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

September 11

I’m sorry for the folks who died on Sept. 11, and I’m sorry for people anywhere who die because of religious, racial or ethnic intolerance, or who die because the few hoard resources needed by the many. These things are all connected and they harm and kill people all over the globe every single day. Let’s work for a better and more just world.

September 11, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 3 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

I Thought Republicans Were For Rallying Around Our President In Time Of Crisis

I thought Republicans believed that in a time of crisis all Americans should rally around our President. I can recall Republicans who said we had to get behind George W. Bush and all his wars so we could avenge the attacks of September 11, 2001. I might even be able to recall suggestions—subtle and otherwise—that people who did not support George W. Bush were not fully loyal.  

Well—This does not seem to be the case for Republicans anymore as President Barack H. Obama works to fight our economic crisis. Where is the Republican message of “country first” that John McCain kept pushing at us for all those months?

I guess supporting our President in these hard times for our nation is not as important as the Republican religion of tax cuts as the cure to every ill, and the Republican fear that a government that helps people will show a path outside of ceaseless brutal competition with each other.

Patriotism is sitautional with Republicans in Congress. That is if loyalty to the nation is what motivated them in the first place after September 11. Maybe what they saw was Karl Rove’s vision of a permanent Republican majority in a nation always afraid of another terrorist attack.

Barack Obama should not get everything he wants just because he says so. The Democratic majorities in Congress must be independent in a way that the previous Republican majorities were not. Just don’t expect much constructive input from Republicans. Whatever it is that truly moves them, the good of the nation is not so high on the list.

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rudy Giuliani—A Throwback To The Cold War And To The Archie Bunker/George Jefferson Days Of Race Relations

A recent Newsweek profile of Rudy Giuliani begins its analysis in the right place.

The profile starts with Mr. Giuliani at an unruly rally of mostly white New York City police in 1992. Many of the officers were drunk and some were shouting racial slurs about then New York City Mayor David Dinkins. Some police officers jumped up and down on cars.

At issue was a demand for a new collective-bargaining agreement, opposition to the establishment of a civilian review board for police and a denial by Mayor Dinkins of a request to allow patrolmen to have 9mm guns.

Mr. Giuliani, who would be elected Mayor the next year against Mr. Dinkins, made a profanity-laced speech to the cops that was harshly critical of Mr. Dinkins. Mayor Dinkins later said that Mr. Giuliani was trying to get “white cops to riot.”  

As Mayor of New York, the Giuliani administration was known for aggressive tactics in policing black sections of New York. This led to, along with many other factors, lower rates of crime in these areas. It also led to incidents of police brutality and to much distrust of Mr. Giuliani among black New Yorkers.

Mr. Giluani’s platform for his Mayoral bid was based upon his his time as a high-ranking Justice Department official in the Reagan Administration and as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Mr. Giulani’s case for the Presidency is based in good degree on the over-hyped claim of claim of leadership after the September 11 attacks and the assertion that this experience makes Mr. Giuliani uniquely able to deal with terror threats. Mr. Giuliani also often talks about shifting people off welfare in New York and his crime fighting as Mayor.   

This law-and-order, tough-on-blacks, tough-on-welfare, national security strategy strikes me as a throwback to a George Wallace or Richard Nixon Southern Strategy campaign.

Mr. Giuliani can’t appeal to the Republican base as a religious conservative. And the Soviets are gone. But he can still take us back to Archie Bunker/George Jefferson days of racial argument and division under the shadow of a threat to our mortal safety. 

Mr. Giuliani is a retro-candidate. He still lives in the old neighborhood in the good old days of clear divisions between America and the Soviet Union before the New York Yankees finally integrated the team. Is it any surprise Mr. Giuliani rooted for the Yankees of Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin instead of the Brooklyn Dodgers of Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella?   

Mr. Giuliani shows again that Republicans and conservatives often seem to need an enemy to oppose and demonize instead of a goal of progress and justice to work together for and achieve.

December 4, 2007 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments