Thursday, September 11, 2003

Two Years Ago Yesterday


The worst things in my world were that George Bush had been elected president, that my wife was planning to have lunch with an ex-boyfriend (despite my veto), and that I wasn't on a project, and was itching to be working.

We had some friends in town and Patricia was trying to talk them into going to Windows on the World the next day (the 11th was their anniversary). We left Manhattan too late to catch an express bus back to Staten Island, so we had to take the ferry, but it was ok, because we took some pictures of the skyline at night.

Of course, we were some of the last people to ever do that.

I've never been part of a group like this, a community formed out of something so evil, one that creeps out of the woodwork every year and then aches and grieves so palapably. My family and friends all survived. Everyone who could have died didn't.

My brother-in-law Thomas wasn't in his office when the first plane crashed because he was in a meeting in another building.

My brother-in-law Neil was far enough away when the buildings collapsed that he had enough time to run and shepard others out of harm's way (as he is trained to do, being one of New York's Finest).

I got out of bed late and was about to leave for work. My express bus had a regular stop in front of the World Trade Center. My sister-in-law called and kept me from leaving.

My wife, our 10 month old son, and two of our friends did not go into the city as early as they planned, did not stop by Thomas's office, did not get a tour from him like Patricia and I had enjoyed the Friday before.

When I was standing in the spot where a plane would enter a few days later, I looked out over the Statue of Liberty. As we were walking around, I looked into the eyes of every person I met. For some reason, I was paying more attention than I might normally. Thomas took us throughout, showing us around. I can't forget anything I saw, anyone I met. I know that most of those people are dead.

I'm not terribly sentimental or emotional, but today I had a serious problem keeping it together. I hadn't grieved in the wo years since. I had an overwhelming urge to find a bar and stay as drunk as possible. Instead, I tried to stay places where I couldn't hear or see the news. I tried to stay around people so I wouldn't be as likely to cry. I tried not to think about the families, the spouses, lovers, children, parents, cousins, siblings, friends, and acquaintences that were suddenly torn from this world through an unimaginable act of hatred and insanity.

On the first of this month, airport security at La Guardia found that my money clip has a letter-opener in it. It is essentially a 2 inch blade and they were going to confiscate it for being such. It pissed me off; as a passenger on an airplane these days, it wouldn't matter if a bastard brought on a submachine gun — I would gladly die to ensure that such an act can never happen again.

I hope that it will never happen again so long as an American is on board a flight. I want to almost feel sorry for the next dumb son of a bitch who hijacks a plane with Americans on it. I want to believe that this horror will tattoo itself on every American so they always know the burden we carry. Based on Flight 93, it seems my hope is well-founded.

I know this is poorly edited and overlong. I don't care; I'll only do it once a year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Two Years Ago Today


On Monday, the 10th of September, 2001, perpetually bookmarked in my mind as the last day of the old world, I was between gigs.

I'd been working as a contract attorney in DC for almost a year and had a gig working for Satan. He paid me ludicrous amounts of money to do awful things for extremely long hours. At that point, I just had gotten done working at a television station doing a bankruptcy. Actually, I spent long peiods of time in a dusty studio trying to sort out the collection of crap that they had piled up for us on the floor.

For some bizarre reason, I needed the money soon, so I actually drove on into town to Satan's office on G Street around the corner form the White House. I parked illegally, grabbed my money and deposited it in the SunTrust bank across the street from the Federal Reserve. I was wearing khaki shorts and a tee shirt, so I either blended in with the end of season tourists or the homeless - take your pick.

On the drive back home I stopped at the camera store to price out another lens for my Pentax and probably dropped off some film. I was doing a lot of stuff with flowers back then.

I don't remember what we had for dinner, or what we did that night. But I do remember feeling a general sense of well-being. I was working, albeit on a contract basis, I was getting paid good money for it, and it wasn't that bad. My son was starting to walk and we were talking about buying a new car.

Goddamn them all to hell.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Topic Shift


Princess Amadala will be carrying the children of Lando's father by the end of the next movie. She's got a thing for the brother.

Hooper: Check this shit. You got cracker farm boy Luke Skywalker, Nazi poster boy, blond hair, blue eyes. And then you got Darth Vader, the blackest brother in the galaxy, Nubian god!
Banky Edwards: What's a Nubian?
Hooper: Shut the fuck up!
[ . . . ]
Hooper: And Jedi's the most insulting installment. Because Vader's beautiful black visage is sullied when he pulls off his mask to reveal a feeble, crusty, old white man! They tryin' to tell us that deep inside we all wants to be white!
Banky Edwards: Well, isn't that true?
Hooper: (pulls out gun) BLACK RAGE! BLACK RAGE!

That's right, Fanboy, leave the politcs to the grownups.

More Chain Mail


TFN:
Dear Sir / Madam,
I am Mr. Bib Fortuna, secretary to the late Desilijic family boss,Jabba the Hutt who died on Tatooine while still on active duty for our family.


This is more convincing than the email I received.

Spoiler Alert!


