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Posts Tagged ‘obama

The Unseen Empty Seat

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David Angell, a writer and a producer for television, was born in Rhode Island. He worked on “Cheers”, where he won two Emmy Awards, one as a writer, one as a producer. He won six Emmy Awards between his writing and producing duties on “Frasier”. He and his wife, Lynn, were known for their generosity, particularly to the Hillsides home for abused children.

Edmund Glazer was born in Zambia, but moved to the US as a teen. He graduated high school early and enrolled at the University of Southern California when he was just 17. He became the CFO and vice president of finance and administration for MRV Communications in 1995. He was known as a bright, caring man with a love for chess and hockey, had a dry sense of humor, and was dedicated to his wife and young son.

Mr. Glazer and the Angell’s never knew each other, but they died together on American Airlines Flight 11 when it crashed into the World Trade Center’s north tower on September 11th, 2001.

Mark Bingham played rugby as a teenager and in college. He was the CEO of The Bingham Group, his own public relations firm, when he died aboard Flight 93, and was believed to have participated in the passengers’ efforts to down that plane before it could reach its intended destination. He carried on his love for rubgy after college, playing for the San Francisco Fog, “the preeminent rugby club in the world that actively pursues the participation of people of color, gay men, women, and other groups traditionally underrepresented in rugby”. He served as a volunteer for John McCain’s 2000 bid to be the Republican nominee for president. When Flight 93 was hijacked, he called his mother and his aunt to tell them what happened, and that he loved them.

Heather Malia Ho was a pastry chef at the Windows on the World restaurant, on the World Trade Center north tower’s 107th floor. She discovered her love for cooking as a child growing up in Honolulu. San Francisco magazine named her the pastry chef of the year in 2000. She’d joined the restaurant’s staff just months before the attack, and dreamed of opening her own pastry shop one day.

Reverend Mychal Judge served as the chaplain for the Fire Department of New York for nine years. He lost his father when he was a boy and found his religious calling as a teenager. He served as pastor for several churches in New Jersey and New York before being named the FDNY’s chaplain. “Father Mike” counseled and comforted people from all walks of life. He was killed by a piece of falling debris shortly after performing last rites for a fallen firefighter at the World Trade Center.

Lorisa Taylor had just celebrated her seventh anniversary with her husband days before, dancing until 4a.m. Hector Tamayo loved to sing. Barbara Olson was a conservative television commentator fiercely critical of the Clintons. Hilda Taylor, a teacher originally from Sierra Leone, was determined to show her students a world beyond Washington DC. Glenn Thompson was wearing shorts when he got on his knees in the snow to propose to his soon-to-be wife. Marie Abad planned to spend her retirement traveling and exploring a world of books with her husband. James Hayden was married to Elizabeth Gail Hayden for nearly twenty five years, but she said he made her feel like she was 18 all the time. David Halderman, a firefighter, didn’t like a lot of attention. Kevin and Thomas Hannafin, brothers, were both firefighters; Kevin was part of the company that discovered Thomas’ body in the remains of the World Trade Center. Brian Terrenzi had just bought his first home and never met his daughter, Elizabeth, who he was “so excited” about.

The world was robbed of all these men and women, and thousands like them but entirely themselves, in a single, terrible breath of blind hatred nearly ten years ago.

Sunday, Osama bin Laden paid the ultimate price for taking so many sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives from their families, for stealing from the world so much of its potential. Too, he paid for stealing the young sons of so many families in the Arab world, and bending them to his hate-filled mandate that sought not to make the world a better place for anyone, but merely to kill and burn, to revel in death and dismay, and to make misery where it before did not exist. Nineteen men gladly gave their lives to carry out the atrocity of 9/11 because of bin Laden’s words, countless more have sacrificed themselves to further his despicable vision.

Make no mistake: bin Laden’s death does not mark an end to the war on terror. His disciples, some utterly brainwashed, others just as gleeful as he must have been at the very idea of destruction, will continue their campaign of cold-blooded murder in the name of phony ideals. But, in the words of President Obama, “Justice has been done.”

His death will not bring back the thousands of innocents whose blood is on his hands, but maybe it can serve as some small piece of mind for Elizabeth Terrenzi, who will never know her father, that Brian’s killer is no longer roaming the world, smug about the deaths of thousands of human beings he never cared to know. If that is the only reward from Osama bin Laden’s death, it will be more than worthwhile.

Justice has been done, but the world remains forever scarred by what it might otherwise have been. 2,996 human-beings, self-made successes and slackers, book lovers and video game players, lovers of life and lovers of love, were taken from us on 9/11. It is impossible to measure the true number of deaths on Osama bin Laden’s hands. They will, all of them, be missed. He will not.

The world we have goes on, better today than it was just a few days ago, but a sorrier thing than it ever could have been.

