Anna's Journal 09-11-01

Welcome to the "On Balance" guest blog. Every Tuesday, "On Balance" features the views of a guest writer. It could be your neighbor, your boss, your most loved or hated poster from the blog, or you! Send me your original, unpublished entry (300 words or fewer) for consideration. Obviously, the topic should be something related to balancing your life.

By Gregory M. Cork

As we approached the sixth anniversary of the day that pretty much changed everything, I reread my journal entry to my daughter Anna from 9/11/2001. Just as I hope that Anna will get something from this journal entry in years to come, I hope you get something from the entry now.


September 11, 2001

Dear Anna,

You'll learn about what happened in New York and in Washington today probably even before you start school. It's easily the most awful day your mother or father has been alive to see. I don't have anything to say that explains what happened today, at least not right now. We don't even really know what happened yet. God forbid, there may be more to come.

The scariest part of what happened today may be the idea of evil in the world. Religions talk about evil; they seem to have an Answer to it, a Plan against it. There's no answer to, and no plan against, passenger planes barreling into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania. As your father I have nothing to offer as explanation. There's something intuitively, instinctively wrong here. Humans shouldn't do these sorts of things to one another. Evil -- killing others -- can't be justified under any circumstances.

I don't want you to think of the world as a threatening place. Just remember that to be decent and just -- which puts you in the majority of humans -- means paying attention to the fact that there are those who are not decent and just. You'll know the bad ones when you see them, and you and the other good ones will prevail.

What happened today makes me feel an odd mixture of sadness, fear, disappointment, anger, hatred, hope, and pride. The last two are genuine components of what rightfully is American patriotism. Hope speaks for itself; I have no doubt that you understand hope. Pride is trickier. I mean the sort that swells our hearts at our good fortune to have been born, literally free, into the best human social experiment in world history. We, as citizens of the United States of America, benefit from a governmental plan that defies inhuman chaos and celebrates fundamental human decency. It hasn't always worked perfectly. Much of the world suffers despite -- and some say because of -- the great abundance of the United States.

To be proud to be an American is not to feel that you are better than others. The American ideal at its root is one of perfect inclusion: All people are entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These are not idle terms. They are real. Time has proven them to be unique to the American experience, to my life, and (I hope forever) to your life.

All of us -- we living -- appreciate a heightened sense of reality and gratitude for being alive today. Maybe more strikingly, although we'll study and talk about this a lot and probably remember it forever, we'll carry on. We all will return to our lives (as we, um, should, right?). Within a few days we'll be worried about the mortgage again. Is this resiliency, a coping mechanism, callousness or a survival capacity developed by humans?

Whatever you might call this ability to go on in the face of tragedy and evil, it's probably as important, and fundamental, as love. Which is what I feel for you, completely, right now and always.

Love,

Daddy

Gregory M. Cork is the President and Chief Executive Officer for The Washington Scholarship Fund, a non-profit education reform organization that distributes more than $15 million annually in K-12 scholarships to low-income families in the District of Columbia. He lives with his family in Washington, D.C.

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  September 11, 2007; 7:15 AM ET  | Category:  Guest Blogs
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Posted by: ecc24 | September 11, 2007 7:32 AM

I remember saying to a 4-year old neighbor that day, "Jake, you may not remember what happened today outside of what other people tell you, but your life will change because of it." And it has. But there's just so much joy in existence, and the overwhelming majority of people in the world are good. That is what I want my children to know.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | September 11, 2007 7:36 AM

"O Freunde, nicht diese Töne!
Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen
Und freudenvollere!"

("Friends,
leave off these tones,
which are woeful,
let us rather attend
more pleasant ones.")

Off topic:

After I came home last Friday, while I was
chopping up 1/4 cup of cilantro (coriander
leaves), I realized that I had left out an
important ingredient in the recipe for
guacamole that I posted here that day.
Here it is again, corrected.

Guacamole

1 jalapeño pepper
1 avocado (not too soft, not too hard)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 scallions
2 tomatillos
Bottom 1/4 of a green pepper
1/4 cup cilantro (Chinese parsley)
1 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Roast jalapeño pepper over flame until skin turns black.
Wrap in paper towel and set aside to cool.
Peel avocado, slice crosswise to break up the strings,
mash with a fork or slotted spoon, sprinkle lemon juice
on mashed avocado.
Cut scallions into 1/4" slices.
Remove outer skin of tomatillos,
dice tomatillos and green pepper into 1/8" cubes.
Chop cilantro leaves coarsely.
Once jalapeño pepper has cooled, rub its skin off.
Remove seeds, dice (I use 1/2 of the pepper; if you like
spicier food, use all of it).
Spread mashed avocado on wax paper, add tomatillos,
green pepper, jalapeño pepper, scallions, mash together.
Add olive oil and black pepper to taste, mix thoroughly.
Use as a dip or as a spread.

