BlogCast Special: A 9/11 Soundtrack

 

This time around, our musical get-together doesn’t require much of a set up at all. In fact, my above headline says it all.

Simply scroll down, click away and, while listening, be sure to remember all the good people we lost or who got wounded on this day, sixteen years ago… all their surviving families and dear friends… all the victims who live on, forever physically scarred, challenged and disabled.

Remember, too, all who’ve met similar fates while fighting on the side of good during the subsequent wars on terror… as well as all the innocent bystanders residing in the vicinity of those battlefields.

And never forget that the ongoing, more recent terrorist attacks, still spread like raging cancers all over our world and are no less damaging and deadly.

 

Tom Paxton ~ The Bravest

Mary-Chapin Carpenter ~ Grand Central Station

Be sure to also check out MCC’s interview.

Sheryl Crow ~ God Bless This Mess

Eagles ~ Hole In the World Tonight

If you LIKE what you heard, click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast scheduled for Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Past programs are archived in my BlogCast and music categories.

 

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#45’s Ill-Conceived, Ill-Willed, Ill-Timed Tightfistedness

Let’s examine #45’s America first mindset in his own words…

“I’m going to spend less money on people overseas and more money on people back home.”

Naturally, taken at face value, a plan to allocate more money, domestically, sounds like a sound idea. HOWEVER to not simultaneously help folks, abroad, is (figuratively and literally speaking) devastatingly nearsighted.

If #45 successfully convinces… correction… cons his likeminded, myopic, avarice driven, sociopathic, unconscionable, congressional cronies and, in tandem, they implement his proposed hatchet job on the federal budget… well…

Their mean-spiritedness… their downRight heartlessness would involve the hasty reversal of time-honored, common sense, altruistic U.S. foreign policy resulting in severely slashed humanitarian aid to the victims of both manmade and natural disasters all over our world.

More to the point… the United Nations is categorizing the combined “living” conditions within Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen as the worst humanitarian crisis since WW-II.

In his own words, UN Under Secretary General Stephen O’Brien told the UN Security Council that $4.4 billion is desperately needed…

“Otherwise, many people will predictably die from hunger, livelihoods will be lost and political gains that have been hard-won over the last few years will be reversed. Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death. Many more will suffer and die from disease. Children stunted and out of school. Livelihoods, futures and hope will be lost.”

Folks, let’s consider the trillions of bucks being hoarded by America’s high rollers. To them, 4.4 billion bucks is akin to the pocket change you and I lose between our sofa cushions. In other words, they’d never miss it were the UN to “find” it.

Of course, for the greedy, doing “the right thing” nearly always has a wicked, political connotation… rarely a philanthropic one… and… to get back to my blog title… there IS a hidden “cost” of ill-conceived, ill-willed, ill-timed tightfistedness.

What are the hidden consequences?

Well… while #45 and his gang are sadistically getting off on all the human suffering they’re inflicting… it’s highly likely that ISIS and al Qaeda, the very terrorist organizations who they’ve been incessantly, aggressively goading and verbally attacking, will step in to do what America’s alleged leader will be flat-out refusing to do… feed the hungry.

What could happen next?

Well… it’s a certainty that, within the terrorist recruiters’ mess halls, they’ll also be serving up a second course… a verbal crash course to indoctrinate their grateful recipients. They’ll inform their trainees how tightfisted #45 would rather be throwing punches at them than extending a helping hand.

Worse yet, in the same breath, they’ll be incorrectly characterizing him as speaking for all Americans, which, of course, is far, Far, FAR from the truth. And once these recruits start believing that, all of #45’s interminable, insufferable, disingenuous boasting that he’s making America safe will be rendered meaningless… more so than it already is.

What could happen next?

Energized by #45’s hatred, terrorist cells will become more deeply entrenched… they’ll proliferate and metastasize like malignant cancer cells within our global society… and they’ll promptly lash out against the heartless, vile, evil which #45 represents. At that juncture, it’d be next to impossible for America to ever shed #45’s ugly image.

What could happen next?

#45’s trumped up contention about the terrorist threat will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. His own reprehensible rhetoric will cause an unbreakable vicious cycle of attacks / counterattacks… a no-win tragedy that needn’t have ever happened, had he demonstrated compassion towards our world’s needy.

What could happen next?

#45 and all of his big biz / big government bastards… his nasty, greedy, war profiteering, cohorts, while hunkered down in the total security of their lead lined, underground bunkers (which can double as their counting houses), will “get off” on their ill-gotten wealth while American victims will be suffering physically and fiscally amidst the rubble of hundreds of ground zeroes, nationwide… while average Jane and Joe Americans will be drowning in the hemorrhaging, splattered red blood and red ink of #45’s failed foreign policy of avariciousness and isolationism.

What could happen next?

