Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Choices Made Since 9/11/01

(Blogger’s Note—This is a post I ran in 2011 to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. It is just as appropriate today on 9/11/12.) 

I’m sorry for the people who died on 9/11.

I’m sorry we were told to shop after 9/11 and that many of us chose to consume beyond our means.

I’m sorry that some of the financial firms in Manhattan chose to cheat people and to rip people off.

I’m sorry we sometimes used 9/11 to scapegoat Muslims and torture people.

I’m sorry we used 9/11 to start wars based on lieskill civilians, and then treat our veterans like crap.

We had choices to make about how we would honor the dead from 9/11 and honor our soldiers fighting abroad.

I’m sorry and ashamed that this is how our nation chose to act after we were attacked by the terrorists on 9/11/01.

The good news is that we always have the ability to learn from the past, and to make better choices for the future.

September 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 4 Comments

Choices Made Since 9/11/01

I’m sorry for the people who died on 9/11.

I’m sorry we were told to shop after 9/11 and that many of us chose to consume beyond our means.

I’m sorry that some of the financial firms in Manhattan chose to cheat people and to rip people off.

I’m sorry we sometimes used 9/11 to scapegoat Muslims and torture people.

I’m sorry we used 9/11 to start wars based on lies, kill civilians, and then treat our veterans like crap.

We had choices to make about how we would honor the dead from 9/11 and honor our soldiers fighting abroad.

I’m sorry and ashamed that this is how our nation chose to act after we were attacked by the terrorists on 9/11/01.

The good news is that we always have the ability to learn from the past, and to make better choices for the future.

September 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 2 Comments

Republicans Still Blocking 9/11 Responders Health Bill

Republicans in the Senate are still blocking the bill that would provide funds for the health needs of 9/11 responders.

(Above–Smoke as observed from space in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack.)

Republicans have said they are concerned that the bill would add to the deficit. Yet adding to the deficit did not seem to be a concern for Republicans when it came to protecting tax cuts for the most wealthy Americans.

The 9/11 bill will cost $7.4 billion.

The recent tax cut for the wealthy bill that just passed will add $858 billion to the deficit over 10 years.

Republicans care that the wealthy become more powerful and wealthy.

How is it that tax cuts for the rich are okay with many Republicans, but assistance for those who risked their health to help after the destruction of the World Trade Center is not okay?

Mike Huckabee, a former Republican Presidential candidate,  says the 9/11 bill should be passed.

Here is some of what Mr. Huckabee said—

“There are people who need medical care right now, and frankly, the clock is running out on them. Their lives are fading away, even as we sit here talking about it,”

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani also supports the legislation.

Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma has renewed his commitment to not allowing the bill to proceed. Senator Coburn is a doctor.

Senator Coburn says he does not like the process that has been used to bring the bill to the floor of the Senate.

Sure.

How do average working people tolerate these things?

How can any loyal American support Republican actions in this matter?

December 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

How Do Average Working People Who Are Republicans Tolerate These Things?

Republicans in Congress have blocked a bill for medical care for 9/11 responders because of an alleged concern it would add to the deficit.

Yet at the same time Republicans insist on tax cuts for the most wealthy regardless of the impact on the deficit.

I wonder sometimes if we live in a legitimate country, or if we all exist and work so a powerful few can prosper.

How do average working people who vote Republican tolerate these things?

Even if you disagree with Democrats on many issues, how do you stand something like this?

December 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 5 Comments

New York City Mosque Near World Trade Center Should Proceed

Plans for a mosque to be built near the former World Trade Center are moving ahead.

People are calling this the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.”

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 9-0 to allow the mosque to go ahead.

Here is the home page of the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Either we have freedom in this country or we do not.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg got it right.

Here is what Mayor said said about the mosque as reported in the first story I link to in this post—

“With the Statue of Liberty as his backdrop, the mayor pleaded with New Yorkers to reject suspicions about the planned 13-story complex, to be located two blocks north of the World Trade Center site, saying that “we would betray our values if we treated Muslims differently than anyone else.” “To cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists — and we should not stand for that,” the mayor said. Grappling with one of the more delicate aspects of the debate, Mr. Bloomberg said that the families of Sept. 11 victims — some of whom have vocally opposed the project — should welcome it. “The attack was an act of war — and our first responders defended not only our city but also our country and our Constitution,” he said, becoming slightly choked up at one point in his speech, which he delivered on Governors Island. “We do not honor their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting. We honor their lives by defending those rights — and the freedoms the terrorists attacked.”

The 9/11 attacks were not an attack on a building. They were an assault on our values. A building can fall down in a way beyond our control. Our values will collapse only if we allow them to collapse.

While it is understandable that this mosque makes some people angry, I stand with Mayor Bloomberg in favor of the great American values of full inclusion and freedom of religion.

August 4, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

People Believe Wild Things Because Nothing’s So Horrible It Can’t Be True

Blogger’s Note—I’m on a Summer Solstice blogging holiday. I’m re-running some posts for the next few days. Thanks for reading Texas Liberal. I’ll be back to regular posting soon.)  

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently wrote about conspiracy theories many people believe.  

