Posts Tagged ‘Fareed Zakaria

21
Mar
13

3.21.13 … Write a Constitution …it makes a difference …

Fareed Zakaria, , democracy,  Middle East, constitution: It makes you wonder whether we just got lucky.

Why? There is a vigorous academic debate about the conditions that allow democracy to flourish. The most powerful single correlation remains one first made by the social scientist Seymour Martin Lipset, who pointed out in 1959 that “the more well-to-do a nation, the greater the chances that it will sustain democracy.” But there are other intriguing correlations. Countries in Europe, even relatively poor ones, have done better than others. Former British colonies have done better than those of other countries.

(MORE: Zakaria: How Democracy Can Work in the Middle East)

Along with several others, I have argued that countries with strong traditions of the rule of law tend to develop a democratic culture that also protects individual rights. In the West, for example, legal protections for life, liberty and property developed in the 17th and 18th centuries. Only much later came universal adult suffrage. Liberty preceded democracy, not the other way around. What distinguishes the U.S. is not how democratic it is but rather how undemocratic it is, with an unelected Supreme Court, a Senate that is one of the two least representative upper legislative bodies in the world and a Constitution and Bill of Rights that expressly limit the power of a democratically elected government.

Poor developing countries should place an even greater weight on the rule of law. It’s crucial that before the first elections, before politicians gain enormous legitimacy through the polls, a system be put in place that limits governmental power and protects individual liberty and the rights of minorities.

via Write a Constitution | 10 Ideas That Make A Difference | TIME.com.

15
Feb
13

2.15.13 … I dreamed I received the equivalent of a good “howler” Valentine from a childhood friend ….

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“Solvitor Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2013 Lenten Labyrinth  walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church, Augustine of Hippo, Rev. Wes Barry, Ash Wednesday Sermon,  First Presbyterian Church:  There are days when I wonder why anyone would choose to live anywhere but the southern part of the United States. Today is one of those days.
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As I approached the Avondale Presbyterian Church labyrinth, the chimes were clanging and the water poured at its columbarium fountain.  Both welcome me.
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I reach for an information sheet for the first time in a long time,  and Avondale’s  labyrinth keepers have  changed the sheets since the last time I looked at them. One is entitled, “Light, Darkness, Shadow of death, and the Way of Peace” … rather ominous title 🙂 … I especially liked the these quotes …
In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace. (from Benedictus, Song of Zechariah)
Light, darkness, shadow of death, peace. These four themes draw us closer in these mid-winter days to God.
Light, darkness, shadow of death, way of peace: may you find yourself caught up in the good news of Jesus Christ and be a part of community called to be Christ’s body in the world.
And from the other sheet …
Augustine of Hippo said, “It is solved  by walking.” What is IT? If you want to find out, then you’ll have to do your own walking.
-Barbara Brown Taylor , An Altar to the World
You will show me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in your presence. Psalm 16:11
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly[a] with your God.   Micah 6:8
Let my inner child dance the rainbow, the labyrinth. Chase each color along the way. Thank you, bless you, oh my God. Be with me and I shall begin to shine as you shine;
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I then thought about  Wes Barry’s Ash Wednesday Sermon from First Presbyterian Church.  Two snipits jumped out at me that directly relate to my walking …

Slows down time for us that we might see Jesus …

Four things that make us human: physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual  …

After I arrived home I did a little research and found this helpful … The Practice of Walking on the Earth: Groundedness (4 March 2012) – Chicago Community Mennonite Church and also this …

Walking the Labyrinth is a right-brain meditation activity.

There are as many ways to walk it as there are walkers, but here are some suggestions.

Give Gracious Attention: quiet your mind, let go of doing and be, allow thoughts to go away, be still in mind, embrace soul rest.

Ask a Question: Prior to walking, journal your thoughts or share what you are looking for with another person (they might help you to form your unspoken question). During the walk look at your question from all aspects; walking allows your own consciousness to open so deeper aspects of yourself can speak.

Use Repetition: a mantra phrase, centering prayer, non-distracting word, affirmation sentence

Read & Reflect On Scripture: a psalm or other inspiring material

Ask for Help Through Prayer: pray as you walk

Honour a Benchmark in Your Life or That of Another: a memorial act, a celebratory act, a penitence act, an intercessory act, etc.

Make A Body Prayer: move spontaneously as encouraged by the path, feel safe in its containment, sense kinetic awareness.

Use Accessories: wear a coloured scarf as symbolic of something for you; carry an object of significance to you (votive candle, flower, stone, etc.) Whatever you carry in should be carried out as well.

via Labyrinth Society of Edmonton.

Fareed Zakaria, suicide,  gun control , twitter, NYTimes.com: This tweet by Fareed Zakaria  got my attention …

Fareed Zakaria ‏@FareedZakaria

Suicidal acts with guns are fatal in 85% of cases, while those with pills are fatal in just 2% of cases: NYT http://nyti.ms/XP2FtA 

As did this quote in the NYT article … “If you use a gun,” Dr. Miller said, “you usually don’t get a second chance.”

 
Suicidal acts are often prompted by a temporary surge of rage or despair, and most people who attempt them do not die. In a 2001 study of 13- to 34-year-olds in Houston who had attempted suicide but were saved by medical intervention, researchers from the C.D.C. found that, for more than two-thirds of them, the time that elapsed between deciding to act and taking action was an hour or less. The key to reducing fatalities, experts say, is to block access to lethal means when the suicidal feeling spikes.

The chances of dying rise drastically when a gun is present, because guns are so much more likely to be lethal, said Dr. Matthew Miller, associate director of the Harvard center. Guns are used in more than half of all suicide fatalities, but account for just 1 percent of all self-harm injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms, a rough proxy for suicide attempts, Dr. Miller said. Overdoses, which account for about 80 percent of suicide attempts, are responsible for just 14 percent of fatalities.

“If you use a gun,” Dr. Miller said, “you usually don’t get a second chance.”

via To Lower Suicide Rates, New Focus Turns to Guns – NYTimes.com.

