Olbermann’s Truthtelling UPDATE

September 11, 2006 at 10:26 PM (9/11) ()

These are not my words, but more of the cable newsman I admire…I just have to listen.

The The video is here: Another Smart Guy.

(I really hate when I get crushes on unattainable persons. [Come to think of it my history with Attainable Persons is fairly lousy too.] I would like for the crush part to simply run its course and I’ll just stick to liking the guy’s work and pointing to it. It is such an unproductive use of energy. I’m a comfortable old hag and I’m heavyset and like the rest of America this guy loves to laugh at fat people. But I’m gone. I’m just gone.)

I’m also rather afraid for his present perch at MSNBC after this evening. But if he is moved from there he’ll find a place to land. The transcript is blockquoted below.

And lastly tonight a Special Comment on why we are here. Half a lifetime ago, I worked in this now-empty space.
And for 40 days after the attacks, I worked here again, trying to make sense of what happened, and was yet to happen, as a reporter.
And all the time, I knew that the very air I breathed contained the remains of thousands of people, including four of my friends, two in the planes and — as I discovered from those “missing posters” seared still into my soul — two more in the Towers.
And I knew too, that this was the pyre for hundreds of New York policemen and firemen, of whom my family can claim half a dozen or more, as our ancestors.
I belabor this to emphasize that, for me… this was, and is, and always shall be, personal.
And anyone who claims that I and others like me are “soft”, or have “forgotten” the lessons of what happened here — is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante — and at worst, an idiot — whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.
However. Of all the things those of us who were here five years ago could have forecast — of all the nightmares that unfolded before our eyes, and the others that unfolded only in our minds… none of us could have predicted… this.
Five years later this space… is still empty.
Five years later there is no Memorial to the dead.
Five years later there is no building rising to show with proud defiance that we would not have our America wrung from us, by cowards and criminals.
Five years later this country’s wound is still open.
Five years… later this country’s mass grave is still unmarked.
Five years later… this is still… just a background for a photo-op.
It is beyond shameful.

At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial — barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field, Mr. Lincoln said “we can not dedicate – we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.”
Lincoln used those words to immortalize their sacrifice.
Today our leaders could use those same words to rationalize their reprehensible inaction. “We can nto dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground.” So we won’t.
Instead they bicker and buck-pass. They thwart private efforts, and jostle to claim credit for initiatives that go nowhere. They spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they’re doing — instead of doing any job at all.
Five years later, Mr. Bush… we are still fighting the terrorists on these streets. And look carefully, sir — on these 16 empty acres, the terrorists… are clearly, still winning.
And, in a crime against every victim here and every patriotic sentiment you mouthed but did not enact, you have done nothing about it.

And there is something worse still than this vast gaping hole in this city, and in the fabric of our nation.
There is, its symbolism — of the promise unfulfilled, the urgent oath, reduced to lazy execution.
The only positive on 9/11 and the days and weeks that so slowly and painfully followed it… was the unanimous humanity, here, and throughout the country. The government, the President in particular, was given every possible measure of support.
Those who did not belong to his party — tabled that.
Those who doubted the mechanics of his election — ignored that.
Those who wondered of his qualifications — forgot that.
History teaches us that nearly unanimous support of a government cannot be taken away from that government, by its critics.
It can only be squandered by those who use it not to heal a nation’s wounds, but to take political advantage.
Terrorists did not come and steal our newly-regained sense of being American first, and political, fiftieth. Nor did the Democrats. Nor did the media. Nor did the people.
The President — and those around him — did that. (?)

