The World According to Keitho

Just another weblog

Posts Tagged ‘9/11’

MLP: Major League Pandering

Posted by keithosaunders on May 31, 2018

I’ve loved the game of baseball for most of my 57 years, but I have to say that MLB makes it more and more difficult to remain a fan.  They have become a league that panders, mostly to a jingoistic, right wing fan base.

Must I be reminded of the worst day in New York City history every 7th inning of  baseball game I attend?  What used to be a corny and quaint sing-along to Take Me Out to the Ball Game is now an enforced, falsely patriotic tribute to our soldiers.

Exhibit B are the army fatigue uniforms that the Padres wear every Sunday and that many other teams, the Mets included, don on special occasions, Memorial Day being one of them.  When I watch games on every other commercial serves as recruitment tool for the U.S. military.  Are baseball fans inherently warlike?

The most inane of all pandering is Jackie Robinson Day,  in which every player wears the Robinson’s number 42.  On that day you can’t tell the players even with a scorecard.  I love and appreciate Robinson but isn’t there a less confusing way to honor him?

On Mother’s Day I actually feel sorry for the players who are forced to wear pink uniforms and caps.  Come on, baseball.  I loved my Mom but I never felt the need to prove it by wearing a dress on Mother’s Day.


Image result for baseball mother's day uniforms

Posted in baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

I’d like to forget

Posted by keithosaunders on September 11, 2017

Sixteen years after the September 11th bombings we are still being told, dutifully and robotically, to ‘never forget.’  I have a problem with this.  It goes without saying that the hundreds of deaths suffered that morning is a tragedy.  But here’s the thing:  My mother’s death at the age of 67 from pancreatic cancer was also a tragedy.  So are the thousands of deaths each year from automobile accidents.

I am suspicious of the motives people who tell me not to forget the terrorist bombings. It feels like an invitation to hate and fear people of Arab descent.  I would prefer to turn the page and believe that we can learn from this and be better people in the future.

In fact, I also have not forgotten America’s unjust and illegal response to the September 11th attacks.  The hundreds of thousands of deaths in wake of the Iraq war, as well as the Afghanistan war which continues to this day.  I’d like to forget.

Posted in New York City, war | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The jackbooted thugs of United Airlines

Posted by keithosaunders on April 10, 2017

You would think that by now that the frustration and degradation levels of airline travel would have peaked and nothing they could do would be able to repel is any further.


Today United Airlines, because they were overbooked, forcibly ejected a paying customer, bloodying his head in the process.  This was to make room for a United employee.  The man, a doctor, refused to relinquish his seat so the crew called in a policeman who dragged him off the flight.

There was video of the ejection (Of course:  Puke-faced millennials video everything) and the story has blown up on Twitter, eliciting a boycott United movement.

But here’s the thing:  United isn’t doing anything that any other American-based airline would do.  In the aftermath of the September 11th, 2001 attacks flying has systematically become more and more of an ordeal in which passengers are considered criminals until proven otherwise.

I am here to say that it isn’t United that we should be boycotting, but the entire airline industry.  Unless you have to fly somewhere on business, you know what?  Stay home.

If you live on one of the coasts and want to take a vacation then get in your car and drive to a beach town or some nearby mountains.  There are a myriad of good vacation spots within driving distance.  If you’re in the middle of the country I’m sure there are plenty of places you can get to.  You’ll save money and your dignity.

You’re probably going to tell me that you have to take the kids to see grandma.   I say have grandma come to you.  That way the airlines get only get one fare instead of four or five.  Here’s an idea:  Have grandma move closer to her grand kids.

Enough is enough.

Posted in life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Never forget

Posted by keithosaunders on September 12, 2016

The most depressing two words in the English language are never forget. It’s like a mantra used by small-minded people who thirst for revenge.

Yes, September 11th, 2001 was the worst day in the history of the United States. What was worse than the attacks, however, was our response to them.  We had the world’s sympathy and support and we chose to respond like animals, waging war and murdering hundreds of thousands of people. That’s what I’ll never forget.

What does never forget imply?  What, ostensibly, are we not forgetting?  That people from the Middle-East planned and executed the attacks.  In other words, never forget is a catch phrase enabling xenophobia and racism.   The end result:  The cesspool that is the Trump campaign.

So I’m not forgetting.  I’m not forgetting that we live in a racist country filled with bible-toting freaks who, unlike Jesus, are anything but forgiving.

Posted in life, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Your obligatory Super Bowl post

Posted by keithosaunders on February 6, 2016

I feel guilty about my lack of enthusiasm over Sunday’s big game but for whatever reason I just can’t seem to get excited over it.  Part of the reason is that I have an early starting solo piano gig that’s going to interfere with me seeing the fourth quarter.  Fortunately I have a good line of sight from the piano to the TV but I’m a little farther away than I’d like to be which will make identifying the holding calls tough.