MLB, baseball, stadium financing, New Yankee Stadium, tax-exempt bonds, 2013 Festival of Legal Learning:  This was one of my favorite seminars … You can just call me a nerd.

Building the New Yankee Stadium: Tax-Exempt Bonds and Other Subsidies for the Richest Team in Baseball

Patricia L. Bryan, Martha Brandis Professor of Law, UNC School of Law

When Yankee Stadium opened in April 2009, aggregate costs had skyrocketed to $2.3 billion, with more than half contributed by taxpayers. the massive federal subsidy resulting from tax-exempt financing bonds presents a particularly troubling issue, especially

In light of convincing evidence that wealthy private owners, and not the broader community, reap the financial benefits of using these bonds for sports stadiums. the enormous—and often hidden—drain on the federal treasury leads to the important questions: are taxpayers striking out on public investments in sports stadiums, and if so, how can these federal subsidies to sports teams be limited in the future?

via Festival of Legal Learning.

Mother Teresa, quote, Goodreads:

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

― Mother Teresa

via Goodreads | Quote by Mother Teresa: Not all of us can do great things. But we can d….

Valentine’s Day, Harry Potter,  howlers:  I dreamed I received the equivalent of a good “howler” Valentine from a childhood friend ❤

A Howler defined …

Letter that plays recorded message in a very loud voice, and then explodes

Howler

“You’d better open it, Ron. It’ll be worse if you don’t. My gran sent me one once, and I ignored it and – it was horrible.”

—Neville talking to Ron about his Howler.[s rc]

via Howler – Harry Potter Wiki

Frederick Buechner Center, Barbara Brown Taylor:  I heard BBT talk last winter and was overwhelmed … this lecture is from 2009 …

If you are among the billions of people who do not know what I am talking about, then the first book was called Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith, which chronicled my decision to leave full time parish ministry for college teaching ten years ago now.  The second is called An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith, which is a kind of field guide to encountering God in the ordinary practices of everyday life.  It comes out next month.

The difference between these two books and those that preceded them—or to put it another way, the difference between the form and content of their proclamations—is what you might call the difference between public and private truth.  I don’t think you can ever draw a clear line between those two, since private truth is always going to flavor public truth.  I am not even sure it is a good idea to make a distinction between them.  If your private truth and your public truth are very far apart, shouldn’t you be seeking professional help?

I know Christians who speak of the “scandal of particularity,” by which they mean the apparently outlandish claim that God chose to be made known in a particular person living in a particular human body during a particular period of history.  You will have to invite a theologian to say more about that, but I like to think that people who are inclined to accept such a claim might be willing to accept the scandal of their own particularity too.

Still, I was paying attention when the dean introduced Frederick Buechner, the Beecher Lecturer for 1977, whose lectures were entitled “Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale.”

Great title, I thought, as the elegant man stepped into the pulpit.  When he opened his mouth, I was struck first by the voice: restrained but insistent, as if he had something important to tell us that he would not yell to make sure we heard.  If we wanted to hear him, then he expected us to do our parts.  His job was not to make things easy for us.  His job was to say something true that mattered.

The next thing I noticed was his sentence structure, which was odd and looping, beguiling to the ear.  Each word had earned its place in his speech.  Each word had been chosen for its meaning, but also for its beat.  If I could have blurred my ears the way I sometimes blur my eyes, then I might have imagined that I was listening to a poet instead of a preacher—or to a composer conducting his score—but that would have required at least a moment’s disengagement from the words themselves, which I was not willing to give.

While I was still trying to figure out how he was doing it, Buechner began conjuring up the living presence of Henry Ward Beecher, his predecessor by more than a century, the first Beecher Lecturer in 1872.

the places they go and the things they do, there is the sense of what the old hymn quaveringly addresses as “O love that will not let me go,” the sense of an ultimate depth to things that is not finally indifferent as to whether people sink or swim but endlessly if always hiddenly refuses to abandon them.  Brownie loses his faith and his teeth.  Lucille teerers off to her death on French heels.  Open Heart goes up in flames, and the Love Feasts are run out of Alexander Hall.  And yet…Here’s to Jesus, Here’s to you, proclaims the air-borne streamer high over Nassau Street, and even Antonio Parr wonders at the end if it is maybe more than just a silvery trick of the failing light to which every once in a while the Tonto in him whispers Kemo Sabe, faithful friend.  Maybe the reason any book about something like real life is a love-letter is that in the last analysis that is what real life is too.[3]

Sorry that was so long.  I just wanted to hear the words coming out of my mouth, as the perfect finish to The Buechner Lecture.

So thank you, Frederick Buechner, for the time you have spent looking in the mirror that we might see ourselves more clearly.  Thank you for telling the truth, both about yourself and about the gospel, that we might tell it too.  Thanks even for nicking yourself, so that you could write for us in blood instead of ballpoint pen.  We can tell the difference, and we are in your debt.

©Barbara Brown Taylor

King College, Bristol, TN

January 24, 2009

via Frederick Buechner Center.

Latin, More Intelligent Life, essays:  Love this essay … so here it is in full…

For Intelligent Life’s editor, Tim de Lisle, the best language to learn is one that has hardly any direct use…

I studied Latin for 15 years, and this may well be the first time it has been of direct use in my adult life. There was one moment, long ago, when it nearly came in handy. I was reviewing an album by Sting that contained a stab at a traditional wedding song. There are many such songs in Catullus, whose elegant poetry I had spent a whole term plodding through. If ever there was a time to play the Latin card, this was it, so I described Sting’s wedding song as “Catullan”. Somewhere between the Daily Telegraph copytakers and the subs, “Catullan” was changed to “Catalan”. It probably served me right.