___________________________________________

Stolen Words from NBC’s “The West Wing”:

“More than any time in recent history, America’s destiny is not of our own choosing. We did not seek nor did we provoke an assault on our freedoms and our way of life. We did not expect nor did we invite a confrontation with evil. Yet the true measure of a people’s strength is how they rise to master that moment when it does arrive… The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels tonight. They’re our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends. The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we’re reminded that that capacity may well be limitless. This is a time for American heroes. We will do what is hard. We will achieve what is great. This is a time for American heroes and we reach for the stars.”

My Take on the War on Terror

Terror in the Best Laid Plan

Sites featuring profiles of the 9/11 victims:

Portraits of Grief

In Memoriam Online

9/11 Profiles

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Written by oobiedoo

May 2, 2011 at 8:00 am

Sean Knows Bias

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If you don't like the facts, Hannitize them for your pleasure!

So last week, Sean Hannity aired an hour long special, “Behind the Bias: The History of Liberal Media” on his show. I’m sure it came as a great surprise to many that it was full of shit.

I’m not going to spend this blog deconstructing how it lied and misled its audience; that’s already been done. Instead, I’m just going to point out a multitude of reasons Sean Hannity should never, ever, have been allowed to host a special about bias from anyone other than himself.

So, let’s begin with just a little sampling of Sean Hannity’s well-documented bias. Let me point out that I came across all of these examples in a single afternoon. It’s not hard with Sean. Also, keep in mind, these are just examples of Sean Hannity’s bias. If I included other Fox News programs, we’d be here a while.

Here’s just a quick rundown of the few I came up with in one sitting:

– Sean lies about a Bill Clinton op-ed (Because with Hannity, there’s never enough hate for the Clintons.)

– Hannity spouts nonsense about Sarah Palin being treated worse in the media than Hillary. (Because conservative women are apparently the victims of a massive left-wing mysogynist conspiracy, and of course nobody bashes the Clintons enough for Sean’s liking.)

– Hannity quotes remarks made about Rahm Emanuel and then acts as though they were made about President Obama. (Because a lot of people think Emanuel is a dick, and Sean thinks Obama is dick, thus they might as well be the same person, right?)

– Sean claims President Obama called insurance executives “bad people”, then ran the video where Obama clearly states they aren’t bad people. (Granted this one requires at least an iota of contextual understanding, but let’s let Keith Olbermann break it down. )

– Sean says President Obama has “surrendered” in the war on terror. (Because believing we can win without torturing people and holding them prisoner indefinitely without charging them with anything is the same as giving up.)

– Hannity lies about the amount of support for Ron Paul after Fox News Republican primary debate. (When you can’t lie about a liberal, just lie about the least conservative person in the story. Also of note, Ron Paul was not invited to the next Fox News debate, despite polling higher in the state it was held than some of those that were invited.)

– Sean claims Obama was cutting $53 million dollars from New York City’s Anti-Terror Fund using fuzzy logic, when New York actually got $47 million more than they had previously. (Because, as the story goes, liberals hate America and want Americans to die horrible deaths in the name of Allah, so obviously one must twist the facts accordingly to fit that narrative rather than just admitting the man is actually increasing funding against terrorism.)

– During the presidential campaign Sean berates his guest, calls him an “idiot”, and says any claims that our economy is in a dire situation are based on lies. (Now he thinks Obama is doing an awful job because of how bad our economy is. But before it was just a lie.)

– Sean says California’s water shortage is Obama’s fault. (Because the “drop in the bucket” he harps on is more important than the vast amount of water wasted by the poor irrigation techniques he doesn’t want to talk about.)

– Hannity claims the president of Planned Parenthood told an “outright lie” when she said the organization provides mammograms for women… based on the fact that -some- PP facilities do not. (Because, ya know, if she says the organization does it, she better make sure every single one of their locations offers it, dammit!)

– Hannity says he’s never questioned anyone’s patriotism, to look like less of a goon. (Or because he doesn’t know what patriotism means.)

– Hannity airs a video edited in a misleading fashion to make it seem like Obama said he’s raising taxes for everybody, when he actually said under Bush’s plan, which Obama wanted to change, taxes were about to go up for everybody. (Again, the narrative says liberals and Democrats want to raise everyone’s taxes, so we have to do what we can to support that story, regardless of the facts.)

But remember, folks, Sean Hannity isn’t a news man, so it’s okay that he makes things up. Because everybody that watches his show knows, even when he’s presenting things as facts, that it’s really just his opinion that he’s talking about. And it’s that tacit understanding of the difference between news and commentary that leads Fox News viewers to be the most misinformed of any major news outlet, right?

No, wait… See, what I actually meant was… um… that our universities are filled with liberal ideologues and you can’t trust anything they say. Yeah. Yeah, that sounds better.

Just Be Wrong!