In theory… in time… we might even be talking about the birth of a superpower terrorist nation… a united super cell comprised of all the nation-states, which #45 deprived of humanitarian aid.

What could happen next?

As much as we, who embrace the concepts of peaceful coexistence and extending a helping hand to the needy, loathe just about everything #45 stands for… well…

In #45’s own words…

“If we have nuclear weapons why can’t we use them?”

THE END?

Michelle Edmisten Fights For Religious Illiteracy

During my high school senior year, my History instructor, Mr. S, would expand his lesson plans, each Friday, to include history in the making. He didn’t merely lecture us about current events… he actually inspired the entire class to participate in lively discussions.

One Friday, the situation got a whole lot livelier than expected.

While discussing our State Board of Education’s plan to utilize cross-district busing to racially integrate Michigan’s public schools, Mr. S asked if any of us could think of better alternatives, which would achieve the same, beneficial results.

I raised my hand and said…

“We’d never need to bus anyone if we could racially integrate our neighborhoods.”

In a split second, one of my classmates, “Greg”, in a near apoplectic fit, leaped out of his chair to bellow at the top of his lungs, “NO!”

Only gravity had prevented him from hitting the ceiling. Only the vacuum outside Earth’s atmosphere prevented the shock-waves of his shouted objection from reverberating throughout our entire limitless universe. Only the racist crap between his ears hindered his comprehension of my logical alternative.

Mr. S had to spend several minutes trying to talk that kid down… repeatedly reminding him we were only having a discussion.

To this very day, Greg’s “NO” still haunts and saddens me. In all likelihood, he had been served up countless heaping helpings of bigotry right at his own family’s dining room table… perhaps immediately after they had (hypocritically) said grace.

While my idea, that long ago Friday, had (still has) merit, regrettably, it only was a discussion. Unfortunately… two score and five years later… too many people within America and all over our world still have bad attitude problems to overcome before they can finally, fully embrace our ethnic and religious diversity and, ultimately, do their part to unite humanity.

Case in point… I recently read about a Tennessee mother, Michelle Edmisten, who is outraged about Social Studies lessons being taught in the public school, which her seventh grade daughter attends… lessons which discuss the religions of our world… inclusive of Islam.

This mother is worried that her girl’s “personal religious beliefs were violated”… so much so that she flat-out refused to let her daughter attend these classes and preferred to see her report card filled in with zeroes. Said Edmisten…

“Those are zeroes that we proudly took and we will not compromise. It is time as parents, teachers and administrators we stand up and take back our families, our schools and our country.”

Normally I’d demand we maintain our U.S. Constitution’s stipulated separation of church and state, but it’s not like Tennessee teachers have morphed into preachers. These educators are NOT proselytizing… they’re merely raising awareness about religious diversity in America and our world. How could any of that be harmful?

The National Council for the Social Studies weighed in thusly…

Knowledge about religions is not only a characteristic of an educated person but is necessary for effective and engaged citizenship in a diverse nation and world. Religious literacy dispels stereotypes, promotes cross-cultural understanding and encourages respect for the rights of others to religious liberty.”

To that I say, “AMEN!”

To survive in a post 9/11 world… all of us… inclusive of today’s kids (who are tomorrow’s leaders)… MUST be informed… MUST learn how to peacefully coexist… MUST learn that there’s no need to fear Islam in its pure form… MUST learn that the only actual danger associated with Islam involves al Qaeda and ISIS entities, who’ve hijacked and mutilated their faith to “rationalize” their deadly terrorist attacks.

Edmisten fails to realize that her crusade to ban her daughter’s textbook is tantamount to denying her own daughter and her classmates the well rounded education they deserve. Ironically, this needlessly concerned mom has put herself in the same league as the very Taliban fanatics she fears.

Indeed, both Edmisten and the Taliban’s crusade is all about maintaining ignorance.

While Muslim hater Donald Trump and his likeminded devotees would say “YES” to Michelle Edmisten’s Islamophobia and book banning plot, clearheaded people must counter any and all attempts to dumb down our society. In this particular case, it is not wrong to yell out, “NO!”

Bad Political Traits Oft Breed True

America’s Founding Fathers had conceived of the Electoral College to prevent voters from picking pathetic presidents. Unfortunately, too frequently, these College “students” have “flunked out”. They’ve failed to perceive negative character traits and ideological mutations, which pollute the political gene pool… breed true… resulting in one lousy administration propagating the next.