So, direct use: virtually nil. But Latin—which gives us both “direct” and “use”, both “virtually” and “nil”—has been of indirect use every day of my career. If you work with words, Latin is the Pilates session that stays with you for life: it strengthens the core. It teaches you grammar and syntax, better than your own language, whose structure you will have absorbed before you are capable of noticing it. Latin offers no hiding place, no refuge for the woolly. Each piece of the sentence has to slot in with the rest; every ending has to be the right one. To learn Latin is to learn rigour.

The price for the rigour is the mortis. Soon enough, someone will helpfully inform you that Latin is a dead language. In one way, sure, but in others it lives on. It is a vivid presence in English and French, it is the mother of Italian and Spanish, and it even seeps into German. More often than not, the words these languages have in common are the Latin ones: it remains a lingua franca. The words we take from Latin tend to be long, reflective, intellectual (the short, punchy words we didn’t need to import: live, die, eat, drink, love, hate). Business and academia, two worlds with little else in common, both rely more and more on long Latinate words. The European Union speaks little else. Ten years ago, for another article, I had to read the proposed European constitution. It was a long turgid parade of Latin-derived words. The burghers of Brussels were trying to build a superstate out of abstract nouns.

Management-speak and Euro-blather are Latin at its worst, but learning it will still help you cut through them to find clarity. It is a little harder to bullshit when you’ve learnt Latin (though quite possible to bluster, as Boris Johnson proves). And if you stick at it you discover, after no more than eight or nine years, that this is a glorious language per se.

via LATIN IS THE BEST LANGUAGE | More Intelligent Life.

2.15.13 meteor strike, Russia, BBC News: Wow … 

A meteor crashing in Russia’s Ural mountains has injured at least 950 people, as the shockwave blew out windows and rocked buildings.

Most of those hurt, in the Chelyabinsk region where meteorites fell, suffered cuts and bruises but at least 46 remain in hospital.

A fireball streaked through the clear morning sky, followed by loud bangs.

President Vladimir Putin said he thanked God no big fragments had fallen in populated areas.

A large meteorite landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in Chelyabinsk region.

The meteor’s dramatic passing was witnessed in Yekaterinburg, 200km (125 miles) to the north, and in Kazakhstan, to the south.

via BBC News – Meteorites injure hundreds in central Russia.

Sen. Lautenberg,  Rep. Ralph Hall, Rep.  John Dingell, WWII veterans, The Greatest Generation, end of an era, US Congress:  Interesting fact about The Greatest Generation –

Aaron Blake  @FixAaron

Lautenberg is last WWII veteran in the Senate. Two remain in House: Ralph Hall and John Dingell.

The recent death of Senator Daniel K. Inouye, a celebrated World War II veteran, coincided in many ways with the waning influence of veterans in American politics. There are now only three World War II veterans in Congress: Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Representative Ralph Hall of Texas and Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan. Over all, the number of veterans joining Congress has perpetuated a four-decade-long slide.

The interplay between politics, the military and veterans is a complicated subject matter. Although war is supposed to be an extension of politics, we don’t want service members associated with politics. Some historians surmise that Lincoln removed Gen. George B. McClellan, the top Union Army general, partly because General McClellan showed too great of an interest in politics.

In recent decades the number of military veterans in Congress has greatly diminished, but this trend will somewhat reverse as Afghanistan and Iraq veterans come of age. Although this past election cycle was focused on domestic issues and the economy, it will be interesting to analyze whether veterans running for office place a great emphasis on their military service in an election cycle in which foreign policy is a major issue. It will also be interesting to note how veterans of my generation contextualize their service and explain what lessons they learned from our recent wars. Veterans are not a homogenous group, and every veteran takes away a different lesson from military experience.

via The Role of the Military and Veterans in Politics – NYTimes.com.

Sports Illustrated,  Michael Jordan’s 50th Birthday, NBC Chicago, restaurants, Chicago:  I don’t think anyone has told Chicago that he’s not there anymore …

Ring in MJ’s 50th with this five-course birthday dinner that includes a shrimp cocktail with a 23-spice cocktail sauce and a 50-day dry-aged Wagyu rib eye. Finish things off with a complimentary piece of chocolate layer cake, which also clocks in at 23 layers and will likely put your pants into a Space Jam.

via Michael Jordan’s Birthday – Eat – Near North Side – Thrillist Chicago.

Michael Jordan will turn 50 years old on Feb. 17.

It seems hard to imagine that one of the most iconic figures in the history of basketball is getting up in age. There hasn’t been a parade celebrating an NBA Championship in Chicago since 1998, but it seems like only yesterday that MJ was still in his Bulls uniform and mesmerizing us all as he delivered title after title.

To commemorate Jordan’s 50th birthday, the latest issue of Sports Illustrated will feature MJ on the cover for a record 50th time.

via Sports Illustrated Celebrates Michael Jordan’s 50th Birthday | NBC Chicago.

Pier 213 Seafood, restaurants, Atlanta GA, Thrillist Atlanta:  Sounds pretty good to me …

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main image

After eight years of providing seafood for ATL restaurant heavyweights eager to turn you into one (Bacchanalia, McKendrick’s Steak House…), the family behind Irvington Seafood in Mobile, AL decided to throw their (presumably cool, floppy sailor’s) hat in the ring with Pier 213: a nautical-themed outpost serving up a variety of fried, grilled, and steamed plates from under the sea. Under the sea!

via Pier 213 Seafood – Eat – Thrillist Atlanta.

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11
Sep
11

9.11.2011 … so where were you 10 years ago … where are you today?

where were you when …, 9/11, kith/kin:

My 911

 It was normal day, a beautiful Tuesday.

We lived in Chicago (which is CST), and the kids had just left for school.  As was my habit at the time, I turned on my computer to check e-mail and do a little research.

Shortly after that, I received a call from John on the cell. He told me to turn the TV on, something had happened in New York.   I then spent the rest of the morning glued to the TV and internet … and we had dial-up internet. I never thought about getting our children from school, just never dawned on me. Although talking to my neighbors, I realized they had all called school to see if school had been closed, and if they should come get their children

I just thought about what was going on in New York. Around mid day, I finally got off the Internet and my phone rang immediately. It was my brother Edward.  Edward had been traveling and was in the air at the time of the New York event. His plane with rerouted to Chicago, and everyone was removed from the plane and hustled off. He had spent several hours trying to reach me by telephone, but of course I was using the old dial-up internet line.

