Remembering 9/11: Enjoy the Silence

“Words like violence break the silence; come crashing in… into my little world.”

Each year on the days leading up to 9/11, I find myself getting frustrated at cable news and what I call “9/11 porn.”  But then I wake up on September 11, ___ and I feel differently.  Yes, I’m frustrated by the 9/11 porn, but it doesn’t matter.  Today isn’t about that — it’s about something greater.

It’s not that I forget what happened that day, it’s just that I forget what happened that day. I can’t explain it any better than that.

So, as I sit here, tears streaming down my face, my thoughts go out to all who lost friends and family on September 11, 2001.

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One bright morning when my work is over, man will fly away home…

Image: DNAinfo/Jill Colvin

When you are 93, if you have lived a full life, death can be an old friend, like one of those distant relatives you met as a child and who pops in to visit with somewhat rhythmic regularity throughout your existence. She’s something of a constant – grey haired now, with bifocals, but still wearing that unfortunate green cardigan and that odd air that leads to so many uncomfortable pauses when she stays for tea. She always attends funerals, but occasionally comes at Christmas, clutching a bottle of cheap sparkling red, or sometimes in the dead of night.

As an old friend, she’s not that scary anymore. Your interactions with her are generally quite civil, as most of your gripes with her are in the past, smoothed over and forgotten like the time Aunty Ethel took Mother’s diamond earrings while the old dear was on her deathbed or what Uncle Frank said about Ethel at the funeral afterwards. You know that someday soon she will ring the doorbell, grinning that toothy grin she grins at times like these, and if you are lucky she will be kind and it won’t hurt very much.

But sometimes death is a spiteful bitch, and she shows up one September day at the office or on the plane you caught that morning, or you see her on a bus in London or at a nightclub in Kuta or on a desert battlefield somewhere, or she drops into your daughter’s wedding somewhere in Pakistan or Afghanistan and, as death is wont to do, she wipes out young lives, old lives, lives fraught with promise, with one twitch of her hand, and every life lost a tragedy.

You’d think that, at 93, and as a lover of words, I’d know what to say on days like this. However, it’s about this point in the proceedings that such facility with words as I have deserts me, so I will just point you to the story of one man killed ten years ago today, who seems to me to have had the right idea. Read more








ACTION ITEM: Troy Davis Has Twelve Days Left

Act now.

What follows is a comment about the injustice surrounding the Troy Davis case left by Stephen Matlock at Emily L. Hauser’s blog, In My Head:

Well, we had a short writing session yesterday in a symposium I attended, “Social Media for Social Justice.”

Here’s what I wrote:

More than 20 years ago on a hot muggy night Officer Mark MacPhail worked as a security officer at a fast-food restaurant. An altercation outside escalated, as often happens when people are tired and angry. Officer MacPhail intervened, and two shots ended his life.

A man now sits in a Georgia State Prison awaiting execution for that crime. All is in order, rules followed, jurors instructed, penalty phases adjudicated. And Troy Davis, 13 12 days away from his own death, awaits the response to his near-futile pleas for clemency.

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Two *Extremely* Important Action Items: Save Troy Davis and the Somalia Emergency Food Fund [Updated!]

This will be a quick and dirty post because I’m swamped, but there are two important action items that you really must act upon.

First, the Senate Appropriations Committee is voting on the Agricultural Appropriations Bill this afternoon. I’m not sure when. It looks like the Senate is recessed until 2:15 p.m so that’s 45 minutes from now. I can’t find anything about when the vote is going to be held, but if you have not yet done so, please contact your Senator (if he or she is on the Appropriations Committee). All contact info (including telephone and fax numbers) are included, as well as a sample template letter. It will literally take you 3 minutes. CLICK HERE.

Second, Troy Davis has been given an execution date of September 21. What follows is a post about Troy Davis by Emily L. Hauser. This case is just APPALLING:

Troy Davis in the Chatham County Superior Court during his trail in the shooting death of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail. (AP Photo/Savannah Morning News)

Troy Davis, the death row inmate about whom I wrote last week, has been given an execution date of September 21.

I repeat: Mr. Davis is almost certainly innocent of the crime for which the state of Georgia wants to kill him.

There is no physical evidence connecting him to the crime, seven out of the nine eyewitnesses have recanted, stating that they had been pressured, coerced or frightened into testifying, and jury members have said flat out: “If I knew then what I know now, Troy Davis would not be on death row.”

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Thanks! I think it’s helpful when we get down to the real issue

From Talking Points Memo (always great on voting issues):

Conservative columnist Matthew Vadum is just going to come right out and say it: registering the poor to vote is un-American and “like handing out burglary tools to criminals.” “It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote,” Vadum, the author of a book published by World Net Daily that attacks the now-defunct community organizing group ACORN, writes in a column for the American Thinker.

I know you’re falling out of your chair right about now with this new and shocking revelation, but it was never about “voter fraud”. This American Thinker is writing about legally registered Americans voting. He’s opposed.

It’s also complete nonsense. Conservatives are also working hard to suppress the votes of college students, who are not people who are ordinarily portrayed as “poor”, but are a group who have always been one of the main targets of voter registration drives. No one will ask this conservative scholar about this inconsistency, however, just like these folks are never asked about the alleged rampant “voter impersonation fraud” they’re always screeching about. The voting process doesn’t interest the horse race pundits, at all. Specific, dull and not at all important.



The job thread that would not die…

Yesterday’s job thread is still going, and there have been some good posts yesterday evening and overnight from people with job opportunities and suggestions and some more people who are looking for work.

I don’t know if it will do any good, but you never know. If you folk think it’s a good idea, I’m happy to make it a semi-regular thing.

In the mean time, this is yet another open thread.

ETA: I’m bringing over a few of the more interesting posts. If for some reason you don’t want your post on the front page let me know and I will take it out. Sorry if I didn’t pick yours – I’m just sticking in what caught my eye in a quick scan of the second half of the thread. There is lots more good stuff on the original thread or feel free to repost on this one. Squeaky wheel and all that…
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And then dance and drink and screw, because there’s nothing else to do…

The lovely harlana notes that:

Ordinary people have sacrificed enough already. Come on! I saw 2 people on the blog last nite who have recently lost their jobs. I really wish we could have an open thread for that, for their stories, nobody around here seems interested.

I don’t know very much about struggle and hardship (not least because I’m imaginary), but I am happy to admit that in a week when London is burning, stockbrokers are behaving like Michele Bachmann in a k-hole, and thousands of Somali children starved to death, listening to those in our little community who are having hard times is much more worthwhile than yet another post about Sullivan or McArdle or Brooks.

Have at it.

ETA: Via Arguingwithsignposts:

The Slacktivist does this, I just noticed. Here’s his post format:

Job seekers: Let us know where you are and what you’re looking for.

Everybody: Skim through and see if you know something, or know someone, or know someone who knows someone, who might help out one of our job seekers.

Duly stolen. And yes, feel free to mention friends or family.

[Image: David Vinckbooms (1576-1632) – Distribution of Loaves to the Poor.]