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    September 2020
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

    • Here was my neighborhood last night
      Because the family of a mentally ill Philadelphia man holding a knife called for an ambulance, and the cops showed up. They claim he “charged” them and they shot and killed him. The mental health unit is a pilot program and isn’t paid to work on the weekends. Protesters didn’t do this, looters did. (Maybe … Continue reading Here was my neighborhood last nigh […]
  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Interview Part 2: Politics Thru Climate Change
      This second excerpt from my interview is more interesting and longer. This is the second clip from my interview with Ian Welsh (Ian blogs at ianwelsh.net). For this segment, we went on a wild ride discussing the big picture mess that is US politics and society more broadly. I asked Ian what might happen if […]
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9/11: Who won?

I saw this tweet yesterday and felt the weight of the world and 19 years:

The day before 9/11 seems like such a calm before the storm. But that’s misleading. We had already been through 8 years of Newt Gingrich’s Movement Conservatism, Grover Norquist, millions of media hours spent on a real estate deal in Arkansas that looks childish compared to money laundering through real estate in Palm Beach County Florida. We read embarrassing and gratuitous details about blow jobs and cigars in Ken Starr’s infamous report. And we had lived though what should have gotten much more of our concern than it ultimately did: the Supreme Court sided with the Brooks Brothers rioters in Florida to stop the 2000 presidential recount in order to give George W. Bush the presidency. It’s been a slow moving coup.

We should have been paying more attention.

Back then, I was gainfully employed in a career that I could only dream about as a child, coming from a barely middle class military family that moved so many times that I needed more than my fingers to count how many schools I had attended. College in my family was actively discouraged but somehow, I clawed my way through it. I was in my nice little car, in my spiffy professional clothing, thinking about my way too interesting work and how I was just well off enough to put my daughters through college when the radio in my car tuned to WYNC crackled and went silent.

The world changed.

Then came the war in Afghanistan, which was necessary. NATO was triggered for the first time in history. Our allies came to our defense. Then came the Iraq War, which was a land and oil grab, was wholly unjustified and which our NATO allies did not join. Then came Freedom Fries, the ungrateful ridicule of anything French, “CUT AND RUN!” slogans shouted at John Murtha on the floor of the House of Representatives, the Patriot Act, illegal surveillance of our cell phone calls, “irrational exuberance” on Wall Street, the financial disaster of 2008, the anemic response to it by Barack Obama, the loss of our jobs, our houses, our financial security.

Here I am, 19 years later, making my way in the world in an entry level job in a different industry, most of my savings gone, hanging on to my health insurance by a thread, anxious that the Republicans will pay for the Covid stimulus money by crippling social security, my last bulwark against poverty.

We got Bin Laden. But the destruction of this country started long before 9/11. That beautiful Tuesday in September was merely the tipping point. 9/11 just pushed us over. The descent has picked up speed in the last four years. But it wasn’t Bin Laden that did this to us. It was something flawed in us that we didn’t know was there and failed to stop in time.

This year, the Tribute in Light illuminating lower Manhattan was originally cancelled because setting up the lights would put too many people at risk of Covid. It’s back on for tonight. For many years, BiFF and I would wait until dusk on the Jersey City side to watch the ghostly lights appear, the traces of 3000 souls making their way to heaven.

What would they say if they could see where we are today?

Probably something like “Rage, Rage against the dying of the light”

Voting in PA starts Monday. Do it for them. Do it as if your life depends upon it.