Six In The Morning: Your Annual Reminder That 9/11, 9/11? 9/11.

1 BUSH DIDN’T DO IT But he did fail to act. Just as he failed to act when Katrina hit New Orleans, and when the American housing market collapsed into mush and the economy tanked, &c. &c. &c. Which we, by the way, already knew.

2 HOW 9/11 MADE US SUCK NOW The National Post‘s Jonathan Kay word-barfed garbage sentences from his crap fingers about how 9/11 made us more sensible because we are now willing to bomb foreign countries for a full decade or something stupid like that.

3 PALATE CLEANSER Here’s Mother Jones on why leftists skewing hawkish since 9/11 is worrying, despite whatever a spoiled rich asshole who’s benefited from the last decade of Canada’s increased acceptance of a slimy brand of pro-war hoo-rahing and tacit dog-whistle racism might tell you, and also on what 9/11 totally failed to change.

4 THE FALLING MAN A long read, and not a new one, but a compelling piece about one of the most incredible and harrowing photos from Sept. 11, 2001.

5 NOT 9/11’D OUT YET? Now’s a good a time as any to revisit New York magazine’s 9/11 Encyclopedia, a comprehensive post-World Trade Center roundup.

6 OH YEAH, IT’S 2012 NOW The Harper Tories are far from transparent when it comes to defence spending, Chris Brown is a famous guy who beat his girlfriend and now possibly has a tattoo of a beaten woman, Toronto mayor Rob Ford continues to be one of those dudes who I can start a sentence with his name and then I say “– shit, hold on” and I have to pause to laugh, and – well, would you look at this – 9/11 memorials are being scaled back. Who’d have thunk it.

Author: Webmaster

The technical uberlord of the Prairie Dog website.

34 thoughts on “Six In The Morning: Your Annual Reminder That 9/11, 9/11? 9/11.”

  1. Re: #2: ad hominem attacks on someone with whom you disagree is the premier sign of bad writing. But then, look at who your mentor is.
    Perhaps if you aren’t sure what tone to take on a day like today, you should keep silent.
    Just saying.

  2. #3 I think Bush speaks, and spoke, for himself. If a guy starts a war under false pretenses, steals an election, lets New Orleans drown, destroys the economy, and gives rise to an even more sinister and rightwing opposition in his wake, he’s pretty much fair game. Not sure Mr. Cameron really deserves the tag of bully when talkin’ George W Bush.

  3. Since the tacit argument of Kay’s piece is “maybe some good came out of 9/11, after all,” Barb, I don’t feel that bad about tearing him a new one. And besides, I’m not saying that his arguments are bad because he’s a craphead; he’s a craphead because he talks about “the Sikh thread” unironically.

    If he didn’t make a shitty point, I wouldn’t be calling him an idiot. Frankly, I don’t think Sept. 11 of any year is a year to refrain from calling people idiots, especially when they, say, write op-eds that mention the 158 Canadian soldiers almost as if they’re somehow an acceptable loss while simultaneously failing to mention either the six Canadian friendly fire deaths or the tens of thousands of dead Afghan civilians, as if neither of those matter.

    Kay’s points are abhorrent and infuriating, and if he is so lacking in decency that he’s willing to put his byline on them on Sept. 11 – if he is so utterly morally deficient that he’s willing to write a piece obliterating the lessons we could and should have learned from the intervening eleven years since thousands of innocent lives were snuffed out in a single moment and then publish it on the very date marking those thousands of deaths – then you’re goddamn right I’m going to attack him for it.

  4. 1st. many Sk. people that I’ve met, should be way-less racist.
    Remember a “religion” is feeding the start of WWIII.

  5. September Midday Mass

    The tall old priest entered the half-lit sacristy,
    fresh from his usual Tuesday morning studies.
    The fair-haired acolyte with the bad complexion
    was ready, vested, standing in the dimness
    quietly. The old priest noticed he was sniffing
    and his eyes were red. A failed romance,
    he thought; but keeping his own rule on chit-chat
    in the sacristy, vested silently.
    The old familiar motions and the prayers
    displaced whatever thoughts he might have had;
    the only dialogue to break the stillness was
    the rote exchange of formal preparation.

    Then, in one motion as he slipped his hand
    beneath the pale green veil, the other hand
    upon the burse, he lifted vested vessels,
    turned and followed in the sniffing server’s
    wake. Eyes lowered to the holy burden
    in his hand, he failed to notice that
    the chapel for this midday feria —
    on other days like this with one or two
    at most — was full of worshippers; until
    he raised his eyes, and saw the pews were filled —
    but undeterred began the liturgy:
    the lessons and the gospel from last Sunday,
    his sermon brief, but pointed, on the texts.

