Thursday, September 11, 2008

Better Days are coming

Turn up the lights. I don't want to go home in the dark.
O. Henry

Susan suggested a contest, that we write about something we'd like to see happen to make the world a better place. So today, on the anniversary of that horrific day Americans became lost in the dark, I will write about my hopes.

I know very few people who were not directly affected by the two planes flying into the Twin Towers. My friend and collegue, Laura Lee Morabito, was in the first class section of AA11, the first plane to hit the first tower. Laura was en route from Boston to Los Angeles for a Qantas Airways sales meeting. I can only hope she didn't suffer. I have other friends, transplants from New York, guys who used to work in the financial district of New York, and who knew many of the fire fighters who died that day. All of us were affected, and we had an opportunity to come together in mourning, to unite in our grief and help to heal each other.

Instead, we got the Kowboy Koward. Where was our inspiration? In his first Inaugural Address, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said clearly, boldly,
let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
He was speaking about the Great Depression, of course. It was 1933. He said
Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.
Deja Vu all over again.

But back to that September morning, when our lives changed drastically and instead of asking us to be brave, our President played on our fears and plunged us into 8 years of darkness. "We're under attack" he screamed, convienently sidestepping the fact that his administration had ignored warnings. "We're gonna hunt down Osama Bin Laden and kill 'em dead." The attacks happened in New York City, which, amazingly, had no counter-terrorism plans in place despite the fact that Bin Laden's people had previously attacked The World Trade Center with a car bomb. Yep - 8 years was not enough time for Rudy Giuliani to put a plan in place.

Bush invaded Afghanistan to search for Bin Laden. We're still there, 8 years later. He used the 9/11 attacks, and lies, to invade Iraq. We're still there. John McCain is using 9/11 in conjunction with Iran, which, if he's elected, we will invade. And the entire Neo-Conservative movement says that if you oppose their Hawk Positions, you are not a patriot. That only Gun-Toting, hate-mongering, fear-driven people are out to protect America.

Not in my name. No. We have been overtaken by people so driven by greed and self-seeking that we've lost sight of our values. We have abdicated our responsibility to people who lack vision and so we've languished in darkness and fear.

Here is the better world I wish to see: Universal Health Care; clean air, made possible by breaking our addiction to oil and turning to wind, solar power, and water; affordable housing; REAL education, rather than teaching children how to take standardized tests; creation of jobs in order to rebuild our failing infrastructure - restore wetlands, rebuild levees, reclaim land. Teach compassion, and act in compassion.

What will I do to be the change I wish to see? I've left a company headed up by a man who is driven by greed and self-seeking in order to work from home. I use compact florescent bulbs. I recycle. I purchase local produce, at the farmers market, so I buy what's in season. I am voting for Obama.

And yes. I trust that we will see light again. We will be the change we need to see in the world.


Randal Graves said...

And yes. I trust that we will see light again.

I hope you're right. It's okay if I buy local produce with a scowl though, yes?

dguzman said...

What an inspiring post, Jood.

Utah Savage said...

Beautifully done Diva. We are living similarly modest lives now trying to make our individual carbon footprint as small as possible. And as a small way of honoring what you contribute to te blogs, I have given you yet another award.

DivaJood said...

Randal, I would expect nothing less than a scowl. And a snarl.

DGuzman, thank you.

Utah, I am into day three working from my living room. Today I took a long walk to the bank, and then spent the afternoon online doing an accredidation course. It's been lovely. I will probably not move my car. And thanks for the new award.

an average patriot said...

That was good Diva! All we have to fear is fear itself and bush and McCain are banking on it. That is why they create fear at every turn to get what they want. Today the fear is Obama our only hope to get out from underneath this!
My hope is that we can get Obama in and he can quell the race to war Bush has set in motion and the world realizes their survival depends on cooperation or there is no future!

Dianne said...

Thank You Jood

I cling to voices of reason and hope and yours is a strong one.

Border Explorer said...

Diva, this was wonderful!
I really do hope that if you aren't elected prezelnut someone with your values would be.
Hooray for Diva!

DivaJood said...

Patriot, Fear is a boogyman.

Dianne, thank you - maybe I sound more reasonable than I am. I mean, I'm a Diva, fergodsake.

