Today's Note From a Madman
Thursday, July 7, 2005
To the people of London, England, we here in new York City cry with you.
Thoughts on 911 - New York City's Terror
I don't remember all of my thoughts as they occurred on September 11, 2001. I can remember how I initially heard about it; I remember what my initial reaction was to some of the various events and who I was immediately was afraid for.
I was in my office at 213 west 35th Street in New York city's garment center on 911 in the office I shared with my brothers. We never listened to the radio in the morning and we didn't have a TV in the office. My wife, Hillary called me from her car to tell me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I put on the radio to hear the news thinking that it was a small plane that had got lost somehow, or a pilot had gotten sick in the cockpit. It was then I learned that this was a 767 jetliner and something seemed amiss.
A few minutes later, I heard the announcer on the radio scream in horror that another plane had just hit the other tower. It was them we realized that we were under attack and that this was terrorism.
My first job as an Information Technology Professional was with a small consulting firm in New York City. A few months before the attack I had left to start my own consulting firm, Greenberg Consulting, LLC specializing in PC services and small business consulting. The friends I had left at my old company were special to me and I kept close with them. I was scared for their lives. You see, my old firm's biggest client was Windows on the World atop the World Trade Center and I knew that if there was any work to be done there, it would have been preformed at about the time of the attacks. I called my old boss and was informed that none of my former colleagues were downtown. By that time my wife and my children were home, safe and although I was stuck in Manhattan, I didn't feel like I was in danger. All of my friends and relatives were accounted for. My fourteen year old daughter wasn't as fortunate. Her locker partner's brother in middle school the previous year had lost his life in one of the towers. he was 23.
My new consulting business also had a problem. Aside from one of my customers losing their business on 911, my new mailers were also a victim. Two weeks before I had created and printed 3,000 new tri-fold, 67-pound-paper mailers. On page three was a picture whose caption read "NYC - Home Base". Above it was a picture from the Hudson River with the World Trade Center right in the middle. I kept the fliers but never sent any more of them out.
Thoughts on 7/7/2005 - London's Terror
Today I walk and ride around with a digital voice recorder. Aside from enjoying the sound of my own voice (to know me is to hear me). I find it a great tool to jot down my thoughts as I have them. Short term memory was never my strong suit. So here are my thoughts, or at least the ones I recorded, from today, the day that London experienced some of New York City's horror.
-If nothing else, these London Terrorist attacks tell me that we need to protect ourselves more at home
-The citizens of Israel must feel empathy for the citizens of London, much the same way they did for US here in New York City 4 years ago. Remember that picture of the Palestinian woman cheering upon learning of the 911 terror attacks and the pictures of Israelis crying for their American friends.
-I wonder if part of the reason that al-Qaeda decided to attack in London today (July 7), on the day that the G8 summit was to start was because the "face of 911", President Bush, was there in Scotland on that day. If that is the case, then any ally of the US that GW chooses to visit in advance becomes the possible target of al-Qaeda.
-Now we're going to start hearing from those on the Right with no sense of decency that the scope of the Patriot act needs to be expanded. We're going to start hearing that the loss of "some rights" will protect US, even though there seems to be evidence to the contrary. We'll hear these Right wing propagandists say that "we need to sacrifice some liberties for protection." The sad truth is that this might be true. Te problem is, however, that we don't trust our "elected officials" to use this information to protect US. Our fear is that these people will use this information to see who is in their "Camp"; they'll use this information to create targeted mailing lists for commercial reasons; we're afraid that these "leaders" will pry into out financial and medical records for purposes other than "out protection." I don't want to be mis-categorized because they thought I read J.D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" when I actually read Bob Uecker's "Catcher in the Wry". I don;t want to be the victim of government abuse because of the Patriot Act.
-But what if there were two levels of the Patriot Act? What if there was a Patriot Act for Citizens and a Patriot Act for non-citizens? What if we kept US Citizens Civil Rights "as-is" while restricting, somewhat, those rights of our guest workers and other non-citizens? I'll even go as far to say that I would consider somehow "tagging" visitors and foreign workers in the United States. (This isn't going to go over well with many of you, I know.)
-This one came out of nowhere: they're selling our country piece-by-piece to private industry at a discount and we're forced to "lease" it back at exorbitant prices. Part of that price is our health and safety. I wonder if the abuses by the new TSA, under the control of the Department of Homeland Security is a "case to be made" for "privatizing" our airports' security forces again. Remember that every time we turn over a piece of our security or government to private industry we end up paying their profit and CEO's bonuses.
