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Sunday, February 25, 2007

What's become of our country?

Back on 9/12/01, we wondered what the attack on our own soil would do to us. It was a test for America, everyone agreed.

We're failing.

It's not so much that "the terrorists have won." No, we simply decided to show the world that we're losers. In war, and in peace.

This is part of it. "Liberty and justice for all"? Our strongest card, and now it's become such a joke.

And where are the Artist Formerly Known as Clinton, and Barack, and Jackie Edwards on this case? Nowhere, apparently. Too busy raising money.

I apologize to everyone on behalf of my generation. We saw what happened in Vietnam, and we studied "1984," but mostly we partied, and then we decided to get rich and leave taking care of our great nation to other people. And so we got Bush and Cheney. Who show us every day how flimsy it all was.

Comments (47)

we decided to get rich and leave taking care of our great nation to other people. And so we got Bush and Cheney.

Our belief in America --and in American values-- continues to partially blind us to how fouly evil --the Dick Chaneys and Richard Nixons-- some people can be, and the enormous misteps our democracy can take. Let's keep the latest in context with the fact that we once rounded up American citizens and put them in concentration camps (excuse me, "Relocation Centers") because they were of the "wrong" ethnic origin.

The fight for democracy, and real American values continues unabated in a million ways. I see no reason to apologize or feel guilty...the Chaneys of the world don't represent us. Most of the time. Let's not forget FDR signed the order rounding up Japanese Americans.

Screwing up is as American as apple pie. What makes America great is we learn from our mistakes.

We've learned a lot over the past six years.

Let's hope we have.

If - after witnessing what the Bush administration did to get us into Iraq - we allow them to do the same thing again with Iran, our generation will go down as one of the worst. It's hard for decent and rational people to anticipate someone like Dick Cheney, but once the truth is out there for all to see, it behooves us to respond or take the blame in the history books. That's what the "Ever vigilant" part of the American experiment means.

I have wondered if there was a deliberate strategy to enrich the upper classes during these years, to keep them from being too angry about anything. It's hard to get excited about taking it to the streets when you're inside a fancy restaurant having a 5-course gourmet meal. By the time the economic policies also prove disastrous and the waiter comes back with the credit card, Bush and Cheney will be in a cab going down the road. Remember Winston Churchill's book, "While England Slept"? Maybe ours will be called, "While America Dined."

I also wonder if a weary nation will be stirred up again with another convenient terrorist incident. Of course, it might not be needed this time - the aircraft carriers are already in place. This time, the Bush team will probably just attack without going through the motions first - if the military doesn't revolt against them. After all, "Kill First and Plan Later" is the Bush/Cheney motto. It's what they do.

"convenient terrorist incident"

"We've learned a lot over the past six years"

911 was an inside job?

911 was an inside job?

This is the type of 'raw meat' comment I believe this post is trying to illustrate.

My generation was taught to let our children express themselves. That included temper tantrums, demanding their own way, lack of responsibility, failure to respect others. They are.

As for the "inside job" business, I hate to put my tinfoil helmet on again, but watch the video. Whatever happened that day, at the very least WTC 7 was deliberately imploded. Buildings don't collapse that way on their own.


Oh dear, not you too.

Watch the video and tell me why that building collapsed.

I don't think Bush/Cheney/Clinton/Reagan/Carter/Nixon/Johnson etc are an exception to the "Great Leadership" that is longed for in your post. Every U.S. Presidency that I'm aware of has engaged in some type of gross and inexcusable conduct relating to civil liberties and abuse of power.

Where's the great leadership over the last fifty years? Which President's administration did NOT trample on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights? Which President did NOT abuse their power?

I have to disagree with you, Jack. I don't think "looking the other way" applies to just our generation. Except for a brief interlude of self-sacrifice and duty during WWII, with the civilian population enduring ration books, travel restrictions, Victory Gardens, scrap metal drives, War Bonds, etc, I just don't see that it's only our generation that has looked the other way.

