Tag Archive: 9/11


The other night, as I watched NY Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez describe the harrowing events she went through on 1/6/2021, like most decent people, I was horrified.

I’ve often told someone that unless you were present for a traumatic event, you really can’t understand what the folks who were actually physically there, went through – what they felt – the trauma they will deal with for, likely, the rest of their lives.

Every time, I’ve described the events I went through on 9/11 to anyone who wasn’t there, folks would respond with “Oh, I know what you went through, I watched the whole thing on TV.”

No. No you don’t understand. Unless you were physically in downtown NYC that day, you may have felt fear, confusion and anger, but you really don’t have a clue what it felt like to not know whether you’re ever going to see your family again, to sleep in your bed, to see your front door. You just don’t know that feeling. You can’t grasp that fear, that gut wrenching, mind-numbing, absolute fear. You don’t really know what it’s like to have your instincts kick in. To, in the moment, not even realize how scared you actually are. Or, how after you’re safe, and are in a position to process everything you’ve experienced, realizing, “holy, shit, did I really go through all that? How the hell did I even get through it?”

You may have experienced fear for those you loved who may have been there, but you weren’t there. You don’t know what THAT felt like.

And that’s what I felt when I heard AOC speak her truth.

I have no idea what she went through that day. I watched, as most of us did, on TV, as an angry mob attacked the Capitol. I was shocked. I was angry. I was stupefied. And, yeah, I wanted their blood and the blood of anyone who gave them the idea they had any right to do that. But I have no idea how it felt to be inside that building, hiding, knowing with ever fiber of your body that if the wrong person got a hold of you, you very well may end up dead.

I remember after 9/11, the way the country came together – despite political affiliation or beliefs – how we were collectively in mourning – how we were collectively pissed off at the people who did this. And while the perpetrators of the attack were all dead, the folks that sent them there were not – and we wanted those mother fuckers really bad. We wanted them SO badly, we started two wars to try and find them – one under false pretenses, even. We killed the guy who sent those people there. We’ve captured the folks who helped in the planning of it. It’s been 20 years since 9/11 and we STILL haven’t ‘let it go’ – and we really shouldn’t. Because we were attacked. The country was traumatized. People are STILL mourning those they lost in those attacks.

“Never forget” is an apt sentiment when folks attack you.

So why should we forget what happened on 1/6/2021?

Why the hell should we ‘let it go’?

We shouldn’t. There was an act of sedition. An insurrection. An attempt to overthrow the very Democracy we all claim to hold so dear. And while only one of the folks who perpetrated this crime is dead, and many are in custody, why shouldn’t we go after the folks who sent them there?

Unity?

Bullshit.

How do you ‘unify’ a country by letting those who incited an insurrection off without any consequences? How do you ‘unify’ a country by letting people who incited an insurrection know that they could get away with it, giving them an opening to do it all again – this time with a leader who isn’t a complete moron at their helm.

If a member of your family, say, one you didn’t agree with, decided to rob your home, because they felt you had something they wanted and it was unfair to them that you, despite earning what you have, had whatever it is they didn’t have, if they, along with some of their friends, wrecked your car, smashed your windows busted down your doors, looking to steal what you worked so hard to earn, would you just ‘let it go’?

And if they then told you, they were encouraged to commit that crime, by say, the head of their branch of the family tree, and they got money for weapons and travel from another member of that branch, would you let those people go?

If people aren’t held accountable for their actions, they will simply do it again – and next time they could succeed. Not in just overrunning our democracy, but they actually could kill more than just one brain-washed, deranged, asshole who tried to climb through a window to get to Mike Pence, or Nancy Pelosi – to kill one or both of them – because she was told they were enemies of the President she loved so much she was willing to kill for him.

This is insanity. This idea that we should just ‘let it go.’ We didn’t ‘let it go’ when, long after she’d given up her position as Secretary of State, the senate tried Hillary Clinton for Benghazi – and then all but buried the news when their investigations concluded that neither she, nor the Obama administration, were at fault for what happened there.

We didn’t just ‘let it go’ when Charles Manson sent his deranged cult members to murder innocent people. That cult leader died in prison, and he never murdered anyone. But he incited the murderers – and he paid for that crime, as well he should have.

