Monday, September 12, 2011

The Myth of Learning from 9/11

We need a few more Hamlets

I read this quote today: "It [9/11] led us to question many of our assumptions about the nature of our country, our alliances, our military capabilities, and our worldview."

My question is, Who is questioning the foregoing? I see a lot of chest-thumping or the equivalent (the chant of “USA! USA!” at last night’s Jet game comes to mind). The new “community” is the mall or Amazon’s Web pages, not very conducive to the give-and-take of a questioning citizenry. That great tutor of sensibilities, The Classics, has been dropped from all but a few elite colleges. Many college freshmen have never read a newspaper, either in sheet form or on the Web. Neither MSNBC nor FOX News is in the business of informing without bias. The lost virtues of self-examination and self-criticism conflict with the notion that all opinions are valid. The drive to elevate the Jeffersonian individual to god-like status has destroyed and is destroying the concept of the common good in America. The three branches of government are incompetent and its members often malicious. These are just a few roadblocks to our, as a nation, questioning anything about our national polity or policies.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11 and the Colaio Brothers

Mark Colaio

As America remembers 9/11, it should also examine its roots. It was not a spontaneous emergence of terrorists who hate America, as some would have you believe. Hate, yes, but hatred borne of a history that saw the U.S. and Western Europe exploit the Mideast’s oil resources while simultaneously disrespecting Muslim culture. We are the “aliens” whose military presence will only inspire new generations of terrorists.

On this day, I remember in particular Mark Colaio, senior managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald, who perished on 9/11 along with his brother Stephen. Mark was a good friend to my son John and fun to be around.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

When will the revolution begin?

A healthy democracy cultivates mechanisms that redistribute wealth. These include an equitable taxation system, a corporate conscience, and reasonable social programs. The goal of each should be to support the common good. All three mechanisms are weak or under attack in the United States. When will the revolution begin?