No Tears. No Guilt. No Apologies.

Heard Michael Moore say Americans “lost something of our soul” by killing Dead Osama  instead of bringing him in alive and putting him on trial. Got an e-mail today from a friend who says this is all a diversion to win Obama a second term and boost flag sales while all the idiots applaud the CIA and the SEALs murdering Osama and shooting up the joint in a kill mission.

Let me say this about that.

I do not care if Osama was armed, unarmed, strapped to the max or buck naked while stroking his junk to an old issue of HUSTLER.

I refuse to feel bad about a cold-blooded murdering son of a bitch being shot in the eye and turned into fish food. So what?  He brought it all on himself.  Fuck Osama! I hope he burns in hell forever.

I really don’t give a damn who loved bin Laden or is in sorrow about his overdue, richly deserved demise.

My sympathies are with the families and the husbands and the wives and the children and the loved ones of those whose lives were snuffed out so cruelly and senselessly on 9/11, on the U.S.S. Cole, in London, Madrid, the Philippines and everywhere else bin Laden reached out his bloody hands and snatched innocent lives away.

Osama bin Laden made understanding him quite easy.

“We love death. The U.S. loves life. This is the difference between us two.”

It’s kind of hard to find a middle ground between those two extremes.

Though I would love to see all those misguided souls who suggest we just needed to try harder to understand bin Laden get that point across to him.

Osama bin Laden made his point abundantly clear on the morning of September 11, 2001 around 8:46 when American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Then, just in case that was too subtle he provided additional emphasis when United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South tower at 9:03.

Apparently, some people have ample reserves of indignation but terribly short memories.

Michael Moore and my childless friend didn’t have to pick up a stressed-out six-year-old from elementary school on September 11 and have her ask you when night finally came, “Are the terrorists going to kill us too, Daddy?”

He should have been put down like a rabid dog years ago.

I’m glad the motherfucker is dead and there is nothing anyone can say that will convince me the world is not a better place without him in it.

If that makes me sound bloodthirsty, heartless or cruel, I do not care and I will not apologize.

The Death of a Death Lover

Haters gonna hate. That’s what they do best. That’s all they do best.

To all the haters that do not and will not give President Obama ANY credit for taking out Osama bin Laden, I have one question: Would you be withholding your criticism is Obama had approved this action and bin Laden had escaped?

Never mind.  That was a rhetorical question.

Eight years ago yesterday, a self-aggrandizing asshole and liar stood on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!”

Only took until 5/11 to bring a small degree of justice to the evil bastard behind the attacks of 9/11.

Just like a certain presidential candidate said in 2008.

I should be surprised the haters on the Far Right along with the haters on the Far Left are intellectually incapable of giving President Obama any credit for signing off on the order to take Osama bin Laden out.

I should be, but I’m not. When some people find out they’re wrong they change their minds. The others just insist they’re still right.   But I’ll be more gracious and say President Obama finished the job President Bush began.


People need to understand where Osama bin Laden came from and need to read The Looming Tower, the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Lawrence Wright which painstakingly reveals how bin Laden became radicalized and the roots of Al Qaeda were sown. The HBO documentary, “My Trip to Al Qaeda” is based upon the play Wright created about his experiences.

The joy and excitement of 5/11 is the flip side of the grief and depressing most Americans felt after 9/11 and it is equally as valid and authentic a response.

What some people do not get is for many young Americans, there were two major historical events to occur within the last decade of their lives: the election of Barack Obama and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Taking down OBL is now the third biggest thing to happen within their lives.

This is a “win” for the United States just as September 11 was a loss. I don’t care even one little bit if some folks are put off by the outpouring of patriotism. These kinds of spontaneous expressions of happiness from the man in the street is EXACTLY the natural response to be expected.

Or did were they expecting quiet reflection instead?

