What 9/12 Means to Me

I spent a few minutes this morning watching Glenn Beck’s Howard-Beale-meets-Bob-Ross act on Fox News, and after having several brani clels melted, I flipped over to watch President Obama telling his “fired up” story, which I had never heard before.  The contrast was pretty amazing.

Still, Beck did get me thinking about the idea of 9/12, which he is twisting to his own freakish ends.  I know I didn’t wake up that day thinking, “Man, I have got to protect insurance company profits!”

What I was looking for that day was some firm ground to stand on.  What I found was a nation, and a world, united in the kind of brotherhood that results in a 90% approval of anything.  I don’t think ice cream even gets those kinds of numbers.

I also got to thinking about right-wing activist Caleb Howe, who is criss-crossing the country as we speak, spreading the 9/12 message (whatever that is) as the Chief Magistrate (or something) of the American Liberty Tour.  Here are his first 6 vlogs.

OK, there only appear to be 5 of them.  Maybe #3 was the one where he got drunk and chanted “Yes We Can!” through a waterfall of tears.

Anyway, Caleb is a guy with whom I disagree strongly.  This much, everyone knows.  Caleb and I also happen to be good friends.  This is also something that most people know.

What you might not know is that Caleb and I became friends just a little over a year ago.  I’m also pretty sure that hardly anybody is aware of the deep hatred I felt for Caleb prior to meeting him.  I don’t mean the standard left vs. right rivalry, but rather, a very special animosity that I reserved all of my best curse words for.

He and I were both writing for The Political Machine, although he didn’t come aboard until months after the blog had started, and he pissed me off routinely with his rabid ideology.

I found out that Political Machine was sending me to Denver to cover the Democratic National Convention, and I was ecstatic.  The trip had actually been my idea, and I had already reserved a car, intending to go either way.  Then, I found out they were also sending Caleb.

I had a whole strategy worked out, however, for how I was going to undermine him and make sure that I got all the good stories.  Yeah, I’m a jerkoff.

The plan never materialized because Caleb and I became instant friends when we met at the rental car lot.  We had worked out, in advance, a bit where we would exchange gifts.  He gave me a tinfoil hat, and I gave him something stereotypical, I can’t remember what.  We filmed it, and it was so lame, we never used it, but I think it helped to disarm my blind rage.

Here are some of the videos I took in Denver:

After the convention, Caleb and I went on to become something of a team at Political Machine, writing some really funny stuff together.  I think this one is my favorite.

So, when I think of September 12, 2001, I think about my friendship with Caleb, and the way it mirrors the hope of that day, that we could all see past our differences and find some common ground.  I believe it still today.  That is, as long as I can keep Caleb and his pals from ruining this country.



  1. Aw, that’s cute. He gave you a tinfoil hat? I’d laugh pretty hard, I’ve got to admit.

    I’m glad there’s hope for people’s friendships to transcend politics – even when it’s your job to worry about left/right day and night.

  2. Also – Bob Ross? You get points.

  3. I know I didn’t wake up that day thinking, “Man, I have got to protect insurance company profits!”

    Most times I come here and read something like that and just shake my head and don’t bother to answer because, what’s the point? That kind of statement goes a long way to show that you’re not even making one iota of effort to try to understand why people oppose Obamacare.

    The basic tenet of modern liberalism is that those on the other side of the political divide and inferior, serfs-like people who needs to be told what is good for them. So why waste your time and effort when it is easier to say that they just want to “protect insurance company profits”?

    I was not at the DC march yesterday. I wanted to be there, not to defend “insurance company profits”, but to defend a system that may not be perfect but works for the great majority of the people.

    I’ve been paying my mother health insurance for more than a decade now, out of my own pocket. My mother and I are very satisfied with the coverage and the quality of care that she has received when she required major surgery. I’m not rich, I drive an eight-year car that is paid for and I hope to keep driving for a while because at this moment I can’t afford a new one.

    I don’t care if my mom health insurance company makes gazillions in profits because they are providing a good service that I want and gladly paid for. Why is that so hard to understand?

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