Tomatillos are little green tomatoes that come in a
papery skin They are available at Giant or Safeway.
Most checkout clerks don't know the code to enter
into the register, so tell the clerk they are tomatillos,
code $#4801.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | September 11, 2007 8:39 AM

Matt -- Proof that life does indeed go on.

Posted by: leslie4 | September 11, 2007 8:40 AM

Yes, life goes on, but we also need to remember what happened that day. Remembering how we felt that day will remind us that there are people out there that are trying to do it again. It's not a question of "if", but "when" it happens. As long as we remember we are capable of preventing it.
You know the saying: If you don't learn anything from history, you are doomed to repeat it.

Posted by: minzesm1 | September 11, 2007 8:53 AM

So true. My children (10, 8 and 6) don't remember 9/11. But I made sure to sit down with them this morning and talk about how important that day was (and is) to our country.

Posted by: leslie4 | September 11, 2007 9:17 AM

One of the most moving tributes to those who lost their lives in the attacks of 9/11 was by the Blue Man Group.

The BMG had a working space not far from the towers and was showered with the flotsam and jetsam of destruction. As the BMG played a somber song, some of the damaged materials from the towers was projected on the large screen at the back of the stage. Bits of paper, post it notes, letters, memos and gov't forms were shown in a montage of the waste gathered from around the BMG building.

A letterhead from Cantor Fitzgerald, a pink "called while your were out" slip, a fragment of a gov't regulation, handwritten and typed notes and other debris was shown on the screen. All of this a reminder of the minutiae of life before the towers fell.

In my heart, I again felt the loss of so many people.

Posted by: Fred | September 11, 2007 9:22 AM

9-11, Hmm. A lesson that evil can't be ignored, wished away or reasoned with. It must be snuffed out wherever and whenever it shows it's ugly face. That is what I will tell my kids when they ask me.

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 10:41 AM

I get impatient with all the navel-gazing over this day. This is the most sorrowful day you have been alive to see (at least on 9/11/01)?

There have been countless tragedies in the world during your lifetime, they just happened outside the borders of our country. So the Bhopal industrial disaster in India in 1984 wasn't very sad for you? The millions killed in Rwanda was not the saddest thing?

Please, people! NAVEL-GAZING.

In my mind, 9/11 remains sorrowful because it marks the day the U.S. began a true moral decline: invading Iraq, torturing people, and openly and with little regret, wreaking havoc on civilian lives (both here in the U.S., with the families of those deployed, and in Iraq).

Posted by: goodhome631 | September 11, 2007 10:45 AM

Posted by: goodhome631 | September 11, 2007 10:45 AM

I was waiting for this one. In deference to the dead victims who were my fellow citizens, I will refrain from ripping you a giant new a hole.

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 10:50 AM

It's people like goodhome631 and MattInAberdeen who forget what 9/11 did to this country. It changed forever and showed many people a new enemy had the ability to get to us, seemingly easy and take 3000+ lives.
Goodhome631 and people like that fail to see beyond the surface.
Which is why those of us who can need to remember this day.

Posted by: minzesm1 | September 11, 2007 11:05 AM

This is a beautifully written message and one that his daughter will surely appreciate. Over time, the writer will imprint upon his daughter his own ideas about terrorists, America, the war, etc., but she will appreciate that there was a time when he was confused and scared.

September 11, 2001, was a terrible day. There are many terrible days all over the earth. We should not feel guitly mourning our fellow citizens, but we should not forget the countless tragedies that occur outside the US.

There is a middle ground between the America-deserves-this-and-should-reap-what-it-has-sown attitude and the US-must-crush-all-those-who-oppose-it attitude. The problem is that we haven't found it yet, and very few politicians (and apparently people on this board) seem willing to find it.

I'm sure that those thousands if people did not deserve to die in that way. But I'm also sure that nothing makes the terrorists happier than killing US troops every day and our continuing to serve them up on a silver platter.

Posted by: Meesh | September 11, 2007 11:16 AM

I'm sure that those thousands if people did not deserve to die in that way. But I'm also sure that nothing makes the terrorists happier than killing US troops every day and our continuing to serve them up on a silver platter.

What an odd post! You consider terrorists fighting trained army and marines with superior training, arms and leadership, serving them up on a silver platter? Perhaps you would prefer those terrorists here battling unarmed women and children? Very strange.

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 11:21 AM

"It's people like goodhome631 and MattInAberdeen who forget what 9/11 did to this country. It changed forever and showed many people a new enemy had the ability to get to us, seemingly easy and take 3000+ lives."