It was a military operation that took out bin Laden and the Navy SEALS deserve the credit.  But Obama is the Commander-in-Chief and it was his call.   He gets some of the credit too.   Is this a clean win for the president?   Not entirely, as the relative ease and comfort in which bin Laden lived in under the noses of the Pakistan government (or with their nodding approval?).  That is an issue that isn’t resolved yet, but that is a story for another day.

The end of bin Laden is not the end of terrorism.  The threat remains, but the world is still a much better place without Osama bin Laden than it ever was with him.

I am very proud of my country and my president today.

Republicans Abandon 9/11 Responders

A day of infamy Senate Republicans would like to forget.

 

I try not to stereotype entire groups.  Really I do.  I prefer to see them as individuals.   Complex, complicated and not caricatures to be cut-and-pasted into our books of predetermined roles.

But damn if the Republicans in the U.S. Senate have made it impossible for me to see them as anything but a bunch of mean-spirited, selfish bastards.

GOP senators stopped a $7.4 billion bill to help rescuers who suffered injuries in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the New York Times reports. The Senate voted mostly on party lines to extend debate on the 9/11 health bill, effectively sending it to be considered by the next Senate, where passage will be even more difficult. In one last-ditch effort this year, backers will try to insert provisions into the tax-cut deal brokered between the president and congressional Republicans.

Their best hope is that Charles Schumer will convince Harry Reid to play along. The tax-cut extension, a sponsor of the bill explained, “is the one measure the Senate Republicans won’t leave this town without passing.” The bill sets aside $3.2 billion over the next 8 years for treating ailments inflicted on the day of the attacks. New York City would cover 10% of those costs. It also would set up a $4.2 billion compensation fund. Republicans want more specifics on where the money will come from.

The same Republicans who have dug their heels in on obtaining $700 billion in unpaid for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires suddenly become born-again deficit hawks when it comes to taking care of first responders.

Or maybe they’re  hoping the longer they delay and block this bill a few more sick cops, firemen and EMTs will die off.

Isn’t it strange how the same Republicans who lost their minds over the suggestion a Muslim civic center might be built several blocks away from Ground Zero don’t give a damn about the men and worked that supposed sacred ground?  Where are all those loudmouths who were organizing those protests now?

The first thing we need to dispense with is the generalities and get specific. The bill is H.R. 847,  The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010,  and its purpose: A bill to amend the Public Health Service Act to extend and improve protections and services to individuals directly impacted by the terrorist attack in New York City on September 11, 2001, and for other purposes.

The shields in the photograph represent the 29 NYPD personnel who have died (so far) from ailments related to working at the 9/11 site.

And who was Det. James Zadroga?

Det. James Zadroga passed away on January 5, 2006 as a result of various respiratory and digestive diseases and disorders developed from his exposure to the remains of the World Trade Center. Zadroga was the first member of the NYPD whose post 9/11 death was directly linked by a medical examiner to the rescue, recovery, and clean-up efforts of the terrorist attacks.

Like thousands of other members of the service, Zadroga was reassigned to 9/11 rescue, recovery and clean up efforts and logged approximately 500 hours of duty in the World Trade Center rubble. He began having breathing difficulties when he returned to his new command, the 25 Squad, in late December of 2001. He transferred to Manhattan South Homicide in June of 2002, but his medical condition worsened. He retired on a disability November 1, 2004.

James’ ailments had already taken an irreversible toll on his wife Ronda, who died the same year from medical issues exacerbated by the family’s stress.

As his illnesses progressed, Zadroga was required to use a wheelchair and remain on oxygen around the clock. He moved in with his parents in New Jersey so they could assist with his four-year old daughter, Tyler Ann, who survives him. At the time of his death, James Zadroga was 34 years old.

No help for a hero.

Some of the issues about why this act is necessary and who is eligible to take part in it are answered in this Q&A from Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney’s website, but specifically of the question about how the Act would be paid for.

Q. How much funding does this require?

A. The cost of the bill is $7.4 billion over 10 years. The bill is PAY-GO compliant and will not add to the deficit. It is Capped mandatory funding that is offset completely.

