueled peak in 2008. (Not that either party has seen to address commodities speculation since.)

Obama's stricter EPA standards will help with lessening oil reliance, but ... they're riddled with loopholes, including for flex-fuel vehicles. And, other than the overpriced Volt, GM is abandoning even lite hybrids, which means that it will probably either pay big fines to the EPA or else ask for exemptions or waivers.

So, "oil security" isn't all that, either. 

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