Posted by: minzesm1 | September 11, 2007 11:05 AM

A new enemy? Ever since the armies of the first Caliphs stormed out of Arabia, expansionist Mohammedanism has been the enemy of the Christian West. After centuries of taking Muslim hits, including the loss of the Holy Land, the West struck back with the Crusades. A new wave of Moslem expansionism reversed the Crusades, gobbled up Constantinople in 1453, and put an end to the Roman Empire in the East. Periodically, the West has had to slap down Islamic expansionists at battles like Lepanto in 1571 and Vienna in 1683. We thought we had them licked for good after World War I with the Western conquest and breakup of the Ottoman Empire and Atatürk's subsequent abolition of the Caliphate in 1924. We were wrong. Expansionist Mohammedanism is not a "new enemy" -- it's an age-old enemy that has come back from the dust of World War I to strike at the West yet again. We have to slap them down again, and we're gonna have to keep slapping them down and putting them in their place, over and over again. I have it on good authority that Islam will last as long as Christianity does, namely, right up until the End Times when the true Redeemer comes.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | September 11, 2007 11:24 AM

"There are many terrible days all over the earth. We should not feel guitly mourning our fellow citizens, but we should not forget the countless tragedies that occur outside the US."

Meesh I totally agree with what you wrote. The first thing that comes to my mind is the Sudan. I will never forget 9/11 or the fellow American who lost their lives that day, but you are right that horrific acts of violence go on everyday around the world.

It makes me wish for a time before terrorists, but when would that time have been? There have always been bad people in the world, and no, I don't think it is always easy to spot them. I guess the only thing you can do is to teach your children about the past without scaring them about the future. I don't want to live in fear, but we need to be cautious. It is a hard line to walk.

Posted by: Irishgirl | September 11, 2007 11:25 AM

Meesh, I agree with your post.

September 11th was indeed a terrible day, but we should not forget that tragedies occur outside the US everyday. However, we should not politicize or trivialize this tragedy (tornado destruction shouldn't be compared to 9/11...the same goes for natural events).

We should also learn from other countries that have dealt with terrorism in their borders (i.e. UK, Spain, Italy, etc). I think that we should also abandon this "fight them there so that we don't have to fight them here" rhetoric because it just underscores the notion that we really don't know who or what we're fighting.


Posted by: MV_78 | September 11, 2007 12:00 PM

Today makes me sad for two reasons: first, obviously, the enormity of the tragic events in NYC, Arlington, VA and PA. I still don't have the words to adequately describe the sadness and the heroism.

Second, I lament the fact that one of the most important lessons of that day has been lost on so many people, including most of our elected leaders.

We can chant our slogans about snuffing out evil, and fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here, and making the world safe for democracy, and (most annoyingly) that they hate us because of our freedom and our way of life. But that all just mythologizes the reality, which is that we were attacked because of our foreign policy in the middle east.

But middle east policy simply isn't on the radar screen of most Americans, and too often it's just a blip, rather than the wailing siren that it deserves to be.

Our government's reaction to 9/11 aggravated and exacerbated the conditions that led to the attacks. The adage advises that when you dig yourself into a hole, your first priority should be to stop digging. Well, we didn't stop digging, we dug faster. They will continue to attack us until we can show the world that we're willing to address mistakes our government has made.

Posted by: TonyFo | September 11, 2007 12:03 PM

"It's people like goodhome631 and MattInAberdeen who forget what 9/11 did to this country. It changed forever and showed many people a new enemy had the ability to get to us, seemingly easy and take 3000+ lives."

Posted by: minzesm1 | September 11, 2007 11:05 AM

A new enemy? Ever since the armies of the first Caliphs stormed out of Arabia, expansionist Mohammedanism has been the enemy of the Christian West.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | September 11, 2007 11:24 AM

Spot on, Matt. September 11 only revealed a new enemy to those who do not study and attend to history.

Posted by: MN | September 11, 2007 12:10 PM

pATRICK, I guess it could seem odd. What I'm referring to are the complaints from our soldiers that there are not enough of them to carry out missions successfully and quell the uprising, there is not enough armor or enough armored vehciles to withstand the IEDs, and there is not enough intelligence to find and detain the terrorists. That and they don't have enough people to properly train the police force so that they can get the heck out.

Posted by: Meesh | September 11, 2007 12:19 PM

Posted by: TonyFo | September 11, 2007 12:03 PM

BS! They attacked us, the spainairds, the british, the people of bali, morroco, jordan etc because they are crazed islamic fanatics. Much like blaming a victim of a serial killer. What a joke!

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 12:20 PM

MEESH, now those are valid concerns. I have NEVER believed Bush sent enough people to IRAQ. We should have locked that country down like germany after ww2.IMO

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 12:22 PM

Apparently, there is a still a lot to do since /11.....http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/07/AR2007090702050.html
****************************************

Are we safer today?
Six Years After 9/11 and Three Years After the 9/11 Report, Is the U.S. Ready to Get Serious About Terrorism?

By Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton

Posted by: chemguy1157 | September 11, 2007 12:28 PM

Meesh and pATRICK,

Agreed. Oh, that Colin Powell or someone else with a strategy employing maximum headcount, had been in charge.

