Intelligent minds think alike *UPDATED*

Immediately after reading an email from Danny Lemieux in which he says it should be interesting if the loonies on the Left shriek hysterically about the proposed death penalty for the 9/11 terrorists, I read Cheat Seeking Missiles and saw that Laer made precisely the same point. I hadn’t thought about the subject at all (sick child at home today, plus work deadlines, precludes thinking) but having read what Danny and Laer think, I have to agree.

UPDATE: My friends were prescient — it has begun.

UPDATE II: I’ve switched to a new server, so you can feel free to look around here or check out my new site, which not only has the old stuff, but also will move forward into the future with all my new material.

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You’ve gotta love the loony-tunes behind the 9/11 truthers

This squiblet showed up in today’s Chronicle:

The San Francisco Tea Party for 9/11 for Truth was held in San Francisco Sunday on the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. Similar events were held in Boston and other cities across the country. Party attendees marched from Pier 39 to the end of the Municipal Pier where a replica of the 9/11 Commission Report was tossed into the bay.

The joys of 40 years of Kennedy conspiracy theories have apparently become addictive to those on the Left.  It’s always fun to be “in the know,” even if that knowledge takes you to the outer edges of sanity.

Bill Clinton earns my respect, at least for the moment

Bill Clinton deserves huge kudos for this:

Clinton’s 50-minute speech, which started about an hour behind schedule, was derailed briefly by several hecklers in the audience who shouted that the 2001 terrorist attacks were a fraud. Rather than ignoring them, Clinton seemed to relish a direct confrontation.

“A fraud? No, it wasn’t a fraud,” Clinton said, as the crowd cheered him on. “I’ll be glad to talk to you if you shut up and let me talk.”

When another heckler shouted that the attacks were an “inside job,” Clinton took even greater umbrage.

“An inside job? How dare you. How dare you. It was not an inside job,” Clinton said. “You guys have got to be careful, you’re going to give Minnesota a bad reputation.”

Hat tip: Hot Air

The lunacy of pretending we’re all one big happy family

This is the beginning of yet another must-read Mark Steyn column:

This year I marked the anniversary of Sept. 11 by driving through Massachusetts. It wasn’t exactly planned that way, just the way things panned out. So, heading toward Boston, I tuned to Bay State radio talk-show colossus Howie Carr and heard him reading out portions from the official address to the 9/11 commemoration ceremony by Deval Patrick, who is apparently the governor of Massachusetts: 9/11, said Gov. Patrick, “was a mean and nasty and bitter attack on the United States.”

“Mean and nasty”? He sounds like an oversensitive waiter complaining that John Kerry’s sent back the aubergine coulis again. But evidently that’s what passes for tough talk in Massachusetts these days – the shot heard around the world and so forth. Anyway, Gov. Patrick didn’t want to leave the crowd with all that macho cowboy rhetoric ringing in their ears, so he moved on to the nub of his speech: 9/11, he continued, “was also a failure of human beings to understand each other, to learn to love each other.”

I was laughing so much I lost control of the wheel, and the guy in the next lane had to swerve rather dramatically. He flipped me the Universal Symbol of Human Understanding. I certainly understood him, though I’m not sure I could learn to love him. Anyway, I drove on to Boston and pondered the governor’s remarks. He had made them, after all, before an audience of 9/11 families: Six years ago, two of the four planes took off from Logan Airport, and so citizens of Massachusetts ranked very high among the toll of victims. Whether any of the family members present Tuesday were offended by Gov. Patrick, no one cried “Shame!” or walked out on the ceremony. Americans are generally respectful of their political eminences, no matter how little they deserve it.

We should beware anyone who seeks to explain 9/11 by using the words “each other”: They posit a grubby equivalence between the perpetrator and the victim – that the “failure to understand” derives from the culpability of both parties. The 9/11 killers were treated very well in the United States: They were ushered into the country on the high-speed visa express program the State Department felt was appropriate for young Saudi males. They were treated cordially everywhere they went. The lap-dancers at the clubs they frequented in the weeks before the Big Day gave them a good time – or good enough, considering what lousy tippers they were. Sept. 11 didn’t happen because we were insufficient in our love to Mohamed Atta.

This isn’t a theoretical proposition. At some point in the future, some of us will find ourselves on a flight with a chap like Richard Reid, the thwarted shoe-bomber. On that day we’d better hope the guy sitting next to him isn’t Gov. Patrick, who sees him bending down to light his sock and responds with a chorus of “All You Need Is Love,” but a fellow who “understands” enough to wallop the bejesus out of him before he can strike the match. It was the failure of one group of human beings to understand that the second group of human beings was determined to kill them that led the crew and passengers of those Boston flights to stick with the obsolescent 1970s hijack procedures until it was too late.

It would be so nice to say that Steyn’s point — there is an “us” and there is a “them” — falls into the “duh” category, if it weren’t for the fact that so many Americans seem incapable of understanding it, and do still try for the la-la-la kumbiyah school of international relations.  Of course, these warm fuzzy types are better (if only slightly) than the 30% of their compatriots who have decided that there is an “us” and a “them,” with the “us” being their Birkenstocked selves, and the them being their own government.  That’s not mere denial, that’s insanity.