The 225 year old East coast elitist "good old boys" club have had their hands on the Washington D.C. power levers for a long time. Do you really think it matters who is in the White House at any given time? History says otherwise. I firmly believe that as long as humans are in charge of government at any level, there will be abuses of power, corruption, mistakes, you name it.

Finally, if you were in charge, how would you handle the problem of global radical Islamic terrorism? How would you solve the problem of crime in the parks that one city is attempting to solve with a video camera? What thoughts do you have to get folks away from their chocolates, bon-bons, American Idol, text messaging and political apathy?

I have to be honest. I don't know how to get more people involved in their own backyards, let alone their country on a national level. Not that I haven't tried my very best, like many of us of all political persuasions have. So I don't expect a lot from other folks. You can't change people and force them to get involved. I'm not going to judge those who choose to remain apathetic. I can't control what others do, but I can control what I do. I think I can make a difference. Will I? I have no idea.

Don't apologize for your generation, Jack. Just keep yourself in the game and don't give up.

With respect,

Sorry, I don't do the paranoia thing. Nor am I a structural engineer. The comprehensive suspension of disbelief required to accept this hypothesis would allow almost any into the realm of reasoned debate. I understand you dislike Bush and his policies and that's OK with me. Dislike is one thing, but it can lead to another - I fear that some have been subsumed by the "other" and am dismayed by that possibility.


Well said!

I'm not sure how much more our government can do abroad before we can no longer point and say "no no, *those* are not American values!"

RR: I don't know who imploded WTC7, but it didn't "spontaneously collapse due to fires." It was imploded.

Sorry, Mr. Canfield, but no President has botched foreign policy, wrecked the long-term financial picture of the country, and butchered civil liberties like Dick Cheney. Not in the last 50 years, not in the last 100. Nixon is quite a bit back in second place from this awful, awful administration.

Ok. There were no planes, there were no terrorists, it was all Hollywood F/X, Dick Cheney, and controlled demolition.

There were no planes, there were no terrorists, it was all Hollywood F/X, Dick Cheney, and controlled demolition.

No, you see? You're distorting what I said. I said that WTC 7 was imploded. That's all. It was already on fire, but its collapse was due to explosives.

I don't know who did it, and it probably has nothing to do with the planes hitting 1 and 2. But WTC 7 was imploded.

Let's start from there.

This is the only time I have read the author of this blog claiming one of the WTC towers was an 'inside' To be honest, I never even thought about that.

As for the commenters here defending Cheney/Bush, wow again.

I don't know about the "inside job" label. I suspect that WTC 7 was so far gone from collateral damage from the collapse of 1 and 2 that the owner and/or the fire department made a conscious decision to implode it that afternoon. But whoever did it, it definitely didn't collapse like that without explosives.

I leave the rest of the wild conspiracy theories to others, but come on. Just watch that building coming down. It's an implosion.

Jack, I've never been more impressed with you than I am today. This situation we're in exists because millions of people keep their beliefs to themselves, rather than risk putting them out there. My conclusion is that there were some true believers ready to die to hurt the United States on 9/11. I don't think we know who they were but I can't imagine a group of people killing themselves as part of a covert action - as just intelligence assets on assignment. However, once the plan was detected, I believe elements within our government and others allowed and facilitated 9/11. In the sense that it could have been stopped, this was a false flag operation. The excuse was that nobody connected the dots - the incompetence defense - but I believe this was allowed to happen to give the Neo-Cons a way to implement their agenda. By the way, the plot relied on the basic decency of the American People not believing such a thing was possible, and that's nothing to be ashamed of. Still, we've ignored the truth on 9/11 for over 5 years, and it's time to get this right. As the EMTs who recently came forward show, the lid may come off this thing yet. False flag operations are nothing new in history, and neither are power-crazed leaders who want to control the world. The fortunate thing is that these plots usually fall apart, and this one could as well, especially if respected members of our community have the courage to speak out.

