Frank Rich On September 11

A local resident lights candles on the Williamsburg waterfront, September 11, 2001
As always, Frank Rich sums up our opinions nicely. From the NY Times:

In the five years since the attacks, the ability of Americans to dust themselves off and keep going explains both what’s gone right and what’s gone wrong on our path to the divided and dispirited state the nation finds itself in today.
At the National Cathedral prayer service on Sept. 14, 2001, President Bush found just the apt phrase to describe this phenomenon: ‚”Today we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called ‘the warm courage of national unity.’ This is the unity of every faith and every background. It has joined together political parties in both houses of Congress.” What’s more, he added, ‚”this unity against terror is now extending across the world.” The destruction of that unity, both in this nation and in the world, is as much a cause for mourning on the fifth anniversary as the attack itself. As we can’t forget the dead of 9/11, we can’t forget how the only good thing that came out of that horror, that unity, was smothered in its cradle.
When F.D.R. used the phrase ‚”the warm courage of national unity,” it was at his first inaugural, in 1933, as the country reeled from the Great Depression. It is deeply moving to read that speech today. In its most famous line, Roosevelt asserted his ‚”firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.” Another passage is worth recalling, too: ‚”We now realize as we have never realized before our interdependence on each other; that we cannot merely take but we must give as well; that if we are to go forward, we must move as a trained and loyal army willing to sacrifice for the good of a common discipline, because without such discipline no progress is made, no leadership becomes effective.
“What followed under Roosevelt’s leadership is one of history’s most salutary stories. Americans responded to his twin entreaties—to renounce fear and to sacrifice for the common good—with a force that turned back economic calamity and ultimately an axis of brutal enemies abroad. What followed Mr. Bush’s speech at the National Cathedral, we know all too well, is another story.
On the very next day after that convocation, Mr. Bush was asked at a press conference ‚”how much of a sacrifice” ordinary Americans would ‚”be expected to make in their daily lives, in their daily routines.” His answer: ‚”Our hope, of course, is that they make no sacrifice whatsoever.” He, too, wanted to move on—to ‚”see life return to normal in America,” as he put it—but toward partisan goals stealthily tailored to his political allies rather than the nearly 90 percent of the country that, according to polls, was rallying around him.

And here’s where we were five years ago.

The Worst Hairdos On Capital Hill

This article from Radar is hilarious. Related, for more bad ‘dos click here.

The Burg—Williamsburg's Own Sitcom—Responds To 'Fan Mail'

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Scholastic and ABC Team Up To Spread Misinformation About 9/11 To Students Nationwide

This sucks. From Eat The Press

The cat calls surrounding ABC’s “The Path to 9/11” continue to grow louder. Not only is the network under fire for legitimate questions about the veracity of the primetime mini-series, which apparently goes to significant lengths to pin the blame of 9/11 on the Clinton administration, but ABC itself has failed to answer questions about the dubious way it has arranged for conservative partisans to view the program prior to air date (which has allowed them to cheerlead the movie online and on talk radio), yet Democratic activists have been stiff-armed. My own numerous calls to ABC’s publicist requesting a screening copy of “The Path to 9/11” have been ignored. Even former President Bill Clinton’s request for a DVD has gone unheeded by ABC.
But now comes the revelation that ABC has teamed up with education publishing giant Scholastic to spread misinformation about Iraq and Bush’s War on Terrorism to millions of American high school students; students who might take part in ABC’s sponsored teach-in surrounding “The Path to 9/11,” which airs Sept. 10-11. Looking at the clear anti-Clinton factual errors included in the mini-series as well as the clear pro-Bush factual errors included in the classroom text, it’s hard to pass the pair off as a coincidence.
As Media Matters for America first reported, the ABC and Scholastic-produced “Discussion Guide for the Classroom” that provides background information to students about 9/11 and the Middle East, is “rife with conservative misinformation.” For instance, there’s this reference to the invasion of Iraq:
The dictatorial government of Saddam Hussein was overthrown in 2003, following an invasion led by the United States.The U.S. government believed that Hussein had been developing weapons of mass destruction that he planned to use against American and other targets.
That’s it, period. No mention of the glaringly obvious point that no WMD’s were ever found in Iraq and that the Bush administration entire rationale for war turned out to be a fallacy. Yet this slick classroom guide is supposed to help 16, 17, and 18-year-olds better understand American history?
And there’s this:
Bush has led the United States into Afghanistan and Iraq and reorganized the national government in an attempt to combat terrorist activity.
The classroom guide for “The Path to 9/11” clearly ties the attacks of Sept. 11, the Taliban and Iraq all together. In fact, the Scholastic text states at the very beginning:
The information below will help you become familiar with the people, places, and organizations that played a role in the events of 9/11 and those that led up to that tragic day.

Bob Dylan Is Obviously Obsessed With Scarlett Johansson

Bob Dylan – ‘When The Deal Does Down’

On Sale Today: The Sinner's Guide to The Evangelical Right

Our new book goes on sale today, September 5. We want to thank all the prayer warriors who helped make it happen. You can buy copies here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookSense. Join the boycott here. Read excerpts here. Or take the evangelical quiz here.
Robert Lanham will be doing a reading this Thursday, if the Rapture doesn’t come first. And he’ll be on Air America on Wednesday at 8:30pm.
Advance Praise:
“Like all great satire, the book is cerebral, irreverent and hilarious, while also edifying”
— Publisher’s Weekly
“Every good little liberal will have this book on order as a stocking stuffer come Jesus’ birthday.”
Time Out
“Not only is this an important book, it’s a funny book.”
— Marc Maron, Air America Radio
“This book should lay at the lifeless feet of your corpse as a silent, yet powerful and all encompassing explanation as to why you took your own life.”
— David Cross, Arrested Development

The September 2006 Movie Preview

by Dave Thomas
This month, we begin the long road to Oscar and start weighing each film’s chances but, judging by the pickings, most studios are not going to turn on the nitro this early in the race.
September 1
Jason Statham has to keep his adrenaline up or he’ll die. So he kills a bunch of people.
Could it really be any worse than a Transporter film?
A little bit of competition from The Protector next week, but I think more people know who Jason Statham is than Tony Jaa. $44mil.
If there was a stunt Oscar, perhaps. One of the writer/directors is a former stunt coordinator.
Remake of the cult classic where a guy (Nic Cage) goes to a weird town where weird shit happens.

[Read more…]