Timesizing® Associates - Homepage
Good News, September 11-20, 2001
[Commentary] ©2001 Phil Hyde, The Timesizing Wire, Box 622, Cambridge MA 02140 USA (617) 623-8080
9/20/2001 glimmers of hope? -
9/18/2001 glimmers of insight -
- [1 UPsizing, with 35,000 (temporary?) jobs -]
US employers brace to release, replace, workers called to duty, by Diane Lewis, Boston Globe, C4.
...Spurred by...Bush's call for 35,000 reserves, the nation's employers and institutions are gearing up for the possibility that some of their workers could be activated in the weeks ahead as US leaders decide on a course of action in the aftermath of the attacks..\..
"Whenever you get the call, you just go"..\..Virginia Adams...technical publications manager at Davox Corp. of Westford MA said resolutely. "You don't worry about what's going to happen"..\..
As it turned out, the call came a day after the terrrorist attacks in NYC and the nation's capital. Adams was asked to report to the Coast Guard's Boston office to work as a petty officer in the public affairs unit....
[The traditional military "solution" to our chronic un(der)employment certainly has its down side. The Timesizing approach much less of a mixed blessing.]
- [glimmer of insight -]
Disgraceful layoffs, letter to editor by Edward Cohen of Fountain Hills AZ, NYT, A30.
The large-scale layoffs announced by several major U.S. companies (front page, Sept. 19) are a national disgrace and are helping the terrorists win this war. While the majority of the nation is trying to recover from the terrorist attack, the leaders of several companies are clearly showing that they place dollars above patriotism, compassion and support of American citizens.
These layoffs come even as the ashes are still warm at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The nation is in a state of shock, and a true assessment of the economy cannot be made a week after the attack.
I believe that the companies should be taking action to demonstrate that the nation is strong and will overcome all obstacles. Their [current] actions are demonstrating a lack of confidence in our future and will hurt us as we recover.
[Well said, Edward, and when the airlines and other companies ask you what they are supposed to do instead of layoffs, we have the answer for you. They should be sharing whatever work - and pay - there is by cutting hours, not jobs, and keeping everyone employed and earning, even if at a reduced level. We're social creatures. Sharing the pain makes it less. Focusing it all on a few and separating them from us makes it more. Layoffs are the stupidest short-term strategy ever dreamed up. And it's the layoffs preceding the terrorist attack that caused the downturn that was already well advanced before that attack. Cutting hours and keeping people together, working, earning and spending is a huge tool for national cohesion and integration of interest. It is a major weapon of national security. Layoffs are the opposite, creating fifth columns of worried, alienated people.]
- ["good but..."]
Trade deficit ebbs amid shrinking demand - The Fed reports a sluggish economy even before last week's attacks, Reuters via NYT, C8.
...The trade deficit narrowed to $28.8B in July, the last month for which figures are available, from $29.1B in June.... Imports dropped $2.4B in July amid shrinking domestic demand, to $112.6B, a fourth consecutive month of decline....
[But cutting imports not by "buying U.S." but by shrinking domestic demand is a harbinger and hallmark of depression.]
9/16-17/2001 weekend glimmers of insight -
- [the phrase is catching on -]
A delicate dance, op ed by Thomas Oliphant, Boston Globe, A15.
The second week of the new world disorder...
[This phrase could go far in pricking the increasingly strained assumption that things are getting better and better in the naive, unlimited-workweek world of short-term capitalism. After all, one of the big systems that had unlimited workweeks was the slave economy of the ante-bellum American South - but the only ones with the grindingly long workweeks were the slaves. Now it's supposedly "free" working men and women.]
- ["good, but" -]
Focus is on buoying spending, by Sue Kirchhof, Boston Globe, D1.
WASHINGTON - The Federal Reserve cut interest rates by a half point yesterday, acting just an hour before the stock market reopened in an effort to reassure investors shaken by last week's terrorist attacks....
[But the Fed has no responsibility whatsoever to the stock market. Its mandate to lower unemployment and prevent runaway inflation. And as for buoying spending, the Fed is still laboring under the myth that the "wealth effect" is significant - the idea that when stocks go up, spending goes up. It's a myth because though nearly half of American households own some stocks, a distinct minority of American individuals own stocks and for most of them, those stocks are tied up in 401k's and pension plans. That means when stocks go up, only a minority of Americans are getting more disposable income and most of the gains are going to the wealthy, who already have much more money than they can spend. So trying to buoy spending by buoying the stock market is an exercise in self-serving (since most of the Fed chiefs are wealthy) futility.]
- Making planes safer by making fuels safer - If the oxygen supply is limited, so is the explosive force of an aviation crash, by William Broad, NYT, D2.
Crashed jets do not as a rule explode. They burn. And that, scientists say, raises the possibility that advanced fuels may one day make commercial planes safer, less likely to flare with the intensity of the jets that slammed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon....
- Mozart casts his spell and [softens] sadness with hints of healing, by Anne Midgette, NYT, E1.
...Mozart's "Magic Flute," which the New York City Opera presented for the first time this season in a Sunday matinee, is an ideal entry on th[e] list \of\ music [to] turn to in time of tragedy. With its simple archetypes of love and faith and the clear, wise purity of its music, it stays close to the emotional surface, evoking...smiles touched with a [tinge] of tears. In its fairytale world, the division between good and evil is [eventually] ambiguous; but in it too, bitter tribulations are represented by pasteboard and scrim, symbolically endured and then spirited effortlessly [offstage] in an allegory of healing....
[= Phil Hyde's favorite opera, which replaced Glueck's "Orphee," which in turn had replaced Gounod's "Faust."]
9/15/2001 glimmers of hope -
- 9/16 Why do they hate us?
["Americans, think why you are hated all over the world" says a banner in a photo taken in Islamabad, Pakistan in tomorrow's, 9/18/2001's NYT, B2], four responses...of which we excerpt two, Boston Globe, D1.
- 'The harm done to innocents', by editor Chris Toensing of the Middle East Report.
[Should have been titled, "Americans act like they hate Arabs."]
In December 1998, I met a waiter in the quiet Egyptian port of Suez. As I sipped tea in his cafe, he pulled up a chair to chat, as Egyptians often do to welcome strangers. Not long into our amiable repartee, he looked me in the eye.
"Now I want to ask you a blunt question," he said. "Why do you Americans hate us?" I raised my eyebrows, so he explained what he meant - and, in doing so, provided some insights into why it is that others hate us.
The only logic this young Egyptian could see was that America was pursuing a worldwide war against Islam, in which the victims were overwhelmingly Muslim. America is a democracy, he concluded, so Americans must hate Muslims to endorse this war.
Numerous United Nations resolutions clearly define Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem as illegal. Yet Israel receives 40% of the United States' annual foreign aid total, more than $3.5 billion annually in recent years, roughly $500 per Israeli citizen.
[So struggling American taxpayers are forced to each Israeli nearly twice this-year's much-trumpeted $300 tax cut - every year. Forty percent of our foreign "aid" is going to this perpetually illegal, perpetually aggressive state that has an established religion that violates our constitutional separation of religion and politics and that, by its overkill reactions, is rapidly transforming itself into a terrorist state.]
Israel uses this aid money to build new settlements on Palestinian land and to buy US-made warplanes and helicopter gunships. "Why do Americans support Israel when Israel represses Arabs?" the waiter asked.
- He went on: Evidence clearly shows that the US-led economic sanctions on Iraq punish Iraqi civilians while hardly touching Saddam Hussein's regime.
[Just as Tuesday's terrorist attack punished US civilians while hardly touching the US weapons industry that lobbies to keep the $3.5B in foreign 'aid' pouring into Israel every year. Not to mention the "balancing" amount of $2B annually flowing to Egypt, according to "Hama rules - Where's our side of the story?" op ed by Thomas Friedman, 9/21/2001 NYT, A27, which says, "...A generation of Muslims and Arabs have been raised on such distorted views of America that despite the fact that America gives Egypt $2 billion a year..., America has been vilified as the biggest enemy of Islam." Let's see. If $3.5B is 40% of our total foreign "aid," $5.5B is 63%. Sounds like nearly two thirds of our foreign "aid" goes to Israel and Egypt to bounce back to our weapons industry. Some "aid." Those guys have great lobbyists, never mind our national safety and security!]
A UNICEF study in 1999 backed him up, saying that 500,000 children under age 5 would be alive today if sanctions did not exist. Surely Iraqi children are not enemies of international peace and security, the waiter expostulated, even if their ruler is a brutal dictator.
[Isn't it strange how our CIA operatives are so efficient at surgically lassassinating democratically elected Salvador Allende in Chile just because they can attach the label "Socialist!" to him, and so utterly impotent at any but the clumsiest broadest lightest strokes at Saddam Hussein.]
The United States presses for continued sanctions because Hussein is flouting United Nations resolutions, but stands by Israel when it has flouted UN Resolution 242 (which urges Israel to withdraw from land occupied in the 1967 War) for over 30 years. Arabs and Muslims suffer from these and other US policies.
I groaned inwardly. ...In my rusty Arabic, I explained that although the United States is a democracy,
Americans do have the ability to vote out of office politicians who embrace various foreign policies, but Americans rarely have accurate information about the effect of those policies, in the Middle East or elsewhere. If they knew, I argued, they would speak up in opposition, because Americans have a fundamental sense of fairness....
- we Americans do not choose our government's allies,
- nor do we select its adversaries.
- We do not vote on the annual foreign aid budget.
- There are no referenda on the ballot asking whether the United States should press the UN Security Council into maintaining sanctions against Iraq, or whether the Fifth Fleet should prowl the Persian Gulf to protect our oil supply.
[Well, maybe we should get such referenda.]
Our conversation lasted for hours. When we reached a pause, the waiter invited me to dinner at his house, [where] I met his brother.... He too asked me why America hates Arabs and Muslims. I spent two more hours talking with him. When I left, he told me warmly how happy he was "to connect with an American on a human level."...
[Speaking of which, here's another response that we excerpted -]
- 'Most had never met an American' - Israel is undoubtedly sore point number one, by the Boston Globe's Pakistan and Muslim south Asia correspondent Marion Lloyd.
Two summers ago, a naming frenzy swept across northwestern Pakistan.... Many families were even renaming their toddlers in honor of Osama bin Laden - the man Americans see as Public Enemy Number One. ...Why would so many Pakistani families revere a man [whom] much of the world - the Muslim world and Muslim Americans included - believed to be a monstrous killer, and who had declared war on their American friends?
It was a question that plagued me throughout my 2 years in the region.... So I headed to the tobacco town of Mardan, 75 miles from the Afghan border, to look for answers.
I learned this: While most Pakistanis in the remote region had never met an American, they firmly believed that the United States, or at least its government, was their enemy. The proof, they said, ranged [across]
One father in Mardan...who proudly bounced his 10-month-old son, Osama, on his knee as he talked, declared the following before discovering my nationality: "I hope he grows up to kill Americans, because otherwise it is we who will be killed."
- Washington's seemingly unilateral support for Israel at the expense of the Muslim Palestinians;
- its seeming willingness to treat Muslim casualties as mere "collateral damage" (as in the August 1998 US missile strikes on Afghanistan, which failed to assassinate bin Laden but left dozens of Afghans dead);
- and what was seen as discrimination against Muslims in the United States, whose leaders and media often equate Muslims with terrorists.
It wasn't the first time I had heard such a statement, which on the surface appeared paranoid and without foundation. Where did it come from? And how many of the world's billion Muslims harbor the same thought?
Israel is undoubtedly sore point number one. Muslims around the world watch as the United States professes to play mediator between the Israelis and the Palestinians, yet our language is often far from impartial.
Such distinctions alienate potential Muslim friends, and push others into terrorists' camps.
- If the Israelis occupy areas of disputed territory, official US statements and the media call the occupied areas "settlements," a term implying they are legitimate land holdings.