So please, miss me with the ‘let it go’ crap. Yes. This country is hurting. We need bold legislation and funding to get us through yet another post-Republican administration crisis – and we’ll have that. The Senate will just have to do something it hasn’t done in years – work. They’ll have to not take random ‘recesses’ only to be called back to vote in yet another conservative judge, pass $3 trillion tax breaks for the wealthy, or hold another Benghazi hearing. It’ll be a change for them, I’m sure. It’ll be hard, but the Democrats are in charge, and I’m guessing their itching to actually do something they haven’t been able to do since McConnell took over – work for the people they represent.

And the threats coming from the likes of Lindsay Graham like “the Democrats better not call witnesses or we’re going to call in the FBI”? Hysterical. Please, do. Call in the FBI. Call in the DOJ. Please let us hear what they have to say about how they’ve been telling you all for two years that White Supremacists and the Q-Anon crew were the biggest national threat to our security and how Trump’s rhetoric was egging them on and empowering them.

Please, let us hear ALL the pieces of shit who stormed the Capitol tell us how they were ‘invited by Trump,’ and how when Trump told them he’d ‘see them on January 6th – it’ll be wild,’ they knew there’d be some violence – and how when he told them to march on the Capitol and that he’d be right there with them because if they don’t fight, they’ll lose their country, after two months of hearing the big lie about how the election was stolen from them, an election, mind you, roughly a third of those assholes DIDN’T EVEN VOTE in – they took it as ‘storm the Capitol’ – because that’s EXACTLY what he meant. Please, let us hear them tell us how his expression of disappointment in Mike Pence, and his abject hatred of people like AOC and Pelosi, led them to believe they’d be rewarded by him if they got rid of those problems for him.

Those aren’t threats to those of us who want to see these assholes pay. They are only threats to those who know they’d be implicated in these crimes. Who knows what witnesses will say about not only Donald Trump, but Lindsay Graham (who called the Georgia Governor to try and get him to not certify that state’s votes), or Ted Cruz, or Josh Hawley?

So bring that shit on. But don’t tell us to ‘let it go.’ Everyone who had anything to do with the events on January 6, and all the lies they helped spread, should be held accountable. Whether it’s via legal action, or whether it’s via campaign ads where their words, and actions, can, and will be, used against them in the court of public opinion.

What happened on 1/6/2021 didn’t have to happen. But the people who made it happen need to pay for it. Once they do, maybe we will finally ‘let it go.’

 

It’s Something Unpredictable

But in the end is right

I hope you had the time of your life

-Green Day “Good Riddance”

(seriously, I know, it’s cliché, but appropriate…)

Last night marked the last time I would see Denis Leary as a guest on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.” Amidst the laughter and familiar banter between these two long-time friends, I was suddenly gripped by a very melancholy feeling. This was it. This was ALMOST it. Shit. This is it. I’d been dreading this since February… And here it was. The end of “The Daily Show” as I knew it.

Like millions of other viewers, I had grown accustomed to watching “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” for my daily dose of ‘news made easy to digest.’  And while the show itself is not going away, its’ host of 16 years will be. Like him or not; agree with him or not; Jon Stewart’s departure from the show he brought out of semi-obscurity and turned into ‘must see’ TV, will be the marking of the end of an Era. And while some (FOX News, Rupert Murdoch, RNC) will rejoice at his departure, many of us will certainly feel the void he will leave behind.

When Jon Stewart took over “The Daily Show” in 1999 from Craig Kilborn, he’d already had two talk shows under his belt (I was fortunate enough to have seen a live taping of his MTV show way way way back in the day).  He had been passed up a few times as a potential host for late shows on NBC and CBS. Everyone who had ever seen him do his schtick knew he was funny. I don’t think anyone expected him to turn, essentially, a ½ hour fake news show into a social phenomenon.

Throughout 16 years of rants, political opining, and social commentary intermingled with comedy, Jon Stewart stressed to anyone who questioned him, that he was simply a comedian, and his show was, essentially a “fake” news show. What it really was, was satire in the purist form. What Jon Stewart did with the Daily show was create a space wherein he could look at the days’ news and educate a populous that needed, essentially, “a little sugar to make the medicine go down.”