[Um, say what to that last paragraph? I gotta step in here and say…the terrorists flew the planes. The planes killed people. We had a chance for multilateral righteous *answer* to those lost lives and then….somebody *took their eyes off the ball!* Bracketed mine, not KO’s]

They promised bi-partisanship, and then showed that to them, “bi-partisanship” meant that their party would rule and the rest would have to follow, or be branded, with ever-escalating hysteria, as morally or intellectually confused; as appeasers; as those who, in the Vice President’s words yesterday, “validate the strategy of the terrorists.”
They promised protection, and then showed that to them “protection” meant going to war against a despot whose hand they had once shaken… a despot who we now learn from our own Senate Intelligence Committee, hated Al-Qaeda as much as we did.
The polite phrase for how so many of us were duped into supporting a war, on the false premise that it had ’something to do’ with 9/11, is “lying by implication.”
The impolite phrase, is “impeachable offense.”
Not once in now five years has this President ever offered to assume responsibility for the failures that led to this empty space… and to this, the current, curdled, version of our beloved country.
Still, there is a last snapping flame from a final candle of respect and fairness: even his most virulent critics have never suggested he alone bears the full brunt of the blame for 9/11.
Half the time, in fact, this President has been so gently treated, that he has seemed not even to be the man most responsible — for anything — in his own administration.
Yet what is happening this very night?
A mini-series, created, influenced — possibly financed by — the most radical and cold of domestic political Machiavellis, continues to be televised into our homes.
The documented truths of the last fifteen years are replaced by bald-faced lies; the talking points of the current regime parroted; the whole sorry story blurred, by spin, to make the party out of office seem vacillating and impotent, and the party in office, seem like the only option.
How dare you, Mr. President, after taking cynical advantage of the unanimity and love, and transmuting it into fraudulent war and needless death… after monstrously transforming it into fear and suspicion and turning that fear into the campaign slogan of three elections… how dare you or those around you… ever “spin” 9/11.

Just as the terrorists have succeeded — are still succeeding — as long as there is no memorial and no construction here at Ground Zero…
So too have they succeeded, and are still succeeding — as long as this government uses 9/11 as a wedge to pit Americans against Americans.
This is an odd point to cite a television program, especially one from March of 1960. But as Disney’s continuing sell-out of the truth (and this country) suggests, even television programs can be powerful things.
And long ago, a series called “The Twilight Zone” broadcast a riveting episode entitled “The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street.”
In brief: a meteor sparks rumors of an invasion by extra-terrestrials disguised as humans. The electricity goes out. A neighbor pleads for calm.
Suddenly his car — and only his car — starts. Someone suggests he must be the alien. Then another man’s lights go on.
As charges and suspicion and panic overtake the street, guns are inevitably produced.
An “alien” is shot — but he turns out to be just another neighbor, returning from going for help.
The camera pulls back to a near-by hill, where two extra-terrestrials areseen, manipulating a small device that can jam electricity. The veteran tells his novice that there’s no need to actually attack, that you just turn off a few of the human machines and then, “they pick the most dangerous enemy they can find, and it’s themselves.”
And then, in perhaps his finest piece of writing, Rod Serling sums it up with words of remarkable prescience, given where we find ourselves tonight.
“The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices – to be found only in the minds of men.
“For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all its own — for the children, and the children yet unborn.”

When those who dissent are told time and time again — as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus — that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American…
When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have “forgotten the lessons of 9/11″… look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:
Who has left this hole in the ground?
We have not forgotten, Mr. President.
You have.
May this country forgive you.

Here’s another fan

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The toughest part: Changing the able’s preconcieved notions

September 11, 2006 at 1:43 PM (Attitude Adjustment, Intelligence) ()

No law’s ever been written that can do that.

One of my characteristics is something known as absolute pitch. If you have this ability, you *know* what each individual musical note sounds like, and can replicate it, standing with your back to the piano and having someone hit a note, you can say “That’s E-Flat. That’s F-sharp. That’s D.” One in 6,000 people have it. I was amazed because it took me until eleventh grade to realize that that’s why the acapella choir stayed *together* but always went flat. I thought everyone could hear that. My grandfather though, upon being confronted with indisputable evidence of me knowing the notes said jovially, but completely unconvinced: “That’s impossible. That’s a trick. What kind of shenanigans are you pulling?”… I think his disbelief stemmed, in part from the fact I was a female, and a female with a disability….

And then,

I was fifteen, getting some well-deserved downtime after a lesson at a disabled rider’s program had hit a snag. I flew off frontwards over one shoulder and landed staring up at the horse’s pushy, well meaning nose (the horses in the program were trained to stop all motion instantly if the rider left the saddle unexpectedly).