- A Palestinian suicide bomb attack is called a "terrorist act" while an Israeli assassination of a Palestinian suspect is a "targeted killing."
Also fueling Muslim fears is the apparent ease with which first the Clinton administration, and now the Bush government, have shifted the United States' decades-old alliance with Pakistan in favor of that country's long-time enemy, Hindu-majority India.... For Muslims around the world, such facile shifts of allegiance are seen as proof that the United States acts only for short-term US interests. And the widespread feeling among Muslims that they are now on the losing side of those interests fuels their fears.
["Wal, darn, who the heck can us American conservatives have as an enemy then? We've long since made up with the British, the Spanish and the Germans, and now we're spozed to like the Russians and the Chinese, regardless of Commie tendencies. The Arabs and Muslims looked jess perfect as *enemies* cause they're not too powerful and we can do our hostility and protect our addiction to fossil fuels at one and the same time. Damn, if we hafta like them too, we may be forced to go back to hating Native Americans and Blacks, or even Roman Catholics and Jews. We jus' GOTTA have an enemy!"]
However, there may be reason for hope.
[Nothin' like a reason for hope on our 'glimmers of hope' page!]
If stereotyping all Muslims and Islamic nations as enemies of America fosters fear and hate among Muslims, then embracing the vast majority of Muslims who oppose terrorism might instead win us new friends.
Secretary of State Colin Powell was on the phone with Islamic leaders Wednesday, a day after the terrorist air attacks on New York and the Pentagon, seeking key support from the Middle East. The former Army general and chairman of the joint chiefs downplayed the need for immediate military action and emphasized the importance of fostering good relations. If our goal is to protect America and Americans, the best defense is good diplomacy.
[And as Father Raymond Helmick said last Wednesday (9/12 below), the best defense is returning to our World War II role of champion of justice. Good diplomacy alone can just paint over the injustices we continue to drag along. Let's give the last word - on justice - to our first columnist, Chris Toensing -]
After watching unjust US policies continue for years without apology [let alone correction], after hearing of incidents of racist anti-Arab backlash following the execrable crimes of Sept. 11, perhaps \that\ waiter in Suez...also senses great tragedy in that the hijackers spoke to Americans in a language the US government speaks all too well abroad.
[In short, we should not do to others what we don't want them to do to us. Say, isn't that the ancient Chinese form of the Golden Rule? In Jesus' version, He said the same thing without the "not's" - do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Bottom line, if we'd all just live our respective religions instead of just saying we 'believe' in them....]
- 9/17 America's arrogance of power, op ed by columnist Jonathan Power of London, BG, A19.
America appears not only immensely distressed and angry about the [terrorist attacks] but surprised too. It cannot understand why anyone should be moved by such hatred against it and, inured from the rest of [the world] by the isolationism of most of its political representatives and its media, it has little idea of the currents swirling against it.
An event of this magnitude was not only unimagined, it was unimaginable. Yet long before George Bush became president with his forceful in-your-face, take-it-or-leave-it attitude to the world outside on issues as diverse as global warming and anti-missile defenses, America has been turning in on itself, to the point of self-destructiveness....
America right now is a repository of exhaused ideas, like dead stars. The arrogance of power has produced its inevitable reaction....
\Americans\ have to know that action produces reaction and not for nothing is anti-American resentment on the increase all over the world.... America is threatened not by nuclear tipped missiles from unknown rogue nations, but by small groups of angry men who, although prisoners of their zealotry, know well enough that much of the world whilst not agreeing with them understands their frustration. To deal with this effectively requires a new way of looking at the world..\..
[This theme is picked up by another op ed on the same page, "War on terrorists will require new thinking - Terrorisim can only be curtailed," by columnist H.D.S. Greenway, BG, 19.]
In Europe there is some astonishment at the way the American administration has ploughed ahead with its self-interested agenda as if no one else has a legitimate opinion or could perhaps view the same situation in a different light.
