Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cardinals back their way in to the playoffs? Go ^%*&# yourself

I'm seeing and hearing about the Cardinals backing their way into the playoffs. And I'm calling bullshit. They played their asses off, hurt, missing key components and won the sumbitch. So if you're a Braves fan, you can whine about how they choked. (And you're right. BIG TIME chokers, they are.) But if you're a Cardinals fan, here's what I think you need to tell people when they say the Cardinals backed their way in to the playoffs.

1. They won 15 out of their last 20.
That's .750 ball. Talk about peaking at the right time. Go crazy, folks. You think anyone is looking forward to playing the Redbirds? Even the Phillies, the team with the best record in the National League. The best thing the Phillies could've done for themselves was sit their starters for the series in Atlanta. Especially after the Cardinals took three out of four in Philadelphia. But this is the big leagues and you play to win every game.

2. Yadi freaking Molina.
That guy is All World. Hitting like he did in September. Yadi hit .400 in the last 10 games. He had some clutch hits, too. And handling a taped together pitching staff while Dave Duncan was gone. Everyone may be wondering where Albert Pujols will be next year, but Yadi is an incredible ball player and will probably win another Gold Glove this year. If I had a vote, he'd have mine for team MVP.

3. TLR
Love or hate Tony LaRussa, and usually the haters will say he out-manages himself (including me, but I'm no hater) but he only stepped on his own foot once during this run when he left Motte in too long and they blew a huge lead to the Mets. And he probably was responsible for four wins in September. Theriot pinch-hitting for Shumacher... a Pujol-Holliday double steal... both were game-changers.

4. Cardinal Nation
I'm not acquainted with any Cardinals fans who didn't think it could be done. Never lost hope. The Atlanta Braves couldn't even sell out the last series of the year with the playoffs on the line. If the Cardinals are trying to play in to the playoffs, the area around Busch Stadium would be pandemonium. They'd wheel in Jumbotrons and shit. Hotdog and peanut vendors would make more money outside the stadium. And beer... forget about it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thoughts About 9/11 and the 10th Anniversary

Once again, I'm up before the boys and wife and reflecting on some things. There's no surpises here about what I'm think about.

It's September 11; ten years later.

I go back and forth when I think about that day, because I want it to be just another day on the calendar. But I know it won't for quite some time. I think it will fade little by little over time, much the same way that December 7 has. With each generation, that day becomes just an afterthought. Except for the people who were there. 

Where were you on 9/11?
A question I'll never ask, because chances are 99% of the stories are exactly like mine. I can tell you where I was when the planes went into the tower, just like anyone over the age of 20. I was driving to work and listening to Johnny Dare's Show on 98.9 The Rock in Kansas City. I got to work and gathered in the kitchen with my co-workers and we watched as the towers fell.

My 9/11 story, like most people in the country, is common, mundane and boring. Like most people, I can only tell you what it looked like from pictures and video.

The people who were there can tell you how it felt. What it smelled like. What it's like to be covered in ashes and concrete dust. What it sounded like as the planes hit or the towers fell. Or about the screams of the survivors and victims. What it looked like to see the first responders as they rushed in to help.

To be honest, unless you were there, I don't want to know about your 9/11 experience unless you were in Manhattan, Pennsylvania or Washington D.C. Because your experience is exactly like mine. You were driving to work. You were making breakfast. You woke up hung over from a Monday Night Football bender and it was on the news.

The thing is, I know only one guy who has any direct experience in 9/11. My buddy Scott was in the Army at the time and was either stationed in or near D.C. and was sent in that day to help with recovery and protection. I can't remember, as he's only talked about it when we'd been drinking, so the details are fuzzy. He's only spoken of it one time, but I know he was at the Pentagon working on recovery because his unit was there when Donald Rumsfeld came to help for a while. I know this affected Scott greatly because he talked about it very reluctantly, and if you know Scott, he's never one to speak reluctantly on any subject.

Conspiracy theories.
This isn't the Lincoln assassination, where there was a conspiracy by definition. It also isn't the Kennedy assassination, and Oliver Stone probably won't doing a movie about it. Seriously, if you think that the U.S. was behind it or that Israel was behind it, you've got something seriously wrong. I also don't want to hear shit about President Bush not responding quickly enough as he sat in Florida reading to a group of six-year-olds. Here's why: They still didn't know exactly what was going on and moving the President at the time of attack could have put him in danger, dillhole. So shut up about it, don't mention it to me again and I won't mention how scared you were that time you thought you had VD. You know who you are.

