The UK Independent says that the Only Copy of Magna Carta in Private Hands to be Sold in New York. I’m temped to say something truly obnoxious such as wonder whether the U.S. Constitution can be far behind, seeing as how the current regime in Washington D.C. has little apparent use for it, but I won’t. I don’t need to. (That’s what headlines are for.)
Archives for September 2007
Everything is is chaos. If you own a house with a mortgage you may lose it if you’re not careful. The FDIC may not do much to preserve your bank account if push comes to shove. The financial elites are wrecking what’s left of the economy, the ex-spooks are suggesting that the rabble can analyze intelligence every bit as well (or better than) the CIA, and there are firm plans for the U.S Air Force and Navy to bomb the living crap out of thousands of targets in Iran. And, oh yes, all that jazz about eating locally is a pipe dream, although Suzi Steffen has put together a decent if small reading list on the subject to wade through.
Faced with all this mishegoss and woe, I did what any red-blooded patriotic American would do. I made beer. More on that in a bit.
But first I made sure that SirsiDynix actually migrated the catalog properly. (It did.) Then I did a check on whether the proxy server was tested on time (it was not). Worst of all, in the time I originally wrote the previous paragraph and the time I now resume writing, the proxy server situation has deteriorated to the point where beer news seems far more important to me as opposed to IP addresses, EZProxy configuration and authentication permissions and a lack of access to a number of electronic resources.
(I know, I know . . . nothing is more important to the library or its patrons then access to the necessary resources. All true. But the IT department is aware of the problem, I am aware of how to contribute to its solution and we’re doing what we can as quickly as we can to get things back to normal. In the meantime, I made beer.)
I’ve written on this subject before (here and elsewhere) and I don’t think I have anything genuinely new to say on it, so I’ll stick to the things that are old but still true. The "Still True Today" category is a new one that I blatantly stole from Matthew Miller’s book "The Two Percent Solution: Fixing America’s Problems in Ways That Liberals and Conservatives Can Love." Miller’s idea about raising the awareness of the typical American about things that are problematic for 21st century U.S.A. is to imagine what it might be like if every newspaper had a weekly or daily column titled "Still True Today" in which would be presented a salient fact such as "47 million Americans still do not have health insurance," or something similar. And since I don’t see anything like it in any newspaper I read, I figured I’d go ahead with the idea here.
So, it’s been six years since we lost the World Trade Center and as events would have it, the 11th once again falls on a Tuesday as it did in 2001. Some related bits and pieces that are Still True Today include:
3,000 American victims of the events of that day are still dead and are still missed terribly by their families and friends. And certain politicians (*cough* Giuliani *cough*) are still reminding us of the fact on national television for the sake of getting you to vote them into power and privilege. And for the most part, it’s still working.
This is not to avoid the fact that at least 70 thousand Iraqis remain dead since "major combat operations" ended in 2003 and they are terribly missed by their families and friends. And that is not to detract from the fact that nearly four thousand American servicemen and women are still dead from action in Iraq since 2003. They are missed as well.
However, let’s not lose sight of the fact (unpublicized but still a fact) that the attack was committed primarily by Saudis, not Iraqis. We’re still buying Saudi oil as fast as they can pump it out of the ground, and we are still selling them expensive weapon systems. Unfortunately we’re also still beating the living crap out of the folks in Iraq and we’re still fighting in Afghanistan as well. And despite the noise coming from congress, we’re still not planning on leaving either country any time soon. (And Osama bin Laden is, we are told, still alive and supposedly making new video tapes.)
On the subject of Afghanistan, opium is still the most profitable crop grown there, and the Taliban is still in control of a big chunk of the country. This despite an American military presence there since 2001.
To backtrack a bit, there are still an uncomfortable set of questions about the events of that day which have never been adequately addressed in the public arena. And one still need not resort to conspiracy theories to describe what can still be explained by pure human fuckery, greed and ambition.
Worst of all considering our current leadership, the Doomsday Clock is still set at 5 minutes to midnight. It could be worse–three minutes or one minute, or the stroke of midnight itself–but it’s not likely to be set back in the near future, mostly owing to a huge stockpile of nuclear weapons that are still set on hair-trigger alert all over the world.
But there’s good news, too. A lot of people are still refusing to give in to the anger and fear that seem to be the standard (read, "conditioned") response to today. You’re still far, far more likely to die at the hands of Planet Earth herself (or an auto accident) than from a terrorist plot. And you’re just as likely to get home safely today as you were yesterday, and the day before that (and the day before that.)
Additionally, Ann Coulter still has not convinced anyone to blow up the NY Times. And notwithstanding six years of threats, warnings and concerns from the government there still has not been a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
So, my advice to people remains what it was six years ago: kiss your significant other, play with your kids, tell your family and friends that you love them and enjoy what you have. Heck, remember what life was like in NYC on that day six years ago and be nice to total strangers for a day. All of them.
P.S.: Purely for the heck of it, I’ll point out that the National Review has still not replied to my open letter. Oh, well . . .