[A letter to the editor on the opposite page puts it this way, "We must begin to see ourselves as but one of many cultures and nations that exist on this planet, and to respect and genuinely value other societies, both within and outside the United States." That's from "How to reduce risk of terrorism," letter to editor by Peter Davis of Arlington MA, BG, A18. Maybe it's because we supposedly have the most diversity that we think we're the "cock of the rocks," but we have not successfully harmonized this diversity, as shown by the many recent attacks on Americans who look remotely Arab or Muslim, and we're in no position to lecture others or "cast the first stone" on the subject. Many of us actually still believe that we are the best country in the world in some sense, for example, quality of life, and therefore we're in a position to preach, but that just shows a colossal refusal to look at our own problems (our 2,000,000 prison population for starters) and a parochial and possibly wilful ignorance of the many other countries that match or surpass us by almost any given criterion. For example, diversity - Canada has not only all our immigrant-borne and native diversity but also a huge "got there first" French culture resulting in official bilingualism reflected in product labeling and government publications nationwide. Another example, quality of life - Iceland, peerless (don't tell anybody!), plus Norway and Sweden.... Leisure time and disproportionately strong leisure industries - France, Germany, Australia.... Childcare and universal health insurance and safety in the streets - practically anywhere else in the industrialized world. Wealth - how meaningful is being the wealthiest nation when the top 1% owns as much as the bottom 95%? No matter how many riches a nation has, if a few people own most of them, it's full of misery. Military strength - what good was our military strength last Tuesday? The list goes on and on.]
Foreign observers do not miss the reports that come out of Pentagon think tanks of America's need to use this special moment after the defeat of European communism and the break-up of the Soviet Union to make sure that America is militarily superior the world over, and that no one, not even its closest allies, should be in a position to tell it what to do. The Bush administration, with its declared ambition to abandon the ABM Treaty, seems unconcerned that this will set in motion events that will unwind hard-won international norms on ending nuclear testing and on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Many Europeans say that America has got itself into this hole by its own disregard for what others think.
The first law of holes, of course, is to stop digging - which, of course, is what Washington should firmly have told Israel six presidents ago when it started its foolish and counterproductive policy of building settlements on what everyone knew was Palestinian land. Amazingly, the policy continues with apparent [consent] from the Bush administration. While Arab governments wring their hands, and young Palestinians fight one of the best-trained armies in the world with stones, there are the inevitable few attached to the Palestinian cause who are moved toward serious violence.
In every political movement...there are fringe elements that advocate violence. This does not mean the mainstream of that movement is wrong. It might or might not be. But, right or wrong, there will always be powerful elements of truth contained within it, or the passions and purpose would never be ignited.
To meet it eye for eye and tooth for tooth, as Gandhi once said, is to make everybody blind....
- ["good, but" -]
9/17 A more civil N.Y. emerges - 'There's this situation that inspires spontaneous, mutual trust.' by Fred Kaplan, BG, A9.
[But there are also a lot of nutcases flipping out, judging from the ubiquitous bomb threats, the many reports of violence against people who look Middle Eastern - see today's "Sikh owner of gas station is fatally shot in rampage," by Tamar Lewin, NYT, B16, and tomorrow's "Attacks and harassment continue on Middle Eastern people and mosques," by Lewin and Niebuhr, 9/18/2001 NYT, B5 - plus tomorrow's "Stress from attacks will chase some into the depths of their minds, and stay," by Erica Goode, 9/18/2001 NYT, B1.]
- 9/17 As friends. As neighbors. As family. Canada, full-page ad, NYT, B20.
Canadians share the loss of loved ones and friends.
On Friday our nation mourned with you for the victims of the terrorist attacks. We share your outrage, grief, compassion and resolve.
The people of Canada are with you every step of the way.
[And that's the longest undefended border in the world.]
9/14/2001 glimmers of hope -
- Now come the trade-offs, op ed by Philip Heyman, Boston Globe, A19.
[a glimmer of intelligence -]
...The wisest actions don't confuse dealing with the danger and dealing with the anger....
