Friday, September 12, 2003

Welcome to Freedom Rider

This is my very first post as a blogger. I have chosen the name Freedom Rider because I want to evoke that revolutionary period in history when millions of Americans rose up to fight oppression that was accepted and legal. Anniston, Alabama, where the first freedom riders were brutally attacked, was my maternal grandmother's home town. I urge you to learn about these events if you are not familiar with them. If you aren't don't be embarrassed. Our country doesn't value its history enough. Of course, we are paying a very high price in Iraq and elsewhere because of that ignorance, so I hope you take this and any other opportunities to learn something new.

Americans have taken their freedom for granted and are on the verge of losing it without so much as a whimper. Our Attorney General is crisscrossing the nation telling us that freedom is slavery. Our Secretary of Defense says that if we disagree with the President we are helping our enemies. I think that the idea of a Freedom Ride is all too apropos at this moment.

Today we commemorate the second anniversary of the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. It would be difficult to find a more dedicated news junkie than yours truly. But on September 11th I avoid the news so much that I was relieved to read about an overexposed celebrity couple and their postponed wedding. It certainly beats bagpipes, singing children and politicians giving maudlin speeches.

I am still angry about September 11th. I am angry because the events of that day were used by evil people to manipulate and cow the nation into accepting lies. I am angry that no one was held responsible. In America we have a system of employment at will, a fancy way of saying that we can be fired for just about any reason. But the people at the top, whose incompetence, arrogance, callousness, collusion, or all of the above caused the deaths of 3,000 people, were allowed to keep their jobs.

I am angry because two years of flagwaving, candle lighting and political pronouncements have resulted in a nation that is unprepared for another terror attack.

I am angry because American soldiers are dying in a country that was not a terror threat until our leaders turned it into one.

Welcome to Freedom Rider. Stay tuned.