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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Cartoon


The American Petroleum Institute presents:
DESTINATION EARTH ~ 1956


Mars is ruled by a dictator named Ogg. The martians are small yellow hermaphrodites with big noses and space helmets. The poor shlubs are herded by soldiers into a space-age coliseum where Ogg forces them to applaud as they endure his criticisms of problems with martian ground transportation ... shitty fuel, too much friction.

A single martian is sent to Earth to find a solution. The intrepid Martian crashes his saucer into a farm, sets forth into the city, learns about the glorious benefits of petroleum, steals a few library books, and heads back to Mars.

He reveals the truths he's learned to the crowd in the coliseum. The crowd is fueled by the spirit of capitalism and the dictatorship breaks down instantly, to be replaced by the Oil Pioneers, the Oil Explorers, and new management.

We learn that a future with oil and competition is: "Destination Unlimited"

Missing Links & the Gypsy Punk Revolt


Gogol Bordello ~ Think Locally, Fuck Globally


I came to NY to start gypsy punk revolt.
Now that it's rockin'...
so, why don't I just go home?


KURDS THINK US MAY TOPPLE OR EVEN PERISH AL-MALIKI
We should only show such balls!

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

A Proliferator
The U.S. Treasury Department accused Iran's national maritime carrier of helping the country's nuclear and missile programs
Quantum politics: India’s nuclear deal with America

Rice met with Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony on Wednesday, with their talks focused on the U.S.- India civilian nuclear deal and bilateral military operation

India Seeks Nuclear Agreements With Russia, France


Black market nuke network had sophisticated info
The U.N. nuclear monitoring agency says a black market nuclear network operating from Pakistan had substantial and up-to-date information on how to make an atomic bomb. The International Atomic Energy Agency says much of the sensitive information was passed on to customers in electronic form.

The use of e-mail attachments or CD-ROMs to spread information about how to make nuclear weapons is alarming because it gives a potentially unlimited number of customers access to the material, whether they are governments or individuals.

The IAEA's information was contained in a restricted report on Libya and based on information collected since that country renounced its efforts to make nuclear weapons in 2003.
Gates: Air Force may consolidate nuclear control
Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the Air Force will consider consolidating under a single command all responsibility for management of its nuclear weapons arsenal.

Gates made the statement at a Pentagon news conference where an advisory group was releasing its recommendations on ways to improve the Air Force's handling of its nuclear weapons mission.

He said the advisory group, led by former defense secretary James Schlesinger, is recommending that a new Air Force command be created to consolidate the nuclear weapons responsibilities. Gates also said that while the Schlesinger panel makes a convincing argument for this, he is not certain about it. He said it will be a matter for Air Force leaders to consider and decide.

OK - Exactly WHO TF is James Schlesinger and why do we care?
Schlesinger devoted much attention to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, citing the need to strengthen its conventional capabilities. He rejected the old assumption that NATO did not need a direct counter to Warsaw Pact conventional forces because it could rely on tactical and strategic nuclear weapons, noting that the approximate nuclear parity between the United States and the Soviets in the 1970s made this stand inappropriate. He also rejected the argument that NATO could not afford a conventional counterweight to Warsaw Pact forces. In his discussions with NATO leaders, Schlesinger promoted the concept of burden-sharing, stressing the troubles that the United States faced in the mid-1970s because of an unfavorable balance of international payments. He urged qualitative improvements in NATO forces, including equipment standardization, and an increase in defense spending by NATO governments of up to five percent of their gross national product.
11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces
The United Nations (UN) is at the core of the framework of international organizations within which the Alliance operates, a principle that is enshrined in NATO’s founding treaty

James Schlesinger
(1929–), economist, strategic analyst, secretary of defense, and first secretary of energy

Schlesinger served as secretary of defense during 1973–75, a turbulent period marked by the final stages of the Vietnam War, severe cuts in the defense budget, the end of conscription, and the beginning of the All‐Volunteer Force. A Phi Beta Kappa and 1950 summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, he subsequently earned a Ph.D. at Harvard, then taught economics at the University of Virginia (1955–63). Next came service at the RAND Corporation as a senior staff member (1963–67) and director of strategic studies (1967–69). He entered government in 1969 as assistant director of the Bureau of the Budget, in 1971 became chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, and in 1973 was appointed Director of Central Intelligence.
Dr. James R. Schlesinger

(all links added by me)

Dr. James R. Schlesinger

Dr. James R. Schlesinger currently divides his time between MITRE and the investment banking firm of Lehman Brothers, where he serves as senior advisor. He is also a consultant to the Departments of Defense, State, and Homeland Security, and a member of the Defense Policy Board, the Arms Control and Nonproliferation Advisory Board, and the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

Dr. Schlesinger is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy. He is a director for Peabody Energy, KFx, Inc, and Sandia National Corporation. He is also a counselor and trustee of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a trustee at the Atlantic Council, the Nixon Center, the National Cryptologic Museum Foundation, the Center for Global Energy Studies, and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation.

