September 11, 2021 Weekend Open Thread

Photo by Colorado Pols

“Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better.”

–Albert Camus

55 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. davebarnes says:

    Today (Saturday) is Women’s Baseball Day 

  2. Voyageur says:

    A day on which Barnes, as usual, strikes out!

  3. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Apparently, there is a 1905 SCOTUS decision that provides the backing for Biden's vaccine mandate. There is another in 1921 or 1922.

  4. Duke Cox says:

    “He who dares not offend, cannot be honest”      Thomas Paine

    “Honesty is the best policy”. Sir Edwin Sandys..

    Ergo….I offend for the benefit of mankind.

  5. MichaelBowman says:

    I have to admit I’m struggling with today, balancing the respect and solemnity of the occasion and the US lives lost (as well as the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi and Afghan civilians) with our Toby Keith bravado.  We’ve yet to invade the country most responsible for the proliferation of global terror.  

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      My being conflicted on this day is pretty well summed up by Krugman, in this article:

      Foreign Terrorists Have Never Been Our Biggest Threat

      It may seem like a terrible thing to say, but a fair number of people — especially in the news media — are nostalgic about the months that followed 9/11. Some pundits openly pine for the sense of national unity that, they imagine, prevailed in the aftermath of the terrorist attack. More subtly, my sense is that many long for the days when the big threat to America seemed to come from foreign fanatics, not homegrown political extremists.

      But that golden moment of unity never existed; it’s a myth, one that we need to stop perpetuating if we want to understand the dire current state of American democracy. The truth is that key parts of the American body politic saw 9/11, right from the beginning, not as a moment to seek national unity but as an opportunity to seize domestic political advantage.

      And this cynicism in the face of the horror tells us that even at a time when America truly was under external attack, the biggest dangers we faced were already internal.

      The Republican Party wasn’t yet full-on authoritarian, but it was willing to do whatever it took to get what it wanted, and disdainful of the legitimacy of its opposition. That is, we were well along on the road to the Jan. 6 putsch — and toward a G.O.P. that has, in effect, endorsed that putsch and seems all too likely to try one again.

      . . . that which America voluntarily surrendered of itself in the aftermath of those attacks, and in the response to them, is our own ongoing loss.

      (On a personal note, it was my disgust with the Democratic Party’s failures and collective willful feebleness in response to the Bush Administration’s disastrous lies and machinations that directly led me leave the Party and to reregister as “unaffiliated.”)

      • Duke Cox says:

        "No Place to Hide" by Robert O'Harrow Jr. is very informative regarding the things we gave up after 9/11.

        It is a fairly old book, so I imagine what was scary then is terrifying now.

      • MichaelBowman says:

        We lost more than just innocent lives on that day.  We lost our liberty, our bravery, our democratic values, our credibility. We said never forget and then immediately forgot our American values. How quickly we forgot that President Bush failed us – and then rewarded him with imperial powers. We wandered into the unknowables with Rumsfeld and gave Cheney a blank check. 

        We took the tragedy of one day and stretched that tragedy across the globe over two decades.  

        I was a Republican when the planes hit the WTC and Pentagon. It wasn't a popular position to be 'anti-war / anti-Dubya'. In that twenty years our nation has wreaked havoc in the Middle East, we now shake down old ladies at airport screening stations. We taught ourselves to fear Muslims. Passed (and reauthorized) the Patriot Act (who could be against it!) We've allowed the slow erosion of our civil liberties, tortured and killed innocent people, killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan citizens, and left an environmental disaster in its wake.  

        We eventually found and assassinated Osama bin Laden, but then decided to stick around ten more years in a futile attempt to nation-build. 

        We've spit on our first responders, created a domestic army in our police force. We ignored the domestic terror threat from white nationalists next door.

        Sadly, this is not our best day. 

        • spaceman2021 says:

          I lived and worked in downtown Oklahoma City in 1995.  So 9/11 reminds me of very different things, like the fact that a white, catholic army veteran blew in my office windows.

          • MichaelBowman says:

            Unpopular opinion on the eve of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 – the terrorists won.

            I’d argue our decline began post-Vietnam and Reagan’s economic approach absolutely quickened our decline. But 9/11 and our subsequent response put us on the fast track to failure.

            9/11 was a test. The books of the last two decades show how America failed.

            Deep within the catalogue of regrets that is the 9/11 Commission report — long after readers learn of the origins and objectives of al-Qaeda, past the warnings ignored by consecutive administrations, through the litany of institutional failures that allowed terrorists to hijack four commercial airliners — the authors pause to make a rousing case for the power of the nation’s character.