Jack, while it's true that your statement about WTC 7 is narrow and limited, you are implying much more, or at least raising a number of questions that reach farther. The biggest one, to me, is: how could such a massive demolition project have been organized and carried out in the chaos and confusion and carnage of that day? And why has there been no official acknowledgment of intentional demolition? It is hard to imagine all this happening without the explosive charges having been placed ahead of time -- a circumstance that would raise a few more questions, to put it mildly. I don't disagree with your interpretation of the collapse of WTC7, and I find the 911 video shocking and provocative. But you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist or a mad hatter to see that (a) our government did not respond to warnings and threats before 911, and (b) there were in fact enormous benefits to those in power from the 911 attacks.

"I said that WTC 7 was imploded. That's all. It was already on fire, but its collapse was due to explosives."

Oh come on, man. You don't know that at all. I've seen every one of these, with the power point presentations as well.
Those sounds which you attribute to explosives are nothing but the exploding, (under tremendous pressure), of weakened support members and floor slabs of the weakened building, prior to it's complete collapse.
Of course they would sound like explosions to some people. But that doesn't mean explosives were used.
People are simply mistaken.
It's so preposterous to think that at some point a demolition team, completely undetected, planted explosives and no one saw anything, no witnesses, nothing.
And why was this done. You have no idea, but there must be some evil Bush reason right?
Boy oh boy does "Bush hate" mess with one's judgment.

I'm sticking here to the bare minimum, most obvious thing about that horrible day that clearly does not mesh with the official story. WTC 7 was imploded. As I say, I'll leave the rest of what that might mean to others.

Even accepting the official version of all these events, I have concluded that Bush and Cheney are bad people, responsible for thousands of deaths and measureless human misery, motivated only by money and power for their own sakes. I don't have to pin the WTC on them to make me wish they had never been born.

at some point a demolition team, completely undetected, planted explosives and no one saw anything, no witnesses, nothing.

WTC 7 had been evacuated for hours before it fell. Anything could have happened inside it during that time, with very few, if any, witnesses.

Watch the video. Watch videos of buildings falling from structural collapse from fire. Then watch videos of buildings being imploded. WTC 7 was imploded. I am not a structural engineer, but I am not an idiot.

Those sounds which you attribute to explosives

You see? You're doing it, too. I said nothing about any "sounds."

Boy oh boy does "Bush hate" mess with one's judgment.

Not nearly as much as "Bush love" does. Go listen to your beloved Rush Limbaugh Show, but give me back my country.

As bad as things are, they might get worse. An air attack on Iran would produce a whole new level of trouble. Is it coming? What are the Democrats doing?

What "Bush love"? I'm relying upon common sense.

"WTC 7 had been evacuated for hours before it fell"

But not the whole area. Did demo men sneak in there? Come on Jack. There were people all over the place. And they weren't all "Bush Lovers".

You keep saying watch the video.
And what then? Make the giant leap that
someone working for Bush blew it up for some reason? For oil perhaps?

"give me back my country"?

How was it taken away?

Thinking 911 was an inside job is like thinking Bush banned the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

"Oh but he did" Sorry beat you to it.

Prety slick George. Now he can simply outlaw elections and be the president till he dies.

There were people all over the place.

We have relatives whose business across the street was destroyed because it was ruthlessly looted. There were all kinds of shady things going on down there that "no one saw" or reported.

Make the giant leap that someone working for Bush blew it up for some reason? For oil perhaps?

I never said that. And you know what? You are done.

My God this is horrible!!! WTC 7? How many of you people worked at ground zero? None!!! I was there when WTC 7 fell. It was structural failure and nothing more. I believe it was by the 12th that snipers were all over the area making sure that none of your heros could create more havoc while recovery efforts were going on.

How many of you are engineers who can cite some concrete evidence that something nefarious took place by our (well my) government, rather than looking at a video, because none of you would have the gumption to have been there and seen it fall!

