Benny's World

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Lessons from Verdict of Monsieur Moussaoui

To borrow language from Nan's diary on OAC,

The jury in the sentencing phase of 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui recommended
Wednesday he should serve life in prison without parole. He is the first person
tried in the United States for the attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people. As
he was being led from court, Moussaoui clapped his hands and said: "America, you
lost. I won."

That outburst from the Prisioner gave me several thoughts while I went to the store and back. Here's what I wish I could say to him:

Monsieur Moussaoui, you lost your soul when you were in cohoots with the others

You will have a long time to think about your evil plots and why they were wrong

Justice can be compassionate, unlike the radical people who have twisted your religion in which most who are Islamic ideally want to practice peace and understanding

I hope you will be able to meet a compassionate cleric who can help steer you through this darkness you have chosen to be in

But in one way, the prisoner is right; America lost because of Bush's hate and revenge and how he tied so many lies of 9/11 against Iraq; it is should not be an example or our way to practice justice. We are not far in numbers how many our soldiers have been killed from the numbers of 9/11, and no telling how many Iraqis are dead.

More than ever, we need to equate justice with compassionate fairness. Just look at Abraham Scott, who has a foundation in the name of his wife, Janice, who was killed at the Pentagon on 9/11, and now has peace. Mr. Scott can move on knowing another person did not die, despite being a perpetrator, because of 9/11. He is off to celebrate by delivering two scholarships in Colorado from his wife's foundation. What a wonderful way to look at life by educating our children instead of turning to hate.

And from Rosemary Dillard, whose husband Eddie died in the attacks, said of Moussaoui: "He's a bad man, but we have a fair society." She said of terrorists: "We will treat them with respect no matter what they do to us."

So to Monsieur Moussaouri, after you are sentenced, you can or will begin the road to healing, but with the understanding you violated mankind by your deed, which is why you will be in prison for the rest of your days.

Walk With Me Through this Day--JRE, 9/11/2004

Hope this prisoner will read JRE's speech some day.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Jeepers, Can No Party Take a Joke

Received thru e-mail, I got a really good cartoon of partisan balderdalsh on both sides of the aisle. Hardly ANYONE responded to the post on 3 very progressive blogs. I guess Colbert is the king of comedy and in some rights, a good thing, but it is sad the Jib-Jab folks types cannot longer release such a video with silence except for a few of us who get IT in the e-mail and are not looking for Colbert or Stewart's comments daily. Perhaps Newsday has turned off readers that bad.

Maybe I'm missing that they are produced by friends of Trent Lott, Tom DeLay, or Mary Landrieu--don't know. Newsday tends to be conservative, but I'd like to think they see the Hindenberg now.

Net Neutrality at Heart, JRE

Besides Stephen Colbert..

Dear Benny,

Over the past few weeks, the investigation into the leak of CIA secrets on Iraq has produced disturbing new information. Court filings in the Scooter Libby case have connected both President Bush and Vice President Cheney with an effort to selectively disclose classified and highly flawed intelligence to the media in order to discredit people who were asking legitimate questions about the Iraq invasion. The White House even admitted that President Bush himself authorized the disclosure.

Now that he is firmly linked to this deepening scandal, it's time for President Bush to level with the American people about his role in this egregious manipulation of sensitive intelligence. But you and I know he's not going to do it. And we know that the Republican-controlled Congress will not hold him accountable either.

Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald may very well be the only person who can shed light on what really happened and ensure accountability. What he needs now is our support to expand the scope of his investigation to specifically include whether the President broke the law. Let's put our online community to work and together demand that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales allow Mr. Fitzgerald to get to the bottom of this. No one should be above the law. It's time we demand real accountability.

Clearly, there is precedent for a special prosecutor's mandate to be expanded when he comes across further wrongdoing in the course of an investigation. I can think of no better time for doing this than right now. This case has all the elements of becoming one of the most serious breaches of the public trust in our nation's history - with consequences that we are all too familiar with.

The facts of President Bush's involvement, and the extent to which he manipulated intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq, are not going to come out unless his actions are subject to an independent investigation. Remember, this is a President who at first said that he didn't know of anyone in his Administration who had leaked anything. Then he had his spokesman say that anyone found to have leaked classified information would be fired. Now it turns out it was President Bush himself who authorized the leaks.

But it is clear this Administration will go to any length to prevent the facts from being known. We can't let them get away with it. And they won't if we speak up and make the Attorney General understand that the American people will accept nothing less than the truth. Please sign the letter and tell Attorney General Gonzales that we want no stone left unturned in this important investigation.

Sign the Letter Now.
Thank you for taking action and for all that you do.
Your Friend,

Here's my response:

Dear JRE,

I agree with your action letter. But I will tell you that without Net Neutrality, your letters and others over the Internet will not reach us. We need to fight this with the association partners, including those we may have some differences with in political persuasion.


Sunday, April 30, 2006

Living With War

On my theme of music today, Neil Young's Living with War

It's so new that probably it won't be available online for long; I don't know if the link is legal or not--so that's my disclaimer.

Great album. Our northern neighbor cares a great deal about us. It's very much like "Ohio".

Neil Young has been inspirational in the sense that he also contributed his performances last year to raise money to give relief for the Katrina survivors. I loved it when he was the last one singing "Walkin' to New Orleans." I was so proud that he wanted NOLA to come back. He still does.

I'm listening to "America, the Beautiful". Awesome choral piece. Thank you, Neil. I am a little teary-eyed because I wish our President only cared as much about us as you do.

I doubt the sincerity of our current President, his administration, and our main stream media, which I think was the point what Stephen Colbert was saying in his stint last night at the WH Correspondents' Dinner.

Ever Feel Like You've Met Someone Thru Music?

I was reading Iddybud's blog yesterday about goin' to Carolina in her mind, taken from James Taylor. I felt like I wanted to go too. Twice I have interviewed in the Triangle and couldn't find the right job.

I posted on her blog lyrics to song that I really love by Mary-Chapin Carpenter entitled"I am a Town." It's an overlooked gem in Chapin Carpenter's portfolio. AnonyMoses, who lives in Charlotte and is one of Iddybud's dear friends, mentioned he liked that song and invited me to visit. Iddybud likes that tune as well. It's not the first time that the three of us have connected via music, either on the OAC blog or Iddybud's. We seem to like the same artists. And through music, I have this gut feeling I know AnonyMoses and Iddybud, even though I've not met them.

I also feel like I've met Chancelucky through music. He is the only person who noticed that I saw Dave Matthews and the CSO in a 6 month time period. My taste in music is pretty catholic, but I confess I don't listen to a lot of new artists anymore unless they are folk, C/W, or jazz. I do like classical, and so does my spouse. When we attend classical music events, we always have such a wonderful time, and I guess I feel connected more to my spouse afterwards, especially if it's music I'm hearing for the first time, and getting to know conductor's styles.

Today, someone on JREG turned me on to a song by Pink--that's on Youtube. They express my feelings precisely about this President.

Music is a universal language, and my life is enriched by it. And through it, I make connections.