            “The U.S. government must define what the message is, what it stands for,” the report asserts. “We should offer an example of moral leadership in the world, committed to treat people humanely, abide by the rule of law, and be generous and caring to our neighbors. . . . We need to defend our ideals abroad vigorously. America does stand up for its values.”

            This affirmation of American idealism is one of the document’s more opinionated moments. Looking back, it’s also among the most ignored.

            Rather than exemplify the nation’s highest values, the official response to 9/11 unleashed some of its worst qualities: deception, brutality, arrogance, ignorance, delusion, overreach and carelessness. This conclusion is laid bare in the sprawling literature to emerge from 9/11 over the past two decades — the works of investigation, memoir and narrative by journalists and former officials that have charted the path to that day, revealed the heroism and confusion of the early response, chronicled the battles in and about Afghanistan and Iraq, and uncovered the excesses of the war on terror. Reading or rereading a collection of such books today is like watching an old movie that feels more anguishing and frustrating than you remember. The anguish comes from knowing how the tale will unfold; the frustration from realizing that this was hardly the only possible outcome.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      The Dixie Chicks had some choice words for Toby…..

    • Voyageur says:

      "The country most responsible for terror?"

      Do you mean Texas or Florida, Michael?

  6. RepealAndReplace says:

    And yet another one of those deplorables who crawled out of the basket…..

    Joseph Angel Alvarez Killed Lawyer Over Biden Vote: Police (


  7. kwtree says:

    I still can’t stand to watch George W Bush mouth his pious hypocrisies. That’s where the commemmorations lost me.

    He and Cheney saw political advantage (“I’m a war president”.) and billions to be made. So they struck back at the wrong country, let the hunt for Bin Laden grow cold while the war raged, killed at least a million  non-combatants in various countries, legitimized torture as standard US practice, grew the surveillance state.

    The one positive thing Shrub did was refuse to stigmatize American Muslims. And that, too, was at least partly due to who was buttering his bread.

    Beschloss, the historian, asked on MSNBC this morning whether Trump would have had the grace and patriotism Al Gore showed, after 9/11, when Gore said, “George Bush is my Commander” and asked people to support him. Well, we don’t actually wonder about that too much.

  8. gertie97 says:

    I can’t figure out how to post from my iPad, but check out Bush’s remarks today at the Pennsylvania memorial, in which he equates the Jan. 6 insurrectionists as the same terrorism as 9-11.


  9. JohnInDenver says:

    Heard the NPR broadcast this morning, "live" from PA.  Both before and after Pres. Bush's speech, the host (Inskeep, I think) kept wondering about how today will play politically. Whether Biden should be giving a speech instead of releasing a video.  If the end of the Afghanistan War made him look bad today and how that would impact the 2022 and 2024 elections. 

    I decided I could do without exposure to media comments.  I'll read speech texts and probably will watch video in the coming week.  But for today, I'm done with simplistic views and reactions.

  10. JohnInDenver says:

    The Colorado Sun has the story dated almost 3 pm yesterday, the 10th.

    Republican Heidi Ganahl files to run for Colorado governor in 2022

  11. davebarnes says:

    September 11, 2001 is the day Saudi Arabia attacked the USA and killed 3000+ people living here.

    The "Kingdom" has never suffered any consequences for its actions.

    We need to get to true energy independence and fuck OPEC.

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      “f. OPEC…………” Hmmm. So you would prefer to turn over more of our public lands to the oil & gas industry? The energy industry is sitting today on several hundred thousand acres of undeveloped leases just in the Western U.S., as enhancements to the bottom lines. You want “energy independence,” then go after the energy barons.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      What we import from OPEC today is almost di minimis. (About equal to what we export to Mexico)

      We could offset close to 40% of our domestic use with advanced biofuels made from ag waste products alone. We have an OPEC right here beneath our feet (electrification and increasing fuel standards will help, too).

  12. davebarnes says:

    September 12, 1958 – Jack Kilby demonstrates the first working integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments.

  13. Sparky says:

    I see that Klannie Oakley has decided to start screaming about Benghazi. In the year 2021, after Covid and Jan. 6 and everything that’s happened in the intervening years, this is what she chooses to try to make noise about.

    I would really love to see her try to name the men who died in Benghazi without Googling it. #NeverForget indeed, right?

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