The Clare Spark Blog

September 11, 2012


Terry Malloy, bloodied but unbowed

While looking up prior descriptions of 9/11, a day remembered on Fox News as best treated as remembrance of the dead, owing to the “tragedy” of the event, I found myself getting more and more appalled at the rhetoric. As Mark Steyn pointed out years ago, 9/11 was not a “tragedy” [i.e., aimed at catharsis and healing as a theatrical event] but a military  “attack,” and I would add, a strike at finance capital/the city of the Jews by radical Islamists who were able to achieve their lethal goals because of outright negligence during the 1990s during the Clinton administration and/or longstanding Arabism in the State Department, not to speak of the mostly deaf response to the findings of Steve Emerson from the 1980s on,  namely that we had been infiltrated, and that no one with the power to stop them was paying attention. (See  And the DNC had the nerve to summon President Clinton to support President Obama, who, we are told by Vice-President Biden “killed” bin Laden–as if that event marked the completion of whatever liberals call “the war on terror.”

At the same time, Chicago teachers are out on strike, reportedly owing to their disdain of government testing and other evaluations that would separate the wheat from the chaff. Clearly, these teachers are proud of their tactics, and imaginatively line up with exploited labor in the bad old days before unions and collective bargaining became legal during the New Deal. Reminder: strikes have always been a violent tactic, but strikes have been endlessly celebrated by the anti-capitalists as heroic acts that do not hurt “the community” but rather that strikers are forced to use the only weapon at hand. You will not find a labor historian or social historian who disagrees with this assessment, and who does not revel at every sign and symptom of defiance by the “exploited” class. (I will gladly retract this statement if I am proven wrong.)

Chicago teachers on strike

(Reminder: one of the great movies of my youth: On The Waterfront (1954), was not about a strike, but about standing up to crooked union bosses and their thugs. Critics on the Left hated it, and attacked  Elia Kazan and Budd Schulberg for ratting on their ex-comrades while pretending to purify the labor movement.)

We no longer use words such as “tragedy” with precision or with regard to their multiple and changing meanings in the past. But we do pretend that traumas of every kind can be healed. For many, September 11 is a day for meditation, remembrance, and healing. I understand that impulse for unity and solidarity with the families of the victims of 9/11. But we fool ourselves if we fail to trace the precursors, selfish interests, and corrupt, incompetent  practices that brought down the Twin Towers, and that threaten to bring down the Republic if not forthrightly and fearlessly addressed by us all, each and every one. We need to emulate Terry Malloy.

May 2, 2011

OBL and the Obama strategy

Filed under: Uncategorized — clarelspark @ 6:00 pm
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Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan

Like everyone else, I was transfixed by the media coverage and the joyful young crowds cheering the killing of OBL as it was revealed late Sunday night, May 1, 2011.  But today I am still wondering if Obama will not use the killing of OBL to rescue his presidency, taking credit for what was a military mission, declaring national unity, and then blaming Republicans for polarizing the country with their resistance to his fiscal policies.

     Read the text of his speech, and count the number of times he said “I” ordered this and that. Note too the typical use of his “family” rhetoric, implying that he is the bold, protective father of his country. He noted that unity had recently been “frayed” so we should assume that it is his decisive leadership in ordering the operation yesterday morning that has bound our wounds, knitting the “frayed” social fabric.
     I have no doubt that the more timid Republicans will back off their allegedly “extremist” and “divisive” demands for fiscal responsibility in  the face of his probable bump in popularity and their reluctance to be seen as agents of social disintegration now that the happy family has been restored.
     I don’t believe that I am overinterpreting the subtext of Obama’s dramatic announcement. And did I mention his nod to the Pakistanis as if they had fully cooperated with the mission to capture OBL?
[Added later 5/2/11: Obama is continuing the same line he laid down after the Tucson massacre; see Tonight he addressed congressional leaders and their wives at a White House dinner, reiterating the same themes I identified above: unity, frayed unity, 9/11, the Obama kill, but adding Tucson to the mix. I predict that will be the line for the 2012 campaign. He stands for a restored social fabric, while the opposition is ripping it apart with irrational demands. I.e., we’re not “broke.” Listen to this healer.

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