8 Line Poem Deconstructs 9/11

`

“During the September 11 attacks in 2001, 2,977 people were killed, 19 hijackers committed murder–suicide, and more than 6,000 others were injured. The immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.”

Google Search • Saturday, September 11, 2021

On this 20th Anniversary of 9/11, every one of us needs to take a few moments to pay our respects to the nearly 3,000 innocent victims and their surviving families and friends; imagine the stunned horror of the 246 terrorized airline passengers / flight crews, who wound up earning their “wings”; once the wings of all four commandeered aircraft were no longer of any earthly use to anyone. We must also ensure that all who had dwelt and labored within the vicinity of each ground zero’s toxicity receive, at no cost to them, the best health care available; throughout their remaining time on Earth.

The worst tragedy of all, here, is how American Intel had amply forewarned then prez George W. Bush. As everything had all eventually panned out, he’d been afforded the luxury of five weeks advanced notice, in which time he could’ve done his very best to ground Osama bin Laden’s hijackers. Alas, “very best” rarely, if ever can truthfully describe Dubya’s demeanor.

`

`

Dubya’s silver spoon birthright; was defect inborn!
As a lifelong empty suit, no glad rags could adorn!
Both raw power / prestige, were his form of porn!
Ergo, he flipped off his duties, in the oath he had sworn!

`

When august alerts flashed; he dared red lights with scorn!
No anti-hijacking tactics! No plot thwarting thorn!
No alerts to the masses! No loud honking horn!
He gave Bin Laden the green light, on That Tuesday morn!

`

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

`

Afghanistan: All W’s Fault!

`

Near zero interest re my recent post, Dubya Owns the Afghanistan Debacle, comes as no shocker on (at least) three counts.

  • Such unflattering, honest critiques PO history’s revisionists/propagandists.
  • Saddening/maddening warfare never delivers a feel good buzz to readers.
  • Readers rarely find the time to pour over any post with an 863 word count.

Nonetheless, humankind must always understand the perils of empowering errant leaders; especially the sort who remain unaware and/or unyielding and/or unrepentant.

And, while those first two bullet pointed items cannot be readily dealt with, I can rein in my verbosity, thusly…

George W. Bush didn’t take seriously, his 08/06/2001 Presidential Daily Briefing, ominously titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”. Had he been more attentive re that report’s five weeks in advance, dire warning of hijackings, he’d have heightened airport / airliner security. Alas, he did nothing.

Consequently, the 9/11 attacks went down and W got caught with his Commander-In-Chief pants down.

Job #1 for W’s image makeover consultants became erecting a smokescreen to cover his sorry ass. He’d provoke a distracting, needless, vengeance seeking war against Afghanistan; all on the pretext of “smoking out” Osama bin Laden.

  • In essence, the Afghans had become W’s pawns.
  • The Afghanistan War never brought ObL to justice.
  • Eventually, Operation Neptune Spear succeeded where W had failed.

Conclusion: War criminal George W. Bush is solely responsible for mucking up Afghanistan for mere political gain. He is totally culpable for the needless oceans of hemorrhaging red blood and red ink.

History can only fault his successors, Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump, for not ending that godforsaken, genocidal, $2 Trillion debacle sooner.

President Biden must be commended, never condemned, for finally making the gutsy move to end America’s longest war. At the very least, he must warmly welcome the fleeing Afghan refugees into our American family.

`

`

BTW, I successfully whittled down the word count; from 863 to 327!

`

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

`

`

Embattled Mixed Emotions

`

As a pacifist, I concur with President Joe Biden’s decision to finally end George W. Bush’s ill-conceived War in Afghanistan; the projected exit date to fall on September 11, 2021; the 20th Anniversary of the NYC / DC / PA al-Qaeda attacks.

As a pragmatist, I know there’s little for the world to gain by America soldiering onward, endlessly, in that one specific war zone; especially considering how terrorism, by its very nature, knows no geopolitical boundaries; when new, terrorist training camps proliferate not unlike metastatic cancer cells; when any attempts at shutting them down is not unlike playing a bloody, deadly game of Whac-a-Mole.