Dr. Schlesinger was the nation's first secretary of energy, taking the oath of office one day after President Carter signed the legislation creating the new department. He served in this position from August 5, 1977 until 1979. In the previous year, President-elect Carter had asked Dr. Schlesinger to become assistant to the president, charged with the responsibility of drafting a plan for the establishment of the Department of Energy and a national energy policy.

All crises not created equal, Lehman learns
Treasury, Fed Said to Call on Wall Street Chiefs to Back Lehman

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the biggest U.S. securities firm, has no plan to buy Lehman without financial backing from the Fed or Treasury, a person briefed on the matter said Sept. 10.
Is it bad that I am cackling like a madwoman?
I'm all outta bubblegum!
ULULULULULULULULULULU!
American Tower to Speak at Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference

American Tower

Communacopia Conference

Outraged, even!
U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on Thursday said he was "outraged" by department workers who had sex, used drugs and took gifts from employees at regulated oil companies, while one senator called for a Bush administration official to resign over the scandal.
If No Common Values Exist, Then Common Interests Take Precedence

Decepto hoople babble: Basically, it means they are staying right the frig where they are, as Queen Condi said weeks ago:

It also means the "complete withdrawal of the Russian peacekeeping forces from the areas adjacent to South Ossetia and Abkhazia to their positions prior to the out-break of hostilities.
Suicidal Jewish Iftarians

OIC Intensifies Efforts To Help Palestinians In Gaza Strip

Meet Ingrid Mattson

U.S. Refuses to Aid Israel in Iran Attack


Gogol Bordello ~ Super Taranta!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Night Flick


THEY LIVE!
Directed by John Carpenter
Starring Roddy Piper



Nada (Roddy Piper), a down-on-his-luck construction worker, discovers a pair of special sunglasses. Wearing them, he is able to see the world as it really is: people are being bombarded by media and government with messages like "Stay Asleep", "No Imagination", "Submit to Authority". Even scarier is that he is able to see that some usually normal-looking people are in fact ugly aliens in charge of the massive campaign to keep humans subdued.

My favorite part:
"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass, and I'm all outta bubblegum"


The Supertheory of Supereverything


Gogol Bordello:
Supertheory of Supereverything

(From L) Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet affairs Faisal al-Hajji, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Jordanian King Abdullah II, Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade, Bosnian Presidency Chairman Haris Silajdzic and WIEF Chairman Tun Musa Hitam attend the opening ceremony of the 4th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in Kuwait City on April 29, 2008.

World Islamic economic forum set for 2011 in Kazakhstan:
Chairman of the World Islamic economic forum Tun Musa Hitam highly appreciated the Kazakhstani initiative to conduct for the first time in Central Asia so called "Muslim Davos," which alongside with the chairmanship of Kazakhstan at the Organization of Islamic conference (OIC) in 2011, will foster strengthening of trade-economic relations between Muslim countries"

In 57 countries-members of the OIC there are 70% of the world oil reserves are concentrated as well as half of gas reserves. Their aggregate GDP made up USD1,7 trillion, or 8% of the world economy volume.
Kazakhstan has major deposits of: petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium

Soviet geologists once boasted that Kazakstan was capable of exporting the entire Periodic Table of Elements

Russian Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov, left, and Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych shake hands during a meeting in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Thursday, Nov. 22, 2007. A regular meeting of the prime ministers of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is held in the Turkmen capital on Thursday. Prime ministers of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Russia will hold a separate meeting to sign an agreement on the construction of the Caspian gas pipeline Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan-Russia.

Putin Clinches Deal for Uzbek Pipeline

Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan plan a separate pipeline that would also take Turkmen and Kazakh gas north to Russia. That pipeline would transport 20 bcm, and construction is scheduled to start late this year or early next year, Gazprom said on its web site
As Gazprom Goes, So Goes Russia

April 2008: Armenian President to Head Gazprom
With the Armenian government, Gazprom jointly owns ArmRosGazprom, which controls natural gas pipelines feeding Russian gas to Armenia and owns the Armenian section of a pipeline feeding Iranian gas to the country.
OK. WATCH CLOSELY NOW:

GAZPROM and CHEVRON have openly been PARTNERS since 2006

2005: Gazprom, Chevron Win Rafael Urdaneta Licenses in Venezuela

More GAZPROM & CHEVRON partnerships

GOOGLE Search: Gazprom Chevron

2007: James Jones: Appointed Special Envoy for Middle East Security

Uh Oh. He used to head NATO.....

AND: He is on the board at CHEVRON

I AM NOT INSANE, MOST EXCELLENT FESTUS!


2005: China has America over a Barrel
US Vice President Dick Cheney, China's increasing stakes in Central Asian oil resources provide the backdrop to his ties with Chevron. Cheney had negotiated a 900-mile pipeline from its western Kazakhstan oil fields to the Black Sea on behalf of Chevron. However, Chevron later decided to sell its stake in another oil and gas field in northwest Kazakhstan to China National Petroleum Company International (CNPCIL) in October 2003, as it did not fit the company's "long-term strategic objectives". It is unknown what Cheney had to say to that. Nor does it explain the agreement between ChevronTexaco and CNOOC a few days later to supply about $21 billion of LNG to China over 25 years from the Gorgon Australian Gas joint venture, in which it has a 50 per cent stake.
Condoleezza Rice was a Chevron Director from 1991 until January 15, 2001

They even named a tanker after her!