Posted by: MN | September 11, 2007 12:29 PM

American Death Toll September 11: 2974
Current American Death Toll in Iraq: 3774

Iraqi Civilian Death Toll as of October 2006 after invasion of coalition forces: Estimated 655,000.
[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/10/AR2006101001442.html]

Iraqi/Saddam Connection to 9/11: Nonexistent.
Osama Bin Laden: Still missing.
Taliban: Still "on the run" in Afghanistan.

Why did we take a horrible event, and turn it into an even more horrible event. Why did we feel the need to waste almost FOUR THOUSAND American lives on a war effort that WILL NOT make us safer. Why didn't we successfully militarily defeat the Taliban and why haven't we rebuilt Afghanistan like we promised where the barriers to a free society were far fewer than in Iraq. We have only ourselves, our congress, and our administration to thank for the half a million Iraqi lives we've wasted.

When I think of September 11th I think of a horrible event that could have been an excellent opportunity for the US to bring countries together, rebuild war-torn societies, and help make people more free and more safe all over the globe. Instead we squandered all our good will, wasted billions upon billions of dollars for programs that didn't work, and were responsible for countless more deaths in one war we can't hope to win and never should have been in, and another that we merely choose not to remember.

Posted by: _Miles | September 11, 2007 12:42 PM

Every year, this day is hard to get through. People don't listen to each other, instead they rant at each other, get angry and insult each other - and our country and its citizens fragment even further.

On that awful day six years ago, my younger son was the same age that I had been when I watched President Kennedy's assassination. I tried to shield him from the overwhelming images on the television - because my mother had failed to shield me from those other awful images so long before.

On Sept. 12 2002, our 15th wedding anniversary, DH wrote a poem called "A Year and a Day", and read it live on the local public radio station. He forgot about our anniversary, because of the anniversary of the tragedy.

Today, I mourn for lost lives, lost innocence, and all the little, personal celebrations like my own that get lost every year. I mourn the lost liberties "we the people" once took for granted, the lost status and respect our leaders and our country once enjoyed around the world. But most of all, I mourn the lost unity, the lost civility and respect for other's ideas.

How did this terrible event rob us of our willingness, even our ability, to live by these words, "I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it"? Why are we fragmenting? Why are we destroying ourselves and each other?

Tomorrow will be our 20th wedding anniversary. And once again, the public remembrance of tragedy has overshadowed our personal day of celebration (yes, DH forgot again - but I've learned over the last five years to remind him). But tomorrow we will celebrate our personal union, in spite of our mourning today.

Posted by: sue | September 11, 2007 12:44 PM

"There have been countless tragedies in the world during your lifetime, they just happened outside the borders of our country. So the Bhopal industrial disaster in India in 1984 wasn't very sad for you? The millions killed in Rwanda was not the saddest thing?"

Thank you for saying that. It is the perfect expression of what I feel today. The disgusting America-only attitude of people like pATRICK makes me wonder about our citizens. But then I read things like this and I know that this country thinks harder, and feels more sympathy for others, than Bush, Cheney, or mindless followers like pATRICK.

9/11 was a tragedy, but only one of countless thousands in human history.

Today I am thinking about all those who died at the hands of other human beings for reasons as ridiculous as religion, race, national origin, etc. etc. etc. Grow up pATRICK. And join the international "thing" we call the human race.

P.S. I was banned by Leslie as Bababooey 666, so I am now Bababooey 668 (the neighbor of the beast, to steal a line from Steven Wright). Since she can't stand criticism, I will likely be banned again soon, but with the exception of pATRICK, I respect all of you and wish you well as you reflect on the human condition today.

Posted by: bababooey668 | September 11, 2007 12:46 PM

Sue - your husband has a better excuse now than most husbands to forget his anniversary!

I'm sorry, that was inappropriate, but I couldn't help myself...

Posted by: _Miles | September 11, 2007 1:13 PM

"and all the little, personal celebrations like my own that get lost every year."

It shouldn't be this way. After Jackie Kennedy and the Kennedy family buried JFK, they held a birthday party for John jr.

Don't let a horrible tragedy rob you of what's good in your life.

Posted by: Irishgirl | September 11, 2007 1:19 PM

Minor clarification: my editors, not I, banned Bababooey while I was on vacation. As has been clear in the past, I have a pretty high tolerance myself. But BB -- watch out or it might happen again!

And that would be a shame.

Posted by: leslie4 | September 11, 2007 1:29 PM

"And that would be a shame."

Umm in what way Leslie? Isn't it a little embarrassing to you that your bosses had to do what you should have done a long time ago? I don't really care that BB spews senseless venom about me but reading it would be a shame to be banned, makes me think you are a nickel short of a quarter.

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 1:38 PM

Never forget--I learned what that truly meant during the five years I worked public affairs for the fire service in NoVa. Those five years included 9/11/01, and the deaths included men I had worked with and for at FDNY. Remembrance is both personal as well as national for me. But it's important to remember those who lost their lives for the many reasons already listed: that these were people just like us who had gone to work, gone on vacation, simply gone about the business of their day-to-day lives. They were us. They were not the formulators of foreign policy, they were not trained military.