He was going to come to my house. Sorry, but I don’t remember whether I went to the airport or he took the train, etc.  But he got there

Next to arrive home was John.  His office was downtown and the central business district near the Sear’s Tower had been evacuated.  The authorities thought the Sear’s Tower might be another terrorist target.

Finally the children came home.  We calmly let them unwind and tell us what they knew.  We really did not know much more.  Over the next several days, we just let them ask questions, and we tried to answer with facts.

Interestingly, I really enjoyed the 48 hours with my brother. He had never been to my home in Chicago.  We enjoyed just sorting things out and trying to put it in perspective.   And  Lindseys are news junkies, and we devoured every piece of information trying to make sense of it all.

Thinking back … In Wilmette, my favorite visual image is of Janie and Tim Jenkins, our neighbors, hanging a huge flag from their upstairs windows.  I remember going to church “religiously that fall.”  I needed that comfort that things were under control.  I also remember specifically two articles that were published shortly thereafter which put 9/11 in perspective.  One was by Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek (The Politics Of Rage: Why Do They Hate Us? – Print View – The Daily Beast.) and the other by Joseph Hough in the NYT (Q&A; Acknowledging That God Is Not Limited to Christians – New York Times).  In addition, I remember several photographs … one of the second plane going in to the South Tower, another of a man in a suit covered in ash, and finally, the ones of folks who choose to jump rather than burn.  Horrifying images to reconcile with our lives in a civilized world.

Over the next few weeks and months, I continued to talk with friends and family trying to make sense of the world. I was impressed with the renewed sense of faith, of patriotism and of unity

One of the most meaningful conversations took place at Thanksgiving.  We traveled to Atlanta where the children and I had dinner with Rev. Debbie Shew, a college friend of mine, and an Episcopal priest in inner city Atlanta.  Debbie succeeded in giving my children a very real sense of what had happened.   Debbie had volunteered to go to Ground Zero where she worked for approximately two weeks. She described this in detail to my children. And I saw in their expressions that they were really beginning to get it. We got in the car and my middle child Edward said, “she is so cool.” He never said anything like that about anyone other than a sports hero. I was thrown because it was the first time I felt like he had really gotten in touch with the World. It was memorable. It was a turning point in his perception of the world. That meeting impacted all three children, but to the largest extent Edward.

Going forward, we all had the same changes … we take our shoes off at the airport and take a lot longer to get from point a to point b.  My children probably can’t remember what it was like before.  This is their world.

We, “older Americans” want to go back in time, but we cannot … now we must make good of this new world for our children.  We can’t live in the past.  This is the new normal. As we travel through life, let’s pray for safe travel, travel in God’s care and consistent with God’s plan.

Godspeed,

Dennard

9/11/2011

And from my brother, Edward Lindsey …

Dear Friends and Neighbors:I hope you will forgive me if I deviate from my normal discussion of politics and policy in this e mail.  This weekend requires a different focus.Often at holiday times I send out an e mail to staff and lawyers in my firm to invite them to remember and share stories of good times from their past holidays.  This weekend is different.  There were, of course, no good times to share from 9/11/2001.  I dare say, however,  that we can all remember that day.

 

I was headed to California that morning.  My children were in an unusually good mood for a Tuesday morning school day when I woke them early to say good bye.   The sky was brilliant blue without a cloud in the sky.  Traffic getting to the airport was nonexistent. The line through security was uncharacteristically short.  No one was in the two seats next to me.  The headline in the AJC heralded my hero Michael Jordon buying the Washington basketball team.    A perfect day to fly cross country. 

 

My plane lifted off from Atlanta at just before 8 a.m. bound for California. That was approximately the same time as the two flights from Boston took off that ended up colliding into the World Trade Center. My plane was safely diverted to Chicago as the FTA scrambled to ground all flights in the U.S.  I remember the shock of the other passengers in my plane when we discovered what had happened, the eerie silence in O’Hare as they evacuated us off the plane, the stunned looks on everyone’s faces as we waited for our bags (no one really cared about their bags), the grief we all felt for our fellow travelers that day when we learned off the crash in Pennsylvania, and the desire of everyone to connect with loved ones. 

 

I eventually made it to my sister’s house in the Chicago suburbs (she had only moved north a few months earlier and I had to scramble to get her address).  Four days later I was able to share a ride home with other stranded travelers — one trying to get home to Louisville and the other to Nashville. Strangers were family that week and everyone just wanted to go home.

 

I left home on September 11, 2001 for an ordinary nondescript business trip and safely returned with a moderately interesting tale to tell my friends and family.  Three thousand innocent people did not have that good fortune.  For the next several months the New York Times published a short bio on everyone who perished that day.  I made a point of reading each bio. I was taken by the number of extraordinary lives who perished on a day that was supposed to be ordinary for them.  The deserved to go home to their families as well but fate dealt them a different hand.     

 

Remember.  Cherish the moment.  Even the ordinary nondescript ones.  We never know what fate God has in store for us in the next sweep of the second hand. 

 

May the peace of the Lord be with you.   

  

Edward Lindsey 

where were you when …, 9/11, perspective, oral history:  Apocalypse?  This is a great article because it takes people’s memory bites and orders them with the timeline for the day.  Worth reading.

Witness to Apocalypse

Days after the 9/11 attacks, researchers at the Columbia Center for Oral History began asking New Yorkers to describe their experience.

via The 9/11 Decade – Witness to Apocalypse. A Collective Diary. – NYTimes.com.

where were you when …, 9/11, Lucky Penny: “Because the surprise attacks were unfolding, in that innocent age, faster than they could arm war planes, … “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.” ”

Late in the morning of the Tuesday that changed everything, Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders: Bring down United Airlines Flight 93. The day’s fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.

The one thing she didn’t have as she roared into the crystalline sky was live ammunition. Or missiles. Or anything at all to throw at a hostile aircraft.

The events of September 11, 2001, left a lasting impact on the small town of Shanksville, Pa. In the decade since Flight 93 crashed in a field nearby, the community has worked to construct a memorial that honors the heroes and victims who perished that day, and offers closure and a place of healing to those who visit.

Because the surprise attacks were unfolding, in that innocent age, faster than they could arm war planes, Penney and her commanding officer went up to fly their jets straight into a Boeing 757.

“We wouldn’t be shooting it down. We’d be ramming the aircraft,” Penney recalls of her charge that day. “I would essentially be a kamikaze pilot.”

For years, Penney, one of the first generation of female combat pilots in the country, gave no interviews about her experiences on Sept. 11 (which included, eventually, escorting Air Force One back into Washington’s suddenly highly restricted airspace).

But 10 years later, she is reflecting on one of the lesser-told tales of that endlessly examined morning: how the first counterpunch the U.S. military prepared to throw at the attackers was effectively a suicide mission.

via F-16 pilot was ready to give her life on Sept. 11 – The Washington Post.

9/11, media coverage:  I always wondered how the morning news show hosts felt about the change in their day … they became real journalists, at least for a day.  10 Years Later: ‘GMA’ Anchors Remember September 11th Terror Attacks | Video – ABC News.

9/11, oral history, aviation tapes:  Lots of ways to tell the story.

For one instant on the morning of Sept. 11, an airliner that had vanished from all the tracking tools of modern aviation suddenly became visible in its final seconds to the people who had been trying to find it.

The 9/11 Tapes: The Story in the Air

It was just after 9 a.m., 16 minutes after a plane had hit the north tower of the World Trade Center, when a radio transmission came into the New York air traffic control radar center. “Hey, can you look out your window right now?” the caller said.

“Yeah,” the radar control manager said.

“Can you, can you see a guy at about 4,000 feet, about 5 east of the airport right now, looks like he’s —”

“Yeah, I see him,” the manager said.

“Do you see that guy, look, is he descending into the building also?” the caller asked.

“He’s descending really quick too, yeah,” the manager said. “Forty-five hundred right now, he just dropped 800 feet in like, like one, one sweep.”

“What kind of airplane is that, can you guys tell?”

“I don’t know, I’ll read it out in a minute,” the manager said.

There was no time to read it out.

In the background, people can be heard shouting: “Another one just hit the building. Wow. Another one just hit it hard. Another one just hit the World Trade.”

The manager spoke.

“The whole building just came apart,” he said.

That moment is part of a newly published chronicle of the civil and military aviation responses to the hijackings that originally had been prepared by investigators for the 9/11 Commission, but never completed or released.

Threaded into vivid narratives covering each of the four airliners, the multimedia document contains 114 recordings of air traffic controllers, military aviation officers, airline and fighter jet pilots, as well as two of the hijackers, stretching across two hours of the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

Though some of the audio has emerged over the years, mainly through public hearings and a federal criminal trial, the report provides a rare 360-degree view of events that were unfolding at high speed across the Northeast in the skies and on the ground. This week, the complete document, with recordings, is being published for the first time by the Rutgers Law Review, and selections of it are available online at nytimes.com.

“The story of the day, of 9/11 itself, is best told in the voices of 9/11,” said Miles Kara, a retired Army colonel and an investigator for the commission who studied the events of that morning.

Most of the work on the document — which commission staff members called an “audio monograph” — was finished in 2004, not in time to go through a long legal review before the commission was shut down that August.

Mr. Kara tracked down the original electronic files earlier this year in the National Archives and finished reviewing and transcribing them with help from law students and John J. Farmer Jr., the dean of Rutgers Law School, who served as senior counsel to the commission.

At hearings in 2003 and 2004, the 9/11 Commission played some of the recordings and said civil and military controllers improvised responses to attacks they had never trained for. At 9 a.m., a manager of air traffic control in New York called Federal Aviation Administration headquarters in Herndon, Va., trying to find out if the civil aviation officials were working with the military.

“Do you know if anyone down there has done any coordination to scramble fighter-type airplanes?” the manager asked, continuing: “We have several situations going, going on here, it is escalating big, big time, and we need to get the military involved with us.”

One plane had already crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Another had been hijacked and was seconds from hitting the south tower. At F.A.A. headquarters, not everyone was up to speed.

“Why, what’s going on?” the man in Herndon asked.

“Just get me somebody who has the authority to get military in the air, now,” the manager said.

via Newly Published Audio Provides Real-Time View of 9/11 Attacks – NYTimes.com.

Post 9/11, media coverage,  Fareed Zakaria, faith and spirituality, Joseph Hough:  I still remember these two articles:  Fareed Zakaria’s article and Joseph Hough’s editorial, both cited above.  Here is some followup … these issues are still issues I think about frequently.

I guessed instantly who had done it. I had followed Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda for a few years, through the attacks on the U.S. embassies in Africa and on the USS Cole in Yemen. In my previous job, as Managing Editor of Foreign Affairs magazine, I had published a commentary on bin Laden’s then-little-known fatwah against the United States by the eminent Princeton historian, Bernard Lewis. But I was still stunned by the attack – by its audacity, simplicity and success. In one respect, I was thoroughly American. I imagined that America was an island, a rock, far away from the troubles and infections of the rest of the world. And like most Americans, I felt a shock, an intrusion, a violation.

I put my book project on hold and spent all my spare hours reading and thinking about what had caused the attack.  What explained this monstrous evil? I wrote my columns for Newsweek on it and then, a couple of weeks later, I was talking to Newsweek’s Editor, Mark Whitaker, and we decided that I would write a full-length essay explaining the roots of this rage against America. I spent three days and nights in a white heat, reading, researching and writing. The result was a 6,000-word cover essay that ran in Newsweek worldwide titled, “Why They Hate Us?” It got a lot of attention – more than anything I had ever written. It was a moment that Americans – in fact, people around the world – were deeply curious for answers, explanations and understanding. The piece did deal with America and American foreign policy in small measure, but it was mostly about Islam and the Arab world in particular. It was mostly about them.

That’s how 9/11 was discussed and analyzed at the time – mostly with a focus on them. Who are they? Why are they so enraged? What do they want? What will stop them from hating us? That discussion of Islam and the Arab world had its problems, but its was a fruitful discussion, especially once it was joined by Arabs and Muslims themselves. I have often said that the most influential piece of writing of the last decade was a United Nations report, the UNDP’s Arab Development Report, written by Arabs, that documented in granular detail the decay of the Arab world. Once Arabs began to focus on how stagnant and repressive their societies had become, it set off a chain of ideas and actions that I believe has led to the discrediting of al Qaeda and its philosophy and the rise of the Arab Spring.

But if 9/11 was focused at the time on them, ten years later the discussion is mostly about us. What is America’s position in the world today? Are we safer? Are we stronger? Was it worth it? Some of these questions are swirling around because the United States is mired in tough economic times and at such moments, the mood is introspective not outward looking. Some of it is because of the success in the war against al Qaeda. The threat from Islamic terrorism still seems real but more manageable and contained.

But, in large part, the discussion about the United States is the right one to have. History will probably record this period not as one characterized by al Qaeda and Islamic terrorism. That will get a few paragraphs or a chapter. The main story will be about a rapidly changing world and perhaps about the fate of the world’s sole superpower – the United States of America. History might well record 9/11 as the beginning of the decline of America as planet’s unrivaled hegemon.

The day on 9/11, the world was at peace, and the United States strode that world like a Colossus. It posted a large budget surplus. Oil was at $28 a barrel. The Chinese economy was a fifth the size of America’s. Today, America is at war across the globe; it has a deficit of $1.5 trillion and oil is at $115 a barrel. China is now the world’s second largest economy.

Al Qaeda will be forgotten. Few people today remember what the Boer War was about. But what they do know is that, around that time, the dawn of the 20th Century, Great Britain spent a great many of its resources and, more importantly, its attention, on policing the world and sending its troops to Africa and…Afghanistan and Iraq – some things never change. But Britain forgot that the real threat to its power came from the economic rise of Germany and the United States, which were challenging its industrial supremacy.

America needs to get back its energy and focus on its true challenge – staying competitive and vibrant in a rapidly changing world. That requires not great exertions of foreign policy and war but deep domestic changes at home. The danger comes not from them but from us.

via Zakaria: Reflections on 9/11 and its aftermath – Global Public Square – CNN.com Blogs.

“The End Times and the Times of Ending” – a sermon: Joseph C. Hough, Jr..

Bill Moyers talks to Joseph C. Hough, president of the Union Theological Seminary, where his teaching and research interests are in social ethics, theological education, the Church and ministry. Hough discusses where politics and religion intersect and why he thinks it is the duty of Christians, Jews and Muslims to join together and fight growing economic inequality in America. Hough has sharp words for politicians who tout their religions, but don’t apply its teachings to actions that could help those in need. “I’m getting tired of people claiming they’re carrying the banner of my religious tradition when they’re doing everything possible to undercut it. And that’s what’s happening in this country right now, ” says Hough, “The policies of this country are disadvantaging poor people every day of our lives.”

via NOW with Bill Moyers. This Week | PBS.

9/11, history, children:  How did you tell your children?  This is an interesting take … A Sept 11 Story for Children …

The Washington Post (@washingtonpost)

9/9/11 10:39 PM

#Sept11 story for children:http://t.co/oC53hFh

On September 11, 2001, 19 members of a terrorist group called al-Qaeda (al-KYE-da) hijacked four U.S. airplanes and used them to strike various targets on the East Coast. The carefully planned attacks killed nearly 3,000 people, making it the worst attack on the United States in history.

Al-Qaeda is a small, very violent group of people who practice the Muslim religion and who want to create a Muslim state independent of other countries. Al-Qaeda considers the freedoms that U.S. citizens have to be evil and doesn’t want the United States to spread those freedoms to other countries. Most Muslims don’t share al-Qaeda’s beliefs.

Under the leadership of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda has carried out many terrorist attacks all over the world, but the attacks on September 11 were the deadliest by far.

Two of the hijacked planes hit nearly identical skyscrapers, known as the twin towers, at a complex called the World Trade Center in New York. The buildings collapsed, and thousands of people died. A third plane was flown into the Pentagon in Arlington, where the U.S. military is headquartered, killing 189 people. A fourth plane, thought to be heading for the Capitol in Washington, crashed in rural Pennsylvania after passengers onboard fought the hijackers. All 44 people on the plane were killed.

The United States responded by attacking al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, one of several countries where the group had operations. The government in Afghanistan was brutal and supported the terrorists, so less than a month after the attacks of September 11, the United States invaded Afghanistan to break up al-Qaeda and the Afghan government.

During the years after the attacks, the United States was involved in another war, one in Iraq. The main reason for this war was because many countries, including the United States, believed that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein had weapons that could be used in terrorist attacks. No weapons were ever found, and no link between Hussein and bin Laden was ever proved. There is a now a new government in Iraq.

U.S. forces finally located and killed bin Laden in May of this year. Al-Qaeda is much weaker without him, but there are terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda that want to harm the United States.

Since the September 11 attacks, the government has greatly increased security around the country, particularly at airports, government buildings and public events. The government has also worked to improve the way it shares information. (Some people think the attacks of September 11 might have been prevented if groups within the U.S. government had communicated better).

Before September 11, 2001, a massive terrorist attack against the United States seemed unimaginable to many Americans. But 10 years later, the events of that day continue to affect the way Americans live.

via What was 9/11? – The Washington Post.