ARE YOU SCARED YET?

David J. O'Reilly, Chief Executive Officer of Chevron and this year's co-chairman of the World Economic Forum (WEF), attends the opening news conference of the annual WEF meeting in the Swiss Alpine resort town of Davos January 23, 2008. This year's annual meeting of some 2,500 political, business and cultural leaders will address the forum's overall theme 'The Power of Collaborative Innovation'.

I just find this creepy: 2004: Chevron buys Enron building

Oh! No wonder I found it creepy:
The facts in this case are undisputed. Enron is the operator of several oil and gas properties that it owns with Chevron U.S.A., Inc. (Chevron). Enron produced oil and gas from these properties, and Chevron took its share of the production in kind.
SUDAN: THE CHEVRON PERIOD: 1974-92

9/3/08:
A federal judge late last week lashed out at the State Department's denial of visas for more than a dozen Nigerian witnesses set to testify in a pending trial over allegations that Chevron Corp. aided the Nigerian military in human rights violations a decade ago
June 2008: Gazprom and China Salivate over Nigeria

June 2008: Gazprom, China Eye Nigeria's Ogoniland

Here's Condi's Special ME Security Envoy Jim Jones again, in Sudan & Nigeria, 2005


CRISIS IN NIGERIA : OIL INFERNO
According to General James Jones, in testimony offered to the Senate Armed Services Committee in 2005, the new objective in Africa "should be to eliminate ungoverned areas, to counter extremism, and to end conflict and reduce the chronic instability" because of Africa's "potential to become the next front in the Global War on Terrorism.
2007: Chevron Shouldn't Play Russian Roulette
To truly grasp the risk and liability posed by Chevron's possible acquisition of Yukos assets, take a look at the history of the Kremlin's campaign. In a few short years, Russia's largest private taxpayer and most successful and well managed oil company, Yukos, has been brought to the brink of ruin, all because Khodorkovsky made two "mistakes." First, he got involved in politics through the support of opposition parties and civil society NGOs. Second, he threatened state-owned energy companies by out-competing them, advocating a free market for the Russian energy industry and welcoming investments by U.S. partners, such as ExxonMobil and, ironically, Chevron
WHO TF is Mikhail Khodorkovsky and why do we care?
As of 2004, Khodorkovsky was the wealthiest man in Russia, and was the 16th wealthiest man in the world, although much of his wealth evaporated because of the collapse in the value of his holding in the Russian petroleum company YUKOS.

On October 25, 2003, Khodorkovsky was arrested at Novosibirsk airport by the Russian prosecutor general's office on charges of fraud. Shortly thereafter, on October 31, the government under Vladimir Putin froze shares of Yukos because of tax charges. The Russian Government took further actions against Yukos, leading to a collapse in the share price. It purported to sell a major asset of Yukos in December 2004.

2007: Gazprom, indirectly, wins assets of Yukos

9/4/2008: Gazprom Neft Looks To Send Crude To China Via Kazakhstan

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, right, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev seen during a welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in Astana, Kazakhstan, Thursday, May 22, 2008. Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Kazakhstan on Thursday on his first trip abroad as Russia's new president, reaffirming Moscow's push to control the flow of energy from the Central Asian region.

Kazakh Oil: A War of Nerves

Even before the Georgia mini-war, Russia was playing for keeps in the region. Starting in the 1990s, Russia often got its way by manipulating its oil and natural gas pipelines, which, despite the West’s efforts, still dominate Caspian output. Russian pipelines ship more than 85% of the 6.3 million barrels of oil exported daily from the former Soviet Union. In its struggles with the republics, Russia has turned its spigots off and on repeatedly. In 1993, for instance, Moscow shut off Turkmenistan’s gas exports to the West, forcing the Turkmen to sell at a lower price to Ukraine.

Kazakhstan has been the biggest prize of all. It didn’t look that way in the Soviet Union’s last days, when the flow of money from Moscow slowed considerably, and Kazakhstan had to take out a loan to feed its cattle. It had Tengiz, with at least 9 billion barrels of reserves, plus 13 billion-barrel Kashagan, the largest oil discovery anywhere in 40 years. Yet it was still hard to picture how a territory lacking a single private office building, in which the biggest business was importing Coke and whiskey, would become a petro-state.

BTW? Kazakhstan harasses it's Christians

"China still on-side with Russia"

These apparent differences between Russia and its Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) partners - China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - are indications of the fragility of this regional security group, and many of its members simply dream different dreams while sleeping on the same bed with Moscow. Last if not least, Georgia lost no time in thanking China for not taking sides
Iran seeks to join Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Naturally!

From left, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin stand for a group photo in a residence in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, at a start of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Charter of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation
"Reaffirming our adherence to the goals and principles of the Charter of the United Nations"

Olympic Invasion: China, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Russia's Aggression


The CFR on the SCO

2006: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization acquires military character

2007: Six member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Wednesday stage joint military exercise in Russia

9/3/08: RUSSIA AND THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION


From left, Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President Emoamli Rakhmon, Uzbek President Islam Karimov, Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar and Afghan President Khamid Karzai pose for press in a residence in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2007, at a start of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Text of unattributed report headlined "Europe's efforts to buy Iran's gas: Many high ranking financial and political delegations are on their way to Tehran for talks " published by Iranian news paper Jam-e Jam website on 8 September

See also my Oilympics Post and WhoTF is Gaith Pharon and why should you care?

WFRL: DJ Strul Z Spins...


From Romania with Funk, A Cosmic Hora:
Zdob si Zdub ~ Hora Cosmica

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sherab Zangpo: The Problem of Evil ~ Chapter Three


Leonard Cohen ~ Anthem

In the first chapter I have written that any single element of Perfection immediately present in the finite would destroy the whole dimension of the “finite”, and with that, of course, all of us as individuals (that is, as beings who enjoy the Gift of Free Will.)

And that means that when the atheist demands, as proof of the existence of God, a “perfect world”, he is asking for a reality in which only God exists. Such a “God”, who wouldn’t have created the dimension of the finite and Life and Freedom, would be a “God” who is NOT Infinite Love. A very strange “God” indeed.

(The other possibility for the atheist is to ask, as proof of the existence of God, for a “finite-but-perfect” world: in this case he would be asking God to be Almighty in the sense of being “able” to create a contradiction that can stand, but it is obvious that this argument is not conceivable and we cannot think it in any way because a “finite-but-perfect” world would be a world in which “the mortal is immortal and the immortal mortal” and so on and so forth. Even in this case, if it were thinkable and it is not, we wouldn’t have Free Will and therefore we wouldn’t be individuals.)

Strangely enough, it’s a passage by Kant that describes in the best way the mistake of the logical-theoretical structure of the first of these objections by the atheist: in saying that, if God existed and were Infinite Love, God would have created a perfect world, the atheist is thinking in the way described by Kant in the famous metaphor of the dove:

KANT,
Kritik der reinen Vernunft, 1787, B 8
Die leichte Taube, indem sie im freien Fluge die Luft teilt, deren Widerstand sie fühlt, könnte die Vorstellung fassen, daß es ihr im luftleeren Raum noch viel besser gelingen werde.
(Critique of Pure Reason,
"The light dove, cleaving the air in her free flight, and feeling its resistance, might imagine that its flight would be still easier in empty space.")

The Free individual who can live only if God is not IMMEDIATELY present would be impossible if the request of the atheist were answered positively.
The “resistance” that “hinders” the dove is obviously the same support that allows it to fly, without such obstacle the dove wouldn’t be a dove, and without the Freedom that only the dimension of the finite guarantees to the individual…the free individual wouldn’t exist.
So even this position leads to a radical contradiction.

In the first chapter of this discussion of the “problem of evil” I have further discussed the idea of the PERFECT participation of God in the suffering of every being.

Now we must say that these well known (but too often forgotten) answers and arguments against the “objections” of the nihilist do not exhaust the discussion of the problem of evil.
The discussion in the first article recalls VERY important philosophical and theological points, but such arguments confine the religious discourse in a theoretical limbo because they are somehow only “negative” answers. We have observed that in the last two or three centuries such a theoretical limbo has been useful to the nihilists to transform the religious discourse in a quiet, submissive position, something that is somehow “embarrassing” for those who support it, and the answers discussed until now have come to be seen as a weak last resort barrier against the objections of the nihilist. Actually, they are not weak at all, but it is true that every defensive stance tends, on the long run, to be seen as a lie or at least as a not thoroughly AUTHENTIC intellectual position.
Therefore a more complete discussion is necessary to reframe the whole problem in traditional terms and to show the true depth of the ignorance of the nihilist.

Let’s then start from the discussion of the ontological status of the finite: it is immediately evident that - if we are not followers of the cult of the nothing and, therefore, we do not accept that the absolute nothing can produce “something” nor that the non-being can produce the being – the finite has no ontological status in itself, it’s unable to create itself, it’s unable to support itself in the being.
And this means that, while the philosophical points already established in our first discussion are certainly true - i.e. “that any single element of Perfection immediately present in the finite would destroy the whole dimension of the “finite”, and, that God suffers PERFECTLY for the suffering of every being - it is at the same time true that without the continuous Miracle, the Miracle that is present everywhere and always, one single hair not supported NOW by the Infinite Power of God would mean the total catastrophe for the finite.
Any “absence” of God would destroy the world because only the Being, and the Being is the Infinite Being Who Is, supports the POSSIBILITY of the finite world. The nothing, the object of the cult of the nihilists, cannot be the field of possibility of anything.

As I have written in
Freeing the words that have been kidnapped: “ORIGIN” / “ORIGINS” ” :
“The “possibility” is not an abstract philosophical word with which we can choose to play or not, the possibility is the root of the reality, it is the source of the reality, is what makes reality real: the POSSIBILITY of the universe is the ORIGIN of the universe, the POSSIBILITY is the present tense of the Creation, the “possibility” is the infinite miracle that supports the existing beings, the umbilical cord without which existence is impossible. The “possibility” is God as the Heart of reality: certainly God transcends the dimensions of space, time, and “things”, but the Infinite Being Who Is is the only root and origin of “reality” at any given time (i.e., at EVERY given time: now, the next split second and the next…!).”

All this means that a dimension of Mystery and Miracle is anyway PRESENT (if not “in”, then) TO the finite. Therefore, the two elements that, together and inseparably, allow us to discuss the “problem of evil” are these: on one side the Infinity of the Continuous Miracle, on the other, evil in humans’ hearts and the impermanence, the finitude of the finite.

Evil in the human hearts corresponds somehow to the “impermanence” (the finitude) of the finite: evil is Free Will in the humans that has become purely mechanical, unable to reach the true will that is love, and behaves “gravitationally”, like the so-called “laws of nature” described by modern science.

The not-immediate Presence of God opens the way to the existence of the world and of free will and free will opens the way to understanding the Presence of the Continuous Miracle. But only we, human beings, can choose to understand and in so doing can choose the TRUE Free will, that is love. Nature cannot “choose” by itself in the same way: although showing altogether and in every minute detail the Glory of God, it cannot in and by itself choose to behave NOT-gravitationally. But this of course means that it is always innocent, even when it kills us directly.

(Note for the Reader: of course, I chose the adverb “gravitationally” because it allows us to think together the natural “falling” in Nature and the moral “fall” of evil, since “catastrophe” – kata-strephein – means in fact “fall”).

So, in thinking about the “problem of evil”, we come to a choice:
will we center our thoughts (and so, our lives) on the Continuous Miracle, hence on Truth and on love, or on despair ?
The Continuous Miracle by the Infinite Being supports at every given time the possibility of the finite. At any given time, this Truth calls us to the responsibility of acting morally and of remaining in the Light of the Infinite Love, abandoning despair ( Joshua 1 and passim in other chapters of the same Book “…do not fear, do not lose resolve…”).
The nihilist chooses despair.

The despair of the nihilist who yells at God “because” of the catastrophes (e.g., Voltaire and Lisbon’s earthquake, or any other “argument”) forgets not only what is written in the first chapter of this series - i.e. the infinite Love of God and God’s perfect and absolute suffering for all of our pains - but wants to forget also that the King of the world is not death but God, and that all beings are always embraced by the Infinite Being Who is Infinite Love.

The discussion of the ‘problem of evil” as led by the atheist wants to focus on the immediate consequences of the impermanence of the finite and of the evil in the hearts of men but always forgets the Immense Love and the Perfect Pain of God for every suffering AND forgets the immense Miracle of Continuous Creation.

Instead, the discussion of the “problem of evil” in Job [ see the text, Hebrew and Greek and many modern languages, at www.biblos.com ] aims at the Vision that is present and living Memory of the Continuous Miracle. The final answer given by God to Job is the vision - that Guido Ceronetti [Il Libro di Giobbe, a cura di Guido ceronetti] has rightly compared to the answer of Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita - the Immense Vision of the Immense Miracle.

Without this Vision, without this understanding, without a deep and rich reflection on all the dimensions of the human Life and its calls, we are doomed to fall into the pit of ignorance and despair and we are going to be enrolled in the cult of the nothing, the most absolutely blind, irrational faith.

The nihilist, deep in his heart, knows all this.
The nihilist INVENTS reasons to deny God only because he has already decided to disobey, to forget the Way.
He will say that the Holocaust proves that God doesn’t save the Righteous. Instead it is true that the demented folly of the nazi demons torturing the Jew is nothing else than the rage and the hatred of the powerless destitute satanic being who deeply knows that he can’t change the Destiny of Light of the Righteous.

Nor the crumbling stones and the cracks in the ground during a quake can change the Destiny of Light of the Righteous.

Through the valley of death, the Righteous walks with no fear, because he knows that after receiving Life, he will receive more Life, and more Life, and always more Life. Infinitely more Life.

Life is Birth to Life.

Light at the end of ANY tunnel, singing of Angels, long Birth to Life.
Infinite Myriads of Angels who play and Gracefully dance in the Immense Miracle.

Quite because of the terrible suffering that is evoked by it, the “problem of evil” is a subject that must evoke in us our subtlest and deepest capability to choose:

will we choose the Truth of God Who Is Infinite Love and suffers PERFECTLY for each and any of our pains and AT THE SAME TIME will we choose to accept the Immense Vision that sees that God Is the Only Foundation - and the True Nature - of every“thing” in every split second and everywhere, and will we dance with the Myriads of Angels ?
OR
will we choose to use the Freedom that God gives us - with Life - to cultivate despair ?

The second choice requires a blind faith in the cult of the nothing, requires the belief that the nothing produced Life.
The first choice requires intellectual honesty, a serious morality, courage, deep thought, and the ability to grow and to learn to love. And inspires true Joy, the deep Joy of Wisdom.

A POST-SCRIPT (yes, it is probably redundant, Tradition has always a lot to do with MISHNAH, to study and review…) :

The fool tends to answer materialistically to the “problem of evil”, thus failing to see the true scope of the Traditional answer: how many times will we have to read that the “meaning of the Book of Job is mysterious” ? just yesterday I was reading the essay of someone who adds to that unfortunate sentence this : “his (scilicet, Job’s) wife in the end is still dead”. It would probably be impossible for this kind of person to understand that the meaning of the Vision in Job is exactly the opposite: the Vision at the end of the book of Job shows exactly that God SAVES and saves in a NOT worldly, not finite, way, and instead eternally and eternally out of the grasp of ANY evil. How does the Vision show this ? By showing the Infinite, the Immense Continuous Miracle, the Almighty as True Nature of every “thing”.

No, Job has not “lost” his wife. The nihilist has lost something. His mind.
The Righteous instead has found a new sky and a new land…
REVELATION 21:1 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth…”
(KING JAMES)

And maybe these Lands ( I use the plural to hint at the teachings of the Pure Land school of Japanese Buddhism, at the teachings about the NirmanaKaya – SambhogaKaya - DharmaKaya of the VajraYana [see a simple introduction here, etc.) are nearer than most think, if Parousia in fact has to do with “being near”…(Parousia: “presence, to be present”, but interestingly it means: “goods”, “fortunes” too, besides of course – Advent – the Coming as “making himself present”) (FROM: pareinai, to be present, from para +einai).

Near. Maybe quite “here”, if God is ultimately the true Nature of the “here” and of the “time” of every possible “here” and “time”.

Thank you for you attention.
~ Sherab Zangpo

9/11: Welles Remy Crowther


Toby Keith ~ the Angry American


From Smoothstone's Blog:

Welles Remy Crowther, age 24

Welles Remy Crowther.  Rest in peace.

Welles Remy Crowther, age 24.

Place killed: World Trade Center.

Resident of Upper Nyack, New York.

Welles Remy Crowther was an equities trader on the South Tower’s 104th floor, who helped dozens of people to safety on September 11.

His body was found in March, 2002, alongside several firefighters and emergency workers bunched in a command post in the South Tower lobby.

———-

I am very honored to have the opportunity to post a tribute to Welles Remy Crowther, as part of the 2,996 Tribute Project in memory of the seven-year anniversary of the unprovoked attack on the United States by Muslim terrorists.

Welles Remy Crowther was born the oldest of three children, displaying his fearlessness, spirit and selflessness early and often growing up in the New York’s northern suburbs, his parents say.

He doted on his two younger sisters, Paige and Honor, and followed his father Jefferson’s lead, always carrying a bandanna in his back pocket (Welles preferred red, his father blue) and joining him as a volunteer firefighter as a teenager.

In high school, he was the type of kid who would selflessly feed the puck to the hockey team’s lowest-scoring player, hoping to give his teammate his first goal.

To his friends, he was the guy who would always listen and lend a hand.

Rain or shine, as a child, he would find something to do with his younger sisters, whether it was practicing lacrosse moves or having pillow fights in the hallway of their home.

At the age of 16, after years of helping his dad clean his village’s fire trucks, he became a junior volunteer firefighter. Two years later, he earned his certification.

A stellar student and lacrosse player at Boston College, Crowther joined Sandler O’Neil and Partners after graduation, settling into his office on the South Tower’s 104th floor.

While he loved his job, Welles told his dad that he really wanted to join the FDNYor possibly the CIA or FBI — so he wouldn’t be stuck behind a desk and would be able to help others.

But that’s where he was on the morning of September 11th. Behind his desk.

He made one final call to his mom, Alison, from his office at 9:12 a.m., minutes after his tower was struck, leaving a brief, calm message saying, “Mom, this is Welles. I want you to know that I’m OK.”

That call was all the Crowthers knew about their son’s final moments until police knocked on their door in March, 2002, six months after the devastating attack on the United States.

Alison Crowther said the New York medical examiner’s office told them Welles’ body had been found intact, with no signs of burns, alongside firefighters and emergency workers then running a command center in the South Tower’s lobby.

Welles Remy Crowther was a hero on September 11. One of his greatest ambitions in life was to help others.

To help others. How many people do you know whose singular ambition in life is to Help Others?

Welles Crowther trained to be a volunteer fireman and his personality and character and spirit drove him to elevate and soar above the rest of us; he helped others escape the burning, twisted metal so that they could live, while he in turn, risked his own life so that others could survive. Welles Crowther spent his final moments, not thinking of his own safety, but helping others. He was truly a remarkable man.

Ling Young is one of the people Welles saved. She sat bloody and petrified with some others in the World Trade Center — the lights out, smoke engulfing the room and pain searing through their bodies. There was no escape from where they were in the South Tower, in pieces after being hit by United Airlines Flight 175 as far as they could tell.