New segment time. This one focuses on people who harp on particular issues, are then proven wrong, and can’t just say they were wrong.

The obvious focus today? Birthers! They’ve been proven wrong time and again, and that never stopped them from continuing with the absurd claim that they weren’t sure if the president was born in Hawaii. But today the president came out with the long-form of his birth certificate, the one thing the birthers have been clamoring about all this time, saying if they saw that then the issue would be over.

Well, now it’s out there, so clearly people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin came out and apologized for making an issue out of nothing, right? Or at the very least just admitted that the issue is finally put to rest?

Nope! Actually, Palin and Beck (who isn’t as funny as he thinks) would rather talk about the timing of the president’s move. See, they think the president might have been waiting for today to do this to distract from other issues. Because, ya know, the birthers harping about this for years wasn’t used as a tactic to distract the public from other issues, or discredit the president, or anything.

“Carnival barkers” indeed.

Written by oobiedoo

April 27, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Accepting Ignorance

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Feel free to reject reality, and substitute it with your own.

President Barack Obama is a citizen of the United States. This is a fact. It’s a truth that can be proven. It’s not somebody’s opinion or open to debate in any way, shape, or form. It’s not a philosophical belief open to each individual’s interpretation. It’s a fact. Facts are facts, and facts are right. No matter how much you believe one and one is three, it’s actually two and you’re wrong and should be corrected as soon as is worldly possible.

Facts.

Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has to know this. He does know the president is a citizen of the US; he said as much in a recent interview. However, when confronted about people that still hold to the belief the president was born elsewhere, he also said, “It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people.”

And my jaw hit the floor.

First, let’s just get it out of the way. He’s correct in that the US government shouldn’t be the thought police, going around to make sure everyone’s all thinking in the same line. Individuals should all think about things differently; that’s what makes them individual.

What doesn’t make people individual is blindly following propaganda, en masse, that is absolutely false. That’s the path to a belief that something is bad simply because you need it to be bad to justify your own bent ideology. It’s partisanship designed for no better purpose than to foster more partisanship, a sort of self-brainwashing that aids nothing but ignorance.

What doesn’t make a good leader is a man so spineless he can’t dare to suggest that people should not believe in something that is irrefutably not true. The purpose of a leader is to elevate those he leads, to inspire them to be better. Michael Jordan was the best player in the NBA not only because of his own greatness, but because of the way he made other players better. John Boehner doesn’t want people to be better than they’d otherwise be, and would rather just let people be as ignorant as they want to be.

And why? Politics. If people would rather be ignorant about this issue, if they would rather believe something that is blatantly false, then it makes the president weaker, at least in the eyes of those that choose not to see. If he appears weaker to anyone, then that will automatically make any Republican that challenges him in 2012 stronger. I’d be willing to bet not a single serious contender that emerges in the Republican field will ever make a strong statement about Obama’s unquestionable citizenship.

Second, if Boehner comes out and calls this situation what it is, ignorance for the sake of blind partisanship, then he’s just called a part of his base ignorant. And from what I hear, they don’t much like that. So, in essence, Boehner can’t make a stronger statement than he did, because then he would have little influence over his constituents down the line. He’s pandering to radicals that are inventing their own reasons to oppose someone, trying to toe a line so as not to insult the far-right (in this case, the far-FAR-right), and even to essentially give them a pass, to let them know it’s okay to look at a fact and decide if you don’t like it to just not believe it..

If it’s a person’s own prerogative to decide if President Obama is a United States citizen, to completely disregard the evidence that tells us he certainly is, then what other facts should we allow people to ignore as they see fit? Most of us know one and one is two, but how does it make you -feel-? Maybe if you’ve got a good reason why you think it should be three, we can make an exception for you. I’m just thinking out loud here. You and I may know a newborn baby has to eat on a regular basis, but hey, maybe it’s up to individuals to decide if they believe that. When I was younger, I was told girls can’t get pregnant the first time they have sex. Granted, my high school anatomy class informed me differently, and they had books that seemed to lend more credibility to their case, but maybe I’ll roll that one around in my head for a while, see which option fits me better.

Ignorance is dangerous. That’s why warning labels are mandated these days, to inform people, to protect them from not knowing the danger of what they’ve got in their hands, even if it seems obvious to most of us. There once was a day we were ignorant to the dangers of smoking tobacco, and millions suffered for it without knowing they would. It was once commonly accepted as truth that African-Americans weren’t entirely human, and that ignorant precept allowed people to justify awful practices like slavery, rape, and torture.

I wonder if John Boehner would have thought it wasn’t his job to tell people what to think in those instances. I suppose it depends on who he expected to vote for him. It takes great minds to penetrate the veil of ignorance and make this world better for it. Rep. Boehner made clear he has no desire to be one of those great minds.

Written by oobiedoo

February 15, 2011 at 5:48 am