And the other reason to remember: the threat still exists, whether you lean right or you lean left, or like me, you choose your stance on an issue-by-issue basis. Matt's abbreviated history lesson is a stark reminder that there have long been extremists who will kill in the name of their God (and Muslims don't have a monopoly on this).

Posted by: pepperjade | September 11, 2007 1:46 PM

"Today I am thinking about all those who died at the hands of other human beings for reasons as ridiculous as religion, race, national origin, etc. etc. etc. Grow up pATRICK. And join the international "thing" we call the human race."

Posted by: Baba Booey '02 MPP | September 11, 2007 12:46 PM

Hmm. So, the "international thing" is "the human race," is it? If I may say so, this sounds derivative. It sounds very much like the words of the Frenchman Eugène Pottier, one of the original Communists (i.e., members of the Paris Commune), written in 1870:

"C'est la lutte finale
Groupons-nous, et demain
L'Internationale
Sera le genre humain."

("This is the final struggle
Let us group ourselves [together], and tomorrow
The Internationale
Will be the human race.")

Notice the two things that M. Pottier is saying. First, the international thing "will be" the human race -- it is not yet that. Second, he is calling for a "final struggle" to make the international thing into the human race. M. Pottier did not live to see the Bol'shevik Russians, the Maoist Chicoms, and the Cambodian Khmer Rouge wage a "final struggle" that murdered about one hundred million human beings during the twentieth century, in their quest to make all of humanity conform to their dream.

It is my belief that ordinary people just want to live out their lives, earn their living, raise their families. Dreamers have the right to express their dreams and set them before the people to be accepted or rejected. But no dreamer has the right to impose his dream by force. This applies to Commies and their "Internationale," to Nazis and their "New World Order," to Tojo and his "Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere," and to expansionist Mohammedans and their "Caliphate." And it also applies to American law professors (no names) who presume to write Secular Feminist constitutions to be imposed on patriarchal Iraqis and Afghanis by NATO force of arms.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | September 11, 2007 1:56 PM

«there have long been extremists who will kill in the name of their God (and Muslims don't have a monopoly on this)»
«Posted by: pepperjade | September 11, 2007 01:46 PM»

Thank you, pepperjade. Cannot we all get along?

Posted by: abu_ibrahim | September 11, 2007 2:02 PM

And it also applies to American law professors (no names) who presume to write Secular Feminist constitutions to be imposed on patriarchal Iraqis and Afghanis by NATO force of arms.

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | September 11, 2007 01:56 PM

Please, Matt, don't tell me you favor the U.S. government sitting back and watching the institutionalization of sharia in these countries? We aren't talking feminism here--we are talking basic human rights that have been denied to half the population based on their gender...where little girls are publicly beaten for being raped, while rapists go free. And this takes place in Pakistan, which ostensibly holds free elections...

Posted by: pepperjade | September 11, 2007 2:09 PM

"Please, Matt, don't tell me you favor the U.S. government sitting back and watching the institutionalization of sharia in these countries? We aren't talking feminism here--we are talking basic human rights that have been denied to half the population based on their gender...where little girls are publicly beaten for being raped, while rapists go free. And this takes place in Pakistan, which ostensibly holds free elections..."

Posted by: pepperjade | September 11, 2007 02:09 PM

Shari`a is itself the imposition of Prophet Mohammed's dream on unwilling individuals, including little girls. And the Taliban went much further even than Shari`a. They machine-gunned women in the main soccer stadiums -- see Oriana Fallaci's "La Forza della Ragione." They outlawed female doctors, and prohibited male doctors from treating female patients. That's a recipe for genocide against half the population. They deserved to go, and I am proud of the NATO troops who deposed them. But there's a difference between invading Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, and writing a constitution that requires one-fourth of the members of parliament to be women. That's the kind of quota that neither the American Congress nor the British Parliament has. If we won't impose such a quota on ourselves, where do we get the nerve to try to impose it on others?

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | September 11, 2007 2:22 PM

I on one hand can understand your point of view Matt but on the other hand we defeated their country and victorious people make the rules. Just like in Germany and Japan.

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 2:33 PM

Matt seems a little German to me so I don't take his words to mean anything. Run, Matt run. and blame everyone else while you are at it. Your good at doing that.

Posted by: minzesm1 | September 11, 2007 2:59 PM

Sue - your husband has a better excuse now than most husbands to forget his anniversary!

I'm sorry, that was inappropriate, but I couldn't help myself...

Posted by: _Miles | September 11, 2007 01:13 PM

"and all the little, personal celebrations like my own that get lost every year."

It shouldn't be this way. After Jackie Kennedy and the Kennedy family buried JFK, they held a birthday party for John jr.

Don't let a horrible tragedy rob you of what's good in your life.


Posted by: Irishgirl | September 11, 2007 01:19 PM

Thank you both!

_Miles, DH could never remember our anniversary before, and for a couple of years I thought he might finally have something that would jog his memory without me doing that wifely-nagging-thing. Silly me! LOL

Irishgirl, I don't let the outside world into my home and my life, as a rule.