Let’s assign a title to this political procreative process…

The Book of Political Genesis

In the beginning there was Ronald Reagan’s revolting régime… which begat George H.W. Bush’s thousand points of blight… which begat Bill Clinton’s Animal House Oval Office… which begat war criminal / torturer George W. Bush’s reign of terror…

Ronald Reagan ~ In violation of Logan Act of 1799 (which expressly forbids private citizens from meddling in foreign affairs), private citizen Reagan executed an end run around President Jimmy Carter to cut a secret, dirty deal with Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini, who agreed to delay releasing his 52 U.S. Embassy hostages. That made Carter look wimpy in the eyes of the voters and, in turn, assured Reagan victory. Reagan’s payoff to Khomeini was providing him sufficient quantities of US arms and spare parts to help Iran fight their war against Iraq.

In essence, Reagan had prolonged the hostages’ misery… indeed, had endangered their very lives… just for his own political gain.

With that dirty deal with Iran under his belt, Ronnie then raged onward to mercilessly bust labor unions and, via Reaganomics, devastate the American / global economy… plunge the middleclass into poverty… the already impoverished into abject squalor.

George H.W. Bush ~ Reagan’s VP succeeded his X-boss and succeeded at heaping yet another four years’ worth of Reaganomics manure upon the downtrodden masses. He wound up mucking up the U.S. economy so badly that the PO’d voters were more than ready to vote for a Democrat, instead.

Bill Clinton ~ His “It’s the economy, stupid,” presidential campaign catchphrase resonated well with average Jane and Joe voters. He had successfully ridden the tidal wave of voter discontent to rid America of GHWB.

Alas, Billy Boy’s inability to keep his pants zipped up only served to screw up his image. His Republican opponents constantly had him in political CYA mode. In other words, Billy’s infamous female intern, Monica Lewinsky, had helped him blow away a brighter future for America.

And that, in turn, tarnished the image of Clinton’s VP, Al Gore, who had had high hopes for perpetuating eight more years of Democratic Party values. Instead, Billy’s sexcapades had put the voters into a “throw the bums out” mood, which had afforded Gore’s Republican opponent, George W. Bush, the ILLUSION of maturity, morality and respectability.

George W. Bush ~ Knowing he could not win merely on smoke and mirrors, alone, he needed help. Entering stage (far) right was Florida Governor (and W’s own brother) Jeb, who gleefully corrupted the Sunshine State… morphed it into a devoid of free elections Banana Republic “nation”. The net result was a too close to call tally of that state’s ballots.

Following Election Day, for over one month, the political firestorm blazed. The flames were soon licking at the doors of the corrupt U.S. Supreme Court, where five rabidly unscrupulous, archconservative judges practically soiled their underwear in ecstasy while coming to the aid of the lawless Bush family. It hadn’t bothered them, in the least that their ruling had denied Al Gore the recount, which he had been legally entitled to. All that mattered to them was installing the corrupt King George II.

But, after only seven months in office, W had grown listless and bored. Ergo, he decided to take a much-undeserved vacation. So eager to slack off, he had flipped off his August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing… an ominous heads up, titled:

“Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US”

Had W heeded that warning, as it turned out, he would’ve had five weeks to beef up America’s defenses. Seeing how W had chosen not to lift one finger to thwart al Qaeda’s evil plot to take out America… did zip zero nothing to preserve, protect and defend America while Osama’s assault was going down… it becomes easy for us to conclude that the Bush 43 admin had actually wanted America to be attacked.

Even worse, W’s wranglers put a spin on his getting caught with his CIC pants down… created the flat out ILLUSION that their little wittle boy president was a big badass, courageous leader (well at least they correctly assessed the “ass” part of his image).

What ensued next was not a pretty picture. W opted to go to war against an ideology… one, which knows no specific geographical location. He first deployed the troops to bomb the crap out of Afghanistan’s boulders and dirt and then trained his crosshairs on Iraq’s oil.

W told bald-faced lies to the U.S. Senate to give them the impression that Saddam Hussein had ties to 9/11… to successfully dupe Senators into green lighting a bogus war against Iraq.

Ergo, on March 19, 2003, W needlessly deployed U.S. troops… unnecessarily put them in harms way. The resultant destabilization of that entire region has made our world a far more dangerous place.

As of my blog posting time, war criminal mass murderer / torturer W is the butcher who slaughtered an estimated 251,000 people, inclusive of 4,497 American troops.

Barack Obama ~ His administration has been the rare exception… one where recessive, good political traits have surfaced. Enjoy them while they last because his likely successor will be…

Donald Trump ~ He exhibits outrageously inappropriate ignorant, insensitive, incendiary, sexist, and racist attitudes which are totally unpresidential and do not represent what the real America is all about.

But, he is correct about one thing. His telling us the 2016 November elections will be rigged. But, what he isn’t telling us is that he will be the one who’ll be rigging them. Most assuredly, he has the wherewithal to muck everything up just to try to sate his own massive ego and political lust.

Since the Electoral College “class of 2016” is likely to flunk out just like their predecessors… Trump’s bad political traits will breed true. As for what that will begat?

