Sunday, May 13, 2007

United 93, 9-11 Revisited

I. The Film

In between doing loads of laundry yesterday, I caught most of the film United 93, which I hadn't planned on otherwise seeing, and it brought up some important issues concerning 9-11. The film was incredibly well done -- I'm not familiar with the work of the director, Paul Greengrass -- and it simply told the story of what happened on that fateful day, from the flight tower to the passengers who tried to overtake the plane. So many questions for me were brought up in this film, which was painful for me, as an American, to watch. Though multiple commissions have studied the terrorist plans, I'm still left wondering how these men were able to get on board the plane in the first place and why inspectors didn't catch the knives they were carrying. From what was portrayed in the film, the passengers on board United 93 weren't the only heroes that day; air traffic controllers and other aviation and military persons were working nonstop to try and stop the crises, and it seems a mix of bureacracy and lack of communication got in their way.

II. The Aftermath

The Bush administration, while acting admirably on some level after the attacks, has used the 9-11 attacks for their own twisted political purposes and has still left America vulnerable to terrorist attacks nearly six years later. The Patriot Act, passed under the provision of protecting Americans from further terrorism, violated guaranteed civil rights promised under the Constitution, and torture, in the name of the war on terrorism, has been committed by American troops. Our ports are still incredibly vulnerable, as only 5% of incoming cargo is inspected, and the bipartisan 9-11 commission gave the federal government several Ds and Fs for not fulfilling its recommended mandates in avoiding this type of catastrophe again. And, of course, we are left in an endless, unnecessary, resource-depleting war in Iraq that leaves the U.S. more vulnerable to terrorism, feeds into terrorist ideology (America as the aggressor against Islam), and distracts us from finding and punishing Osama Bin Laden, who attacked us on 9-11.

And yet the Republican Party still has the nerve to try and pass themselves off as the Party that will protect Americans from terrorism and is against intrusive laws into the personal lives of American citizens.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

SurveyUSA polling on Edwards

There are millions of reasons for every Democrat, Independent, progressives and moderate voters to get behind former Sen. John Edwards and his inspiring presidential campaign, from his policy initiatives for universal health care, curbing global warming and reducing carbon emissions, creating jobs for all Americans, etc. But one of the most compelling reasons for Democrats to support Edwards is that this guy will win if given the nomination. If one needs further proof, take a look at these numbers from SurveyUSA polling -- which indicate Edwards is tied with GOP juggernaut Giuliani in Virginia, and ahead of him in Missouri, Ohio and Kentucky. The polling numbers are much higher for Edwards than for Obama and Clinton, who, despite their respective qualities, present immediate difficulties for winning in key states and expanding the electoral college votes for Democrats.