Border, thank you. What would I do if the Jood/Nunly ticket actually DID get elected? Would that not be strange science indeed?

susan said...

You've gone beyond the official requirements for the contest. You may not know but I'm a Canadian who in an Alice moment fell into the hurly burly of American living several decades ago. It's one thing to watch this place from the outside but quite another to be in the midst of it with people like you who share the ideals I grew up with.

I'm still planning to write in jood/nunley. Of course, I can't have an official ballot but a little thing like that won't stop me.

FranIAm said...

I am so sorry about your friend Jood.

For a long time I was obsessed about the people on those planes as well as some poor soul who looked up from their desk and before they could think, were obliterated by a plane.

What you have written here moves my heart deeply.

Thank you! Be the change, be the change.

Mariamariacuchita said...

I hope all your dreams come true.
si se puede!

Fran said...

NIce Tribute Diva- Not all sappy with false patriotism. Genuine caring & a path of how to try to make this world a better place.
You ARE the Diva!

MRMacrum said...

Power is the flame. Fear it's favorite fuel. Reason can fuel the flame but never to Power's satisfaction.

Nice post. I have nothing to add. No, that's a lie. I always have something else.

The day I heard Bush "appeal" to the American people and put forth his reasons for invading Iraq, I immediately thought of FDR's fear quote. All presidents have used fear mongering to varying degrees. But none have abused it the way the Republicans have since at least Ronald Reagan. And now that I think about it, besides the intolerant social/religious platform adopted back then, I think it was his use of fear, (that I believe he honed to perfection as Governor of CA in the 60s) that turned me off also. Some background here. I was a Republican until the Spring of 1980. A Goldwater Republican.

I have maintained that I am an Independent since then. But well you know how that goes with them. You are either on the bus or off the bus. Anyone in the middle gets run over. At least the Left honks first.

Your second quote is the real prize. Are we experiencing a Yogi Berra moment or what? Excellent.

DivaJood said...

Susan, thank you. I didn't know you were a Canadian transplant. It must be quite shocking at times to live within our brand of fear-driven chaos. American greed is like nowhere else.

FranIam, that day was horrible. I remember being told, at the Post Office, that the WTC had collapsed - at first, I thought she meant like the Great Depression, and then she said no, that two planes had flown into the two towers - at about 10 AM, we got the call at work that Laura Lee was probably on the plane; that was confirmed at 4 PM. I stayed at work because we had clients stranded all over the world - nothing flew. It was surreal. I try to get over it, but when I see the Right Wing use 9/11 as a marketing tool, I become sick and angry all over again.

Maria*Maria, si se puede indeed. Unless the buggers steal another one.

Fran, and I have the damn tiara to prove it. Not to mention bauble-encrusted handcuffs to keep me away from Russell Crowe. (Long story. Yes, Randal. Kinky.)

Mrmacrum, interesting to be an Independent in the world of the Religious Right. You're correct about the way Reagan honed fear as a weapon in the 1960s. That, combined with his absolute arrogance ("If you've seen one redwood, you've seen them all" and eating California Table Grapes on television during the long boycott) and disregard for anything decent - well. He paved the way for Bush, Cheney and their ilk. Yogi Berra indeed. My hero. When you come to the fork in the road, take it.

Liquid said...

And I read:

"oh turnips!"

Stella said...

Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

Oh, how we need FDR again. Someone who literally cares about this country and not political pandering, lies, and sociopathic pathology. For me, this litany is in partnership with FDR's inauguration speech.

And, after I write the comment, I'm going to click on that "Go Away Bush" icon again from iSplotchy—great site.


I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Frank Herbert

DivaJood said...

Liquid, that's just too funny. Oh, turnips!

Stella, I love Frank Herbert's Litany Against Fear. We do need someone like FDR, someone with vision AND character. I believe that's Obama. I know people who disagree but I think his ability to light the fire of hope is what will get people moving.

Distributorcap said...

i hope you are right.....
i hope better days are ahead

this has been the dark ages

thanks for that post

Anonymous said...

These are changes I can get behind, Diva. I'm sorry I didn't come to this post sooner. And, again, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend on 9/11.

DivaJood said...

D-cap, I hope so too.

Spartz, thanks. This election is quite personal.