As an ethicist, I also need to factor in the Pottery Barn, “You Break It, You Own It Rule”. Obviously, since W did his damnedest to break Afghanistan, unfortunately, that means that each of his presidential successors, have inherited the carnage. And, as such, there’s a moral and financial obligation to clean up all that W had mucked up.

The rub here is that when it comes down to any Wars on Terror, there are no easy exit strategies; as the reality of W’s nearly two decades long AND Russia’s one decade long no-win battles can both certainly attest to.

The problem began when brain dead W, in his futile attempt to “smoke out” Osama bin Laden, had resorted to boots on the ground overkill when, truth be told, a more refined, cogent approach would’ve sufficed; e.g. President Barack Obama’s deployment of the “United States Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or SEAL Team Six)” (quoted content copied / pasted from Google search).

Of course, that’s not to say there have been no gains within Afghanistan, in particular, we must consider the modest improvements re human rights; more specifically, women’s rights.

As an altruist, the very thought of the Taliban (or any other barbaric, moronic, misogynistic régime), muscling its way back into that embattled region is repugnant to me.

As a realist, I know that U.S. troops have been fighting no-win battles. So, how the hell could it ever be any different for the Afghani forces who will soon be left to fend for themselves?

As a kinda / sorta journalist, I find it absolutely unsettling to end a blog with a question, especially one that neither I nor anyone else can honestly answer in a hopeful manner. Long sigh.

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

9/11’s Bravest

To honor the self-sacrificing first responders, who fought the hellish conflagrations nineteen 9/11s ago, this very morning, the Limeliters hauntingly cover Tom Paxton’s composition The Bravest.

As we listen to the strings, harmonica and harmonizing vocals of Mack Bailey, Gaylan Taylor and Andy Corwin, we must also keep in mind all the selfless firefighters / paramedics who have ever arrived / who will continue to arrive, just in the nick of time, to save humanity.

Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!

 

 

 

 

Grim Truths re 9/11 & COVID-19

George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump, two of America’s worst presidents, ever, have much in common. Both…

• wanted the presidency’s title and power but not the responsibilities
• flipped off their advisors’ admonitions and PDBs¹ re a looming crisis
• pissed away valuable lead time / got caught with their knickers down
• caused far too many innocent people to needlessly suffer and perish
• morphed from candy-asses into (make-believe) combative badasses
• orchestrated unconstitutional power grabs to firm up flaccid images
• were rewarded with 2nd terms due to duped and ill-informed voters²

GWB’s deaths involved 9/11 and two utterly needless, endless, no-win wars.
DJT’s deaths (physical / fiscal) involve his ongoing, DIY COVID-19 pandemic.

19 years ago, on this very day, the 9/11 attacks’ official death toll was 2,977
Since 02/06/20, COVID-19’s reported stateside deaths (SO FAR) = 196,328

196,328 ÷ 2,977 = 66
218 ÷ 66 = 3.3

What do those computations mean?

• Those 196,328 deaths are equivalent to 66 9/11’s
• In the 218 days since 02/06/20, that’s one 9/11 every 3 days and 8 hours.

Back on 9/11/2001, re al Qaeda, my homeland’s mood was indignation.
Yet, on 9/11/2020, re COVID-19, the mood seems more like indifference.

 

Stay Safe at Home! Stay Publicly Masked! Stay Healthy!

 

¹Presidential Daily Briefing
²Sorry to say, we’re stuck with Dumb Donald for up to
another 25 years and… after that… Dumb Donald Jr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Microbe vs. Microbrain

 

Ever since coronavirus / COVID-19 has infiltrated our home world… homelands… hometowns, I’ve been… to say the least… attempting to put this mess into some sort of perspective. After all, an idled global populace doth have plenty of time on its hands to mull it all over.

I’ve been searching through an entire lifetime’s worth of my memories… the big question:

Have any past presidents ever threatened the survival of the entire human race before… i.e., to the point where the citizenry had felt compelled to inflict house arrest upon themselves?

• My earliest memory involves the October 16–28, 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis where John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had gotten into a territorial pissing contest… even backing up there back and forth childish threats and missile envy with (phallic symbol) rocketry to target each others’ homelands.

