Monday, September 12, 2005


Yesterday marked the fourth anniversary of 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Interesting how one country’s tragedy was cause for celebration in other parts of the world. Many fundamentalist and militant Muslims felt joy and pride for their brothers managing to stick their thumbs up the nose their archenemy, Uncle Sam. Within hours the plans to invade Iraq were in full motion. Of course, history has shown already that instead of curbing terrorism, this invasion and occupation created a whole new breed of it. Interestingly, this was not the only 9/11 with this kind of a scenario. In 1973 Chile’s democratically-elected president Salvador Allende was overthrown and assassinated in a military coup, supported by our very own CIA, code named “Project FUBELT”. General Pinochet and his supporters celebrated, as did many in this country, and yet much of the free world was stunned and wept. Countless number of people were tortured, died or simply vanished as a result. I’m sure there are other similar celebrations that are mourned by equally many.

9-1-1 is also a quick way to send the police to someone’s door. We had a disturbed resident a couple blocks up who decided that either my wife or her students’ parents were driving too fast past his house. The strange part of the story is that the street is very narrow at that point, and it is very difficult to see down the hill, so nobody wanting to stay out of harm’s way would drive faster than 10-15 mph. I guess that by sending the policemen here made my wife seem a criminal in his view. He soon moved away, to the relief of everyone in the neighborhood.

Breaking news just told about the resignation of Mike Brown, the head of FEMA. Duh. Although our President initially praised him for handling the hurricane aftermath, the fiasco grew too big to sweep under a rug. Perhaps Mr. Brown can return to the area to head a Seahorse Association, as his expertise is better with horses than people.

Just a couple days back HBO showed a terrific “Real Time with Bill Maher.” We need more people who can speak their mind, and the truth, about the way our country and world is headed. This show started with a joke about a certain former White House intern from the Clinton era becoming a psychotherapist; so that she can blow peoples’ minds, and went on to attack the intolerable handling of Katrina’s aftermath, addressing our head of state directly in the famous “New Rules” section. I wish I could speak my mind like that, or even a fraction of it, without threats of lawsuits. I am happy that Mr. Maher is allowed to exercise his first amendment rights: we all need to hear something different from the censored picture of events even CNN gives us these days.