For example, 30% of black people believe it’s possible AIDS was deliberately manufactured to kill black folks.

This is held out as a crazy thing to think.

I don’t believe it myself.

But if you asked me if many white people and white politicians don’t care if poor urban black people live or die, I would say that’s correct.   

And plenty of black politicians don’t care either.  

In my own experience as a city council aide in Cincinnati, Ohio, I read the files of black cancer patients who had intentionally been given extra doses of radiation to see how they would react.

Get this—They suffered.  

Poor black people in cities, blacks and whites in rural areas, our colonized undocumented labor force, and poor people of all kinds, get inferior hospitals and inferior care.

When you ask black folks if AIDS was the work of government, maybe what you’re really asking if the government would do things that would kill people who look like you do.

“Yes” seems to be a logical reply.  

Mr. Kristoff says it is crazy that 36% of Americans believe that government orchestrated 9/11 or knew about it advance.  

Well—I’ve always thought that was a mistaken belief .

George W. Bush was intent on going to war in Iraq before 9/11. He did not need any provocation. 

What people know is that we lied about why we went to war, we did not give our troops the right equipment to save their lives, we sometimes kill innocent civilians, and that the troops sometimes get terrible care upon arriving back home.   

Did the government or President Bush know about 9/11 in advance? No. Is the government as led by President Bush capable of terrible acts that cause people to die? Sure–All the damned time.  

Mr. Kristoff mentions two other conspiracy theories in his column. 

One is that the levees in New Orleans were opened on purpose in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

This is not so.

Yet it had been known for years that the levees might not hold during a bad hurricane and that much of New Orleans was vulnerable. Then, after it was clear the disaster response was poor, President Bush said his FEMA director was doing a “heckuva job.”    

So why not figure that levees were opened by design? Is that much worse than the truth of the matter? 

Another view held by many is that crack cocaine was deliberately introduced into poor neighborhoods.

Now that one is crazy

These communities were already so flooded with alcohol, cigarettes, overpriced grocery stores offering little or no produce, bad schools and a host of other urban afflictions, why would you have to introduce something new to harm people?  

The history books tell us that we won our land in good part by exterminating the native population, and that we built up the land with the frequent and longtime use of slave labor.  

Our own experiences in life show us that our cities are left to rot year after year. And the poor are getting more poor even as the rich get richer.

So when you ask if the people in charge of our country, or others in positions of power, are capable of barbaric or even genocidal acts, why would many give any other reply than “yes.”

June 23, 2008 Posted by | Hurricane Katrina, Politics | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

People Believe Wild Things Because Nothing Is So Brutal Or Crazy That It Can’t Be True

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently wrote about conspiracy theories many people believe.  

For example, 30% of black people believe it’s possible AIDS was deliberately manufactured to kill black folks.

This is held out as a crazy thing to think.

I don’t believe it myself.

But if you asked me if many white people and white politicians don’t care if poor urban black people live or die, I would say that’s correct.   

And plenty of black politicians don’t care either.  

In my own experience as a city council aide in Cincinnati, Ohio, I read the files of black cancer patients who had intentionally been given extra doses of radiation to see how they would react.

Get this—They suffered.  

Poor black people in cities, blacks and whites in rural areas, our colonized undocumented labor force, and poor people of all kinds, get inferior hospitals and inferior care.

When you ask black folks if AIDS was the work of government, maybe what you’re really asking if the government would do things that would kill people who look like you do.

“Yes” seems to be a logical reply.  

Mr. Kristoff says it is crazy that 36% of Americans believe that government orchestrated 9/11 or knew about it advance.  

Well—I’ve always thought that was a mistaken belief .

George W. Bush was intent on going to war in Iraq before 9/11. He did not need any provocation. 

What people know is that we lied about why we went to war, we did not give our troops the right equipment to save their lives, we sometimes kill innocent civilians, and that the troops sometimes get terrible care upon arriving back home.   

Did the government or President Bush know about 9/11 in advance? No. Is the government as led by President Bush capable of terrible acts that cause people to die? Sure–All the damned time.  

Mr. Kristoff mentions two other conspiracy theories in his column. 

One is that the levees in New Orleans were opened on purpose in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

This is not so.

Yet it had been known for years that the levees might not hold during a bad hurricane and that much of New Orleans was vulnerable. Then, after it was clear the disaster response was poor, President Bush said his FEMA director was doing a “heckuva job.”    

So why not figure that levees were opened by design? Is that much worse than the truth of the matter? 

Another view held by many is that crack cocaine was deliberately introduced into poor neighborhoods.

Now that one is crazy

These communities were already so flooded with alcohol, cigarettes, overpriced grocery stores offering little or no produce, bad schools and a host of other urban afflictions, why would you have to introduce something new to harm people?  

The history books tell us that we won our land in good part by exterminating the native population, and that we built up the land with the frequent and longtime use of slave labor.  

Our own experiences in life show us that our cities are left to rot year after year. And the poor are getting more poor even as the rich get richer.

So when you ask if the people in charge of our country are capable of barbaric or even genocidal acts, why would many give any other reply than “yes.”

April 1, 2008 Posted by | Cincinnati, History, Hurricane Katrina, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments