You — Yes, You — Can “Do Something” about Mass Killings. A good friend of mine posted this yesterday, after he heard about the 49 murders at a “gay night club” in Orlando, Florida, overnight. The gunman was killed in a shoot-out with police.
I Am Charlie. Unless you live in a cave, you probably have heard something about a terrorist attack on a weekly magazine in Paris this week. Charlie is Charlie Hebdo. Who’s he? Well, that’s French for Weekly Charlie — and they chose “Charlie” for Charlie Brown, the perpetual underdog in the Peanuts comic strip.
A good friend “shared” something on social media not too long ago that really made me roll my eyes. It was about the wanna-be terrorist “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid. Just before Christmas in 2001, Reid, a Brit, got on an American Airlines plane from Paris to Florida, and while in-flight he tried to light a bomb in his shoe. Other passengers subdued him, and his airplane bombing fizzled. He’s now in prison in the U.S., serving a life sentence without parole.
There were a couple of stories I found earlier in the month, but decided to hold until the Memorial Day issue. And they get to be in the blog, since one of them has illustrations you need to see for the complete effect.
I find it difficult to “celebrate” any death, but I have to admit to feeling a bit of satisfaction that a man who declared war on us finally got a small measure of payback. (“I’ve never wished a man dead, but I’ve read some obituaries with great pleasure.” —Mark Twain)
So here it is, 9/11 — the first time I’ve published a True newsletter on that date since the fateful events in 2001. “The” 9/11 was a Tuesday, so Premium had already gone out. That gave me a few days to get it together before I ran a free edition, and a couple of more days before I actually had to write again, which I do on Sundays — that’s why every column has a Sunday date on it. Kit (my “significant other”) and I were Red Cross volunteers back then, and spent most of that week helping out at shelters taking care of hundreds of stranded travelers.
After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I dubbed Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson “The American Taliban”. In the four years since, not much has changed. In 2005’s 9/11 issue of True came this story:
Sometimes a photo is just the thing to finish off a good story. From True‘s 27 February 2005 issue:
We’re often told not to discuss politics or religion in polite company. But sometimes your hand is forced. It all started with two stories that appeared in subsequent weeks — in the 9 May and 16 May 2004 issues:
Proof The Terrorists Have Won
Girl Scout troops in Martin County, Fla., decided to have a Mother’s Day “scavenger hunt” at the Treasure Coast Square Mall. Fathers would accompany their daughters and go “window shopping” for items on the hunt list, marking them off as they spotted them, and then shop for a nice present for Mom when they were done. At least 150 father/daughter pairs signed up, but mall management wouldn’t allow the hunt, citing “security” concerns in the post-9/11 world. “Since Sept. 11, we have looked at our security procedures very closely,” said mall spokeswoman Rachelle Crain. First, “How do we know they’re Girl Scouts?” she said of the uniformed 5- to 18-year-old girls. But, more importantly, “Our enhanced security prohibits us from hosting events that allow participants to wander freely around the mall area.” (Stuart News) …Right. Their dads could whip out a concealed credit card or something.
Some weeks after terrorists turned several of our airliners into guided missiles, I flew — and got to experience our greatly “improved” security. My experiences brought a lot of response from readers.
I’ve been saying — for a couple of years now — that “Zero Tolerance” policies and laws “terrorize” school children. It’s hard enough for adults in America to understand the new way of life as we face true terrorism; imagine how hard it is for kids. Here’s how one child tried to cope — and how the “adults” around him reacted.
This week Premium subscribers wrote in huge numbers thanking me for speaking out strongly against the downright treasonous comments made by two of America’s self-appointed “religious leaders”.
And thanks so much for your notes of support for my decision to publish last week, to get back to “normal” as soon as possible. Charles in Ohio was one: “Thank you for your newsletter. Not only does it provide some levity during a somber time, but it also shows that life does and should go on. As you indicated, to let these tragic incidents disrupt our daily lives lets the terrorists succeed.” Candy in Texas: “I would like to thank you for sending out this week’s TRUE. I am saddened by the news, but I am hungry for diversions.”