Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Recollections and Reflections of September 11th

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

My Dear America:

I was driving back from my Doctor's office early this morning after having blood taken to be tested when I tuned into NPR on my car radio just in time to hear the bagpipes playing from Ground Zero and a moment of silence being initiated.  

Prior to this I had forgotten that this was the 11th Anniversary of one of the most devastating days in your history, America.  It is September 11th, 2012.  The first thing I thought of this morning was that today looks and feels just like it did on September 11th, 2001.  

Like today, September 11th, 2001 was a beautiful day.  There was a bright blue sky with hardly a cloud.  It wasn't too hot and it wasn't too cold. It was just right.  I'm sure that nearly everyone going to work at the World Trade Center had a smile on their face and a spring in their step on that historic and beautiful morning.  On a day like that one, who in their right mind would be thinking that somewhere on that bright beautiful horizon were individuals hijacking passenger jets for the purpose of flying them into the World Trade Center and Centers of Government in Washington D.C.

There were terrorists in the skies on that devastating day, though, and death and destruction was coming to New York, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  Although almost no one on the morning of September 11th had ever heard of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, from that day on no one in America would ever forget the bravery of the passengers who died that day in Shanksville after attempting to thwart the hijackers attempts to blow up either the Capitol or the White House in D.C..

I was getting ready to go to work when my wife called out to me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.  I came in to watch the spectacle which was on television.  My suspicion, like the suspicion of many that day was that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center accidentally.  While I was watching on Television, however, the second plane hit and all hell broke loose.

It seems like a long time ago, and was, in fact, a long time ago.  Our search for Bin Laden took us to Afghanistan and Iraq and resulted in prolonged wars that killed countless middle easterners and took the lives and health of many american soldiers.  

As we stand here in 2012 we should look back at bin laden's threat not to conquer us, but to do what he and others did to the Russians in Afghanistan, to break us financially.

Although Bin Laden and many of his cohorts are either dead or otherwise out of commission, bin laden's legacy of breaking the bank's in America lives on.  After two costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan we are financially paying bin laden's costly price.  

Was it worth it to sacrifice so many Americans and middle easterners to kill Saddam Hussein and bin laden.  Only time will tell that.  

As we concentrate today, however, on the American lives lost in New York, Virginia and Shanksville it certainly is at least partially sastisfactory to know that bin laden is not alive to repeat his horrors or gloat on his followers' successful assault of our country on September 11th.

Unfortunately this dead madman lives on in those madmen he has inspired and in the new and sometimes harmful new laws and new types of lives that we must live in America.

We're still going but life in America is much more complicated following the madness of September 11th, 2001 and certainly will never be the same because of the brutal lessons of that awful day.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Barack Obama, Joe Biden and the Democrats end on a Very High Note

Friday, September 7th, 2012

My Dear America:

After a night full of Celebrities, High Powered Democrats, Real People  and even a former Republican (Former Florida Governor, Charlie Christ) warmed up the crowd for them onstage at the Democratic Convention came Joe Biden First and Barack Obama Next for a One-Two Punch to end the Charlotte Festivities in style.

Joe Biden gave one of his heartfelt and genuine speeches full of what some might call corny coal cracker philosophy that only Joe seems to be able to get away with.  As Bill Clinton had the night before, Joe laid out not only what he and Barack had accomplished in the last four years but also laid the groundwork for what was to come from his "friend" and Master Orator, Barack Obama.  

Both men made it very clear to anyone watching their speeches that they were not only two men who worked together closely but they were also close friends who thoroughly appreciated each other's company.  This was not a phony show of political support.  These were two men who have been in the trenches together for the past four years and although they had been tortured by reality much of the time they had made it through those four years in fine spirits, even closer than they had been before and like soldiers in the trenches who support each other to get the difficult job done, they were ready for four more years of working together for the good of the American people, and in particular the middle class American people.

Barack arrived in his famous cool, calm and confident style and although he had a lot to compete with in terms of this weeks Democratic Speeches he nailed it once again, as he always seems to do.  He spoke about what he and his administration has already done and he spoke of what he and Joe Biden intend to do in the next four years.

All in all it was another Great Barack Obama speech and by the time he was done the Charlotte auditorium was completely "Fired Up and Ready To Go."

