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9-11, What have we learned?

I’m not going to pretend to be a 9/11 guru. I don’t have total knowledge of the event. What I do remember is that the event changed me. I’m a different person today then I was 18 years ago.

I was on call the night before. I got home and was in bed. My mother-in-law called and said that a plane hit one of the twin towers. My mother-in-law seemed to never sleep. She always had the news on. She was always very concerned about some blonde teenager who was missing in Haiti or the Bahamas. I told my wife, after she hung up the phone, don’t worry about it. Then I figured that I would turn on the TV. For the next several hours, I sat in bed and watched the events unfold.

The first lesson that I learned was that a determined enemy can inflict damage on a much larger foe. The twin towers going down were heart breaking to see. Over 2700 people lost their lives.

The second lesson that I learned as that we were asleep at the wheel. There were plenty of clues  but no one in charge thought that a band of knuckleheads could really attack the United States.  If the job of the US government is to protect the people then they failed.

The third lesson is that we went into the “War on Terror” like a bull in a China shop. Either you are with us or against us. We killed or kidnapped anyone in our way. This created tons of new enemies.

The fourth lesson is that folks in power have agendas. We half invaded Afghanistan then decided Afghanistan doesn’t matter any more. We decided that Iraq was the problem. We packed up and took the show to Iraq. We tried to do the war on a budget. We were told that Iraqi oil would pay for the invasion. We didn’t get Iraqi oil. Folks at companies that we had never heard of before made billions of dollars (Halliburton).

The fifth lesson is that we can be real bad assess when we need to be. We completely folded up Al Qaeda in Asia. We kicked butt and took names.

What lessons did you learn?

By |2019-09-11T18:04:24-04:00September 11th, 2019|Terrorism, War on Terror|Comments Off on 9-11, What have we learned?

News Roundup – Tay, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Brussels, Apple verses the DOJ

microsoft

So, Microsoft releases its artificial intelligence bot, named Tay, on social media yesterday. What could possibly go wrong? From WSJ – One tweet from Tay, whose persona was intended to mimic the voice of an American woman aged 18 to 24, read, “Hitler was right I hate the Jews.” Another, in response to a question about the Holocaust, said “it was made up,” followed by a hand-clapping emoji. Microsoft silenced Tay on Thursday morning and erased virtually all of its tweets. The latest tweet suggested that Tay will be offline for a bit.

I’m sorry. I think that the Democratic Party needs to return to its roots, representing the average American. This means not sucking up to big corporate donors. This also means doing right by average Americans. So, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, someone I really liked 10 years ago, and Rahm Emmanuel need to be put out to pasture. They don’t promote Democratic values.

The bombings in Brussels are simply sad.  Today, as I was walking around the hospital, I heard a couple nurses saying that it was okay to travel, but that they wouldn’t travel outside the US. That’s just silly. I’m not going to let ISIS tell me where I should and should not travel. (I’m not going to Syria or Yemen or Iraq.) Who are these guys? Jahadi Cool?

The ongoing battle between the Justice Department and Apple really shows us that Congress ain’t working. Congress should have taken up this issue months ago. They should have, by now, hammered out a solution. (The solution in my mind would be to have on a case-by-case basis all of these issues go before the FISA court.) Instead, as far as I know, Congress hasn’t done squat. Apple is fighting to get the government off their backs and off of the backs of all of the technology companies. They don’t want to hand over data or anything else with the government stating that bad guys will get away if you don’t hand over the goods. (BTW, I suspect that Apple has already broken the code and could open that phone right now.) The FBI is trying to break into the phone now. This whole process would be easier if we had a Congress that worked.

Oh, so, I’m liking the ridiculous discussion between Trump and Cruz about whose wife is hotter.

Wage inequality is still a big problem.

The NFL has known about the concussion risk for years. Is anyone surprised?

Garry Shandling is dead at age 66. He made millions laugh. RIP.

By |2016-03-24T23:00:22-04:00March 24th, 2016|Entertainment, Sports, Terrorism, War on Terror|Comments Off on News Roundup – Tay, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Brussels, Apple verses the DOJ

News Roundup – Galaxy Note 5, PGA Championship, Trump

Galaxy Note 5 by Samsung. I love the Note 4. It is the best phone that I have ever owned. Great camera. Great battery life.

One of the truly funny and amazing things about golf is that the supposedly “smart guys” will set up a scenario. For the PGA championship the scenario was Jordan Spieth versus Rory McElroy. They want this rivalry to develop so badly but it just hasn’t. At the beginning of round three, Matt Jones, somebody most of us had never heard of, is leading the tournament by two strokes. Jason Day is in second. Should be some good golf this afternoon.

It’s kind of funny how Donald Trump is driving the Republican field mad. Oh, did Roger Ailes declare an unconditional surrender to Donald Trump? Looks like he has.

July unemployment numbers continue to slowly improve. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.3%. The economy added 215,000 new jobs.

Melissa Harris-Perry along with her husband James Perry have written a great article on Black Lives Matter and tying it to New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. She argues that the movement really started back in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I think she’s right. This article is worth a read (here are a couple paragraphs) –

Hurricane Katrina did not hit New Orleans directly, and the city would have recovered swiftly from the extensive but manageable damage caused by winds and rain alone. But in the hours after the storm hit, several critical levees failed as powerful storm surges swept against decades of inadequate infrastructure. This part of the Katrina story is old and simple: By refusing to invest adequately in the public infrastructure needed to protect the most economically vulnerable and racially marginalized communities, the federal, state, and local governments left New Orleans open to massive devastation and long-term economic losses that affected every single neighborhood.

A decade later, we remain locked in maddening partisan battles as our public infrastructure crumbles beneath us—as if the consequences are irrelevant, or distant, or easily contained. ­Katrina already taught us that the fate of black lives cannot be separated from that of whole communities. Black lives matter.

The federal deficit continues to shrink as thoughtful economists said it would.

AT&T helped the US by on Internet traffic. Are you surprised?

I am completely confused by the young couple in Mississippi that are linked to ISIS.

By |2015-08-16T18:19:23-04:00August 15th, 2015|Economy, Sports, Terrorism, War on Terror|Comments Off on News Roundup – Galaxy Note 5, PGA Championship, Trump