Post 9/11, Super Bowl Ads, Anheuser Busch, kudos:  This was not an ad but a tribute.  It made me cry then … and now.

post 9/11, Rebirth, documentary film, rebuilding the World Trade Center:

As filmmaker Jim Whitaker stood at Ground Zero, amid the rubble of the World Trade Center one month after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he felt a palpable sense of anxiety. Yet he knew that some day, something different would take shape in that bleak landscape.

“I thought, Wow, wouldn’t it be great to be able to give an audience a feeling of going from this dread and this anxiety to, in a very short period of time, a feeling of hope,” he said.

Whitaker decided that the way to do that would be with cameras: multiple cameras filming at Ground Zero every day, capturing on film the cranes and construction workers tackling the site’s ongoing transformation. Today, the result of all that filming — time-lapse footage from 2001 to 2009 — is featured in Whitaker’s new documentary, “Rebirth.”

Though the film debuted earlier this year, Whitaker’s cameras, now 14 in all, will stay focused at Ground Zero for years to come. The footage will be provided to the Library of Congress and used for a permanent exhibit at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum located at Ground Zero.

The cameras “will be there until there’s some ceremony that happens or someone says, ‘O.K., we’re finished here,'” Whitaker said.

“Rebirth” also turns the lens on the lives of five people affected directly by the terrorist attacks. Each person was interviewed once a year, every year, until the film’s completion.

via Rebirth: Film Captures Time-Lapse Transformation of Ground Zero, Rebuilding of Lives – ABC News.

Post 9/11, President George W. Bush, FL 2nd Grade Class, followup:  Have you ever wondered what happened to the teacher and kids in the classroom with President Bush when he learned the news.  9/11: Florida Students with President Bush Grow Up; Discuss George W. Bush’s Reaction to Attacks | Video – ABC News.

Post 9/11, photo icons:  What pitures do you remember?  I rememeber the one of the second place hitting the WTC, of the suited man with briefcase covered in ash, and of the suicide jumpers.  Newseum’s Photos | Facebook9/11: The Photographs That Moved Them Most – LightBox.

Post 9/11, international relations, US decline:

But then came 9/11 — a mass-casualty terrorist provocation on an unprecedented scale — and the Bush Administration convinced itself, and much of America, that the world had changed. The new president had found his “calling” in a campaign to “rid the world of evil doers”, declaring a “war on terrorism” that would become the leitmotif and singular obsession of U.S. foreign policy for the remainder of his presidency — a presidency that despite massive, kinetic displays of military force, left the U.S. strategically weaker at its close than when Bush entered the Oval Office.

“We’d always treated terrorist attacks before primarily as a law enforcement problem… going after and finding the guilty party, bring them to trial and put them in the slammer,” Vice President Dick Cheney told TIME in an interview published in this week’s edition. “After 9/11, you couldn’t look on those as just law enforcement problems anymore. It was clearly an act of war. And that’s a significant shift. You’re going to use all of the means available…”

But while the scale and brutality of the attacks might have been akin to an act of war, 9/11 was the work of a tiny network of transnational extremists, founded on the remnants of the Arab volunteers who’d fought in the U.S.-backed Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union.

via How 9/11 Provoked the U.S. to Hasten its Own Decline – Global Spin – TIME.com.

Post 9/11, perspective, faith and spirituality:  What have we learned?  Articles are interesting … perspective varied!

        via On Faith: A forum for news and opinion on religion and politics – The Washington Post.

Post 9/11: “You’ve got to be loyal to pain sometimes to be loyal to the glory that came out of it.”

Many heartbreaking things happened after 9/11 and maybe the worst is that there’s no heroic statue to them, no big marking of what they were and what they gave, at the new World Trade Center memorial.

But New York will never get over what they did. They live in a lot of hearts.

They tell us to get over it, they say to move on, and they mean it well: We can’t bring an air of tragedy into the future. But I will never get over it. To get over it is to get over the guy who stayed behind on a high floor with his friend who was in a wheelchair. To get over it is to get over the woman by herself with the sign in the darkness: “America You Are Not Alone.” To get over it is to get over the guys who ran into the fire and not away from the fire.

You’ve got to be loyal to pain sometimes to be loyal to the glory that came out of it.

via We’ll Never Get Over It, Nor Should We – Opinion – PatriotPost.US.”

Post 9/11, movies, entertainment, define: terrorist: Terrorists …

The 1985 film “Invasion U.S.A.” starred Chuck Norris, who single-handedly defeated an invading army of Communist fighters out to terrorize Americans and destroy our way of life.

Terrorists had become a standard and reliable villain for Hollywood action movies, but when real-life terrorism struck within America’s borders, the game changed.

via Terrorism in movies, pre- and post-9/11 Pictures – CBS News.

9/11 10th anniversary, kith/kin, FPC, Ordination of Mary Bowman, senior pictures:

Text from my sister – “God is my refuge” – Psalm 46, Obama read it at Ground Zero

Church: “Praise my Soul, the King of Heaven,” Psalm 46, ” I Believe in the Sun,”, Mark 15: 25-32, Katie Crowe’s Sermon – “Remembering,” “O God, Our Help in Ages Past,” and “Now Thank We All Our God.”

Mary’s Service: ‎… Attended the Service of Ordination for Mary Henderson Bowman … What a blessed and joyful event!

Senior Pictures:  I just realized that Molly was the same age as the students in the room with the President when 9/11 occured … they are all grown  as is my baby!  All beautiful.

9/11, graphics:  My favorite graphic commemorating 9/11.

From Linda – I don’t know who created it, just found it on someone’s page – I loved that it incorporates the WTC towers, the Pentagon and even the farmland in PA with the flag’s stripes.