Now it's on to the debates and supposedly Romney is spending almost all his time these days preparing for the debates.  Romney had proved to be a very effective debater during the Republican Primary but he wasn't debating Barack Obama.  I personally think both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan will both be out of their league in the upcoming debates.  I certainly hope that is the case, anyway.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bill Clinton's Barn Burner

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

My Dear America:

Wednesday Night at the 2012 Democratic Convention was certainly not the only time Bill Clinton had set the stage on fire at a National Democratic Convention.  He had done it several times before, twice for his own Nomination by the Democrats for his Presidency and in 2008 his Pro Obama Speech, along with his wife, Hillary's speech certainly set the stage for a United Democratic Party and a United Democratic victory in November of 2008.

Anticipation was high once again in 2012 about what Bill Clinton would have to say about his wife's onetime Presidential Primary Rival and now her boss.  Certainly Bill was not going to trash his wife's boss and his party's standard bearer.  But what, indeed, was he going to say?

Prior to Bill's main attraction speech there were many good solid but relatively  short speeches primarily talking about health care, the middle class, the poor and the tremendous shortcomings of the Republican Presidential and Vice Presidential standard bearers.

Two of my favorite speeches were given by Sister Simone of the Nuns on the Bus Tour talking about what was happening to real people she had encountered out in America on the Nun's Bus tour to point out the real life horrors of the Paul Ryan budget.

Elizabeth Warren also gave a great speech, from what I could hear, since I was dealing at that point with my Grandkids arguments about lost keys and whose fault it was they were lost.  When I finally got back to watching the Convention on my daughter's computer Elizabeth had nearly finished her speech.  But I know what she had to say and I know that she is a talented speaker.

I also liked the speeches by the people fired by Mitt Romney as a result of his Bain takeovers.  And there was also the man who was a founder of Costco who pointed out that in starting his business and keeping his business going well, when the middle class is doing well, his business is doing well and that was why he was supporting Obama.

Then finally, the main event.  Like he tends to do, Bill was long winded but instructive in his speech as he ticked off in a very effective and logical manner why Barack Obama and Joe Biden were right for America and why Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan were wrong.  Bill fired up the Charlotte audience but he also gave detailed reasons to the Television audience why they should be voting for Obama.  Clinton knocked down point after point the web of distortions, half truths and outright lies told by Romney and Ryan in Tampa and elsewhere    about Barack Obama.

At the end of Clinton's speech Barack came out and hugged Clinton in a very special moment of party Unity.  

Certainly to my mind, Barack owed Clinton that hug.

That effective, truthful, barn burning speech had probably just contributed greatly to President Obama's reelection in the fall.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Barack Obama's Not So Secret Weapon Strikes Again

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

My Dear America:

Well, the Democratic National Convention took off like a rocket last night.  There were some incredibly dynamic and interesting speakers.

Stacy Lihn, a housewife and mother of a young girl with major health problems put a human and caring face on the debate over what more and more Democrats are calling "Obamacare," while the President identifies his rival's health care stance as "Romney doesn't care."  Bravo, Mr. President.

In addition to Stacy there were other barn burner speeches, the best of which were, in my opinion, Former Ohio Governor, Ted Strickland, San Antonio Mayor, Julian Castro and present Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick.

Strickland pointed out the flaws in Mott Romney and Paul Ryan in a very detailed and aggressive manner.  Deval Patrick did the same, concentrating on the record that he knew  very well of the Romney Massachusetts Governorship.  According to Deval Patrick's Massachusetts history lesson it was no wonder Romney had very little to say about his record as Massachusetts Governor.

Clearly the star of the evening, however, was Michelle Obama.  She came out looking strikingly beautiful in a stunning red dress.  She, Like Ann Romney the week before, told the audience why she loved her husband and what a good father he was but unlike Ann Romney, Michelle was able to tell the story of what a good President Barack Obama had been over the past four years and how unchanged as a person he was even though he continued to be saddled with what has to be the hardest job in the world.

Michelle did not spend a lot of time castigating Republicans.  She simply told her story of what a caring, loving person Barack Obama has always been and continues to be.  It was a carefully crafted and intensely interesting story that she has told and her warmth and love for her family are just as inspiring as Barack's story.

Michelle left the Convention podium with the audience fired up and raring to go.  That's what she needed to do.  That's what she did four years ago and that's what she did on Tuesday night.


Barack Obama is a lucky man to have a partner like Michelle Obama.  

Once again this secret weapon blew the lid off the hall in Charlotte and
started a fire which I think may be very hard for the Republicans to put out in time to save the extremely flawed candidacies of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.

Sincerely Yours

Jerry Gallagher