This is the way we swing it downtown, ladies and gentlemen. Do yourself a favor and give Mr. Olbermann whatever time it takes to download and watch his latest special comment.
This post by Athenae is exactly right. We are only safer by building community, not by walling ourselves off and building a fortress. This go-it-alone, every-man-for-himself attitude that has infected American politics is an artifact of wealth and privilege. Those who live under the delusion that they are self-made, when they must employ scores just to maintain their personal fiefdoms, seek to apply their perverse notion of self-reliance to governance. But it doesn’t work, can’t work, has never worked, for a society to seal up its borders and attempt to disengage from the community. Society breaks down when fear, suspicion, and distrust rule the day.
I have been struck for some time by the dichotomy between the current competing trends in politics and society. Politics has become more insular, more combative, more polarized. At the same time, social trends – certainly in the technology world, where I spend so much of my attention – have been marked by a radical drive towards collaboration, openness, and harmony.
Perhaps what’s so striking about this is how socioeconomic differences tend to track with these competing trends. If I may generalize rather blatantly, the open source movement is driven largely by those in the middle and lower classes. Government is filled largely with the wealthy and privileged – or those who want to be – and influenced by monied interests. The former seeks success by inclusion and community. The latter seeks to succeed by division and disharmony.
We need a tectonic shift. We need the molten fire of the community-driven subculture to push through the crusty surface of the status quo. It can’t happen soon enough for me.
I’m a little behind on this, but I wanted to mark this special commentary from Keith Olbermann, given on 9/11/2006 in front of the former site of the Twin Towers. It is a powerful monologue; take a few minutes to watch.
I’ve been saying this for a long time, but not nearly as well as Bruce Schneier: The appropriate response to terror is not to be terrorized. We are a stronger country than we’ve been letting on, and we have got to get a bit of a grip right now.
Via Atrios: “I’d like to state for the record that America is not tired of fighting terrorism; America is tired of the wrongheaded and boneheaded leadership of the Republican party…” Preach it, Sister Landrieu!
Attaturk says it: we will destroy ourselves far better and faster than the terrorists possibly could.
Path to 9/11 is an ABC miniseries airing tonight and tomorrow and billed as a docudrama based on the 9/11 Commission Report. The series has been reported to contain scenes that are inaccurate and misleading, and has prompted an outcry from liberal (and even some conservative) bloggers and commenters. Many prominent public figures have spoken out against the film, including Bill Clinton, Richard Clarke, and the film’s star Harvey Keitel. One former FBI agent refused to work on the film as an advisor once he had read the script, and another quit when the producers failed to correct a list of inaccuracies.
The program was written and directed by a pair with strong ties to the right wing. ABC has actively reached out to the right wing in order to drum up support for the program. The movie will be shown around the world, and ABC had made a deal with Scholastic, Inc., to distribute the series to schools along with a companion guide pointing up the supposed documentary aspects of the movie (Scholastic has since altered the guide to focus on media literacy).
Although ABC has made review copies of the series available only to right-wing bloggers and commentators, AmericaBlog has obtained a preview and has found that:
- The movie falsely identifies American Airlines as the carrier that let Mohamed Atta on board despite a security warning. The movie also puts the event at the wrong airport. The airport was in Portland, Maine, and Atta boarded a US Airways flight (facts contained on Page 1 of the 9/11 Commission Report!).
- The movie contains a scene of a Talibani firing bullets at the projected image of President Clinton’s head.
- The movie contains a scene where Clinton’s National Security Advisor Sandy Berger refuses to give the CIA permission to kill Usama bin Laden, even though an agent has bin Laden in his crosshairs. This event never happened.
- The movie even misspells Madeleine Albright’s name.
Continue reading “ABC determined to attack inside America” »
Via poputonian, Kurt Vonnegut offers us some Labor Day food for thought:
As long as there is a lower class, I am in it.
As long as there is a criminal element, I’m of it.
As long as there is a soul in prison, I am not free.
~Eugene Debs, campaigning for president in 1926
This is a real shocker. Steve Irwin, TV’s Crocodile Hunter, has died in a freak accident, while filming an underwater documentary off the coast of Cairns, Queensland, Australia. He was struck through the chest by the barb of a sting-ray and killed instantly. Our deepest sympathies to his wife Terry, and the couple’s children Bindi and Bob.
Glenn Greenwald on the hypocrisy of the chest-thumping war mongers. Just what are their values, exactly?