Dateline: Hollywood:
Sources have revealed that at the end of this film, hero Anakin Skywalker could end up on the dark side and possibly transform into a different character. Leaks out of the Lucas Ranch also indicate that a number of scenes will involve painfully awkward chemistry between actors Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman and that a number of the aliens will be based on offensive racial stereotypes.


Well, I guess I don't need to see the movie now. Oh, who am I kidding?

Traditions


It is traditional in the military that upon som mementous occasion, the kids whose tours are up celebrate by re-enlisting. Although I never did this, I saw any number of kids re-up at the end of a deployment or upon being promoted or awarded a medal of some type. I even recall a gang of squids re-enlisting in the wardroom of the most powerful cruiser ever built, the Kiev, the first time she was visited by the USN.



Hmm, you'd've thought that this was newsworthy, what with the quagmire and all.
Sin Loi, Dan Rather, Sin Loi

I must've missed the meme



Was something said about trees and I missed it?

Yes, Dave Obey is our rep. Yes, you've been spending too much time at MoveOn.org, Mr. "Looks Good in Federal Orange Cause His Friend Really Needed The Reward Money To Pay Off His Debts" Laasch.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Obey!



Is David "The president's speech was an admission of gross miscalculation" Obey your Congressman? That is so cool!



Way to go!

And he can also help you get a flag that's been flown over the Capitol.

Bush declares burning trees "terrorists"


From a conversation with Carl L. Laasch, USAF, retired:
Bush should just go ahead and declare the trees to be terrorists and that way they can cut down the forests.


And presumably send these trees to Gitmo, where they can enjoy Happy Meals (which taste remarkably like beef-flavored sawdust).

If we're doing everything right, why must we invoke a supreme veil of secrecy? Who are we really protecting? This seems very much in character with a man who had his Texas driving record erased, his gubenatorial papers sealed at his father's library, administrative rules regarding the release of presidential records extended to prevent anyone from seeing his father's or his records within their lifetimes — someone with awful things to hide.

When I was in Maryland, watching my sister's kids for slave wages, I learned a little something from their repeated viewings of "Veggie Tales": God wants us to tell the truth, George. He wants us to be nice to each other. He wants us to do the right thing.

If George is ashamed of what he has done and is doing, he should continue to act like a generalismo right up to the minute when his junta is overthrown and he's dragged into the streets and shot. If he wants to avail himself to the freedoms Americans enjoy, then he has to protect the rights of everyone, not just the privaleges of the few.

Consider this a polemic. I'm not endorsing the violent overthrow of the government. Yet.

"It's got a toy and everything"



From Amnesty International's website:
More than 650 people from some 40 countries are being held without charge or trial in Guantanamo Bay.

Most of the detainees have been held for more than a year in conditions which may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. They have not had access to any court, to legal counsel, or visits from relatives. They have been subject to repeated interrogations and confinement to small cells for up to 24 hours a day with minimal opportunity for exercise. Several have attempted suicide.
[More . . . ]


From the Baltimore Sun
GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba - American interrogators here have come up with a few new weapons as they try to pry loose the secrets of prisoners captured on the battlefields of Afghanistan.

"It could be cupcakes, it could be Twinkies, it could even be a McDonald's hamburger," says Warrant Officer James Kluck, who, as the ranking food service officer, helps supply some of the unlikely ammunition.

"Sometimes, they go up on the base and get [the prisoner] a Happy Meal."

A McDonald's Happy Meal?

"Oh, yes, from what I'm told. It's got a toy and everything."
[More . . . ]


Okay, I realize that time in a tiger cage in Gitmo is no cakewalk. It's probably a pretty shitty deal for everyone there, including the inmates. However, What is illustrated here is the usual pointless ranting of the far left. Until these folks understand that the rest of us aren't scared by John Ashcroft and think that libraries maybe should oughta keep track of what websites are visited from their tax payer supported computers, the Left will remain out in the cold.

Shawn quoted GB Trudeau, the closest thing the Left has for a spokesman the other day with his piece on "self-dating". Garry had another good one a few months ago when Alex Doonesbury announced that "We should be doing something to help these people, even if it means the party going down in flames!" Mike's sensible response? "Yeah, you're a Democrat."

These people should be locked up in tiger cages and the Constitution should not apply to them. Period.

You want fries with that?

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Finally!


I have received the email I've been waiting years for.

[...] I will not fail to inform you that this transaction is
100% risk free. On smooth conclusion of this
transaction, you will be entitled to 30% of the total
sum as gratification, while 10% will be set aside to
take care of expenses that may arise during the time
of transfer and also telephone bills, while 60% will
be for me and my partners.Please, you have been
adviced to keep "top secret" as we are still in
service and intend to retire from service after we
conclude this deal with you. [...]


Mr UMARU AHMED (who is mine faithfully) has thus assured me a slice of U.S$1O.5M UNITED STATES DOLLARS that's currently holed up in Mali. The legitimacy thus sealed, I am pursuing this business opportunity. Any other takers? Remember, you'll have to share my 30% slice.

Remember that this is from Mali, and so is completely different than the Nigerian bank scam.