10
Mar
11

3.10.2011 … If they call it “artisan,” I will come … especially if it involves ice cream or chocolate … or both …

Lent: I like the discipline idea of Lent .. rather than the giving up … But I will do both … I will give up using my right arm (it will heal much more quickly) and will discipline myself to pray rather than complain or be judgmental.  I am not giving up ice cream … read on … 🙂

foods – desserts, artisan foods, ice cream:  If they call it “artisan,”  I will come … especially if it involves ice cream or chocolate … or both …

You’ve heard this story before: tiny company makes wonderful product using method alien to evil corporate rival; tiny company vows to keep at it even if it never makes a dime. There’s usually a twee, antiquarian sensibility about it, maybe you grow a handlebar moustache and print a label with an ancient letterpress. Painstakingly (and conspicuously) sourced ingredients, laborious production methods and most importantly a supportive circle of buyers — preferably in somewhere like Brooklyn or Portland, Ore. — completes the picture. There’s just one universal law: you can’t be expected to make any real money. As a recent article in food-snob bible Edible Brooklyn boasted of its subjects, “none of these entrepreneurs is looking to be the next Mrs. Fields or Ben & Jerry’s. Part of what sets this artisan boomlet apart from other start-ups is that the goal is to make a living — not a killing.” Real profit, in this narrative, needs be ceded to the corporations.

Jeni Britton Bauer, on the other hand, has never done anything but work on ice cream, think about ice cream and take ice cream to places where it has never gone. If she can become a success, and it looks like she can, there may yet be hope for all those tiny, perfect products — the micro-distilled spirits, the handmade cheeses, the bean-to-bar chocolates — that currently exist only in gourmet ghettos. After all, there was a time when gelato was unknown in America’s supermarkets too.

via In Ohio Ice Cream Chain’s Success, Hope for Other Artisans – TIME.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams / Made in Columbus Ohio.

globalization, USA, Fareed Zakaria: “The Rise of the Rest” … I think this is one of the best articles  I have read in a while.

Despite the hyped talk of China’s rise, most Americans operate on the assumption that the U.S. is still No. 1.

But is it? Yes, the U.S. remains the world’s largest economy, and we have the largest military by far, the most dynamic technology companies and a highly entrepreneurial climate. But these are snapshots of where we are right now. The decisions that created today’s growth — decisions about education, infrastructure and the like — were made decades ago. What we see today is an American economy that has boomed because of policies and developments of the 1950s and ’60s: the interstate-highway system, massive funding for science and technology, a public-education system that was the envy of the world and generous immigration policies. Look at some underlying measures today, and you will wonder about the future. (Watch TIME’s video “Why Cities Are Key to American Success in the 21st Century.”)

The following rankings come from various lists, but they all tell the same story. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), our 15-year-olds rank 17th in the world in science and 25th in math. We rank 12th among developed countries in college graduation (down from No. 1 for decades). We come in 79th in elementary-school enrollment. Our infrastructure is ranked 23rd in the world, well behind that of every other major advanced economy. American health numbers are stunning for a rich country: based on studies by the OECD and the World Health Organization, we’re 27th in life expectancy, 18th in diabetes and first in obesity. Only a few decades ago, the U.S. stood tall in such rankings. No more. There are some areas in which we are still clearly No. 1, but they’re not ones we usually brag about. We have the most guns. We have the most crime among rich countries. And, of course, we have by far the largest amount of debt in the world.

The changes we are currently debating amount to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

But reducing funds for things like education, scientific research, air-traffic control, NASA, infrastructure and alternative energy will not produce much in savings, and it will hurt the economy’s long-term growth. It would happen at the very moment that countries from Germany to South Korea to China are making large investments in education, science, technology and infrastructure. We are cutting investments and subsidizing consumption — exactly the opposite of what are the main drivers of economic growth.

It’s not that our democracy doesn’t work; it’s that it works only too well. American politics is now hyperresponsive to constituents’ interests. And all those interests are dedicated to preserving the past rather than investing for the future.

The founders loved America, but they also understood that it was a work in progress, an unfinished enterprise that would constantly be in need of change, adjustment and repair. For most of our history, we have become rich while remaining restless. Rather than resting on our laurels, we have feared getting fat and lazy. And that has been our greatest strength. In the past, worrying about decline has helped us avert that very condition. Let’s hope it does so today.

via U.S. Decline in Global Arena: Is America No Longer No. 1? – TIME.

YA/children’s lit, Shel Silverstein, bookshelf:  I may have to buy it just for the memories!

Nearly a dozen years after his death, Shel Silverstein will once again hit the shelves with a new book of poems called Everything On It.

Silverstein gained fame for penning children’s classics like The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Light in the Attic. Members of his family selected the poems and illustrations in Everything On It from his archives, and took care to make sure the content echoed his past work.

via Posthumous Poems: New Shel Silverstein Book Hits Stores in September – TIME NewsFeed.

Facebook, technology, culture, Good Samaritan, suicide prevention: If it saves lives … but …

Facebook is launching a system that allows users to report friends who they think may be contemplating suicide.

The feature is being run in conjunction with Samaritans, which said several people had used it during a test phase.

Anyone worried about a friend can fill out a form, detailing their concerns, which is passed to the social networking site’s moderators.

It follows reports of several cases where Facebook users announced their intention to commit suicide online.

The reporting page asks for the address (URL) of the Facebook page where the messages are posted, the full name of the user and details of any networks they are members of.

Suicide-related alerts will be escalated to the highest level, for attention by Facebook’s user operations team.

via BBC News – Facebook adds Samaritans suicide risk alert system.

news, South Africa, hate crimes, new terms:  corrective rape?

Gaika is a rarity in South Africa, indeed in all of Africa, as an openly gay woman. And since her attack, which took place in 2009, she has become something of an icon in the battle against the South African phenomenon called “corrective rape.” Virtually unknown to the rest of the world at the time of Gaika’s ordeal, corrective rape has since become a hot issue. Through online campaigns, nearly a million people have joined local activists in demanding that the South African government recognize corrective rape as a hate crime. But with so few cases of homophobic violence resulting in trials — and of those, almost none ending in conviction — the activists have a long fight ahead of them.

via South Africa’s Corrective Rape: Activists Battle Violence – TIME.




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