Sunday Roast: 9/11, Fifteen Years On

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It’s been fifteen years since that terrible day, September 11, 2001.  Almost 3000 people died, over 6000 people were injured, and untold trauma to millions of people worldwide, who were glued to their televisions, radios, computers — trying to comprehend what it was we were seeing and hearing.  Anyone over 20 years of age probably holds vivid memories of the heinous events of the day, what they were doing, and the feelings of shock, horror, grief, fear, anger…I know I do.

A chance for unity in this country — and possibly worldwide — was squandered by a President with an agenda of his own, resulting in the death and injury of hundreds of thousands of service members and innocent civilians in the countries he attacked in our name, and under false pretenses.  Lives that are being lost and ruined even today.

Could we ever have imagined on that horrendous day, fifteen years ago, that today, September 11, 2016, we would be enduring a hotly contested presidential election wherein the GOP nominee is a narcissistic, race baiting, hypocritical, misogynist, fear-mongering, Islam-hating, bigoted liar, with delusions of grandeur?  Who talks non-stop while saying precisely nothing, absolutely does not care about the damage he’s causing?  Personally, I am gobsmacked at the very thought.

If such a thing is possible, Osama bin Laden is smiling from his watery grave.

I’m sorry.

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The Watering Hole; (Friday) September Eleventh (2015); WAR

One wearies of incessant Voice of War.
Across full breadth of time each nom de guerre
Inflicts upon the Human soul a scar
Which screams in mockery of hallowed prayer.
How many millions must we finally kill
Before is learned this simple quirk of fate:
That murdered dead, in valley or on hill,
Do NOT portend a Greatness in The State?
Upon this Earth of monuments and tombs
Which weep for fallen souls, it’s fair to shout
NO MORE! to darkness that forever looms
In constant threat. And let there be no doubt
Of this–War’s victims hang upon the Cross
Of senseless death as silent, wretched, loss.

Fourteen years ago today was THAT day, September 11, 2001, yet one more “date which shall live in inf . . . ” etc. It was clearly devastating for so many — victims, families of victims, friends, co-workers — each and all now become “Collateral Damage” as they’re often called by politicians, by militarists. I’m not at all sure there is, anywhere, an accurate count of all the ‘collateral damage’ since 9-11, the event which spawned wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and today in Syria and Iraq. The fact remains, however, that in war — ANY war — each and every ‘Senseless death,’ represents a silent, wretched, loss.’

Below are a couple of photos that I received via email in the aftermath. They (sort of) tell at least a small part of the 9-11 story.

mdf51247tragedy-greatpictureThe 9-11 attacks were, indeed, horrible and devastating acts of war. What seems even worse than the actual 9-11 incident, however, is the collective impact of events which followed,  including those two wars — one still underway nearly fourteen years later, the other now formally ended, but stll a tragic mistake from day one — which have collectively led to such disasters as ISIL’s Phoenix-like rise from the ashes (and the resultant refugee “crisis” in Europe), and perhaps also an acceleration of Iran’s nuclear quest.

And what benefit has either side gained from their brutal conflict? The answer is a simple one: Beyond mutual horror and destruction, NOTHING.

But still we must grieve, and rightly so, over the impact on the true victims, the innocent people who are caught in the maelstrom. Rarely, in fact, are the tyrants — those foolish mental fossils who initiate each casus belli — among the victims. More commonly, the victims are those who either volunteer or are conscripted to become fighters, and always in the company of tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children killed by bombs, or gunfire, or inferno: those innocent dead called “collateral damage — or, in the Julian Assange/Wikileaks Iraq war vernacular, Collateral Murder. .

As someone once pointed out, the rules of war are quite simple. Rule Number One is that in war, innocent people die. Rule Number Two is that no one can do anything to change Rule Number One. I imagine if someone could somehow concoct a ‘no more war’ option . . . nah, not possible. War is cool. Lots of money in it. And kingdom! And power! And glory!! Forever and ever!!! . . . etc.