In spite of my tender years, I can still vividly recall the highly atypical sight of a goodly portion the my school system’s bus fleet parked right in front of my Elementary School… all day long… always ready to rush us back home were either leader to (literally) go ballistic. Even though my Mom and Dad did deliver an impromptu, age-appropriate lecture on international tensions / impending war, I was still too naive to fully grasp such concepts / consequences… namely… the possibility of my own death… the death of loved ones… the death of civilization, itself. In essence, my innocence had spared me much.

• Then, when I was four decades wiser, came the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks… owing their success to George W. Bush’s failures. How so? Well, in spite of W seeing (and promptly flipping off) the five weeks in advance, intelligence reports warning of Osama bin Laden’s impending domestic attacks, that slacker chose not lift even a pinkie finger to… oh… say… beef up national security. Next, came the September 18 – October 12, 2001 Anthrax attacks where the U.S. Postal Service had become the unwitting carriers of terrorist parcels loaded with that deadly, powdery pathogen.

From September 12th and onward until year’s end, an eerie feeling of impending doom creeped me out whenever I ventured back into the real world. After all, nobody could say, with certainty, if more terrorist sleeper cells existed in America (or not) and how soon they’d be awakening (if ever). In essence, returning to my workplace had kept me busy and spared me much.

The diff between those long ago and current events… Kennedy and Khrushchev did manage to zipper-up (as it were) in less than two weeks. As for bin Laden, it soon become evident that his terrorist agenda had required (and no longer had) the element of surprise. Naturally, the best news of all, was how the number of new Anthrax exposures, illnesses and deaths had quickly fallen to zero. Ergo, we were able to reclaim our lives (such as they were / are) in a (more or less) timely manner.

And that, precisely, is what makes Donald J. Trump’s coronavirus Crisis far worse. The very nature of this pathogen has not only weirded us out, but has also made damned sure that we won’t be able to quickly restore any significant semblance of normalcy into our lives. To try to do so, too soon, could cause a resurgence of reported cases… and then we’d be forced back into, yet an even longer normalcy-robbing quarantine… and so on… and so on… and so on….

Also, Kennedy and, yes, even W, had been able to get the upper hand in dealing with their enemies… the former man relying on brainpower… the latter on dumb luck.

In essence… Trump’s severe under-funding of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health has plundered both organizations of vital resources… especially the human resources (a.k.a. the professionals who are uniquely qualified to prevent / fight pandemics).

In other words… the micro-brained fake prez has permitted a mere microbe to get the upper hand… to make a fool of him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late Summer Sunbeams

 

The nineteen take flight; on repurposed aircraft,
“Just following orders.” Their droned mantra, daft.
To first punch the time clock; and, next, go berserk?
They must ho-hum the mindset, “All in a days work.”

What darkness sours their souls? What pisses them off?
Why make light of sweet life; disparage and scoff?
To so flippantly flip off the heart of humanity,
Is the height of inanity; and utter insanity,
Indeed, such ‘tudes fly; in the face of all reason,
No kind soul should be subject; to an open season.

The nineteen now wage their cold-blooded attack,
Storm the four cockpits; to wrest and hijack,
New vectors veer off each craft; the one-way trip track,
Twin towered, five-sided strikes! Our world taken aback!

What darkness sours their souls? What pisses them off?
Why make light of sweet life; disparage and scoff?
To so flippantly flip off the heart of humanity,
Is the height of inanity; and utter insanity,
Indeed, such ‘tudes fly; in the face of all reason,
No kind soul should be subject; to an open season.

Nearly three grand, grand innocents; now see the light,
They earn and test their new wings; promptly take flight,
Late summer’s sunbeams now guide them; on day nine eleven,
They disembark at the gate, which gleams brightly in heaven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tiësto… A Contemporary Toscanini?

INTRO… Either playback the above vid as you read along or save it for the end to compare it to two traditional versions.

In the music biz, radio airplay can be instrumental to a song’s rise in popularity. Such was the case way back in 1938, when the baton of Arturo Toscanini… the NBC network’s conductor… first brought Samuel Barber’s 1936 classical music masterpiece… Adagio For Strings… to the attention of a goodly portion of our global community.

Ever since, Barber’s strings have become tightly interwoven into the fabric of humanity… mainly because this musical swell has become the Go-To track for mourners. This well-crafted sequence of notes has been heard following the demise of eminent leaders (e.g. Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy), floating amidst the still settling dust of communal tragedies (e.g. 9/11… 2016’s Brussels bombing… 2016’s Orlando, Florida Pulse nightclub massacre)… and whenever our losses literally hit home / involve close family and friends.

