"After 10 years, 2 wars, thousands of lives lost, tens of thousands of lives destroyed, and trillions of dollars spent, not a god dam thing has changed..."
Certainly there are many things that have changed... I'm no longer in the military, I now have a wonderful wife, and an amazing daughter, I now have a career I really enjoy, I finally feel like my future is going to be better than my past, etc. Our country has changed in many ways too... We have a new president, I now have to take off my shoes before getting on a plane, and Keith Olbermann is no longer on any TV channels that my cable TV provides without charging me even more than they do now (they already charge way too much for the garbage they put on my tv), but in much more important ways, the United States hasn't changed at all.
While we did create the Department of Homeland Security, gave federal law enforcement a bunch of new powers outside of judicial oversight, and we did manage to shove our military into even more countries than we occupied before Sep 11, 2001, and strained our forces more than anyone thought possible, we have not secured our borders, airports, and seaports. We just haven't. We haven't even changed our attitudes or habits much, even though our military has been mired in two wars, one of which has become the longest war in American history.
To add insult to the injury of not improving our security vulnerabilities (instead, creating entirely new bureaucracies that waste even more of our limited resources), our government hasn't changed it's tendency to endorse one particular religious view, or to imply the popular religious views that are the flavor of the week are the only legitimate religious views, and they should be forced onto the rest of us. That tendency isn't unique to the federal government, it was proudly displayed today at the patriot day ceremony in San Jose. Our leaders continue to ignore, and in some cases, reject the idea that it is illegal for our government (or our politicians and bureaucrats while performing their duties representing our government) to endorse any religion/religious view. Even though it's expressly forbidden by Supreme Court's interpretation of the First Amendment of our Constitution, the US military routinely forces troops to endure religious ritual, and governments at all levels endorse religion in many ways that include spending tax dollars on religion (like paying for chaplains for police departments and in the military) actively leading christian prayers, and even displaying the 10 Commandments in public buildings.
In addition to just being illegal (as if that wasn't already bad enough), it's completely lost on these people that it was religion and the belief that one religion is more legitimate than other religions (or lack of religion) that enabled this attack on our country in the first place. It's completely lost on them it's the inaccurate image of America being a christian country that has enabled our foes to create the kindle the kind of hatred that would cause someone to kill their self in order to try to kill as many of us as possible. It's completely lost on these hypocritical, Constitution violating baffoons (yes Mayor Reed, President Bush, and Col Beck, Jackie Sullivan, and county leaders in Pulaski County I'm talking about you...) that our country was founded by people who were descendants of people who originally came to this continent to escape religious persecution in European theocracies.
Instead of being able to enjoy taking my family to experience a city organized ceremony to remember an event that had a huge impact on my life, and enjoying taking my daughter to her first parade, we had to endure listening to two tax payer funded chaplains, 3 christian prayers (not one, three!) many other government endorsements of religion.
On a day that I expected to feel inspired and really good about my community, I left there feeling disgusted with my community, and my city leaders.
The last thing we need on the 10th anniversary is to be constantly reminded of the yoke of religious ignorance that we (man kind) can't seem to shake off and free ourselves from by a bunch of empty suits paying tribute to our evangelical corporatonist masters.
I applaud Mayor Bloomberg... (It isn't often you'll hear me say that, as I don't agree with him on much). I read there weren't any government endorsements of religion made during NYC's patriot day ceremony today. If only my city government was as respectful of the diversity of our community.