Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Repost of A Remembrance

I posted this back in 2009.  This is the tenth anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11.

I was at the main library in downtown Ft. Lauderdale meeting with other librarians in the tech lab (computers) departments. The library was switching to a new email system (groupwise) and they wanted us to perform the in-house training. Meeting started at 9 am. One of my coworkers was late, coming in and saying there was news a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers...
...When we finished the meeting, we left the classroom and walked out into the foyer area and up the escalator to the library’s main floor. They had dragged out a TV on a cart and was trying to get a signal. For some reason, TV reception was lousy in that building, and they didn’t have cable connection. I saw an old boss of mine who was also at the library for a meeting and approached her, asking what was going on. “Oh my God,” she told me. “There was another plane hitting the other World Trade Center tower.”
It took a few seconds. It took a few seconds to realize that one plane was an accident. Two planes, one right after the other… hitting each tower…
I knew then it meant war...

Not much has changed since 2009.  Except that our fighting in Iraq is lessened now that our military and political presence there has dropped.  The fighting in Afghanistan has increased, mostly through an attempt to finish the nine and a half years we've been there trying to keep the allies of Bin Laden from regaining power there.

A lot has changed since 2001, but most of it is due to political partisan BS that isn't appropriate to note during this somber moment.  The one thing I can note is that Bin Laden is dead, answering for his part in the attacks ten years ago among some of the other sins he'd committed the years before.  It may have been a bloody justice without the courtroom, but this was a man who admitted to his part and sought to commit more acts of war to prove himself mighty rather than decent.  It was a bloody justice but it was done.

We are as a nation today opening memorials at the ground of the World Trade Center, and near Shanksville PA.  There will be remembrances and muted celebrations across the country today.  There isn't much more to do other than mourn the dead and build again...

Thursday, September 08, 2011

What I Want To Hear From Obama On His Jobs Speech

Obama is set to appear tonight before a Joint Session of Congress to present a plan for doing something about the horrendous unemployment numbers that are miring our economy in the most prolonged recession this nation's ever seen (it's getting into Depression-type numbers, which is never good).

These are some of the things I'd like to hear Obama say:

"There is growing evidence that businesses and corporations are intentionally overlooking the long-term unemployed.  They are refusing to hire anyone who's been out of work longer than six months.  Even if that unemployed candidate has years of relevant experience.  This is wrong.  This is unacceptable.  It is prolonging our nation's economic woes by creating and expanding our unemployed population and putting more of a burden on our nation's social safety net already facing tight budget restrictions.  This is creating a self-fulfilling belief that the long-term unemployed are unemployable because, well, you're keeping them that way.  We need to look at this as discriminatory hiring practices, and we need to enforce hiring laws to tell corporations they need to hire more people who have been out of work for longer than six months, for longer than a year, for longer than two years.  Hire the long-term unemployed first before even thinking about hiring people who already have a job.  If we catch you hiring people who already have employment over people who've been begging and praying for work for years, we will fine your sorry corporate HR asses so much you'd think filing for bankruptcy will be cheaper."

"The vast long-term unemployed WANT to work.  They want to make something of their lives.  They want to earn a paycheck so they can feed their own families and pay for that roof over their heads.  There's not a one of them who prefers sitting at home doing nothing and earning unemployment benefits that barely covers the cost of weekly groceries or rent.  If any of you politicians even THINK of accusing the long-term unemployed as drug abusers or welfare queens, I will personally escort you to your district's or state's unemployment offices and have you sit there for six months so you can see how hard-pressed and desperate the unemployed REALLY ARE to find any work."

"That said.  FUCK YOU JIM DEMINT.  FUCK YOU AND YOUR BULLSHIT FANTASIES ABOUT THE UNEMPLOYED BEING LAZY."  (NOTE: Yes, I want Obama to say this.  After the Joe Wilson "You Lie" crap, why pretend civility is a part of Congress anymore?)

"There is no evidence that cutting taxes creates jobs.  There is no evidence that cutting regulations creates jobs.  What we do know is that cutting taxes INCREASES the federal deficits to unsustainable levels.  What we do know is that cutting regulations or ignoring regulations to make profits leads to increased pollution, unsafe work areas, and people dying.  So to my Republicans opponents: STOP SHILLING TAX CUTS AND DEREGULATION AS JOB-CREATORS.  You're selling snake oil, you fuckers."

"What we need in this country is another WPA.  We need to get construction jobs up and running.  We need to repair bridges and roads that haven't been fixed or upgraded in 40 years.  We need to repair and upgrade nuclear reactors that are 20 years past their expiration date, and yes while nuclear reactors carry enormous risk our energy needs rely on them right now, so we need to upgrade them to newer safer models than the old-style reactors from 40 years ago that aren't as safe against earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters.  We need to replace schools older than 20 years, make them compatible with today's technologies, so we can start teaching our children on the tools of today and tomorrow.  We need to get people working: for every one person who was hired back during the WPA of the 1930s, that job created two other jobs in response."

"All we need is a construction-jobs program that hires people across this nation.  The WPA of the 1930s hired 8 million people.  We don't need to go that big.  We can hire 4 million people, and if one WPA job creates two more that can translate up to 12 million Americans getting jobs, cutting more than half of our unemployment numbers right there.  IT WORKED BEFORE AND IT CAN WORK AGAIN."

"And we can pay for this new WPA.  We can look at our budgets and make the adjustments needed to make budget room for this jobs program.  We can eliminate some of the tax credits on billionaires that won't hurt their wallets but will pay back into this jobs programs FOR ALL AMERICANS to benefit.  IT WORKED BEFORE AND IT CAN WORK AGAIN."

"Our nation's economy is struggling.  We can't ignore that.  One of the two reasons our economy is struggling is because we lack the jobs to hire the unemployed.  We can solve that with a jobs bill.  But we can't ignore the other reason our economy is struggling, and that is the household debt our citizens are fighting.  And the largest form of household debt are mortgages.  Too many families are struggling at too-low incomes paying off mortgages on houses whose values have gone underwater.  Our housing industry is facing another series of destructive foreclosures and abandoned properties.  Each foreclosure lowers the property values of everyone else's homes surrounding them.  This is making it hard for people to sell their homes if they have to move to new jobs.  This is making it hard for people to pay off their mortgages, period.  And this is shuffling their debts from one thing to another like their overdrawn credit cards or unpaid college loans.  Above all, paying off all this debt is making it impossible for our citizens to pay for anything else like products and services that would boost our consumer-driven economy.  We need to look into resolving some of these debt issues.  Instead of bailing out banks, bail out the mortgage holders.  Help them pay off their mortgages to where their homes are no longer underwater.  Help pay off their mortgages so none of them fall into foreclosure.  By helping them, we free up the banks overwhelmed with foreclosures to begin making safe loans that can stabilize our housing market."

"And again, I cannot stress this enough, FUCK YOU JIM DEMINT.  FUCK YOU SIDEWAYS WITH A CHAINSAW."

"Thank you, God Bless to all the families across our nation, God Bless the United States of America."