Truther madness hits Germany

Truther madness has invaded Germany at the highest levels: one of the government-run TV stations ran an “investigative” show that examined whether it was OBL or the US government that took down the Twin Towers and tried to destroy the Pentagon and other buildings in D.C.:

Have you heard this one before?

Jupp says to his friend Willy: “Hey, how’s your wife in bed?” Willy says to Jupp: “Some say she’s good, some say she’s not.”

Everything, as it happens, is relative. Three hairs in a bowl of soup are three hairs too many, while three hairs on someone’s head are relatively few. Even the oldest jokes about this theory of relativity, the ones that wouldn’t even get a laugh out of drunken fools, suddenly become precious pearls of humor to those who saw Tuesday’s ZDF documentary titled “Sept. 11, 2001 — What Really Happened.”

Some might say the documentary was relatively harmless compared with the wildest conspiracy theories that have been circulating since the attacks, such as the one claiming that 4,000 Jewish New Yorkers who worked at the World Trade Center didn’t show up for work on Sept. 11. But if we hold a documentary up to a different standard, the ZDF broadcast was relatively malicious, misleading and, most of all, deceptive from beginning to end. On its Web site, the network claimed: “ZDF research bears out accusations against authorities.” The facts behind the documentary were supposedly provided by “well-known skeptics, experts and eyewitnesses to the attacks.” ZDF also claimed that it would contain “never before published documents and footage.”

The network trumpeted the documentary at full volume. But in reality, the “never before seen footage” consisted of a few close-ups from the engineering rooms of the Twin Towers, which could have just as easily been shot in ZDF’s furnace room. The “well-known skeptics” were the usual suspects who have long been performing their acrobatics in the 9/11 circus. One was a former chairman of a local chapter of the German Social Democratic Party. He served as Minister of Research and Technology under former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt and has spent the last 25 years publicizing his revelations about the practices of intelligence agencies. Another one of ZDF’s competent experts was a 23-year-old American who produced a “documentary” on his laptop that became a hit on the Internet and will soon be released as a film.

In the interest of balance, several eyewitnesses to the Sept. 11 attacks were also interviewed. But almost everything they said was attacked and qualified by the skeptics and experts.

Read here the rest of Henryk M. Broder’s expose of Germany’s ugly anti-American side.

Memoralizing an Act of War

I offer no comment, just the story:

STUDENTS at Madrone High School in San Rafael put together a “peace flag” Tuesday in memory of the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Each student received the afternoon off to decorate a square of fabric with a message of peace.

An administrative assistant at the 50-student school brought a sewing machine to work and stitched the flag together. It will be hung inside the school on a wall.

The students also watched a documentary film about the attacks and held an hourlong meeting to share memories.

Incidentally, I attended a local school function last night, during which the administrator did call 9/11 an “event” (apparently it’s been downgraded from even being a tragedy, not just here, but everywhere), but otherwise did all the right things: the local Girl Scouts raised the flag, all who attended recited the Pledge of Allegiance, and a student led us in singing “America” (My County ’tis of Thee). I applaud the school for handling 9/11 with such respect.

A window twice broken

Betty Ong was one of the flight attendants who died on 9/11. She was also a native San Franciscan. Since 1994, a large mural in San Francisco’s Chinatown has celebrated the Chinese in San Francisco. In 2003, the site’s owners and the artist added a tribute to Ms. Ong to that mural. And since then, vandals have defaced it over and over:

The only local monument to a heroic flight attendant from San Francisco killed in the Sept. 11 attacks six years ago is a North Beach mural that vandals have defaced almost beyond recognition.

Betty Ong, 45, who grew up in Chinatown and North Beach, was a flight attendant on American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane hijacked by the terrorists. Just minutes before the plane smashed into the World Trade Center, she quietly contacted authorities and gave a detailed description of the hijackers.

Ong is one of several Chinatown natives depicted in a 200-foot-long, 7-foot-tall mural dedicated to Chinese contributions to American history. Titled “Gold Mountain,” the mural also includes educators and nurses, Edsel Ford Fong, a waiter made famous by the late Chronicle columnist Herb Caen, and Larry Ching, the “Chinese Frank Sinatra,” who was a longtime entertainer at Forbidden City.

Painted by artist Ann Sherry in 1994 on the side of an apartment building on Romolo Place, the mural has been damaged by taggers numerous times. Each time, Sherry, the building’s owners and community volunteers have stepped up to perform touchups – and twice to restore the mural completely.

Ong’s family, the artist and the owners understand what’s a stake here. This is not about Troofers, or any other insanity. This is about not allowing nihilists, in the form of the vandals who plague very city, to take over and destroy the city’s fabric:

Ong’s sister, Cathie Ong, said the family is deeply honored by the mural but has been hurt by the graffiti.

“Our mother was so upset – she thought it was an attack on Betty,” Ong said by phone from New York City. “We had to explain that this was just vandalism that damaged the whole mural and hurts everyone.”

***

The mural’s supporters are undaunted.

“We’re not going to give up and let the taggers win,” Lam said. “This is not just another piece of artwork. This is our history. This is our legacy. We’re not going to let anyone destroy this.”