Never Forget: September 11, 2001

I originally wrote this post three years ago on my (now retired) other blog, but it is fitting to repost it here today:

I will never forget the events of September 11, 2001. So many men and women lost their lives in the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. I think about it almost every day. Sometimes people seem to forget (or pretend to forget) what happened. They talk about the “War on Terror” in such a negative way without reflecting on the real reasons behind it. Listening to Darryl Worley’s song Have You Forgotten? and looking at archival footage from that day make me wonder if maybe we should show images from 9/11/01 every day. Americans need to remember what we learned and what we are really fighting for. This is just as important now as it was [ten] years ago.

President George W. Bush will be remembered in history for being a wartime president (whether that is a good thing or a bad thing in itself is debatable). Although there are so many nasty things the Left has called our president (i.e. “retarded cowboy,” “war criminal,” “bumbling buffoon”), one thing is certain: Bush has kept our country from another terrorist attack. As Daniel Henninger wrote in an article for The Wall Street Journal, “Lest we forget, as someone said, let’s revisit the bare details of that day. This presumably is the reason for anyone’s post-9/11 antiterror policies.”

One of my heroes is Todd Morgan Beamer. I did not know him personally, but I have read and connected with his story. He was one of the passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93. A group of brave men and women would not surrender and they fought the hijackers. They succeeded in preventing the plane from reaching its targeted destination (presumably the White House or the U.S. Capitol) by crashing it into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Todd Beamer’s last audible words to a 911 operator were “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.” A motto that is near and dear to my heart.

Hawaiian widow sues Bank of America after receiving 48 “robo-calls” a day demanding mortgage payment

9.6.11 - Today in History

On this day in 1915, a prototype tank nicknamed Little Willie rolls off the assembly line in England. Little Willie was far from an overnight success. It weighed 14 tons, got stuck in trenches and crawled over rough terrain at only two miles per hour. However, improvements were made to the original prototype and tanks eventually transformed military battlefields.

First came Little Willie. Then Big Willie. Tanks have transformed warfare ever since.

Does the press have a duty to ‘out’ powerful gays?

Do journalists have a duty to “out” so-called “closeted” gay people? They do if those people are powerful, says Felix Salmon of Reuters. Media attention on powerful gays and lesbians, even those in the closet, is a social good because it promotes and celebrates diversity, he argues. If it is inspirational to millions to see a gay person at the helm of an illustrious company, Salmon believes we have an ethical duty to out such a person. To fail to do so, Salmon suggests, can be unethical. 

If this is the case, why doesn’t the mainstream media out Anderson Cooper?

New York lifeguard sues for being compelled to wear skimpy, Speedo-style swim briefs

8.19.11 - Today in History

On this day in 1909, the first race is held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, now the home of the world’s most famous motor racing competition, the Indianapolis 500.

The ‘best-attended’ American sporting event of all time.

N. Jersey - Olympic Medalist Running for NJ Senate?

Carl Lewis, nine-time Olympic gold medalist in track and field, has launched a campaign to run for the state senate. Lewis, a Democrat, began his athletic career as a long jumper for Willingboro High School in Burlington County, but has since lived out of state for the majority of his life. Earlier this year when Lewis filed petitions to run for the New Jersey State Senate’s 8th Legislative District, his residency status was challenged; NJ has a four-year residency rule for senatorial candidates. Although the track and field legend bought his current Medford home in 2007, he voted in California as recently as 2009. NJ Secretary of State and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno declared Lewis ineligible for the seat stating he “did not yet own his home in New Jersey, did not otherwise live in New Jersey, did not file his taxes in New Jersey, was not registered to vote in New Jersey and did not have his business in New Jersey.”

Guadango’s opposition has since been overruled by a federal appeals panel, but the question of whether Lewis will actually appear on the ballot remains unclear as the final decision is still being passed around among the lower courts. The Olympic champion remains confident, “I will be on the ballot. I absolutely guarantee it.” But Lewis still has a few legal hurdles to overcome before he will go up against Republican incumbent Dawn Marie Addiego in the general election. With only a few more months until November, the track star certainly has an uphill battle ahead of him.

N. Jersey - Route 23 Rail?

If you’ve ever driven along Route 23 in daytime or rush hour, you know how congested it can get. The highway spans three counties and is home to the ‘nation’s longest traffic light.’ It’s a road that leads residents to the Willowbrook Mall, many big-box stores, as well as to their jobs in the city.

Just last week, Morris County freeholders passed a resolution requesting a study into reestablishing commuter rail service along the New York, Susquehanna, and Western Railway (NYSW), which operates along that line. The NYSW ceased commuter transport back in the 1960s,  but the rail continues to move freight between northern New Jersey and central New York. The proposed commuter rail segment would extend from Stockholm (Sussex) to Hawthorne (Passaic), alleviating that horrendous traffic along Route 23.

Although considered a ‘short-term’ rail project, it could take a decade for the rail to handle commuters in accordance with state and federal safety regulations.  The plan is very much in the conceptual stage but the study will at least give policymakers a clearer picture as to whether the ridership is there to re-open the rail to passengers.