Ten Years Later

If the anniversary of 9/11 can't get me to write something here, nothing will.
It hardly seems possible that it's been ten years since that awful day, but in some ways it is almost impossible to remember what life was like before the airplanes hit the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and the field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the passengers of Flight 93 managed to avert a fourth strike on symbols of American power.
I look back at the path our country has taken, and I see both successes and failures. Success in preventing any further significant attacks on our nation, in deposing the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, in neutralizing some regimes like Iraq and Libya that sought to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Failure to overcome political correctness in identifying the enemy, which is not some nebulous "terror" that struck us for unknown reasons, but Islamic extremists who oppose everything America stands for and who make up a non-negligible portion of the Muslim world. You will not hear the M-word or the I-word today at all. Guaranteed.
And failure to remake the countries that our armed forces quickly defeated militarily, but failed to change politically. While the power of Muslim terrorist groups to attack us has been degraded, their militant Islamic ideology has not changed. The governments of Iraq and Afghanistan are not secular, nor are they ever likely to be; the same thing is likely to happen in Libya as well. It is quite apparent that nation-building in the Middle East is a fool's errand, a waste of vast quantities of American money and American lives. We've been in Afghanistan for almost ten years and it's still one of the world's armpits. Iraq is better, but only marginally so. We would have been better served if we simply crushed our enemies and then left them to rebuild themselves, with the warning that if they ever messed with us again, we'd come back and hit them twice as hard and make the rubble dance. That's the kind of lesson that once applied, seldom needs to be repeated. But such ruthlessness is unfortunately not in the American character.


Osama Bin Dyin'

I was at work last night when I got the good news that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by Americans in Pakistan. I heard around 11:30, and when I went on break at midnight, I watched the coverage on television.

One thing struck me as odd: They were showing taped footage of a bunch of college-aged people celebrating in front of the White House, waving flags and shouting "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!" Now, that's the appropriate response, of course, but the timing was very, very strange: This group supposedly spontaneously appeared in front of the White House less than twenty minutes after President Obama made the announcement of Bin Laden's death, with flags on poles, ready to parade around in front of the television cameras.

Do you believe that? I don't, and if you do, I'd like to sell you some nice vacation land in the Everglades. I'd bet dollars to donuts that the supposedly spontaneous crowd was bussed in by Democrat political operatives and supplied their flags when they arrived.

People were wondering why Obama took so long to come on television to make the announcement. It was obviously because his crowd hadn't arrived yet. It was a made-for-television political event with all of the spontaneity of a Kim Jong Il rally in North Korea, and frankly, I find it disgusting and cynical that the Democrats would do something like that, although not surprising.

I am, however, glad that Osama Bin Laden has assumed room temperature. I'm also glad that they were smart enough to bury him at sea, so there would be no shrine for Al Qaeda terrorists to visit. It's too bad that they didn't sew him up in pigskins, but you can't have everything.



Well, well, well. What have we here? A moribund blog. No posts in almost five months. Any faithful readers have probably long since given up on the blogger's return, and who can blame them?

When I first started this blog, I felt a need to write. Over the past couple of years, that need waned, even though there was plenty of material being provided by the current administration. But if the desire to write isn't there, or if it's being channeled elsewhere, then even the most amusing material in the world won't make the writer write.

But enough of my sorry excuses...

I watched some of the British royal wedding the other day, not because I'm a big fan of weddings or British royalty but because I can appreciate a grand spectacle. I watched some of this morning's beatification mass from the Vatican for Pope John Paul II for the same reason, even though I'm not Catholic. Both events also featured people wearing fancy hats, although the "Cthulhu hat" worn by Princess Beatrice (daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson) was just a bit over the top...

What I'm listening to: The Meat Purveyors - Someday Soon Things Will Be Much Worse! This alt-country album from 2006 features an interesting mix of bluegrass and punk sensibilities, and has some interesting cover songs. My current favorite is their cover of Loretta Lynn's "Fist City," which some might say is better than the original.

They are a band from Austin, a notoriously left-leaning area, so it's not surprising that there are a couple of political songs decrying the state of the country at the time and lambasting the President at the time without calling him by name. I'm from the "shut up and sing" school. Don't try to tell me who to vote for and don't get all preachy about the environment, eating meat or the evils of Corporate America. I really hated it when the band Boston did that; their last couple of albums were almost unlistenable compared to their earlier "good time" music that wasn't weighted down with political baggage.

Anyway, most of the stuff the Meat Purveyors has put out falls into the "good time" music category. I especially liked their 2004 album Pain By Numbers, which features songs like "How Can I Be So Thirsty Today?" "It Won't Be Long (and I'll Be Hating You)," "Paint By Numbers," and a great cover of "Daydreams About Night Things."