- SEC eases market rules on buybacks - Takes action in bid to smooth expected resumption of trading, by Scott Nelson, Boston Globe, C1.
[Maybe this will mean more democracy in the workplace if buybacks are followed with step two and companies turn over stock to employees in stock ops and ESOPs.]
- Diverted flights welcomed at Canada's airports, by Bernard Simon, NYT, A19.
...Never in its 63-year history...has Gander..\..on the northeastern tip of North America, in Newfoundland...had to deal with a crush of the magnitude that descended on it this week, after the United States responded to terrorist attacks by closing American airspace to commercial traffic. A total of 240 aircraft were rerouted to Canada on Tuesday,
By [Friday] afternoon 14 of the 39 aircraft in Gander and all but 3 of the 34 aircraft in Vancouver had departed..\..
- of which 39 landed in Gander...6,500 marooned airline passengers \in\ a town of 9,000 people.
- An additional 44 flights were diverted to Halifax, NS;
- 27 to St. John's, Newfoundland's biggest city [but not biggest airport];
- and 12 to Goose Bay in Labrador, where the airport is normally used as a NATO training base.
- On the other coast,  trans-Pacific flights were rerouted to Vancouver,
- while 3 landed in Whitehorse, capital of the Yukon Territory.
...Workers at three Zellers discount stores in St. John's...load[ed] hundreds of toothbrushes, deodorant sticks, blankets and pillows into a 30-foot trailer for the six-hour drive to Gander, where, on Wednesday morning, they were distributed to grounded travelers. "The support of the community has been overwhelming," said Maj. Alfred Richardson of the Salvation Army in Gander, as he described how local residents delivered 2,300 hot means on Tuesday within three hours of his televised appeal. Schools...closed since Wednesday so their gymnasiums could be used as makeshift dormitories. About a dozen local churches, as well as the Royal Canadian Legion and the Knights of Columbus, set up cots in their halls and basements....
- [here's somebody who's loving his enemy -]
Castro offers help, AP via BG, A9.
...During a scheduled TV appearance late Tuesday, President Fidel Castro..\..moved to support [Cuba's] northern neighbor following this week's terrorist attacks. [He] condemned the attacks and offered medical assistance to the United States....
[And Cuba has excellent medical schools and national heathcare.]
The US State Dept. lists Cuba as one of seven "sponsors of terrorism." The other countries are North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan and Syria.
- A tighter Logan [Airport] will open today, by Raphael Lewis, Boston Globe, front page.
For the first time since 10 hijackers walked aboard two jets in Boston and crashed them into the World Trade Center, Logan International Airport will reopen today, the last of the nation's major airports to do so outside of Washington.... When the airport does open at 5 a.m...security changes will create a vastly different Logan, which will operate under intense security....
- [good, but emblematic of America's new armor-plating?]
Ohio - Zoo celebrates rare birth of rhinoceros, Reuters via Boston Globe, A17.
The first Sumatran rhinoceros was born in captivity since 1889 at the Cincinnati Zoo Thursday, an event hailed by officials as monumental for a species with fewer than 300 survivors worldwide. The mother, Emi, 11, had five miscarriages since the breeding program began...in 1997.
9/13/2001 glimmers of hope -
- ['good but' -]
Bush and top aides proclaim policy of 'ending' states that back terror...- A vow to erase networks - Bin Laden is singled out, by Bumiller and Perlez, NYT, front page.
[But what if Bill Gates gets unbalanced? - Bin Laden is only a millionaire. Think of how much more damage a billionaire like Gates could do. Better centrifuge that income a la timesizing.]
- Seeking new space, companies search far from Wall St., by Bagli and Eaton, NYT, front page.
[Sounds like a plan.]
...Some of Wall Street's biggest names - like American Express, Citigroup and Lehman Brothers - are searching for and making deals with for new space that is almost nonexistent in the city's battered financial district. And when they find new offices in places like Jersey City, they are signing leases lasting many years, real estate executives say....
- Airlines seek restrictions on lawsuits over attacks, by Joseph Treaster, NYT, A23.