Q. How will the bill be paid for?

The $7.4 billion is offset completely by closing a loophole for companies incorporated in nontreaty foreign countries who do business in the U.S. Known as “treaty shopping,” this occurs where a parent firm headquartered abroad routes its U.S.-source income through structures in which a U.S. subsidiary of the foreign multinational corporation makes a deductible payment to a country that is signatory to a tax-reducing treaty with the U.S. before ultimately sending these earnings to the tax haven country where the parent firm is located. The provision does not hurt U.S. companies.

A New York Times editorial elaborated:  Police, firefighters and waves of citizen volunteers suffered various illnesses after their labors amid the toxic fumes and clouds at ground zero. Despite their tireless work, most were not part of the initial lawsuit settled last week when more than 10,000 first responders accepted at least $625 million in compensation from the city.

Tens of thousands who gradually reported respiratory and other illnesses have had to be monitored and cared for under a patchwork of temporary local programs that desperately need the Senate bill to meet long-term responsibilities. The measure provides eight years of medical aid at a cost of $3.2 billion, and $4.2 billion in economic compensation for those suffering career-ending sickness. Supporters have already answered Republican demands that the bill be fully paid for by closing loopholes enjoyed by offshore corporations.

The legislation, sponsored by both Democratic and Republicans, does not raise taxes, is paid for and address a serious ongoing need that cannot be met with the resources of the city or state.

And really, why should they? The events of September 11, 2001 were not a localized disaster, but an act of war against the entire United States.

The smoke has dissipated, the wreckage hauled away, the bodies buried and the area reopened for tourists, there’s much blather about how Ground Zero is sacred ground that cannot be defiled by the presence of a Muslim civic center blocks away.

But when time comes to ante up to actually help the 9/11 responders who lost life, limb and health working that smoldering pile of death and destruction while their government told them it was safe to do so, suddenly there’s a lot of lengthy excuses and short arms to compensate those who were once lauded as heroes.

Because, it’s like, not in the best interests of the 41 Senate Republicans to actually, you know, help people who don’t happen to be filthy, stinking rich already. One must know ones priorities and why should some cop in Brooklyn coughing up asbestos and fiberglass matter than some poor put-upon billionaire.

The economist, John Kenneth Galbraith once observed,  “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

There are 41 Republicans in Washington that are proof of this.   They are full of empty platitudes for the 9/11 responders and muttered excuses why they don’t deserve their help.    Shame on them and shame on a country that ignores their callous disregard.

Truth Is Not the Enemy.

Caution is reasonable. Persecution is not.

Though it’s a still a few weeks out from the ninth commemoration of the events of September 11, this year is going to be a bit different.  The feelings are a bit rawer and the passion running a bit hotter than previous years.   Nine years after the fact it could not be more clear that while the 9/11 “truthers”  have receded a bit into the background, there is still a tug of war between the fantasies and realities of what happened that day and who should be blamed for it.   

The fantasy is building the proposed Cordoba cultural center in Manhattan would be “disrespectful” to those the thousands who died at Ground Zero, two blocks away.  I’ll get to that in a bit but first some facts.   The guy spearheading the project is one Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf .   Rauf was born in Kuwait, educated in England, Egypt and Malaysia.   He immigrated to the U.S. from Egypt with his father who was also an imam.   Rauf received a bachelor’s degree in physics from Columbia University and has a Master’s degree in plasma physics from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.  

Rauf is obviously a hell of a lot smarter than Sarah Palin.   Now a few inconvenient truths for those who prefer thinly veiled appeals to anti-Muslim sentiments to the hard, cold facts of the matter.  

  • There are at least two other mosques in the neighborhood. The Masjid al Farah, where Rauf served as prayer leader until 2009, sits 12 blocks from Ground Zero. The Masjid Manhattan, which was founded in 1970, is four blocks from Ground Zero, on Warren Street.
  • The plan is for a cultural center that would contain a mosque.
  • The project’s organizers have said that the center would be modeled on Manhattan’s 92nd Street Y, a community center open to all New Yorkers. The center would house meeting rooms, a fitness center, a swimming pool, a basketball court, a restaurant and culinary school, a library, a 500-seat auditorium, a mosque and a Sept. 11 memorial and reflection space. The organizers have estimated that the mosque could attract as many as 2,000 worshipers on Fridays.

