Happy New Year 9.1.1.
Happy 9.1.1. I hope.
Back on the "original" 9/11, 2001, the radical Islamic arm looked to take down the United States. They hated us for our freedoms, our permissive views on how the world should run, and, by and large, because we had hitherto been so successful.
They probably also hated us because we had engineered said permissions and freedoms OUT of their status quo, but that's probably a different story for another day.
So on 9/11, they sent a couple of planes to take out the World Trade Center.
They also succeeded in goading a knee-jerk reactionary government into taking unnecessary steps which eventually led us into a war in which we had no need, and no true purpose.
Part of what happened was we began in earnest to build a Police State. It began in our airports and, soon, extended to our train depots. In some places, it is present in our subways and, of course, it is present at our state borders.
We have played right into the hands of what these terrorists wanted. In fighting this "war on terror", a war against "an unseen enemy", we have stripped down the basic rights of our citizenry and reduced ourselves to the enemy we once feared.
If the basic goal of the terrorists was to eradicate this country because of its principles, they have already won, and we have handed them their victory.
Here at 1/1/2009, or 9.1.1, we are sitting in a country which is sitting in a financial quagmire in very large part because of the offensive we launched back in 2003 because of something that happened in 2001, even though the two causes were not connected. Not Really.
And we are looking at a very bleak picture: Thus far, we are being socially reduced to rubble. We cannot shine as people when we must concentrate on making the ends of the shoestring meet, living hand-to- mouth. The economic problems we face are directly connected to our success socially. The renaissance we enjoyed for that brief moment in time gave us so much, and yet while our top brass is bailing out the banks and the carmakers, they are letting the very elements of the soul of this country wither and die. The arts. The social programs.
A friend of mine recently pointed out the difference between Conservative Equality and Liberal Equality:
"Liberal Equality states that the end result is equal, no matter the path one takes in life to get to the end. Conservative Equality is on the other end: We all start with a level playing field and it is up to us to make something of it."
I agree with this in principle, but there are the ever remaining issues that we do not all start with a level playing field, and even if we start there, those of us who play fairly get screwed over by those who play without ethics, by those who hide behind a shield of righteousness to promote discriminating agendae, by those whose definition of fairness means "fair for me and screw everybody else". In short, "after me, you come first."
We are, ever more, becoming that which we so feared back in the Cold War. We are turning into the old U.S.S.R. with all its trappings. Yes, we have the "right to vote" -- for either of two sides of a flawed single-party system. Yes, we have the right to freedom of expression, so long as we do not express anything against our government or rally dissent. Yes, we have the right to our capitalism, as long as we acknowledge that the government has the right to walk in and take everything we own by brute force if need be.
There is no longer a difference between what was, over there, and what is, over here.
...and this is not going to change until we, the people, nut up, and hold the gun to our government, cock the hammer and demand that they admit their responsibility, their irresponsibility.
And if they refuse, we, the people, can no longer sit idly by and not pull that trigger.