Why don't all you who jump on Alec Baldwins wagon and leave (Oh I forgot he didn't). PATHETIC!! Teach your children to hate the country also. And continue to get rich.

Aditonally, if you look at the towers falling they came down in almost a straight line. So I guess they were imploded too, those 2 planes were digitally included by some teenager on YouTube! Now we rely on YouTube for our info. Priceless!!!!

none of your heros

Question George Bush? You must be a terrorist.

Implode my ass! Oh it went from the Fire Department (Again pathetic) to George Bush saying "Take down that #7 building boys"! Yeah I am a terrorist, just like the terrorists who took your luch money down neck when you were a kid. Keep talking taxes, you are way off base on this Jack'O!! You appear to becoming a liberal Bill O'Reilly, just trying to inflame peoples passion with "Stupid" comments such as implosion. As to the guy in your photo wearing the night vision goggles, I only wish we had the nerve to cut their heads off, so you could watch them on YouTube!! Then when someone strongly goes against your slant, your big man comment is "You're gone"!! Big tough guy!

Jim Golden,
you're being offered the privilege of participating in the conversation here, so...

got something to add to the conversation other than name-calling, epithets and vitriol?

you didn't offer an opposing viewpoint, or even a different viewpoint--you jsut offered name-calling, sputtering nonsense. really.

try again?

I don't believe the induced implosion hypothesis. It has no great advantage in plausibility, to my mind, over the hyotheses presented by FEMA. From their description, it looks as if WTC7 had a structural design that was unusually vulnerable to a single point of failure causing a catastrophic implosive collapse.

It could have been explosives, of course... but it could have been fire, too. (Occam's Razor seems to point to an unfought fire, IMHO.)

But you don't have to think 9/11 - or any aspect of it - was an inside job to think that this administration is really awful in a variety of ways. They've demonstrated their incompetence in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and in New Orleans. They've demonstrated their disrespect for our judicial system in Guantanamo and renditions to a variety of undisclosed locations. They'ev demonstrated their comtempt for citizens' rights with the handling of the NSA wiretapping program - and maybe other stuff we don't know about. I could go on, of course, but I think that's enough basis on which to draw a simple conclusion:

This administration sucks.

Golden, this isn't the streets of Jersey. You're gone too.

WTC7 had a structural design that was unusually vulnerable to a single point of failure causing a catastrophic implosive collapse.

Don't believe your eyes and ears -- believe FEMA. Crazy.

Anyway, that wasn't what this post was about, really. Even assuming that this administration was flawless up to and including 9/11, it went off the deep end shortly thereafter.

Is it just me, or does Cheney remind you more and more of "Dr. Evil" from Austin Powers ?

"Don't believe your eyes and ears -- believe FEMA. Crazy."

My eyes and ears weren't there. It's painfully clear to me that even live video cannot be trusted as evidence anymore, because it's too easy to manipulate. (Lies, damn lies, and video.)

Since all I can do is choose among various people who are potentially lying to me, FEMA is as good as anyone. At least their report cites its sources, and doesn't make confident claims about unknowable events.

"Anyway, that wasn't what this post was about, really. Even assuming that this administration was flawless up to and including 9/11, it went off the deep end shortly thereafter"

Well, yes. And I was trying to help wrestle the thread back to that. I don't think it's working, though.

I couldn't agree more with you about Bush et al. And the Jose Padilla thing would be hilarious if it wasn't so important: Here is a guy who probably IS a terrorist, and the government mistreats him so badly while in custody that he may not even get to stand trial. We've become a caricature.

But on WTC 7, I've watched the videos and don't understand how anyone can be so certain that the building was imploded. There appear to be legitimate explanations for everything -- the explosion, the building falling in a straight line, etc. And I think the strongest argument AGAINST an implosion is that it would be impossible to cover up. If it was for legitimate reasons (building was beyond saving, let's just blow it up) then someone would have defended the decision. If it was for nefarious reasons (the owner wanted full payment from his insurance company, or some sinister plot by the government) and someone would have gone public by now.