My father was off yelling at someone (the head of the program presumably,) and yanking me out of it…but that’s not even the point.

The father of one of the other riders came and sat down near me as I dusted off and took off the huge round soupbowl hat they made us wear. We had a great conversation about what was good about the program, and my increasing comfort with low jumps and speeds above a walk.

Then, he saw my father, figuring out he *was* my father by the remarkable resemblance and I went to the car, and I think the other father tried to talk my dad out of pulling me out of the program…My dad drove home, sober, but dropped me off and disappeared and came back drunk.

“Do you *Know* what that guy said about you? Dammit!”

“The head of the program?”

“No! That ******* ******** idiot in the stable! He said…he said “Your daughter is so quick and intelligent…is she Deaf?”

(Thereby insulting both Deaf people, who are a culture, and not a disability, and those of us with orthopedic impairments yanno cause we cannot possibly be *smart,* if we limp around, use crutches, use a wheelchair. Where was it written in this guy’s head that intelligence is automatically possible for one group of people and never thought of for another?)

Fast forward to college. I’d been part of a “Jeopardy-esque” team that competed against other high-school knowledge junkies, and I did the same in my freshman year of college for the first round of something called the “College Bowl.” I made my college’s team,which was otherwise arrogant-smart-man heavy…and an economics/history major named Steve said, shortly and curtly about my presence on that team, “It’s good for you that you have this gift,” in such a dismissive tone that it felt as though he considered having a fast brain and a good memory *in my case* to be some sort of idiot-savant trick.

Wonder how ol’ Steve and a certain piano playing ex-crush of mine, who was also on the team, would have handled my last nineteen years….Not Well, I think.

We’re *people* we have all the characteristics of *people* between us.

Some *people* are somewhat quickwitted, and have good memories. Some *people* are not.

The impairment(s) aren’t us.

Lastly a visitor reminded me that everyone is constantly in a state of proving themselves, able or not….

But I’m prepared to state that even when we *do* prove ourselves we are diminished because someone thinks we are illusionists, faking our strengths or competencies or gifts.

*That’s* what makes it harder.

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"News" on Disability

September 11, 2006 at 9:08 AM (Framing) ()

Thank goodness for Ragged Edge. Or all the bloggers/webpages out there. Or the occasional non-stereotypical piece in local newspapers/newspaper websites.

Because I hate “News” aggregators. When you try to find something good, positive, respectful to write about, pulling terms like impairment, disability, disabled, disabilities all you get is disability insurers crowing about their latest product or those “amazing overcomer” pieces.

the hurl inducing “….nothing stops this [crip achiever]

Or we’re inspirational.

Or we’re tragic

But we can’t be real. We aren’t permitted to be. We’re either saints, or a bitter, nasty isolated,neglected person who has nothing left but to have people point and say, “See…if he had more of a positive outlook, he wouldn’t be this way.”

No middle ground.

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For those with Mental/Cognitive Impairment

September 11, 2006 at 7:41 AM (Uncategorized) (, )

I really love this statement.

Quoted below: (hat tip also to the JusticeForAll Listserv)

* Recovery is possible for everyone. [italics mine]
To recover, we need services
and supports that treat us with dignity, respect our rights,
allow us to make choices, and provide assistance with our self-
defined needs. This range of services must include consumer-run
and -operated programs.

* Self Determination: We need to be in control of our own lives.

* Holistic Choices: We need choices, including a range of
recovery-oriented services and supports that provide assistance
with housing, education, and career development.

* Voice: We must be centrally involved in any dialogues and
decisions affecting us.

* Personhood: We will campaign to eliminate the stigma and
discrimination associated with mental illnesses.

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New Layout

September 11, 2006 at 7:26 AM (Uncategorized)

Finally! For anyone annoyed at being listed in a straight alpha list, now I’ve got them grouped in somewhat of an acceptable order. Beta has only been allowing me in to edit my own layout in fits and starts, but I’ve got it done.

I’m listening to CNN Pipeline now…

All I can say is…

I *miss* Aaron Brown!!!!!

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