The game is being played in Santa Clara which is 40 miles south of where I live. This is where the 49ers moved two season ago — a corporate designer stadium monstrosity. From all counts Levi’s Stadium has a nightmare parking situation which can take hours to enter and exit.   Route 101 is a tough artery to deal with in the best of circumstances but one can only imagine how much worse it will be tomorrow.  Throw in the post 9/11 security and you couldn’t pay me enough to attend this game.  I’ve heard that there are people who flew in from out of town that aren’t able to go to the game but are going to local Santa Clara bars so that they can be close to the action.  I pity these dullards.  Stay at home and watch from your couch, for crying out loud.  Santa Clara has no ambiance!

All of the Super Bowl festivities, whatever they are, have taken place in San Francisco which has made it tough for the working stiff musician to get into town for his gigs. (I live across the bay in a town just north of Berkeley called Albany)  Tonight I’m gigging in North Beach which is a part of San Francisco that is only a 20 minute walk from the a Bart station.  Tomorrow, however, I’m working in a part of San Francisco not serviced by Bart so I’ll have to drive.  I’m hoping that everyone will already be ensconced at the TV of their choice by the time I have to leave.

And there you have it:  My Super Bowl post.  My prediction:  Carolina 28 Denver 7.

Posted in football, San Francisco, Super Bowl, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

My Christmas Hate Post

Posted by keithosaunders on December 23, 2015

Some people send Christmas cards, I write Christmas hate posts.


When I was a boy I believed in Santa Clause. Then one day, when I was 9, I found out he wasn’t real. Oh, I thought, the world is based on a lie. Santa did not, in fact, create the earth in 6 days. Global warming is a hoax, 9/11 and the moon landing were staged, and vaccination causes blindness.

Let me tell you something, people, you’re getting all cheery-eyed, and spending willy-nilly, driving in traffic while singing your Burl Ives at the top of your lungs. WELL STOP. Have a holly jolly MY ASS!!

You want to take a trip? You want to take a trip? Oh boy, let’s all go to the airport.  That full cavity search sure goes down smoothly when the TSA agent wears a Santa hat!

And now that you’ve spent 12 hours travelling 200 miles you can have your family gathering. Commence humble-bragging in 3…2…1 GO! Oh look, Uncle Steve went too heavy on the nog and now he’s lecturing us on the gold standard!

The only thing good about the holiday season – THE ONLY THING – is figgy pudding. Where’s my figgy pudding?! Where is it?!



Posted in life, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Looking forward

Posted by keithosaunders on September 12, 2011

What a relief to have all the September 11th sensationalism behind us.  I found the media’s coverage, be it sports, or “news” related, to be utterly repugnant.  It was another excuse to show the burning buildings — a celebration of death.  That old rallying cry, never forget, always sounded like a threat to me, but never so much as this past week.  We may not be able to fund schools or health care, but thanks to the deeds of a few dirtbags with box cutters, we have an open-ended excuse to go to war.  

Our reaction to the attacks of September 11th incited a killing spree, the likes of which has not been seen since the invasion of Japan.  Its result, besides the hundreds of thousands of murdered civilians, is that the U.S. is practically bankrupt and will soon be cutting medicare and social security.  This reaction played into Al Qaeda’s hands.  They knew they couldn’t win a war against the U.S.  What they could do, however, was play havoc with our economy.  The eroding of our constitutional rights was a bonus.  
It makes perfect sense that the sports worlds plays up the tragedy of September eleventh with endless tributes and military fly-overs.  What better showcase for our militaristic policies than the black and white, statistics laden world of sports?  The reaction to the attack was childlike, so perhaps it’s fitting that it should be featured in a kids game. 
I saw a little of the Mets/Cubs game at the bar I was working at last night.  I don’t know who was announcing, (Buck?) but when he gave a “shoutout” to Homeland Security for keeping us safe I nearly threw up in my mouth.  HOmeland Security has done a tremendous job keeping us in a constant state of anxiety.  From the asinine color coded security threats, so expertly exploited by the Bush administration during election season, to the security theatre run by the TSA, they have succeeded in breaking our spirit while draining the federal budget.

Who came up with the name Homeland Security?  It sounds like the work of Cheney or Ashcroft.  Am I the only one that thinks this name sounds fascist?  Substitute “Fatherland” or “Rhineland” and you’d have a more apt title.

I only hope now that we have passed the ten-year mark we can begin to put it behind us.  It was a horrible, horrible day — the worst day ever in New York City.  Even now it’s difficult to recall it without choking up.  But if we’re never to forget, I believe we should look at the entire picture.  Rather than play the victim, or the bully, we must look at our own house and see what can be done to improve it.