99 Word Blog (#013) Connecting The Dots

On this very day… fifteen years ago… seven months into “President” George W. Bush’s eight year reign of terror… he became aware of some very worrisome intelligence via his August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing… ominously titled…

“Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US”

Had he asked a ten-year-old for advice, the kid could’ve easily connected the dots and warned W about commercial airline hijackings.

That could’ve afforded W five weeks to, at least, militarize our airports… to appear on worldwide TV to warn us that Osama was planning a rampage.

Instead, W did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to prevent 9/11!

Could Matthew 5:39 End The Madness?

¶1 Defining “mad”… it’s feeling PO’d… e.g., folks indigenous to the Middle East rightfully feeling mad as hell because the U.S. had trespassed on their home turf… more specifically… America had stationed troops in Saudi Arabia. In a nutshell, Osama bin Laden would’ve calmed down had he gotten the U.S. to peacefully stand down (as in America getting the the hell out). But we didn’t… and so “mad” took on a whole new connotation.

¶2 Redefining “mad”… it’s going “just plain nuts”… e.g., a man woke up one sunshiny, Tuesday morning, chowed down his Cheerios and then, as he headed out the front door, he grabbed his car keys, kissed the missus and said, “Oh honey… I won’t be home for dinner… flight 11 out of Logan will be making an unscheduled stop at the WTC.” She reacted by saying, “Oh… OK dear… have a safe drive to the airport.”

Good Morning to you all. As I write this… it is an early a.m. Sunday… a time of the week I usually devote to deep thought. The question I ask myself..: and now, of course, you, too…

Is there a method to my madness? That asked… I’ll now restart this blog… you can decide…

¶1 outlines just one of the key underlying motives behind 9/11. ¶2 showcases the deadly way, which Osama bin Ladin’s soldiers had so matter-of-factly channeled their unresolved and unresolvable anger. True, that domestic, spousal interaction scene is my dramatization … but it does accurately portray that “just doing my job,” “punch the timeclock” “whatever it takes” terrorist ‘tude.

So… to CliffsNotes it… past diplomatic problems have turned into the present-day psychiatric problems… a.k.a., the madness of terrorism. I mean… nobody gets to the point of no return (as described in ¶2) on a whim. We drove people in the Middle East nuts. We hadn’t addressed problems with diplomacy before it was too late… and now… in all likelihood… it is too late. In essence… re 9/11? We did it to ourselves.

We’re nearly 15 years into our post 9/11 nightmare and, with each new attack, it feels like we’re no closer to ending the War on Terror than we were in 2001. President Obama even knocked off Osama bin Laden and, beyond exacting revenge, what else do we have to show for it?

OK… that sums up the past and present. So… where do we go from here?

I suspect that due to decades worth of failed U.S. foreign policy, exacerbated by George W. Bush’s squandering of the free world’s, post 9/11, international goodwill AND his further mucking things up by going on the offensive in Afghanistan and Iraq (the latter nation having no direct ties to 9/11) have made any attempts at peace talks impossible… yep that diplomatic ship has sailed off on a one-way trip to nowhere. Ergo we cannot talk our way out of this mess.

Additionally… President Obama has been sufficiently wise to wind down W’s offensive wars. The Prez understands we cannot fight our way out of this mess.

So what is left? Folks, all the U.S. can do is brace itself (further strengthen Homeland Security) and cross our fingers that we can keep the carnage to a minimum.

Accept the fact that this War on Terror is a no-win war to the end of time. In the not too distant future, “Mad’ just might take on another whole new connotation.

Redefining “M.A.D.”… that’d be Mutual Assured Destruction… e.g., where terrorists go nuclear. True… they’d die along with those who they attack… but… has not suicide been their shtick all along?

But… is that all there REALLY is? Might we be able to “pray” ourselves out of this mess?

As of late, I’ve been wondering. Is it time for a Hail Mary Pass? To face down the al Qaeda / ISIS Holy War with the Holy Book? Turning to Matthew 5:39…

“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.”

IF the U.S. turns the other cheek, I believe this just might totally freak out the terrorist world. Forsaking the offensive strategy could be a fatal blow to morale amongst the terrorist troops. Re U.S. passive resistance, some of them might even say, “Damn it… this ain’t no fun no more… I quit!”

And what could terrorist “management” do to stop their troops from going AWOL, threaten to kill them? Is it even possible to instill fear in those who’ve been programmed to blow themselves up?

And how could “management” find replacements after the whole world watches as the U.S. marches off to battle terrorism “armed” “only” with Matthew 5:39?

Redefining “mad”, yet, a fourth time… upon going back to reread my post… methinks that CommonSenseTom just may’ve gone mad, himself. What do you think?

If I am wrong… I now ask… “Where Do We Go From Here?”