After DH's live poetry reading on our 15th anniversary, I coopted another couple and with their help took DH and 'da boyz' out for a fancy dinner. It was a wonderful anniversary party!
(We went to John's Grill which is where Dashel Hammett wrote the Maltese Falcon. If you're ever in San Francisco, don't miss it.)

As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to be making dinner reservations for tomorrow evening.

Posted by: sue | September 11, 2007 3:16 PM

(We went to John's Grill which is where Dashel Hammett wrote the Maltese Falcon.

Spelling Police!

Posted by: hillary1 | September 11, 2007 3:37 PM

Good for you Sue! On 9/11 half my classes at college were cancelled. However, I had one professor who would not cancel classes. She said that if we all went home and cried and hid in our houses, then the terrorists got exactly what they set out to do. I was mad at first, I wanted to be with my husband sitting safely in my house, but after a while I came to realize what she was trying to do.

That day, we all sat in that class room in disbelief as we continued on with our projects, as we all continued on with life. We may not have felt safe or happy, or as one friend put it, we were "held hostage" by our professor, but we felt free and we were alive and that was all the more reason to be out and about on that day. To show the terrorists that the US would carry on and rebuild, that we could not and would not be broken.

That professor taught me a valuable lesson that day.

Posted by: Irishgirl | September 11, 2007 3:41 PM

"Umm in what way Leslie? Isn't it a little embarrassing to you that your bosses had to do what you should have done a long time ago? I don't really care that BB spews senseless venom about me but reading it would be a shame to be banned, makes me think you are a nickel short of a quarter."

pATRICK:

Please. Stand up for yourself. Engage in a debate. You are not, OH MY GOD, always correct. Views that are different than yours should not be banned. You should figure out a way to express your opinions and actually try to explain why you might be right and others might be wrong. I have read this blog each and every day since my ban was imposed and have noticed how more and more people view you as nothing but a bully with nothing intelligent to say other than "I'm right, you're wrong." And that gets tiresome. It's funny that a conservative such as you would hide and not be willing to engage in a free speech debate. Anyway, I've given you more attention than you deserve already. If you want to really debate the issues, and show that you have a sense of humor (you do know what humor is, right?!?!?!), you know where to find me.

Posted by: bababooey668 | September 11, 2007 3:56 PM

Spelling Police!

Posted by: hillary | September 11, 2007 03:37 PM

Thanks, Hillary. That should be Dashiell Hammett. That's what I get for depending on my memories, instead of looking things up in the first place.

And thanks, again, Irishgirl. I would have liked your professor. I was very resentful when management sent everyone "nonessential" home from work, and flat-out vetoed DH's desire to pull older son out of school that day.

Posted by: sue | September 11, 2007 3:57 PM

Irishgirl, I was in college part time in 2001 too, but our school closed down officially within a couple hours, so no professor could've held class (except outdoors) the rest of that day if s/he had wanted. I'm surprised that your college didn't close down entirely till the next day.

Posted by: mehitabel | September 11, 2007 3:59 PM

" on one hand can understand your point of view Matt but on the other hand we defeated their country and victorious people make the rules."

Uh oh. I guess that means that North Vietnam gets to make our rules. Give me a break. I guess you like the sound bites for simpletons that come out of the Bush administration. Those of us that live in the real world know things are a little more complicated than that. Oh, I forgot. You don't live in the real world, pATRICK. You live in Texas. My bad!

Posted by: bababooey668 | September 11, 2007 4:00 PM

I outed this loser posting anonymously on On Parenting. He then told me I should drink a rum and coke and change my father's diapers. BB as his truest self.......

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 4:06 PM

"I outed this loser posting anonymously on On Parenting. He then told me I should drink a rum and coke and change my father's diapers. BB as his truest self......."

That's the type of adult response I was expecting. Thanks for engaging in debate. You've really made me think more highly of you! Anyway, my deepest sympathies to those of you who lost someone special on 9/11. We can argue forever about how inept the current Administration is, but today is probably not the day. We have 364 other days a year for that.

Posted by: bababooey668 | September 11, 2007 4:13 PM

The idea that "evil must be snuffed out", that "we need to put them in their place," etc. that several people are posting is the exact sort of reasoning Islamic extremists used to attack us. The only thing that stopped them from continuing their task is that America has a nationally-backed terrorist organization while they don't.

These people attacked our homeland, something that Americans haven't experienced since the Revolutionary War, but we, and our Western Christian culture have been oppressing them, like posted earlier, for thousands of years. The situation could easily be reversed my friends. The origin of your birth is no reason to accept that land's culturally indoctrinated hatred. Which is, of course, true for both Western Christian and Islamic cultures.

I think a wealthy, well-fed, affluent hyper-consuming American calling an Islamic extremist evil is the pot calling the kettle black. These cultures just happen to value different cultural traits, and have different social priorities. Both are faulted.