Just like with JFK, people don't want to believe the official story because it just seems so mundane. But I think what we have here is a committed group of terrorists and a government that wasn't paying close enough attention.

It's not just the straight-down all-at-once collapse, although that clinches it for me. You also have the owner of the building saying that a conscious decision was made to "pull it," and fire officers urging everyone away from the building because it was going to "explode."

As I've said repeatedly, I am not venturing to guess who ordered the implosion, why, or what if anything it had to do with the destruction of 1 and 2.

But that building was imploded.

As for doctoring of the video, I didn't think CBS News did that.

Not nearly as much as "Bush love" does. Go listen to your beloved Rush Limbaugh Show, but give me back my country.

Jack, I agree with you about WTC7, but calling this guy a "Bush Lover" or "Limbaugh Listener" just because he disagrees doesnt help us move forward.
Thats how they work at Indymedia or BlueOregon. I didnt expect it here.

But you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist or a mad hatter to see that (a) our government did not respond to warnings and threats before 911, and (b) there were in fact enormous benefits to those in power from the 911 attacks.

(a) Just make sure you include previous administrations in that. Remember, the WTC was attacked first in 1993.

(b) Benefits? I would really like to know what they were/are. Because just about any of them would have to come from the premise that the government was either involved in 9-11, or knew about it and let it happen. And I just can't wrap my head around that one. No matter how bad I think this administration is.

I do not believe any implosion theory, not without much more proof.

I do believe that the quality of the current administration is captured, perfectly, by the popular bumper sticker:


..and it isn't close, Tricky Dick is a combination of Albert Einstein and Ghandi compared to the wilfull ineptitude and gross dishonesty of this bunch, I don't think the good of the country is even a driving force in their decision making...

when the "right" opinion on Roe v Wade is required for any employment to rebuild Iraq you know that actually rebuilding Iraq or winning the war on terra has taken a backseat to refighting the culture war "straight" arrows like Cheney lost 30 years ago...

the erosion of civil liberties post 9-11 can't be blamed solely on Bush & Co, we let it happen.

Of course it does not help that my wife and I both have to work full time to support our family, we are too damn exhausted to go out and march...

Back on 9/12/01, we wondered what the attack on our own soil would do to us. It was a test for America, everyone agreed.

We're failing.

There's no way we can fail against these primitive goons from the 7th Century unless we give up.

We haven't done a perfect job of fighting them. We've massively screwed some things up. So what? Is anything anyone does perfect? What we need to do is learn from our mistakes and continue the fight.

I apologize to everyone on behalf of my generation. We saw what happened in Vietnam, and we studied "1984," but mostly we partied, and then we decided to get rich and leave taking care of our great nation to other people. And so we got Bush and Cheney. Who show us every day how flimsy it all was.

I'm a member of your generation, I suspect, and I'm totally unapologetic. Every generation does its best with the hand it's dealt. So did we.

We didn't live up to some extremely overblown "ideals." The fault was with the extreme nature of those ideals, not with our inability to live up to them. No one could have lived up to them.

I am gone too? I will wear it like a badge of honor! As to the streets of Jersey, well, some of us be where we be, some of are where we should be! Anyone who thinks this sylvania bulb headed looking dude is any kind of on line mystic need to get their head examined. Jack'O, you are an over the hill liberal still clinging to the days of the Grateful Dead (Who sucked and still do). And as someone else posted, who did or didn't do what prior to 9/11, meaning previous administrations!.


I didn't have an opposing viewpoint?

Read again. I have reasons to be fired up about people who support conspiracy theories about 9/11! Another west coast whack job! Go hug a tree.

the Grateful Dead (Who sucked and still do)

It's sad for you that you never got to experience the Dead. It's your bad luck at missing out that sucks, along with your apparent tendency to mistake your own taste for universal truth.


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Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 113
At this date last year: 155
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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