Monday, September 11, 2006

The Black Page: Live Blogging 9/11

On September 11, 2001 almost nobody had heard of blogs, and I doubt the phrase live blogging had ever been used. However, after being up all night, I turned on the news at a little after 6 AM on the west coast to check the world before bed. The local affiliate cut early to the Today show, where they were talking about a small plane hitting one of the twin towers. Then the second plane hit. The ramifications of this were immediately evident to everyone.

The only question was, how bad it it going to get? I still don't know if, on the fifth anniversary, that we know the answer to that question yet...

I started posting to my web site. There wasn't anything I could do. I could do that. This is what I posted...

Tuesday, September 11, 2001 - I watched the second plane hit. Now, 6:41 PDT, an explosion at the pentagon. This is not good. Will there be more? I feel like throwing up again. I already did once this morning. And now they are saying it was a plane crashing into the Pentagon as well. I have a very bad feeling about this. Very bad, and now they are evacuating the White House, and now they've shut down all air traffic in the U.S....

7:00 AM PDT – Hijacked planes crashing into both of the twin towers. Another plane crashes into the Pentagon.
One of the twin towers collapsed a few minutes ago.

I am still in shock. All air traffic in the U.S. has been halted. And I only have one cigarette left until 9AM.

Knowing how long it took to evacuate the Trade Center in 1993’s attack, we probably just watched thousands of people die when the tower fell.

Compared to N.Y., the Pentagon doesn’t look too bad. But it is the Pentagon.

They are now calling it the most serious attack on the continental U.S. since the War of 1812.

7:20AM - One plane was a 767. ABC is reporting that the tower still standing is buckling and leaning.

Sent an incoherent e-mail to a friend of mine a few minutes ago babbling about 1941. Probably an exaggeration. But when they talk about 50,000 people working in the World Trade Center, and one of the twin towers is now down. It happened a little before 9 AM EST. Hopefully they get to work late in N.Y.

ABC: 2 American airlines planes hijacked. One from Boston, one from Dulles to L.A.

7:25 AM – Car bomb may have exploded in front of State Department. (ABC)

Since the second tower is threatening to fall, they have to evacuate the triage site on the scene.

7:27 PDT – Just watched the north tower collapse. I’m sick again. I’m shaking. 1941 doesn’t sound foolish anymore. We just lost many thousands of lives in the last two hours this morning. Lower Manhattan is covered with dust and smoke. When the first building fell, eyewitness were reported talking about people jumping from the building on it way down. Or just falling. My hands are shaking to much to type any more right now.

7:36 PDT – Smoking my last cigarette. Thinking of putting on some coffee. Drinking tea right now. NBC is live on the street in N.Y. showing rescue workers trying to get to the rescue workers who were under the second building.

7:39 - NBC is reporting the crash, via AP, of a crash of a large jet near Pittsburgh, but they are now denying reports of a car bomb at the State Department.

7:43 - NBC is reporting that air cover is flying over Washington. Their man at the Pentagon saw an F-16. And there are rumors that there may be another hijacked airliner inbound to the D.C. area.

767 in Pittsburgh is down, AP reports. Unclear if it is related, but the odds? The media is using the word war now. “It seems a terrorist war has been declared against the U.S.”

“Nothing short but a declaration of war against this country,” Tom Brokaw, 7:46pst

7:50 PDT – For a while now, KING 5, our local NBC affiliate has been scrolling a message that the Seattle P.D. is surrounding the local federal buildings and the Space Needle, just in case…

I make coffee now.

This is like a Tom Clancy book, watching the films of the buildings falling, it’s easy to imagine it’s good CGI in a bad movie. It wouldn’t feel real if it weren’t for that lump in my gut. That tells me that this is real. That tells me that this is going to change our country on some fundamental level forever. It’s not just the loss of life. It’s the loss of something more profound. Maybe they lost this in Oklahoma City a few years back, but for the rest of us, we have remained relatively untouched. This is something on an entirely, unimaginably different level.

They keep saying this on TV, and it is true. This morning marked the end of Fortress America. We are no longer untouchable. We have been touched.

If it is over, and that is still left to be seen, where do we go from here? Who will we be, as a nation, after this?

It is too early to answer those questions.

Click here for the full version, continuing on into the evening.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bad day for Lebanon...

Something weird is going on with Blogger and I have no field for my headline. I might have messed it up when I was tweaking the template. (March 19, 2011 - It's back!)

Nothing on TV, but I think I'd fall asleep if I put a movie on. Nothing on TV except for the recycled talking heads offering their horror story predictions about the current escalation by Hezbollah and Israel... I have no real opinion, other than I would hate to be in Beirut today.

The sun is coming up over there now, and I keep missing big chunks of the stupid sitcoms that I am sort of watching to see if anything new happened. I have no predictions, probably more of the same for a while.

I have a hard time seeing this one flaring up into an actual war (Syria, Iran)... Lebanon is their buffer, it seems. Israel (and Syria) are allowed to have their way with it and no one gets too upset. Even if Israel took out a few targets in Syria, I am not sure what would happen other than Iran screaming its head off.

And I am trying to figure out if having over a hundred thousand US troops between Iran and Israel helps the situation. I am not entirely sure what an Iranian attack on Israel would look like- that is a long way for them to project power in that region.

So, while everyone may love to use this as an excuse to take on Israel (except for Jordan, Egypt, the Sauds, and just about everyone but Syria and Iran), I am not sure that they could if they wanted to right now.