Then out of nowhere, a young man burst in and took control - with a red bandanna on his face. In a strong voice, he directed them to the stairway — which was veiled by darkness, wreckage and haze — telling the injured to get out and the healthy to help them down.

“I see this incredible hero, running back and forth and saving the day,” recalled Judy Wein. “In his mind, he had a duty to do — to save people.”

“He’s definitely my guardian angel — no ifs, ands or buts — because without him, we would be sitting there, waiting [until] the building came down,” echoes Ling Young.

Wein and Young were separated by a few minutes and a few floors that day, but they share a similar story and a single hero: Welles Crowther.

Judy Wein remembers his penetrtaing eyes, firm voice and the red bandanna he wore over his nose and mouth — but didn’t know his name.

His name was Welles Crowther.

“If he hadn’t come back, I wouldn’t have made it,” said Wein. “People can live 100 years and not have the compassion, the wherewithal to do what he did.”

Welles’ father, Mr. Jefferson Crowther, wrote the following about his late son:

He was courageous and strong and selfless on that terrible morning. He faced the devil head on three times to help the victims down from the 78th floor skylobby of Tower 2, and when he got to the lobby he stayed to assist in the orderly evacuation. His body was found on March 19, 2002 with the Firefighters of Ladder 4 FDNY. He too was a firefighter, a volunteer with Empire Hook & Ladder Company #1 in Upper Nyack, NY. His mother, Alison, and I with his two younger sisters are incredibly proud of his actions that morning, and we hope it inspires other young people to become involved as volunteers, either as firefighters, ambulance corps personnel, or in any capacity that your community needs. For that is the true strength of the United States of America. Thank you, and may God bless all of you.— Jefferson Crowther, father of the late Welles Remy Crowther.

Welles gave his life for people he did not even know. His mother, Alison Crowther, said:

I think he was blessed by God, and I think he was surrounded by a protection from God to be able to do what he did that day, and I think that that is — maybe all we can ask of life, is that we live our lives as fully and as beautifully and as completely and as spiritually whole as what Welles did, as he did.

Paige Hope Crowther, Welles younger sister, wrote the following on the 9-11 Heroes site:

Welles was my older brother, my protector. He was an amazing young man and, although our loss was great, I find solace in knowing that in his last moments, he took on the role of being the protector of so many others. He was truly a guardian angel that day, and still is today. He is with me always, and I will forever feel his presence. He is in my thoughts, dreams and prayers everyday and if we pass his heroic story on, in this way, he will live forever.

Jeff Crowther hopes his son’s story will inspire people to become a volunteer firefighter, to give money to the homeless every day like Welles did, to set goals and follow through.

“If Welles’ story helps people to think of others then God bless them, God bless him,” said his father. “He didn’t live long enough to be head of a corporation or do good works or endow a museum. But what he did on September 11, that’s his legacy.”

The Crowthers have established a trust fund that will fuel awards given to high school students who exemplify the type of person their son was, as well as so many others who lost their lives that day.

“Yes, we mourn their loss, but if we only think about what we lost and not what we’ve had, we’ll just die,” Alison said. “So we have to live in the beauty of what their lives were — and who they were as human beings because that’s what we celebrate and that’s what we fill our lives with.”

Tax-deductible contributions in memory of Welles Crowther can be sent to:

The Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust
P.O. Box 780
Nyack, NY 10960

Details can be had from the trust at 106 Birchwood Avenue, Upper Nyack, NY 10960.

TigerHawk, the famous blogger, is Welles Crowther’s cousin. Read TigerHawk’s tribute to his cousin, here.

Read Boston College’s tribute to Welles Crowther, here.

On September 23, 2006 the second annual Welles Remy Crowther Red Bandana Run, a 5K road race, will be held as an annual tribute to Welles Crowther. The race is co-sponsored by the Boston College Volunteer and Service Learning Center and the Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust. The day is designed to bring all levels of runners (and walkers!) together to have fun and raise funds for the Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust. For more information on the race, click here.

Read Winds Of Change’s painful account of what happened on that dreadful day, including a mention of TigerHawk’s post to his cousin, here.

You can leave a message of your own to Welles Remy Crowther, here.

You can view the entire list of contributors to the 2,996 Project here.

Welles Remy Crowther, you are an inspiration to all of us to achieve greatness, to be like an angel unto others, to love others as you love yourself.

“A person can only love according to the degree he knows the object of his love. If he knows a little, he can love a little. And if he knows a lot, he can love a lot.” (Laws of Teshuva 10:6).

Welles Crowther’s acts of herosim elevated deeds of loving kindness to the highest possible ranking among soul-traits. Only some problems have solutions, but all are alleviated by the loving response of those around us.
=====
Here are two more links that I just discovered on Welles Remy Crowther; Fox News just devoted a column to him here, and September11Quilts displays a quilt his grandmother, Jane Ernst Remy, made in Welles’ memory, here.
=====
Alison Crowther wrote to me that a third woman, Tania Head, has now come forward to say that Welles saved her also. See NY Daily News article on 9/7/06.