[Ah the new American Dream - hit the lottery or sue the deep pocket. Except airlines' pockets aren't exactly deep these days.]
- Asia and Europe have a rebound, AP via NYT, C10.
LONDON...- Stocks advanced today in Europe after Asian markets steadied. Trading in Asia and Europe was subdued as investors again had no lead from Wall Street....
[Just as well. Wall Street might lead them in the same direction as its World Trade towers. Ooops, judging from tomorrow's news, guess we spoke too soon - "Stocks plunge in Europe amid uncertainty in U.S.," pointer digest (to C1), 9/15/2001 NYT, C1.]
- Many pick road trips over waiting [for air travel to restart] - 'I held up my [rental car] keys and asked if anyone wanted to come to Boston. Two people said yes immediately.' Larry Marchese - drove from Michigan to Boston, by Beth Healy, Boston Globe, D7.
...They're taking buses and rental cars and reserving seats on cross-country trains....
9/12/2001 glimmers of hope -
- [glimmers of intelligence]
New World Disorder, a page of letters to the editor, Boston Globe, A29.
[...containing some glimmers of intelligence to pose against the tit-for-tat stupidity of our 'leaders' reflected in "Pentagon weighing plans for retaliation," pointer blowout (to A15), NYT, front page. Here are a couple of antidotes to that kneejerk self-destructiveness -]
- Attacks were the predictable result of American policy, letter by Bill Israel of Amherst MA.
...I haven't heard any pundits call the disasters what they really are: the predictable result of American policy.... Since the contested presidential election last November and his coronation by the Supreme Court,
The result is predictable. How can we allow millions of people to live like transients for decades, while Sharon and his accomplices [buoyed by $4B of annual "foreign aid" from American taxpayers] settle expropriated land, force the Palestinians out, and assassinate those who vigorously oppose them? How can we fail to see that our policy has created zealots and suicide bombers, willing to attack us on our own soil?
- George W. Bush ignored the suffering of the Palestinians in the Middle East and then urged Israelis and Palestinians to settle their differences by leaving Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to pursue a policy of nonnegotiation and state assassinations.
- When the world, at the UN conference in Durban, South Africa, focused on the bankruptcy of our policy, the delegations of both Israel and the United States walked out, rather than deal.
...How can we expect anything better when we pursue a policy of neglect? How can we hope for better with a policymaker who hid out during the Vietnam War, and [continues hiding] now? Why are we, then, surprised that a policy of neglect and cowardice results in a payoff of ["coward"-perpetrated] death for thousands? How can we be so blind? How long will we remain so?
[Amen to that, Bill Israel. And your last name indicates you might be Jewish, so nobody can dismiss your salvo as "anti-Semitism."]
- Pull your heads out of the sand, folks, letter by Edward M. Ferguson of Easton MA, BG, A29.
The first reaction of both my lovable, but rather right-wing brother in Virginia and father in Texas, both Army colonels, to Tuesday's horrendous events was, "Well, now it's time to take off the kid gloves and get tough with these terrorists!" It's exactly that one-track mindset that got us into this mess. We must take these four actions actions now:
Only then will the United States cease to be at the center of the bull's-eye and will be able to proudly rejoin the community of man[kind]. Until that glorious day, we must all watch our backs, stay clear of identifiable landmarks, and avoid the "friendly skies."
- [OK,] identify and find and punish the terrorist groups and financial backers responsible. Beef up US airport and airline security.
- [But then,] sincerely apologize to the world community for all the crimes committed by the United States in the 20th century in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.
[E.g., assassinating democratically elected Prime Minister Salvador Allende of Chile in the 1970s.]
- Get our so-called "President" Bush and his sycophants off their collective behinds to become actively engaged in the Middle East and elsewhere to really resolve pressing political problems [or quit bolstering the more violent side with $4B/yr and really get out] and to quit thumbing their noses at the world community while the United States does nothing about the environment....
- Drop the American 20th century mindset that "the end justifies the means." And while we're at it, read Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, and Edward S. Herman who clearly explain how we dug ourselves into this hole and how we can get out.