We cannot stop war, nor can we prevent the next one. But we can, at least, remember the innocent victims of each and every war. It is to them and to their families, friends, and loved ones, that I offer the following:

IN MEMORIAM
of those who died before their time
unforgotten

One wonders if they ever heard the cry.
The sound, the summons, which to faithful says:
Your God has called, your time is come to die
And travel on – conclusion of your days
On earth, the end of all familiar things –
Your Lives, your Loves, interred now, sans the pain
Inflicted by ungodly bands of kings
Who find their purpose in despotic shame.

So now all living walk upon a cache –
Abysmal graveyards – globally extant,
Concealing flesh and bone returned to ash
From which it came. Tears want to flow, but can’t
As souls of murdered dead now roam – set free –
And living close their eyes: Afraid to see.

May we never forget their sacrifice.

OPEN THREAD

Sunday Roast: Flag Day

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The U.S. flag was adopted on this date in 1777, and the day became an official “thing” in 1916, by order of President Woodrow Wilson.

I learned all about flag etiquette in Girl Scouts, but I don’t remember ever actually owning a flag.  Not that I was opposed to it, but I just never bought one.  It grates on me that the American flag is manufactured anywhere other than the United States.  Too picky?  My step-mother has the flag that was presented to the family at my dad’s memorial service, so I suppose it might come to me one day.

After September 11, 2001, with all the flag pins on politicians, ragged Made in China flags waving from sticks on car windows, and so-called “patriots” virtually dry-humping the Stars and Stripes — I acquired what I call “flag fatigue.”  As it turns out, it’s a fairly chronic condition.

“Uber-patriots” have wrung out any real symbolism our flag held, while completely forgetting (if they ever knew) what the flag, patriotism, the Constitution, and being an American actually mean.

Anyway, Happy Flag Day, everyone.  Lawdy, I’m such an old crank.

This is our daily open thread — S.N.A.F.U.

The Watering Hole, Hump Day, January 8, 2014: The Continuing Relevancy of the Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Nine One One changed everything, so we’re told. Even noted liberal Bill Maher supports the surveillance state, because of suitcase nukes. Ever hear of a terrorist detonating a suitcase nuke – outside of the movies? Me neither. But they could, so we must give up certain safeguards instituted to limit the powers of government.

What follows are some of the changes we have implemented over the past dozen years – plus those changes a sizable portion of the populace would like to change.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

We are a Christian Nation. Sharia Law is not allowed. Mosques are banned. The laws of Leviticus applies, but only as to homosexuality, we’re ok with men shaving their beards and 7-11s being open on Sunday.

Freedom of the press? Ok, so long as you’re not someone who blows the whistle on the evils our government is doing at home and abroad.

Peaceful assembly? yes, for armed Tea Party members. No to unarmed Occupy sit-ins.

Petition the government for redress of grievances? The White House set up a petition website. How many of those petitions actually resulted in the government doing something different?

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Amendment II

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Guns don’t kill people, but people should be allowed to own military-grade weapons – just in case we need to revolt against our democratically elected government.

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Amendment III

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

This one’s like the human appendix. Sure, it’s there, but it’s useless unless it gets inflamed.

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Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

This one’s in its death throes. I say that only because a judge tossed out New York’s ‘stop and frisk’ policy – but only because it disproportionately targets minoritys. Already we’re being told that without stop and frisk, people will die. The solution is obvious – stop and frisk whites more.

But if you’re plugged into the internet, Big Brother is watching your every keystroke.

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Sunday Roast: The Twin Towers in the movies

The World Trade Center was a favorite in films even before it was completed.  It seems film makers went out of their way to include the towers in New York shots, which is understandable, since they were friggin’ awesome looking!

Now, whenever I see them on an old movie or television program, I always feel a little twinge of grief.  If they only knew what was ahead of them…and if only we could warn them somehow…

In the next week, we will see many pictures and film clips of the burning and destroyed WTC, and we should remember that terrible day, but I think we need to remember it when it was whole and awesome.

The tunes aren’t bad either, if you don’t mind a flashback or two.  😉

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