-Here it comes... get ready... The Right is going to start saying stuff like this: "We told you there was going to be another terrorist attack. We're just lucky that it hadn't happened before. If this one got through, imagine how many we stopped! We might have stopped dozens of attacks, but they only have to get lucky once. Just be happy it didn't happen over here."
-How fortuitous that the London terror attacks happened just as the G8 was going to discuss poverty and famine and Darfur and Africa. Remember what Prime Minister Tony Blair told a group of protesters in Scotland the other day - "Don't expect too much." Do we ever? How convenient that GW Bush and the other "world leaders" don't have to discuss "G"lobal "W"arming because their minds are "somewhere else" and they could only think about the people of London.
-OR... Maybe they're going to go back to Gleneagles, Scotland to pretend to discuss poverty and famine and Darfur and Africa and "G"lobal "W"arming; then come out with a joint statement telling US how "important" "G"lobal "W"arming is and that they have come to certain "understandings"; Maybe they'll even come up with a plan to "talk some more". But little or nothing of substance actually gets done on any of these subjects. Instead we can get a "stay the course" speech and many statement over-using the word "resolve." What a break for them that the news at the end of the G8 will be of terror and bombs, not of how little was "agreed to" at Gleneagles on other subjects. What a break for the likes of Osama bin-Laden's brothers who sit on the board of the Carlisle Group with George H.W. Bush. they can make more money on defense contracts. What a break for the likes of Kellogg, Brown and Root, a Halliburton Company, to be able to keep on getting no-bid defense department contracts.
-It might have been obvious to British Prime Minister Tony Blair that this was the work of "Islamist Terrorists", but at the time he said it, it wasn't clear to the military and police of the country he leads. It might have been a good idea to "wait" before blaming a group of people. Remember Oklahoma City?
-On "Tagging" - Remember this: People who come to America from other countries have a different allegiance than those of US who were born here, or took the time and effort and oath to become citizens of these United States.
-My nagging thought: Let's get our troops back home; let's let the Iraqis beat the living daylights out of each other on a Civil War (a better them than US attitude, for sure); Let's let their pieces fall where they may, and, if necessary, we'll bomb-and-remove the next Iraqi "evil axis member." Enough of this crap" "If we fight them there we don't have to fight them here." Tell that to the good people of London today. If the terrorists take over Iraq we'll bomb them to Kingdom Come when we need to. Today, I felt the least safe I have felt in quite some time riding through the Lincoln Tunnel at about 7AM in the center tube next to the buses. I actually made a conscious effort to make sure I wasn't riding in the southern tube with the trucks. My brother, a normally optimistic sort of fellow, said to me, matter-of-factly that "It's going to happen here, on the subway. It's just a matter of time." I took the subway twice today. There wasn't one policeman on a platform or the train that I saw. There wasn't an officer at the entrance to any station I entered. Even as I entered the Lincoln Tunnel to go home at about 4PM I only notices one lone Port Authority officer to "eye-spot" any possible "threats" going into the tunnel.
-The Egyptian official that was kidnapped in Iraq was killed by al Qaeda in Iraq. That's what they call themselves,,, al Qaeda in Iraq. There wasn't an al Qaeda in Iraq before the policies of "G"lobal "W"arming Bush helped put them there. That's what happens when you take the wrong advice from the wrong people for the wrong reasons. You get the wrong decisions and people die.
-I want to hear the first person to say "Well only 38 died in London." I wasnt them to say that to the child now motherless or fatherless; Tell that to the grieving widow; Tell that to a heart-broken mother or father. You know one of these inconsiderate, apologist schmucks just isn't going to be able to help themselves.
-By the way, I do blame George W. Bush for 911.
A state of intense fear; Violence (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands
-The Merriam-Webster Dictionary
The state of fear before we do something drastic to end that state of fear
"Their resolve remains as firm as my resolve,"
-"G"lobal "W"arming Bush, in reference to the other G8 leaders in Scotland with him
We heard the word "resolve" more times today and by more world leaders than a housewife in a stain-removal commercial touting the product "Resolve." The top priority of GW and probably even Tony Blair is not to stop terrorism, but to create a global marketplace. That's why President Bush made a former under Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz, become the new head of the World Bank. That is also why, right there with the world leaders, elected or not, Mr. Wolfowitz stood like one of them. I believe the new mission of the G8 is to create a more favorable corporate environment rather than to create a more civil planet. With Mr. Wolfowitz "front-and-center", what else could their mission be?
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