Pull your heads out of the sand, folks. Demand that your government start doing its job. Break your silence! Evolve now or revert to the Stone Age.
- After tragedy, executives feel invincible no more, by Kowalczyk and Healy, Boston Globe, C1.
[What a blessing if these arrogant SOBs get off their high horse.]
- Central banks inject billions in move to stem risks of panic, by Richard Stevenson, BG, C1.
...The Federal Reserve and its counterparts in Europe and Japan..\..in a coordinated effort to calm financial markets and reduce the chance that the attack on the United States would lead to a global economic crisis...injected large amounts of money into their financial systems to reduce the possibility that panicky reactions by investors, depositors or financial institution managers could lead to bank failures or some other calamity....
Although the markets in Japan and other Asian countries plunged, those in Europe moved higher today, providing some hope that Wall Street can avoid a big drop when equity trading resumes [at 9:30 am on Monday]....
- [good, but...]
Bond trading set to resume [today]; Stocks delayed [till Monday] - Concerns about power reliability and communications, by Feuerbringer and Berenson, NYT, C1.
[But why bonds first? Someone on TV gave the clue - "safe haven."]
9/11/2001 glimmers of hope -
- This morning at 6:45 on Boston Channel 56, Father Raymond Helmick of Boston College, a conflict negotiator, said the people behind the World Trade and Pentagon crashes and those cheering for them around the world are very very angry at the United States. And we Americans need to understand the source of this anger. He had to repeat it several times because the interviewer just wasn't hearing him. He said America used to be seen around the world as the pre-eminent champion of justice. But wasn't any more. You can't protect yourself against attacks that use so few resources along with so much imagination and strategy. But you can stop projecting the kind of anger and arrogance out into the world that made us one voice against 178 other nations that wanted to approve the climate accord, one nation that wants to abrogate the ABM Treaty, one nation that wants to push the envelope on biological weapons, one nation that gives Israel $4B/yr to pursue its escalating overkill in reaction to the daily Palestinian tit for tat.... the kind of arrogance and anger that then gets reflected back upon us. Long ago somebody said, "You have heard them of old say, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, Love your enemies. Do good to them that despitefully use you. Pray for them that hate you." This wasn't just idealistic drivel. It was the quickest route to conflict resolution. As Gandhi proved repeatedly and as the Danes proved, following Gandhi, during the war against the Nazis. And as the Poles and Czechs proved in the 1980s in their struggle against the Russians without and the Communists within. Whether the Israelis or the Palestinians adopt Gandhi's tactics first, whichever does will immediately win. It may take several years and numerous mortal sacrifices, but that first adoption of the discipline of Gandhi's will set the axe to the root of the on-and-on-and-on Middle East conflict. What goes around comes around. And if we want gentleness and courtesy from the rest of the world, we must practice it. And bolstering with $4B a year a nation with a state religion that is sinking ever deeper into terrorism and political assassination while continuing to occupy territory in violation of treaty, is not practicing courtesy and gentleness. "Who can, by stirring, clear muddy water. But leave it alone, and it will come clear of itself." Let's put our own house in order, and as Father Helmick counsels, return to our role as champion of justice, not just in our own eyes, but in the eyes of the world.
- Enough, already! Fund Clean Elections Law, by political satirist *Jimmy Tingle, Boston Globe, A23.
[At a time when we are being told an attack on Wall St and the Pentagon is an attack on all Americans and on democracy, it is well to remember what a cosmetic state our "democracy" is in -]
More than one million people voted in 1998 for publicly financed elections in Massachusetts. This voluntary system, known as the Clean Elections Law, went into effect on March 31 of this year. The law provides public funds to qualified candidates for statewide and legislative offices who agree to spending limits. It passed with an overwhelming majority...2-to-1..\.: 67% of voters said "yes" to Clean Elections.
The money necessary to fund this law is roughly $10m per year - roughly less than one-tenth of 1% of the state budget of $23B [but] funding for the law continues to be held up in the Legislature....
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