I am not saying that being in Iraq is good, and I am pretty sure that Saddam wouldn't let a Persian army march across his land any quicker than we (er, the sovereign nation of Iraq) would, but...

Who knows? I may be wrong about all of this. Maybe it is war.

But what ever it is, it is a hell of a lot more dangerous for us that North Korea's fireworks display last week.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Korean Missles, N/30, 9/11... The axis of evil... ah, shit, it's the motherfuckin' snakes on the plane, goddamn it!

Too punk... Not punk enough... You live where? You fought in that war? You read books? You are not an anarchist? You look queer? You talk like a pundit? You don't sound like you know anything... But, The Government!

Yes, what about it? Do YOU know the difference between The Administration and the principals of law that we administer ourselves by? Have you ever met anyone elected to a Federal office? A local one? For real? Had candid conversations with them?

If you did, this clusterfuck would make a lot more sense.

Over there, they are shooting missiles that hurt no one, but a competent foreign policy should have made that never happen. Impossible in the post-Gore/Bush environment. Over there, no that way, they are planting explosives (when not simply shooting them at our sons and daughters), raking up a death toll, let alone the exponential casualty count, that is simply astonishing...

But here we all bitch at each other and point fingers about who is not anti-everything enough... Pick your poison. And we say that the other doesn't know how it happened over there... But that is exactly how it happened here.

This is not Nazi Germany, but we act like it is. This is not Stalinist Russia, but we turn on each other like it is, letting them go against them who is not us... Anyone who divides the media into mainstream and non-mainstream should be put up on a holiday in Cuba. And Ambassador Bremer should give his medal to the editors in New York who brave this shit-storm with some facts about how The Administration is behaving.

I don't know... People who all agree on politics, in general, who end up deeply disliking each other after talking... This is what the enemy wants. Not new copies of The New York Times. And this is what The Administration has so perfectly, though I still say accidentally, set up. I do not think it was intentional. I don't know. Ask Joe Lieberman.

But in the end, it is still Democracy in Distress.

Why do they think we are weak? We are. Why do they hate our freedom? They do not. They see us as the sick old man of the west (like the Ottomans a hundred years ago)... Wasteful and self-absorbed and, damnit, we are.

If I wasn't made of more scar tissue than muscle, I'd join the Army but it is too late for me. Instead, I study the lands, the languages... I would anyway, it fascinates me and it makes me hate all of these stupid wars, but I do it inspite of this, not because of this, though it makes it my studies difficult.

And I talk about what I have learned over the years, about those lands, about those governments and about our government.

I could tell you stories about the Congress members, in both houses, that I have met, but nobody remembers their names any more. I do, however, remember turning on my TV to see where the police were shooting tear gas outside of my own apartment and how I remember how I had to sit there choking on it because I lived in the wrong neighborhood... The one where the rioters came from.

N/30. Yeah, 9/11 killed this. But it may still get us all in the end. It was also the last time I spoke to a Congressman. I asked, "why?" He said that he didn't know why it all fell down the way it did but he came out to support his constituents anyway, choking on the gas...

He came from a district that had no "rioting." He wasn't there for the voters. He was there for America.

Fuck everyone... That would not, could not happen today.

And this is why we are losing our own self-declared war against the world.

And I used to be a neo-con.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Too many blogs...

For a time, go here.

I realize that there are things I want to do with my blogs- vague, amorpheous things that I cannot spell correctly, and to complile a look at life.... well, it just isn't going to happen with four blogs, no matter how much I like the title of this one...

Go, go... or just go...

Matters, matters not, depending...

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Agreement with Bush (Probably a Second Term First)

Wow, I actually agree with Bush on vetoing any legislation blocking the port management contract to the company from the UAE. As he points out, if there is any problem, if there is no problem with a British firm running these ports, there should be no problem with an Arab firm. While I am not sure that foreign companies from any region should be handling these tasks for us, as it has been pointed out, these firms do not handle the security of the ports, this is handled by the U.S. Coast Gaurd.

And I agree that blocking this contract, essentially on the basis of race, would be a horrible move for the government.

Admittedly, I have not dug deep into this issue, but I don't think this is quite in the category of sneaking the bin Laden's out of the country in the days following 9/11.

Arabs are not the enemy, and anything that fosters closer ties between America and Arab states should be encouraged. It is a much surer strategy for ending terror attacks than creating new terrorist states where none existed before.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Filibuster This! Alito and Abortion

I've been wondering whether the Dems should push for a filibuster on Alito, a fight they would probably lose. Finally, I landed... Go for it. The opposition party has been so careful about only picking fights that they can win that they do not fight at all anymore- at least it feels this way. So gird up those loins, show some testicular fortitude, and just do it. Ignore the Republican taunts and show some damn conviction for a change.

Anyway, Alito isn't too scary. I understand the reluctance. He seems to have a brain and to not be evil, only conservative.

Finally, no guarantees on Roe, but... It is time to stop living in fear of this issue. It is not something that should be in the courts anyway, and very likely, after a massive political blood bath, it would become law (eventually). It would be devastating for some while it worked its way into law if the court overturns it, but it would also put the political status quo into a blender and in the end, I think the numbers are there for the Democrats to come out on top in the end in many different ways.

As I said, the short term effects to private, personal lives would be devastating, but the long term effects of a maintained Republican hegemony in Washington will be even worse.

Besides being very busy with real life, the issues have just been too messed up to comment on much in the blog recently. I will do better.