I can personally attest to how Mr. Barber’s musical staff… akin to a supportive walking stick… had kept me on my feet… twice walked me through the darkest days of my own mourning process. My description of this twostep phenomenon goes like this. First, his orchestral commiseration helps us cope. Next, just knowing he’s counselled a long line of survivors before us, does offer us hope… i.e., if they could bravely go onward with their lives, so can we.

I’ve dubbed this therapeutic process, “The Adagio For Strings Experience.” End of story?

NOPE, not when a high tech, latter-day Toscanini… DJ Tiësto… has emerged to eagerly accept the inter-generational passage of the (figurative) baton… not when this mix-master has taken “The Adagio For Strings Experience” to a novel, higher astral plane… best described as contemporized, synthesized, beat driven and dance club ready.

Say what? Yep, I can practically hear classical music purists’ group gasp / groan … hear their protestations…

  1. CLASSICAL MUSIC WITH A GOOD BEAT THAT’S EZ TO DANCE TO?
  2. AN ADAGIO?
  3. WOULD SUCH A MASH-UP EVEN BE WORTH LISTENING TO?

Stunningly… the answers to that trio of Qs is YES! YES!! YES!!!

Admittedly, upon first ear-witnessing Tiësto’s mix, I could not help but wonder…

Is our world really ready for such a radical departure from the musical norm?

Well… almost instantaneously… I answered that Q with another Q…

Is not our world facing down its own radical departure from the sociological / political norm?

Even without factoring in the disheartening specifics… the long litany of specific societal ills, which the unwise powers-that-be have inflicted upon us… which typically, disproportionately target / devastate commoners (like me)… how can we not conclude that both fair-minded leadership and civility, itself, are all but dead? Under such glum circumstances, who amongst our decent, worldly citizens would not wind up in deep mourning… in dire need of “The Adagio For Strings Experience”?

More to the point… since the younger generation has so much more to lose than those of us who, at present, have far more days behind us than ahead… they need Barber’s counseling even more. We must consider their hitting the dance floor to Tiesto’s beat akin to group counseling… musical motivational training… their rallying anthem.

Now… I fully realize that DJ Tiesto’s interpretation may not be everyone’s cup of tea… as it were… so… keeping the classical music purist in mind… I’m also including…

 

Adagio For Strings ~ Conductor Arturo Toscanini (NBC World Premiere)

Adagio For Strings ~ Conductor Leonard Slatki (Detroit Symphony Orchestra)

 

 

 

The Trampled Moral High Ground ~ 1 Quick Limerick #067

To prince who kills, the fake prez remains true,
The moral high ground, he’ll always eschew,
His dark, depraved, fucked-up feelings,
Doth plunge beneath big-bucked dealings,
That is because he hates reporters, too!

 

For more limericks (as well as other verses and song parodies, etc.), head over to my “Categories Menu” and select “Poetry”.

 

A Brief Relevant Video Montage:

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/11 Message ~ Sagan’s WorldView (Hindi Translation)

Originally, Carl Sagan’s stellar oratory had summed up his eloquent reaction to the Valentine’s Day 1990, Voyager 1, Pale Blue Dot snapshot (taken from our solar system’s outer edge). However, on this day, the 17th anniversary of 9/11, the wise, heartfelt, timeless sentiments of this American astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator take on extra special meaning.

Indeed… his words do live on… but… will we?

Such a spot-on, soul searching speech exemplifies the common bond we humans share with each other… translates out well… spans the ages, acreage and cultures of Earth. No better proof of this fact is the above video featuring Azhar Meghani’s English to Hindi translation / voice-over and editor Lokesh Kumar’s skillfully juxtapositioned, cross-culturally appropriate imagery.

Terrorism and warfare would soon vanish off the face of the Earth were the entire human race to fully embrace Dr. Sagan’s worldview. Consider this his urgent appeal for peaceful co-existance amongst all Earthlings everywhere!

 

So fleeting a video’s existence can be… so vital is Sagan’s message… I’m including this text version, too.

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”