Posted in media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Celebrating death

Posted by keithosaunders on May 2, 2011

The idea that there were people in the street celebrating Bin Laden’s death, and behaving as if it was time to party is disgusting to me.  It was reported that after hearing of his death, people spontaneously gathered at Ground Zero and began singing the Na Na Na, Hey Hey Goodbye song.  Is this what things have devolved to —  celebrating a man’s death in the same way you would a Yankees victory? 

I don’t care how many deaths bin Laden is responsible for –  using it as an excuse for a party is like a tacit admission that murder is a moral act, as long as you have the high ground.  I am grateful that he can no longer take lives, but I am not going to party and sing about it.    

The American response to the September 11th attacks, especially the Iraq war, seemed destined to escalate terrorism and to put our country at greater risk.  I felt uncomfortable with the Bush administration’s knee jerk reaction to wage war against a country that had little to do with the catastrophe.  It was as if the only way we were capable of reacting was to begin killing people, regardless of whether they were guilty or not. 

All the celebrating in the world will not bring back the thousands of Americans that died on September 11th.  Nor will it bring back the hundreds of thousands of people who have died since then.  Do you think we can call it even now?

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

End of an era

Posted by keithosaunders on May 2, 2011

Tonight the news broke that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by American special forces.  I spent an hour watching network news, as well as viewing president Obama’s address to the nation.  The news anchors could not overstate the importance of the event, calling it an end of an era that defined a generation.  On screen a series of stock footage of Obama, as well as troops wearing black ski masks holding automatic weapons, endlessly looped.

Obama’s speech was understated and humble, if not a little short on details.  Listening to the speech I could not help but recall Bush’s 2003 Mission Accomplished  speech aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, announcing the end of major combat operations in Iraq.  That speech was arrogant and smug, and ultimately untrue, as the war continues to drag on to this day. 

By the same token, despite what the talking heads say, I have a hard time believing that we have turned a corner in this so-called war on terror.  Yes, the man who is responsible for one of the great American tragedies is gone, but look at all that remains in the aftermath.  Still in place are the Patriot Act, warrantless wire-tapping, unlawful detainment, and the continuing abuse of civil liberties at our airports.  Furthermore, I have a hard time getting excited about Osama’s death in 2011, when he could have, and should have been captured at Tora Bora back in 2001. 

It is way too early to know what effect Bin Laden’s death will have on the nation, but one thing is certain — politically, this is a boon to Obama’s 2012 campaign.  The Republican party is chock full of fringe candidates, and whoever wins the nomination will be unable to attack Obama on being weak on defense.  Even if the economy only marginally improves he will be a lock.

Posted in Obama, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

God bless take me out to the ballgame

Posted by keithosaunders on October 30, 2010

Thanks to the events of September 11th, 2001 we have to remove our shoes and belts, and allow our genitalia to be viewed by airport security.  I would gladly walk through the metal detector naked and submit to a full cavity search if it meant the end of the playing of God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch at baseball games.

One of the great things about attending a ball game is the visceral experience it provides of being transported to ones youth.  You never forget what it felt like to be a little kid with your Dad at a ballgame.  The organ music between innings, the hotdogs, and the look and sound of batting practice are engrained in my senses.  

One of my few acts of enthusiastic crowd participation is to sing along with the crowd during the 7th inning stretch.  It’s one of those times where I don’t mind being a little bit frivolous.  Somewhere along the way, however, and I blame the Yankees for this, it became de rigueur to play God Bless America in the middle of the 7th inning, either before, or instead of Take Me Out to the Ballgame.  At first it was only Yankee Stadium that foisted this dark reminder upon the fans, but lately more and more stadiums have taken up this practice.    

Whose idea was it to remind us of the worst day in New York City’s history during the middle of a damn ballgame?  We attend a game to escape the pressures and tension of real life, not to be whipped into a jingoistic state.  There is no greater buzz-kill than this morbid trip down memory lane. 

What’s worse is that Major League Baseball and the FOX network have codified this nouveau tradition on their telecasts by not breaking away during the playing of GBA during the 7th inning stretch.  Are they out of their minds?  How does this enhance our viewing pleasure?  I’d rather watch Cialis commercials than endure this contrived minute of patriotism. 

I have nothing against the song.  It’s not a bad little melody, actually — I like it more than the Star Spangled Banner — and I would have no problem putting it at the beginning of the game.  Here’s a thought:  Why not play God Bless America instead of the National Anthem?  It wouldn’t have to be every day.  How about Sundays, since God is so prominently featured in the title and lyric.  It’s just a game —  why not let it breathe?

Harry Caray

Posted in baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »