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This is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


And the Plane Still Crashed

We all remember great personal days and days of sorrow which we own, or days of sorrow which we share. September 11, 2001 is a day I have written about numerous times. It is the worst day that, as a nation, we all shared. It is our Pearl Harbor.

Today, a plane crashed into a building on Manhattan's East Side. It's funny how the mind works. The first thought I had had was "Is it a small plane?" It's similar to what I thought on September 11. 2001 - "It must be a small plane. I hope nobody was hurt," even though, making that incorrect assumption, I knew that the pilot, most assuredly was dead.

2,973 lost their lives that day, 9/11/2001.

But today was different. I asked the question hoping for the answer, "Yes. It was a small plane," and it was. Then I learned that it was piloted by Cory Lidle, a pitcher for the New York Yankees and my mind took over. I remembered the day Thurman Munson crashed his plane and died. Then I remembered my Uncle Murray, one of the sweetest men
God ever put on this planet. He worked for, and got me the job at Captron Headwear, the place my father worked until he died. Then I thought of my dad. And even though my brothers and I think about him often, if not every day, today was a little different. And I put today into perspective. (You'll see my mind's connection below.)

I put it all into perspective until I read and heard about the reaction to this particular crash. Jets had been dispatched all over the nation in and around 20 different cities. Much the same way they had been dispatched when Paine Stewart's (the golfer) plane was flying as a bullet-shaped mass coffin to its eventual fiery end, the planes were dispatched. The pilots of those planes watched as Mr. Stewart's plane crashed.

There were no planes available, nor dispatched, on September 11, 2001.


Today, it took ten minutes for the planes to take off,  AND THE PLANE STILL CRASHED!

"We're under a high alert and you would assume that if something like this happened, people would have known about it before it occurred, not after,"
-Former NTSB director Jim Hall

What former director Hall was referring to was his inability to comprehend how a plane could get close enough to a New York City building a mere five years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. This plane not only got close, IT CRASHED! And the Bush administration needs to answer for that. That is where the buck stops, boys and girls. Sure the Department of Homeland Security couldn't wait to tell us all that they got jets in the air, but THE PLANE STILL CRASHED!

August 2, 1979. It's a day which all fans of the New York Yankees, of a certain age, will remember as long as they live. I was driving eastbound on the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn, NY, just about to go under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. I was working at the place where my where my father had worked - The Captron Headwear Company - in the Bowery section of Manhattan. It's the place where my father encountered his fourth, and final heart attack. He died nine days later at St. Vincent's Hospital, March 13, 1975. He was 54 years old. I was 14.

I remember that March day - the day I learned of my father's death. He had been in the hospital for nine days. My mother wouldn't let me go. she told me everything was going to be okay. After all, my dad. Abraham Greenberg, had survived three other heart attacks and always seemed to be fine afterwards. I came home from James J. Reynolds Junior High School in Brooklyn where I just tried out for the boy's softball team. I hit the ball pretty well and was excited.

I came home to find my mother and Aunt sobbing at the kitchen table. They told me "Daddy died." I remember it too well.

August 2, 1979 is the day that Thurman Munson, the Yankee catcher and captain, died inside of his own plane in a fiery crash. Munson was the pilot. I remember that day too.

Today, Cory Lidle's family (as well as his flight instructor, who also died) will remember their personal sorrow. The 2,973 families of those who died at the hands of terrorists on 9/11 remember their sorrow as personal. The nearly 3.000 American troops' families remember their own personal sorrow as do the untold numbers of Iraqis who mourn their loved ones.

And the plane still crashed.

-Noah Greenberg

Stealing Big

Let me be the first to say that, basically, all I know about farming is that it requires soil, water, and usually sunlight.

But this headline caught my eye:
"Study: Small farms miss out on fed money"
-The Associated Press

According to the Nebraska-based Center for Rural Affairs, of the half-trillion dollars that went to support farmers last year, only five percent went to small- or medium-sized farms. In other words, out of $500,000 million, only $25,000 went to the farmers who probably needed it the most.

I can't believe that Nebraska is still a Red state!

Much of the money was used for "essentially research and development initiatives for large food companies,"
-The Center for Rural Affairs report

That's good for the big boys, but what about the small family farm, or the medium-size farm who employ people in their area? How about just a little taste for them? After all, this nation was founded by farmers. wasn't it? The first three presidents all owned family farms. Wouldn't you want to help Washington (George, not DC), Adams and Jefferson?

The programs providing funding are the Rural Business Enterprise Grant program, the National Research Initiative, the Initiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems and the Value-Added Producer Grant Program. The Nebraska-based organization wants the feds to start setting aside some of the money that now goes to the big, corporately owned farm giants and make sure that the small guys get a break.

Taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor? Who are these guys anyway... Robin hood and his band of merry men?

"Whatever benefits flow from ethanol and biofuel production will not generally flow to small- and medium-sized farmers as large-scale energy production will be dependent on large-scale grain production and will increasingly become corporatized,"
-the Report

Let us all remember that it is small business which takes the chances. Let's also remember that it is small business who consistently creates new jobs and new ideas. Leaving the family farmer out to dry is in keeping with the Bush administration credo of "Every man for himself. But much like small businesses in the cities and suburbs, America needs the family farm. Family farms are just a microcosm of how small businesses work throughout America. Small business brings competition, better wages and more customer service into American businesses. When giant corporations, whether they be Big Box contributors to the Bushies (through their officers), such as Wal-Mart, The Home Depot or Best Buy, or Corporate Farms who contribute likewise to the coffers of the "G"reed "O"ver "P"eople party, are shown the way to the troth, they tend to make sure there is nothing left for the other guys to drink.

Look at what Wal-Mart, and other Big box retailers have done to communities throughout the nation. Their tactics lead to closed businesses, higher unemployment and low-paid "nowhere else to go" type jobs that has engineers. pharmacists and former store owners saying "Welcome to Wal-Mart. How may I help you?" Believe me, many join the Wal-Mart "team" suit up because they have nowhere to go. They get no health care coverage, work for minimum wage and lose their self-esteem, not because of who they are now, but because of who they were. Family farmers are in the same, sinking boat.

What gets me is how the middle Red states vote for these GOP charlatans who are in the pockets of these big, corporately owned farms, as well as the big box companies which are ruining our neighborhoods and lives.

Corporate farm political contributions are responsible for bad representation. Those dollars helped fund the campaigns of people like: Tom DeLay (REPUBLICAN-TX) - indicted; Randall "Duke" Cunningham (REPUBLICAN-CA) - serving 8 1/3 years; Mark Foley (REPUBLICAN-FL) - Pedophile

Americans better stop voting against their own self interests before it's too late.

(For some interesting info, go to http://stopcorporatefarms.com)

-Noah Greenberg

Fergie is a Coward

There's no other word for it: Mike Ferguson is a COWARD. He is ducking debates with Linda Stender.

Why? Because he knows that after a career of being a Bush stooge, the ONLY chance he has to win is to keep Stender's name recognition low.

But all voters in NJ-7 deserve to hear a real debate about the real issues that face our country.

Be a man, Mike - debate Linda Stender!

Ferguson is a COWARD!

It's bad enough that Mike hasn't articulated clear positions about Iraq, homeland security, Bush's deficits, stem cell research, choice, the environment, or a host of other issues.

He has also dodged questions about whether he supports Dennis Hastert as Speaker (in the wake of the Foley scandal), whether he thinks his behavior toward the families of those who suffer from spinal cord injuries is appropriate ("You just have to accept the fact that your son will never walk again."), and whether he thinks Congressmen should be giving their ID pins to young women in bars.

Why are you hiding under your desk, Mike? Afraid to face the voters? Afraid to defend your record?

Don't be gutless, Mike. Come out and debate Linda Stender. Accept her offer for a series of debates in non-partisan sites.

If you won't stand up for yourself, Mike, why should we believe that you'll stand up for US?

What'da scared little Fergie?

-From bluejersey.net, by: ellington - forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane

Out. Of. Touch

The most recent Fairleigh Dickinson University poll asked New Jersey voters to rate George W Bush's job as President. Only 29% said he was doing an Excellent (9%) or Good (20%) job, while an overwhelming 70% said he was doing only fair (25%) or Poor (45%). Similarly, according to a Survey USA poll in September, New Jersey voters disapprove of Bush by a 2-1 margin (64%-32%).

During this morning's debate, we found out how our Senate candidates would grade the Bush administration.

Bob Menendez said Bush deserved a grade between a D and F. Tom Kean Jr revealed how out of touch he is with 70% of the state when he admitted he would give Bush a B-minus. Congressman Andrews responded:

"Tom Kean just told everybody why Bob Menendez should win the election. Where I'm from, B-minus makes the honor roll. He honestly thinks we've had an honor roll performance from the president. I don't think most New Jerseyans think that's true."

Maybe at Dartmouth, Junior was used to getting above average grades for royally screwing up everything he touched, but in the real world, we hold people accountable for their mistakes. We expect our elected officials to hold Bush accountable, and Tom Kean Jr just admitted that he'd give him a pass.

Junior Kean == George W. Bush + Dick Cheney.

Junior thinks like Junior Bush, talks like Junior Bush and will be a rubber stamp for Junior Bush.

Junior Bush, Junior Kean, it's all the same!

-from jmelli, forwarded and commented by Robert Scardapane

In response to, "Be afraid, America. Start building fall-out shelters and start stacking up on canned goods. Anyone have any plastic sheathing and duct tape? That'll keep the fall-out away. Won't it?" Rhian writes:

Helpful hints for Stage Three of the Fourth Reich.

It's too late to build fallout shelters. The best thing to do right now, is to locate a fallout shelter and plan an evacuation if necessary. Tape and plastic will just make a mess.

Fallout that does not immediately make you nauseated, is best dealt with by a long, long, long shower. That is also the first best line of defense for bioagent and/or chemical contamination and/or burn. Don't use soap, shampoo, or other hair products or perfumes. The chemicals in some of those can react with other chemicals and make things worse.

Sunlight kills many pathogens. So does rubbing alcohol. So does hydrogen peroxide.

If you are throwing up and/or blistering, before you know what hit you, make your peace. You are going to die.

A FEMA replica uniform/suit is the safest clothing, with badges that look as real as possible. If you can't do that, get to a suplus store and suit up in camos. Include the boots. Obtain insignia. UN will be best. After that, Navy. If you dress up like a Marine someone will order you into a very dangerous situation. To look really really authentic, add sidearms with plain black or brown leather holsters and belts. The military does not use revolvers, except for suicide scenes in movies. Be either on the move, going somewhere important, purposefully, or out of sight.

If I was a mom with little kids, and there were nuclear blasts and confusion and martial law was imposed, I would play a game with them. They would pretend to be refugee orphans, and I would pretend to be a UN social worker taking them to a 'camp.' We would then, be able to move about, and find a safe place. Maybe.

Another safe appearance might be a construction worker. Especially for a guy. Be sure the shirt is plaid and dark, over a long johns shirt or T that is dirty. Carry cigarettes. Ask for beer, a lot. Be sure you have a banged up hard hat, jeans, and the infamous steel toed boots.
No matter what happens play highly skilled, dumb and ready for beer 0 thirty. Say '(expletive deleted) A' once in a while. Be overtly flirty with all females. Make sure you are standing by or in, a construction site.

Remember 'they' aren't the only ones who can 'wag the dog'

Plan for the worst. Hope for the best. : )

In response to former Rep. Mark Foley (REPUBLICAN-FL) and the other morally and politically corrupt Republicans, Rhian writes:

I don't believe him either. What I don't understand is why he was not arrested years ago.

If my 16 year old son was working in the White House as a page, and was contacted by Foley in the manner he did contact boys, I would have contaced authorities immediately and turned over all evidence to law enforcement. How could he get away with it for so long?

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-Noah Greenberg