Many of those opposed to the cultural center such as Mrs. Palin say the area around Ground Zero is “hallowed ground.”  Maybe Sarah hasn’t seen that particular part of the city in her last trip so here’s a link to a site showing some of the other businesses in the supposedly sacred ground.  

If the Muslim cultural center ever gets built this will be one of their neighbors.

Finally, before anyone else dredges up that “let’s have some respect for the dead” line now is a good time to point out Muslims died as well on 9/11 and here is a partial list of them:  

Samad Afridi
Ashraf Ahmad
Shabbir Ahmad (45 years old; Windows on the World; leaves wife and 3 children)
Umar Ahmad
Azam Ahsan
Ahmed Ali
Tariq Amanullah (40 years old; Fiduciary Trust Co.; ICNA website team member; leaves wife and 2 children)
Touri Bolourchi (69 years old; United Airlines #175; a retired nurse from Tehran)
Salauddin Ahmad Chaudhury
Abdul K. Chowdhury (30 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Mohammad S. Chowdhury (39 years old; Windows on the World; leaves wife and child born 2 days after the attack)
Jamal Legesse Desantis
Ramzi Attallah Douani (35 years old; Marsh & McLennan)
SaleemUllah Farooqi
Syed Fatha (54 years old; Pitney Bowes)
Osman Gani
Mohammad Hamdani (50 years old)
Salman Hamdani (NYPD Cadet)

Mohammad Salman Hamadi: paramedic. NYPD cadet. Muslim. Victim.

Aisha Harris (21 years old; General Telecom)
Shakila Hoque (Marsh & McLennan)
Nabid Hossain
Shahzad Hussain
Talat Hussain
Mohammad Shah Jahan (Marsh & McLennan)
Yasmeen Jamal
Mohammed Jawarta (MAS security)
Arslan Khan Khakwani
Asim Khan
Ataullah Khan
Ayub Khan
Qasim Ali Khan
Sarah Khan (32 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Taimour Khan (29 years old; Karr Futures)
Yasmeen Khan
Zahida Khan
Badruddin Lakhani
Omar Malick
Nurul Hoque Miah (36 years old)
Mubarak Mohammad (23 years old)
Boyie Mohammed (Carr Futures)
Raza Mujtaba
Omar Namoos
Mujeb Qazi
Tarranum Rahim
Ehtesham U. Raja (28 years old)
Ameenia Rasool (33 years old)
Naveed Rehman
Yusuf Saad
Rahma Salie & unborn child (28 years old; American Airlines #11; wife of Michael Theodoridis; 7 months pregnant)
Shoman Samad
Asad Samir
Khalid Shahid (25 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald; engaged to be married in November)
Mohammed Shajahan (44 years old; Marsh & McLennan)
Naseema Simjee (Franklin Resources Inc.’s Fiduciary Trust)
Jamil Swaati
Sanober Syed
Robert Elias Talhami (40 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Michael Theodoridis (32 years old; American Airlines #11; husband of Rahma Salie)
W. Wahid  

It shouldn’t be necessary to remind anyone everyone who died on 9/11 wasn’t White and Christian and are still counted among the Americans who perished that day.  

It shouldn’t be necessary but apparently it is.

Osama been forgotten?

Where does a 66 terrorist hide?  Anywhere he wants for the last seven years

Where does a 6'6" terrorist hide? Anywhere he wants for the last seven years

Relax.  This isn’t yet another sad and sober reflection about where I was on September 11, 2001 or how the world has changed forever.  It changed all right, but when the dust settled it changed right back.

This is about the man who brought this shitstorm of evil upon America:  Osama bin Laden, and really there’s only one question that needs to be asked.

Why is this son of a bitch still walking above ground drawing breath?

I scanned Barack Obama’s website  and found it disappointingly thin with specifics about the War on Terror. There is a page on Homeland Security that also links to a PDF  that can be downloaded, but it too lacks specifics about how he would fight the war on terror.

That is a serious shortcoming by Obama because one of his biggest weaknesses with unconvinced  White voters is whether he’s tough enough or committed enough to wage a war against terrorism and Islamic extremism.

I will point out that he said at his joint appearance with Senator McCain at the site of the World Trade Center, “Let us remember that the terrorists responsible for 9/11 are still at large, and must be brought to justice.”

Why is that significant? Because while supporters of how President Bush has waged the war on terror proudly point out there have been no attacks on American soil for seven years, it is also seven years where Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have roamed free and without punishment for the murders of 3,000 Americans.

Strangely we didn’t hear anything about that at the Republican National Convention or from George Bush.   For all the talk about how tough Sarah Palin is I haven’t heard how she plans to hunt down bin Laden and gut him like a fish.

There is a long, but very interesting article on Salon.com written by Michael Smerconish where he painstakingly details where bin Laden and al-Zawahri are holed up and the seemingly lack of effort or will to capture or kill them. Smerconish, a host of a talk show in Philadelphia and a contributor to both daily newspapers, has only found one candidate who seems to be serious about getting tough with Pakistan and that is Barack Obama.

“If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and President Musharraf won’t act, we will. We can’t send millions and millions of dollars to Pakistan for military aid, and be a constant ally to them, and yet not see more aggressive action in dealing with al-Qaida.”

~ Barack Obama/8-1-07

The reaction by other presidential candidates and the media was one of eye-rolling derision. How could Obama threaten to invade a sovereign nation and one of our allies in the region? How naive was this neophyte Senator anyway? As it was, Obama was only taking the next logical step of The Bush Doctrine where the president said, “Any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”

Smerconish’s article is well worth the reading. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the U.S. efforts to hunt the heads of al-Qaida down and the frustrations and brick walls experienced by those tasked with the job of bringing them to justice.

Don’t get me wrong, a more sustained United States assault against the terrorists squatting in Pakistan is welcome news, and it signifies a more urgent effort to hunt down and snuff out the greatest threat to Americans’ safety on our own shores.

But it’s about 2,555 days late and $11 billion short. Seven years after 9/11, the country is stoking what was supposed to be a complete and consuming “war on terror” with faint signs of a sustained operation in the country where the bad guys have been hiding for years.

How appalling. I doubt the families of the 3,000 innocents murdered on 9/11 — and of the 4,000 Americans killed in Iraq — are content with it. After all, it’s seven years, thousands of troops and billions of dollars later, and our country has failed to deliver on what we really owe them: justice.

Nor have we answered the most important question pertaining to our nation’s future: Can we really win this war with Islamic extremism? Because if we don’t have the fire in our belly to defend the American troops stonewalled by the Afghan-Pakistani border; to hunt down and destroy the Taliban and al-Qaida militants camping out on the other side of that border; and do everything we possibly can to capture and kill Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, I fear we’ll be left to deal with another fire — one raging in another building, burning a hole in another American city.

Why this lifelong Republican may vote for Obama.

McCain can talk shit about how he’ll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he’s looking in the wrong place.   It gets mighty cold on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.   Should he be elected, McCain may want to dress a little more warmly while hunting for bin Laden.

It’s not enough to remember the victims of al-Qaeda’s savagery with moments of silence and laying wreaths.  Seven years of bin Laden running free and laughing at our memorials is seven years too long.

Conservatives like to act as if only a Republican President can protect the country from another terrorist attack and conveniently choose to ignore the greatest act of terrorism occurred under a Republican President.

But hey, they regrouped and got their shit together.   Let’s see al-Qaida try and start something now.

Wouldn’t it ironic if it took a President Obama to put Osama bin Laden down like the rabid dog he is?