How we have failed since September 11, 2001

Tonight President Obama will address the nation about ISIS and any actions that we may take in response to the horrific murders of Americans and innocent civilians at the hands of terrorists.

Tomorrow there will be an observance in my community, and many others, to honor the thousands of lives lost to hate and terrorism, and to support the families and friends who knew someone they loved would never return home again.

Since September 11, 2001 we as a country have talked a lot about being kinder to one another and being a better country. Yet 13 years later this is what consumes us as a country:

  • fighting about allowing two consenting adults of the same-sex to legally marry each
  • failing to take care of the thousands of veterans who have defended our country, many of whom returned with horrible wounds from the Middle East since September 2001
  • allowing private corporations to decided which forms of legal birth control they will cover for employees through company based health insurance because some corporations should have the same privileges as churches
  • granting corporations the same rights as citizens so businesses can pour money into elections and our representatives’ pockets
  • making it harder for citizens to exercise their right to vote
  • subsidizing corporations with huge tax breaks while their employees working full-time never earn enough to break the poverty barrier
  • denying the hard facts of science because profits should come before cleaning up the mess we’ve made of the entire planet
  • deporting children
  • complaining about failing schools while slashing teacher pay and testing our children to death
  • sitting by silently while racism and sexism are displayed proudly
  • being sure we can take our assault rifles into the grocery store
  • we pay for and support violence on playing fields, in the movies we watch, video games we buy, music we listen to, and television shows we watch, but we react with horror when students are sprayed with bullets in their classrooms, women are drug from elevators by their hair, students are bullied, children and women are raped as well as being forced into prostitution
  • too many among us are convinced that their brand of faith should be followed above all others, and if necessary the rights of other citizens should be denied because they choose to worship differently, or not at all

We absolutely should remember and honor the victims of September 11th’s violence. I’m just not convinced we are a country that is a better reflection of the democratic values and freedoms which terrorists intended to destroy 13 years ago.

 

Just when you think it can’t get any crazier

There was a Tea Party/Veterans march yesterday from the World War II Monument to the White House yesterday that, once again, gets at the truth of the opposition to “all things President Obama.”

Veterans were joined by Tea Party faithfuls worshipping two United States Senators, Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, who have never served in the military, and Alaska’s former governor, Sarah Palin, who quit when the political and legal scrutiny got tough.  Freedom Watch racist/Bible-thumping fact denier Larry Klayman didn’t miss the march either (Klayman continues to claim Obama is a Muslim and isn’t the President of “we the people”). They marched to demand a cherry-pick process to decide what is open and what isn’t (note that they weren’t marching from the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial or National Museum of the American Indian).

Let me be clear here: I am not saying all veterans support Cruz, Palin, Lee, Klayman, or anyone else at the march yesterday. Some of the veterans were glad to have these Tea Partiers with them, but that doesn’t mean the few marching in DC yesterday represent the views of all veterans. I do think these Tea Party extremists latched onto a ready-made event to get some easy press coverage.

But the march gave some people an opportunity to literally fly their racist flags under the guise of supporting veterans.
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Photos from both national and social media, don’t include any people of color participating. That is both telling and damning about who the Tea Party and extremists will prey on as an easy way to get some media coverage.

And while this type of thing has been pointed out after other Tea Party and über 20131014-083642.jpgConservative rallies, you folks might want to run spell check on your signs before you set out with the burning torches. Show some R E S P E C T for your cause.