We brought it on ourselves.
I'm going to punch someone in the neck. Hear me, Jeremiah Wright? They chose to attack us for our religious beliefs, our economic beliefs, our way of life. Whatever the reason, they attacked us because they hate us. I'll throw one thing out that may surprise you: They didn't do it because they're Muslim. They did it because they're assholes.

It was an act of war.
No, it wasn't an act of war. It was an act of terrorism. War is declared. By a known enemy. Militaries are involved. There are rules in war. Which to me is about as ludicrous a statement as I've ever heard. (Like rules in a knife fight, a la Butch and Sundance.)

This wasn't an act of war. It was an act of terrorism designed to strike fear into the U.S. by killing as many people as they could as quickly as possible. Do you think if you could talk to Bin Laden, he would have been disappointed that only 2,600 people were killed? Especially given the fact that typically more that 14,000 people work in the World Trade Center. So I would say 9/11 was a failure, given that he didn't get close to even 25% kill rate, the Pentagon was spared, only 55 military personnel were killed and Flight 93 never reached its destination.

I'll also say he got better than he deserved, since the U.S. consulted an imam to conduct his burial and his remains were treated with respect, which is more than can be said for how our servicemen killed in action are treated.

Why were first responders left out of 10 year ceremonies?
This is perhaps the biggest travesty of the whole 9/11 Memorial Day. Mayor Bloomberg said there was simply no room for them at the ceremonies. What complete and utter bullshit. There was room for them 10 years ago. He's also not having any clergy. Honestly, I'm not too concerned with that, because if you have a Protestant and/or a Catholic clergy there, the friggin ACLU will sue to have a Muslim cleric there.

By the way, if you ever tell me those people aren't heroes and they were just doing their jobs, I'll bitch slap you. Some people do hero's work, and some people are copywriters.

Why are people are trying to softening the anti-Islamic feeling?
This is perhaps hypocritical on my part, so you don't have to tell me that, but I can do without the declaration of a Day of Service. What the hell? That's kind of insulting to the people who were there. So now we're supposed to go on this bullshit website and tell what we're doing for the country on the day. "I'm cleaning up a beach." You can clean up a beach any day. Why today? March is free and clear of Federal holidays. August is also. Seriously. If this thing catches hold, which is doubtful, its goal is for future generations to recognize it and not the attacks. By the way, Obama went out of his way during Ramadan this year to mention the number of Muslims who died. It was around 30. He never mentions the number of Catholics killed when he speaks to the Knights of Columbus. Mayor Bloomberg did also by offering his outspoken support of the building of the "Islamic Cultural Center" when he knew some would take offense.

Did the terrorists succeed?
I think maybe they did. They stopped capitalism for a few days. It cost the U.S. billions of dollars in clean up, in insurance, and in building a new WTC. They also made us a little afraid, at least for a while, but it still continues to this day. Think about how long commercial airlines didn't fly. Think about how your life has been disrupted in the last 10 years. Think about what we've lost in personal freedom and a certain amount of innocence. Think about it the next time you're getting felt up by a stranger just because you want to board a plane.

What is New York thinking?
It's been 10 years. The building is not yet complete. Why did it take eight years to get the area cleaned up? Why are they allowing an Islamic cultural center to be built when there a mosque three blocks away? Why is a church that was on the national historical registry not allowed to be re-built? There is too much politicking and worries about political correctness. This should have been done for the fifth anniversary, for Pete's sake. The Empire State Building took less than 15 months to build. And it wasn't really a matter of national pride. Building permits, zoning, union labor contracts... seriously? Sheesh what a bunch of turds. I drove through Greensburg, KS, which was absolutely destroyed after an EF-5 tornado. Two years later, downtown had been replaced. No one had even heard of Greensburg, KS till then. You can't tell me it isn't a source of national and New York City's pride to have WTC built on the same site.

On the other hand...
I guess this post is for me and working through my own conflicting thoughts about 9/11 and the affects. I'm probably not the only one who has conflicted thoughts.

On one hand, it's not about Islam, and yet, I'm against the building of the mosque.

On one hand, I say the terrorists didn't succeed because it brought us together and then I turn around and say they've disrupted our lives considerably.

On one hand, I'm disappointed  that TV and radio stations did montages and special stories on Friday, September 9 (for ratings) and yet I've considered putting some of those images in this blog so people will read it. And I also thought it needs some pictures just to break up the gray of the text in this very long post.

On one hand, I want September 11 to be just another day. I want it to be my cousin Glen's daughter's birthday. She should never have to answer questions when she's asked for ID. "Oh... wow... you were born on September 11th? Doesn't that suck?"

On one hand I want to forget, and on the other, I'll always remember.

Oh, the hyposcrisy...