The fact is, comedian though he may be, he also knows how to deliver the news to a generation of people who simply cannot deal with the bullshit on CNN, MSNBC and FOX. We needed someone who can point at the ridiculousness of the daily news feed and those who ‘reported’ on it all and say “yeah, you’re right, they are TOTALLY Fucked up! No wonder you don’t give a shit anymore.. Here’s a way for you to hear what’s going on without the extraneous bullshit… and yeah, maybe laugh a little..” It was, I believe, largely due to his delivery of the news that an entire generation of people, less likely to become politically active, registered to vote and took part in the political process. Regardless of the outcome of the elections (two for Bush, two for Obama – he didn’t always get his candidate), he got the 20-Somethings involved in a way they hadn’t been before.

And it wasn’t just the 20-Somethings – He filled a niche that was needed in this country. One where those of us, fed up with hearing a whole lot of bullshit could hear our frustrations voiced on television in a way no one anywhere else could express themselves.  He seemed to speak for those for those of us who, while we may lean socially towards the left, really just wanted to scream at both sides of our political landscape for their extreme game of tug of war with our lives.

The writers of that show clearly were under the direction of a person who wanted to make sure that even his most banal jokes were somehow based in well researched facts – Something that supposed “fair and balanced” news channels rarely seem to do. If Jon Stewart named statistics – they were real. If he referenced history – it was real. And on the rare occasion his facts were erroneous, he apologized.

Despite purporting he was just a comedian satirizing the news, and making it palatable for those of us who simply couldn’t watch the train wreck our government, and our ‘real’ news media, had become, Jon Stewart was named the Most Trusted Newscaster in America in a 2009 Time Magazine Poll.

Politicians that have come on the show, including, and maybe especially, the President himself, have admitted that his interviews were the toughest.  They never knew what he was going to ask, or, what tangent he will go on in an effort to make them accountable for their actions. No, he wasn’t a serious Newsman, just a comedian. .. Or maybe he was just a guy who was asking all the questions the rest of us really wanted answered, as opposed to promoting the agenda of whatever the owners of a specific news channel wanted promoted.

The very evidence of his influence on the political and social landscape could be seen numerous times. He is credited with helping Vets gain better access to medical care, when after a searing segment on the inadequacies in the 40 mile rule in the “The Choice Program,” the Department of Veterans Affairs changed the rules making access to medical care easier for our country’s bravest. When a bill to help 9/11 first responders who came down with chronic diseases such as emphysema and lung cancer after breathing in the toxic air at Ground Zero, was blocked by Senate Republicans, an issue all but ignored by main stream media, Stewart decided to bring the issue to light. Three days after Jon Stewart dedicated an entire episode to the issue where he first lampooned the Senators blocking the bill, and then brought on a panel of first responders to discuss the issue, the bill was passed. Jon Stewart has also been credited with the termination of CNN’s “Crossfire,” the down fall of Glenn Beck, and the firing of Rick Sanchez. Not bad for a guy who is ‘just a comedian.’

Jon Stewart is also credited for helping launch the careers of Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Larry Wilmore,  Kristen Schaal,  Olivia Munn, Ed Helms, Samantha Bee and Jason Jones (who are going to be launching their own show on TBS), Aasif Mandvi and of course, Jon’s successor, Trevor Noah.

Oh Trevor Noah.. What big shoes that man will have to fill. Not only is he replacing a man many of us turned to in the hopes of making sense out of the nonsensical, he is replacing a man even many politicians seemed to turn to to plead their cases. It sounds crazy that a comedian from Jersey who started his career, essentially trying to be the David Letterman of MTV, ended up being an essential stop on any campaign trail.

And while I have no doubt Trevor Noah will, much in the way Jon Stewart did, carve out his own path and gain his own following (hopefully, many Stewart fans will stick around as well), it is indeed going to be different. He is coming at this from a different angle. He has a different sense of humor. Even if he agrees with everything Jon Stewart has ever said, his take will be different and will more than likely take some getting used to. I am willing to try. But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss Jon Stewart’s perspective, which seems to so clearly reflect everything so many of us loyal viewers have thought but never saw reflected on any other channel.

