I would be remiss for having the day pass without at least a word about 9/11. It has been quite cynically put forth that the terrorist attacks "changed everything." That's right. For the worse.
No doubt, I know more people at this point in my life who are depressed. Many can put their finger on 9/11 when they started staying up all night, watching CNN, waiting for, maybe the real story to break. Whatever that might be. Their lives changed in big ways. Many lost jobs, moved on. Many are making substantially less than they did in 2000-2001. Few had careers that were impacted by the dot-bomb, although some have changed careers entirely.
In spite of all the huffing and puffing Hastert and others did prior to the invasion of Afghanistan (you know, we didn't want to go in and shoot some camel in the butt), from the time we got the Taliban on the run, our leadership has consistently fucked up at every turn. I'm not proud of it. But I'm an American, free-born, and it's my divine right to criticize it freely without fear of retribution.
You know, I don't even buy that anymore.
For months into 2002 the stories would appear from time to time that would make me wonder, "Jesus... why aren't the ports (nuclear power plants, train stations, bus stations, fuel tankers, etc.) being guarded (closed, restricted, etc.).
Many of us thought the very worst; that it was part of some sick game to scare the living hell out of people, to politicize, to get people to accept that 9/11 "changed everything." But that was just too crazy to even consider.
Now comes Katrina (Karina, if you're an ignorant, chain-smoking, well-dressed white woman living in the White House), and we see that these misanthropes have spent hundreds of billions -- increasing the debt ceiling along the way -- cost thousands upon thousands of American familes the lives, limbs and senses of their loved ones. For Nothing.
Sadly, we're waking up to the fact that we're no better off, no more prepared. If Katrina, or, God help us, some act of terrorism had occurred in Chicago, there would be millions of body bags on the way to the gymnasiums.
It's grim. It's been a long four years.