    It wasn’t till the acolyte began
    the people’s prayers, and choked out words of planes
    that brought a city’s towers down, and crashed
    into the Pentagon, and plowed a field
    in Pennsylvania, that the old priest knew
    this was no ordinary Tuesday in
    September —
    not ordinary time at all,
    that day he missed the towers’ fall.

    Tobias Haller BSG March 8, 2008

  6. @3: Calling someone names or using vulgarity are not ad hominem. An ad hominem is an attempt to attack or refute the claims presented by an opponent by bringing up character flaws or actions that are irrelevant to the argument at hand. JC was not rebutting Kay’s arguments: the claims themselves are so silly that they deserve no explicit rebuttal. JC just provided a link and correctly identified the article as shit.

    Speaking of Kay’s article, I’ve been trying to come up with an interpretation of the sentence “Many of the most powerful and cohesive voting blocs at Liberal leadership conventions were Sikhs, Tamils and Muslims — groups that all had their own reasons for opposing an aggressive anti-terrorism campaign.” that doesn’t amount to Kay accusing Canada’s Sikh, Tamil, and Muslim communities of being pro-terrorist.

  7. @13: one of the definitions of ad hominem: an appeal to the emotions rather than logic or reason. I rest my case.

    Some points in Jonathan Kay’s article – first published a year ago, by the way – are well taken. Canada’s response to the Air India bombing was shameful. As Kay rightly points out, the failure to consider this crime an attack on Canadian citizens was part of the basis for the slow and inept investigation. It was acknowledged by law enforcement officials at the time and later that there was a lack of communication with certain immigrated communities where exploitation and intimidation were known to be going on. For reasons I can only call racist, protection of these communities of our own citizens wasn’t considered a priority. “It’s Chinatown, Jake.” At the same time, politicians of every stripe were either naive or cynical in their association with groups known to be supporting and promoting violence abroad through extortion and bullying of their communities here at home, and hiding under the general umbrella of identity politics.

    If the events of Sept. 11, 2001 helped to make Canadians less inertial about the protection of ALL their fellow citzens, and less naive about our vulnerability to harm, then that is good.

  8. Brian – given that Bush’s tenure as president slapped a trillion dollars onto America’s national debt through war alone, I’d argue his decisions still matter.

    Barb – Talking about the way we approach crime or terrorism within the ethnic communities that make up our nation is a good idea. But, for Kay, it follows that a hawkish, pro-war, hardline approach to conflict between and even within ethnic groups is also a good thing. That’s where he loses me, and he loses me pretty early on. “Many Canadian intellectuals developed a fetish for peacekeeping,” he writes, “as opposed to offensive military operations.” Because the last decade of offensive military operations has panned out really well? Hell, the last forty years have?

    In terms of treating communities within Canada as communities of Canadians, again, sure. But there’s a variety of approaches to it, and taking sides in conflicts like these, as Kay advocates, isn’t necessarily the sober one. His piece condemns politicians associating with the Tamil Tigers – quite rightly, as they’re responsible for innumerable human rights abuses and a campaign of terror waged at home and abroad. But there was more to the civil war than just the Tigers being Bad People. There was a government accused of long-standing civil and human rights violations. In other words, there was nuance obliterated in his example (which is typical of Kay’s writing) that makes it hard to see his arguments as valid.

    (Appeal to emotion is, by the way, a separate fallacy from ad hominem, rather than a sub-category of it.)

  9. The internet dictionaries should be told their definition of ad hominem is faulty, then. (Gosh, the internet wrong?)

    Mr. Cameron, forgive me, but your castigation of Mr. Kay for failing to include “nuance” seems to imply a justification for intimidation and extortion if it’s done in a “good cause”. So does it follow that if Canadian politicians distance themselves from a certain group, they are automatically declaring that they support that entity to which the group is opposed? Hardly.

    I’d like to add, before I go back to harvesting oregano, that if military intervention rather than toothless “peacekeeping” had been allowed earlier in former Yugoslavia and at all in Rwanda, there might have been less horrible loss of life.

  10. @14: I will grant that your cited definition does appear in dictionaries (including the Oxford American Dictionary, though not the OED). Likewise, many dictionaries include corruptions of “begging the question”. Not to side-track this discussion into the Language Wars, but modern dictionaries are largely descriptivist: they describe how language is used, not how it should be used. When I engage in grammar nazism, I prefer to rely upon usage guides (such as Garner’s Modern American Usage) rather that dictionaries. “Begging the question” and “ad hominem” have distinct, specific meanings and I feel that the English language is weakened by allowing their meanings to be blurred.