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 4:40 PM

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 04:40 PM

Yes, we have the declaration of independence calling for the equality of man, they behead children and stone people. Pretty much the same. get a life.

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 4:47 PM

I'm not the one who's been sitting in front a computer since 10:41. You get a life.

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 4:53 PM

hey BB, i actually agree with something you wrote! a scary thought for both of us. nice to hear your voice again.

Posted by: leslie4 | September 11, 2007 4:57 PM

p.s. Although I only heard about it second hand, I am sorry to hear about your dad.

but really, walk away from the screen and go take a walk and look at the clouds. you'll feel better.

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 4:58 PM

hey BB, i actually agree with something you wrote! a scary thought for both of us. nice to hear your voice again.

Why would you be happy to hear from someone that your bosses banned from YOUR blog?

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 4:59 PM

weather alert: For the first time since August 11th (yep, one whole month), the sky is now overcast in Chapel Hill. After 74+ days of 90 degree temperatures, we parched and pretty much had it. To say tempers are tight is about right...

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 11, 2007 5:05 PM

"but really, walk away from the screen and go take a walk and look at the clouds. you'll feel better."

Hey ScoutOut, don't bother arguing nuances with pATRICK. I've tried many times in many different ways. His views are correct, yours are incorrect. Why? Well, because his views are his. Don't you understand?!?!? I view pATRICK as a less intelligent, less well-read, more open to compromise, less funny version of George W. Bush. Scary isn't it?!?!!? (See pATRICK, that was humor. It won't appeal to everyone, just ask Sarah Silverman, but at least a few will laugh.)

Posted by: bababooey668 | September 11, 2007 5:06 PM

"Yes, we have the declaration of independence calling for the equality of man, they behead children and stone people. Pretty much the same. get a life."

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 04:47 PM

paTRICK would find support from former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. On September 26, 2001, Signor Berlusconi, after talks in Berlin with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the crisis sparked by the Sept. 11 Arab terrorist massacres in the United States, declared that Western civilization is superior to Islam. Berlusconi made the remarks, which were broadcast on Italian television:

"L'Occidente deve avere la consapevolezza della superiorità della sua civiltà", insiste il premier. Una civiltà che ha garantito "benessere largo" ai popoli e garantito "il rispetto dei diritti umani, di quelli religiosi, che non c'è nei paesi islamici, il rispetto dei diritti politici".

"The West must be aware of the superiority of our civilization," a system that has guaranteed "well-being," "respect for human rights and -- in contrast with Islamic countries -- respect for religious and political rights, a system that has as its values understandings of diversity and tolerance."

He also claimed Western civilization is superior because it "has at its core, as its greatest value, freedom, which is not the heritage of Islamic culture."

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | September 11, 2007 5:07 PM

"hey BB, i actually agree with something you wrote! a scary thought for both of us. nice to hear your voice again."

Hey, is this some kind of Derren Brown mind game??? How am I supposed to rant and rave and ask the WaPo to fire you now?!?!? Oh, don't worry. I will find a way.

Posted by: bababooey668 | September 11, 2007 5:13 PM

Yep, i would MATT. I think any system, communist, nazi,islamic that has the enslavement of man as its core is inherently inferior and evil.

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 5:13 PM

and with freedom as my last post, have a good evening on a terrible day.

Posted by: pATRICK | September 11, 2007 5:14 PM

"The idea that 'evil must be snuffed out', that 'we need to put them in their place,' etc. that several people are posting is the exact sort of reasoning Islamic extremists used to attack us. The only thing that stopped them from continuing their task is that America has a nationally-backed terrorist organization while they don't."

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 04:40 PM

Huh? "America has a nationally backed terrorist organization"?? I thought the FBI worked hard over many decades to stamp out the KKK, which was our only nationwide terrorist organization. Surely "ScoutOut" is not accusing the Scouts, the Boy Scouts of America, of being a terrorist organization, is he?

America is in a fight to the death with al-Qaeda and the other terrorist organizations. What's the matter, "ScoutOut"? Don't you support the troops?

Posted by: MattInAberdeen | September 11, 2007 5:16 PM

They're not my troops. They belong to the US gov't. Which, since you missed the point, IS the US terrorist organization.

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 5:27 PM

Matt-

FYI I'm female. I'm not a 'he.'

thanks

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 5:35 PM

AS a causal thought, I wonder if pATRICK would count the wage-slavery of free-market capitalism (which it has at its core) as slavery. I know I don't want to participate in it, but how else can I get clean water and comprehensive health care?

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 5:38 PM

i have total faith in you, BB. you WILL find a way.

and Patrick, I love you too. you will always have a very special place in my heart even if you get banned as well.

Posted by: leslie4 | September 11, 2007 5:50 PM

"They're not my troops. They belong to the US gov't. Which, since you missed the point, IS the US terrorist organization."

Well, f*** you Scout Out. Maybe you should go to Cuba with M. Moore for your best in the world health care.