I don’t know what the future holds for Jon Stewart, (other than the sanctuary farm he and his wife have purchased), but I hope after some rest and relaxation he recharges and comes back on the scene. It really won’t be the same without him.  Especially with the current election cycle! Seriously, I would’ve loved to have seen his post-Republican Debate commentary. With Trump, Christie, Huckabee and the rest of the clown posse on the panel, it will be a gold mine of humor that practically writes itself. Alas, it is not meant to be as his last day on air coincides with the first debate (coincidence? Maybe – but the only people who will benefit from Jon Stewarts absence will be FOX News and the RNC, sadly).

Either way, I genuinely do wish Jon Stewart all the best and hope he enjoys his (seriously) early retirement.

And sympathy, is what we need my friend

Cause there’s not enough love to go ’round..

Rare Birds (original) , Marillion (awesome cover)

Okay, I usually hate to get political, especially here. Seriously, the worst thing anyone can bring up in any conversation is either politics, or religion.  You all already know my take on religion. I don’t believe in it. God? Yes. Religion?  No.

Politically, I guess I lean more towards the liberal side. That’s fine. I can sit and have a conversation with folks who don’t believe the same as I do on any given day. Neither of us will change the other’s mind, and that’s fine too.  It’s the way the world works. But there is absolutely no one who can convince me that the current actions of Republican Senators in regards to giving 9/11 First responders the medical assistance they need makes any sense what so ever.

The Zodroga Bill, more commonly known as the 9/11 First Responder’s Bill, should never have been subjected to any kind of partisan crap. I get it. Republicans don’t like Obama. They don’t want to help him achieve anything. They will filibuster everything.  And the Democratic side, even when they HAD the majority are the “please like me” party full of nothing but a bunch of pussies who basically bend over backwards trying to please everyone and getting absolutely nothing done.

But really? THIS???

As someone who lived through the events of 9/11,  and worked, even after that date, just a few blocks from Ground Zero,  I can tell you THIS pisses me off. The passing of the bill has absolutely nothing to do with me, personally. Clearly, I wasn’t a first responder. However, it DOES have to do with all the men and women who worked on that site, inhaling toxic fumes daily, and the ONLY reason they are being denied any assistance is because of the ridiculous pissing contest the Republican side of the senate insists on having with the Democrats. I get it, okay? You’ve held up a whole lot of shit that I think would benefit this country. You can give me your reasons for the other things you held up and I can even see how MAYBE some of it, makes sense (not to me, but okay). But for a group that has used 9/11 as the excuse for everything you have (and haven’t) done in the past nine years, the LEAST that you can do, and I do mean LEAST, is pass a bill that helps provide medical assistance for the folks who worked on that smoking pile of toxicity and are still paying the price for it.

One Senator said that he hasn’t had the time to read through it all, and thinks that it would be an affront to Christians everywhere if he worked the week between Christmas and New Years to try and figure it out. Excuse me? Wait. I understand not working Christmas. Fine. But what’s the religious significance of the days between December 25 and December 31.

Mike Huckabee (maybe one of the few Republicans, who I might not always agree with, but who,  I can actually see as making sense), actually said, and I’m paraphrasing, on the Jon Stewart show last night that these Senators SHOULD work that week, because it would make up for the rest of the year of them doing nothing. I agree.. 100%

If I sound upset, it’s because I genuinely am.  Can you imagine if Firefighters took a vote on 9/11? Sounds ridiculous right? Well so does this hold up. It is unconscionable. These fat assed Senators need to just get the fuck over themselves and show some humanity towards the people who literally risked their lives and do so every time they go into a burning building.

Here is a clip from last night’s episode of “The Daily Show,” where Jon Stewart discusses the Zodroga Bill and the Senate’s inability to see past their own selfish agendas, with actual 9/11 first responders. Seriously, tell me, after watching this, you wouldn’t want to go bitch-slap one of the senators holding up this bill too..