    Regarding Kay’s article, there are a number of points I take issue with, in addition to the tarring of minority communities I mentioned earlier. First, he conflates support of our soldiers and military personnel with support for aggressive, hawkish military policies. As a leftist with unwavering respect for our soldiers, who has appreciated every sacrifice they have made: from the World Wars to the Gulf War to the missions in Yugoslavia and Somalia to the current war in Afghanistan, I am sickened by the fact that Kay would interpret my support as support for Harper’s jingoism.

    Second, Kay characterizes the Anti-Terrorism Act as uncontroversial. This article: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/09/06/stephen-harper_n_951367.html was published 4 days before the original editorial and certainly seems to disagree with him.

    Kay wants to blame the ineptitude of the Flight 182 situation and subsequent investigation as well as the shakedowns of Tamil businesses on the Canadian (read leftist) attitudes of the time. Regarding Flight 182, the Justice Major’s inquiry concluded it was a “cascading series of errors” by government, intelligence and police forces that led to the bombing and subsequent prosecutorial clusterfuck (not a failure of laws, policies, or “attitudes”). Regarding the shakedowns, this was at the same time that the Biker Wars were running rampant in Québec. I’m more willing to blame both problems on Canadian police forces being ill-equipped to address organized crime than some failure of multicultural attitudes.

    I don’t want to get into the whole Israel-Palestine debate, but I find it interesting that Kay accuses the Liberals of allowing the “pro-terrorist” Sikhs, Tamils, and Muslims too much influence then praises the influence of Canadian Jews in turning Canada into an “unabashed friend” of Israel. Which is it Kay? Are minority voices affecting foreign policy good or bad? I guess they’re only good when they’re on your side.

    All of these are minor complaints compared to the general thrust of the article, though. Kay has taken a large number of disparate, complex issues (frequently mischaracterized) and distilled them all into “Leftist multicultural dialogue bad! Conservative wars good! Thanks 9/11!” It’s flamingly partisan, it’s overly simplistic, and it’s gross that the NP would choose to publish that hack job (for the second time!) on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

    For the record, I also find it disgusting that the NYT decided to publish Eichenwold’s “Blame Bush” screed on the same day. 9/11 was a shitty day when some shitty shitheads decided to fly some planes into occupied buildings. It was also a day of great heroism, from the firefighters running up the stairs of burning buildings to the passenger revolt on Flight 93. Is it really too much too ask for partisan nuts to take off the gloves for one day and quit trying to use 9/11 to score political points?

  11. Fuck, that should read “Justice Major’s inquiry”, not “the Justice Major’s inquiry”. The Justice Major sounds like a cool job though, or maybe a Vertigo Comics character.

  12. In this case, I think the more accurate term would be “usage nazi”. Of all the things that weaken the English language, dictionaries must be pretty low on the scale. If memory serves, Samuel Johnson’s dictionary was meant to be a record of the English language as it was then used, which would make it descriptivist also, but I digress.

    It’s good to see you change your stance from considering the article too silly to rebut, to actual discussion of points with which you take issue. Engagement is good, and is so much more to the point than simply and crudely categorizing an article as “shit” and then moving loftily on. Prairie Dog, take note.

  13. What do you call it when someone (accurate or not) calls out an ad hominem attack with an ad hominem attack (or two, really)?

  14. @ Barb: NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH FARTQUISITION

    But seriously, John wrote a beautiful, surprising and wonderful sentence. Perhaps it wasn’t a scalpel-sharp critique on the column he objected to but it got his feelings and opinion across. There’s room here for more writing like that.

  15. Dear, dear Emmet: please see paragraph #2 of response 21. Engagement, not name calling, is what discussion is all about.

  16. Hey!

    We’re talking about item #2, right? I love this sentence: “The National Post’s Jonathan Kay word-barfed garbage sentences from his crap fingers about how 9/11 made us more sensible because we are now willing to bomb foreign countries for a full decade or something stupid like that.”

    Also, there was a typo in my “Spanish fartquisition” comment–I wrote “expect” rather than “expects”. I’ve fixed it now, using Special Blog Powers.

    (If Brian wants I can also fix his “Rush”/”Bush” typo.)

  17. @ 32: progress.

    @ 30: if the sentence in question was meant to be a parody of your writing style, Stephen, it’s bang on. If not – meh. Derivative.

  18. Hi Barb & Brad.
    Anyone else notice that a d is a reversed b? You 2 should get together and do yer numerology lol..

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