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The Daily Life of a Compulsive Writer

The Greatest Tragedy? September 11, 2010

Filed under: In the News — katblogger @ 7:07 PM
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I remember 9/11 with especial clarity because it was the day I came home on the wrong bus. The teachers were upset, we were confused, and perplexed 2nd grader that I was, I sat in the wrong line.

My mother, as any other self respecting parent would have, must have decided that the terrorists had made a special visit to the elementary school to pick up her daughter. By the time I returned home safe and sound – conveniently the driver had once done my route and knew where I lived – she was probably distraught. It was only then that I saw on TV the now iconic image of the two towers crashing down.

For days afterwards, we’d turn on the radio and hear about the towers. Exasperated, not understanding, I asked, “Are they going to talk about this for weeks?”

My mother shook her head. “They’re going to be talking about this for years.”

And so they have, and so they are. For better or for worse, my childhood has been spent growing up in a predominantly post 9/11 world. I listen, I think, and still the perplexed child in me tries to understand.

9/11 was monumental because it showed Americans that we’re not safe, even within our own borders. We saw the first example of this new kind of terrorism, which would become a very real menace. But when I hear 9/11 called the ‘greatest American tragedy’, I can’t always agree.

Tragedies can go many ways. There’s the simple numbers of the death toll. The Civil War has been the war that cost the highest in terms of American lives, and worse, it turned families and friends against each other. Perhaps it was necessary to bring slavery and secession to an end, but I wish it could have been settled peacefully…

Then there are the tragedies where the US strays from the vision it has sworn to uphold. For example, when Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps during WWII simply because of their race.

And  now, 9/11 is on the verge of fulfilling both sides. Roughly 3000 people died when the towers fell. I don’t mean to demean these deaths. Those people did not deserve to die. Their crime: being born in a country that terrorists didn’t like. If I believed in hallowed ground, that site would be sacred not to some god, but to the individuals of all faiths who died because of a war that wasn’t even theirs. It is now, though.

In the aftermath, especially recently, there’s been an upswing in irrational Islamophobia. This is a serious disconnect. A whole religion did not fly those planes. And yet… we are afraid. Of Muslims, of ‘other’, of everything. Airport security gets more complicated. We become less trustful. If terrorist’s aim is to actually spread terror, as their name implies, they are succeeding.

America has always prided herself on her freedoms. This is why we consider ourselves different from some other nations, that guarantee far less. Now attacks have caused us to turn our backs on what we defend. Demonizing all members of a religion for the actions of a few is eerily parallel – though thankfully not as bad, yet – as killing innocents because you disagree with their government. And that’s why 9/11 may be the greatest tragedy after all.


Hypocrisy… It’s Just So Easy August 27, 2010

Filed under: In the News,Politics,Religion — katblogger @ 12:26 AM
Tags: ,

I am a hypocrite. My friends are hypocrites. You are probably a hypocrite, even if you deny it. Because, honestly, we all are. And we need to fight that urge to decide that we’re entitled to change our minds when the situation is the same, just because it makes us feel better.

Case in point – the ‘Ground Zero’ ‘mosque’. Note the liberal use of quotes because, as you know, it’s not actually a mosque, and it’s not actually at Ground Zero. But moving on.

I support the right to build a community center – or even a mosque – anywhere someone darn well wants to. And yet… I realized while searching inside myself that I honestly wouldn’t like it if there was a church being built by a blown up abortion center. That would bother me. Okay, I probably wouldn’t show up with a sign or something, but I’d comment. I’d dislike it. Basically, I’d react the same way some people are reacting now – minus the signs and racial slurs, of course.

So what does that make me? A hypocrite, definitely. Why are they different? They’re not – it’s simply something built up inside of me, a bias against Christianity for the pain it’s caused me over the years. But I said that there shouldn’t be a bias against Islam for what one group did to the Twin Towers on 9/11. That caused pain – more than mine. But the whole religion didn’t fly that plane. And the whole of Christianity didn’t set the fuse on a bomb at an abortion clinic, either. The whole religion doesn’t type comments saying atheists aren’t American, or insist that ‘Under God’ stays in the pledge. That’s just some people in the religion. And, according to myself, I’m not supposed to judge. But it’s hard.

And it will stay hard. But I need to realize – and everyone else needs to realize – that hypocrisy has got to stop. Your morals and ethics, the country’s amendments and laws… they don’t appear or disappear because of your personal preferences and beliefs. They’re there all the time, and we all need to remember it. I can’t tolerate Islam and turn around and freak out about Christianity. A pro-lifer shouldn’t be able to advocate the death penalty. Get things straight, everyone. Make up your mind, and hold firm. Don’t laugh at hypocrites when you’re one yourself.


This Land Is My Land, None of It’s Your Land… Isn’t This Fun? August 9, 2010

Filed under: In the News,Politics — katblogger @ 2:26 AM
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Almost all my views yesterday were ads, but I’ll press on… even if I’m only talking to myself.

So… anti-immigration people want to adjust the 14th Amendment? Let’s take a look at that:

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

That’s just one section, but it’s the important one. It states that all those born in the US are citizens. This was designed to make sure slaves became legal citizens and that they would have full American privileges. Now politicians are worried that illegal immigrants will abuse it to make sure their children will become citizens. And now they want to – gasp – change it. These mostly being the people who talk about staunchly following the Constitution, and protecting gun rights because it’s in the Constitution. If we’re getting out the big Constitution eraser, can I borrow it and get rid of the 2nd Amendment, so we can abolish guns once and for all?

Honestly, the immigration debate is getting on my nerves. All these people who talk about ‘our’ country seem to be forgetting that Native Americans lived here first. That debacle drives me nuts every time I think of it. (No, I’m not Native American, I just don’t like injustice.) The settlers showed up, gave them smallpox, called them Indians, killed off most of the rest, and proceeded to shove the survivors into smaller and smaller areas of land. Then, as soon as people found out the land Native Americans were on had oil, gold, or just good grazing area, they sent them packing somewhere else. Honestly, if space travel had existed when the colonists were settling the Americas, they probably would have sent Native Americans to the moon.

I’m sure there’s got to be a political cartoon talking about this. Let’s see…

There we go. Where was I? Right… illegal immigration. And the 14th Amendment. Geez, I rambled quite a bit. Basically, make sure your own home is clean before you start criticizing someone else’s. I’m not saying having a baby here deliberately to make them a citizen is right, but how many of our ancestors came here taking the citizenship test and filling out papers? And ironically, I’m hoping that someday I’ll be rich enough to get out of here and into France. So if someone wants to come here and start a better life, we should give them a chance. And for certain, don’t assume every Hispanic-looking person is here illegally. That’s just rude.