Posted by: Fred | September 11, 2007 5:56 PM

... and there's the loud-mouth American, responding with anger instead of a thought-out counter argument.

I can't leave a country as sick as the US, what if they start terrorizing wherever I might move to? Too risky, since they already have their troops in countries where they have no business. Moore is a pussy and his methods are manipulative.

No, I'll stay here and work for change, thank you.

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 6:03 PM

Besides, you may have heard the health care is only the best for those who can afford it, and that most rich people in America get their money from inheritance, and NOT hard work.

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 6:06 PM

Fred,
I don't believe ScoutOut understands how totally offensive his/her comments on US troops are to those who served...like you. I salute you, my friend...

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 11, 2007 6:14 PM

Fred, Dotted et al., We now have a newbie one whose name must not be spoken either. Google on its name to find out more, then ignore it.

Posted by: mehitabel | September 11, 2007 6:18 PM

For you, scout out, to equate a constitutionally organized standing military, recognized throughout the world, under civilian control thru a democratically elected process with any terrorist organization which is accountable to no one is simply ludicrous.

You insult anyone who has served or is serving in the military from about 1918 to the present who collectively have contributed more to world peace than any other single nation in it.

Posted by: Fred | September 11, 2007 6:20 PM

Pssst, Fred, stop feeding the beast, OK? It's just the latest in a large cast of characters.

Posted by: mehitabel | September 11, 2007 6:22 PM

It was Fred's choice to serve the US gov't. It's mine to not agree with the US gov't and the people who serve in its name. He might not agree with my choice to have an abortion, but I'm not heartbroken over it. I can still get one done, and he can go serve the US govt. Fine.

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 6:22 PM

mehitabel...but this guy is baiting Fred!

ScoutOut - you are offensive, imho.

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 11, 2007 6:24 PM

sighhh it's okay, apparently neither of us can help the way we think:

http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-politics10sep10,0,5982337.story

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 6:25 PM

I'm genuinely not baiting anyone. I stated my views before Fred even came into the picture. Before anyone made any comment to me, I was sincere. And now it's dinner time, fresh squash from my garden.

Posted by: ScoutOut | September 11, 2007 6:28 PM

Dotted, Let's just ignore it, because it's capable of entertaining itself.

Posted by: mehitabel | September 11, 2007 6:28 PM

hey mehitabel, enjoy your evening..

Fred, you too!

Posted by: dotted_1 | September 11, 2007 6:30 PM

I will give you two concrete examples where U.S. presence is sought after, the Philippines and Viet Nam. More than a few years ago, the Philippine gov't invited us to leave its chain of islands. We did so but were invited back in the past few years to fight the insurgency that has threatened this country. Viet Nam regularly had some of our military in it (for recovery of remains). Viet Nam does this as it desires most favored trade status with our country.

The military bases in the middle east (and there are a lot more of them than you realize) could not be there without the tacit if not explicit consent of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, the UAE, Iraq and other countries in the region.


Maybe you have forgotten what happened in Bosnia and the failure of the European countries to bring an end to the slaughter there. A certain president, whose wife just happens to be running for president, involved us there to end the killing. We still have troops there. And troops in Korea, Germany, Japan, some of the Former Soviet Union countries. Some of the citizens of these countries may want the US troops removed from there but the respective government are in no hurry to end our military and economic alliances.

If you think that the US military forces are anything more than what you say, you sorely misunderstand the role of the military in this country.

Posted by: Fred | September 11, 2007 6:35 PM

Well, scoutout, I have no idea what the availability of abortion has to do with the military. I am gravely offended that you consider my daughter a terrorist.

Maybe you should move to Canada as the US has no designs on it and I understand that it has a world class health care system.

Posted by: Fred | September 11, 2007 6:43 PM

"Maybe you should move to Canada as the US has no designs on it and I understand that it has a world class health care system."

I never have understood knee-jerk comments such as that. "If you don't like it, move to France." "This is America, love it or leave it." It's very juvenile and unbecoming of someone who claims to love the ideals that this nation is supposed to represent.

Posted by: bababooey668 | September 11, 2007 6:52 PM

Shhhhh!

Posted by: mehitabel | September 11, 2007 6:54 PM

Hey mehitabel:

I see you attended pATRICK's course on debating skills. If someone disagrees with you, he or she must be a troll. Please get over yourself. There's a whole world out there and, GASP!, some of the people in it don't think you're right!!

Posted by: bababooey668 | September 11, 2007 6:59 PM

scoutout is the one who suggested
"what if they start terrorizing wherever I might move to?"

What little of her political philosophy that we know of does not appear to be in harmony with the U.S. She may be happier in a country that does not have a gov't sponsored "terrorist organization."

No, it is not a case of love it or leave it with me. Disagree with the gov't you might, but at some point you should be accepting of the core tenants of the country you live in.

And I never said anything about France.

Posted by: Fred | September 11, 2007 7:05 PM

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