WFRL: Prophet Zimmytime


The Prophet Zimmy
Slow Train Coming

Sometimes I feel so low-down and disgusted
Can't help but wonder what's happenin' to my companions,

Are they lost or are they found,

have they counted the cost it'll take to bring down
All their earthly principles they're gonna have to abandon?
There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

I had a woman down in Alabama,
She was a backwoods girl, but she sure was realistic,
She said, "Boy, without a doubt, have to quit your mess and straighten out,
You could die down here, be just another accident statistic."
There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

All that foreign oil controlling American soil,
Look around you, it's just bound to make you embarrassed.
Sheiks walkin' around like kings, wearing fancy jewels and nose rings,
Deciding America's future from Amsterdam and to Paris
And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

Man's ego is inflated, his laws are outdated, they don't apply no more,
You can't rely no more to be standin' around waitin'
In the home of the brave, Jefferson turnin' over in his grave,
Fools glorifying themselves, trying to manipulate Satan
And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

Big-time negotiators, false healers and woman haters,
Masters of the bluff and masters of the proposition
But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency,
All non-believers and men stealers talkin' in the name of religion
And there's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

People starving and thirsting, grain elevators are bursting
Oh, you know it costs more to store the food than it do to give it.
They say lose your inhibitions, follow your own ambitions,
They talk about a life of brotherly love, show me someone who knows how to
live it. There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

Well, my baby went to Illinois with some bad-talkin' boy she could destroy
A real suicide case, but there was nothin' I could do to stop it,
I don't care about economy, I don't care about astronomy
But it sure do bother me to see my loved ones turning into puppets,
There's a slow, slow train comin' up around the bend.

9/11: MrsOC: The Morning


Byzantine Chant
Cherubic Hymn - Plagal of 1st Tone
Chanted by Byzantine Master
Professor of Byzantine Music
Mr. George Papanikolaos




The Morning
by MrsOC



I lived in Queens then. I left home early as I always do because I like to get to work before my staff shows up and starts asking difficult questions to which I won't have the answers for several hours. We had just moved the entire staff fifty feet back from the marina side of the gatehouse building to the street side of the same building. We had slightly less room and more windows which meant very little to us except that now instead of looking out over the Hudson we were looking at the World Trade Center.

If the windows had opened, which of course they did not, you could have thrown a rock across the West Side Highway and hit the North Tower and with a bit of effort more you could have hit the American Airlines desk in the front of the South Tower and I often wanted to, but never did. I was at my desk in my office across from the windows but right beside the delivery and processing room. There were 15 guys back there who were all ticket packagers and most of them had been with us since Broadway was a prairie.

Walter was the supervisor in charge. I would have trusted him with my life. Glancing at my computer screen I saw that the phones had cycled on and my agents, some at home, some on the floor were taking calls. Life was normal. At that moment I could not have known it but it was the last time life would be normal for a long long time. It was 8:01 am.

I walked out to the delivery room and said hi to everyone and made my way to the floor to see who was in and who wasn't. I could see the lead agents wandering around the booking floor over the cubicles I saw my Client boss Kevin looking out of his window in his usual not all there way. His father had been a pilot and he had been in the travel industry for 30 years, just like me. We knew all the same people went to all the same parties, got all the same amenities. We had been friends and coworkers for 15 years. It was a normal day.

I went back to my office and checked the service level. At 8:40am we were running at 90% answered in less than 20 seconds. Good that was good. I was about to start working on the service levels for the day before and the briefing for the 10:00am shift when suddenly everything on my desk jumped up into the air and landed back in the same spot it had come from with a jolt. Wham! Being my usual diplomatic self I yelled, “Son of a bitch, not again!”

Having been there for the 1993 bombing I knew that noise very well. Walter and three of his guys came flying out of the back room and into my office-my agents were standing up and looking around their headsets still on saying to people they were talking to most of whom were in the buildings around us “I don't know-can you see anything?”

One of them was off call and she unplugged and walked over to the windows, then another, and another. It hit me that at a terrorist bombing sometime before they had set off a small bomb and when the people went to the windows to see what had happened the big one went off and killed many more. The room was full of people talking to each other I yelled at them to get away from the windows-go to the middle of the office the “ticket prep room NOW” .

Kevin came out of his office and said “It was a commercial aircraft.”

“How the hell did some schmuck fly into the Tower on a clear day?” I asked him.

“Damned if I know.” he said.

The PA system in the building was blaring that we should all remain in the building. In Kevin's office I could see outside there were papers flying everywhere. The Tower was smoking but you couldn't really see the area hit as it was too high up. There were papers and people all over the street moving about. It looked weird. There are never that many people. Something more than the last time had happened.

I crossed the office while my agents complained that I had yelled at them. I remember saying to one of them “If you think that was yelling try screwing around with me now, I'll show you yelling!” Walter took some of my stupider agents into the ticket room and sat them down. He counted to see who was missing.

At 8:45 they should all have been there from 2 shifts. Some were missing. If they were outside we didn't know where and if they were in the Trade Center we sure as hell didn't know where they were now. I called my husband to let him know that I was OK.

He worked almost exactly the same distance from the towers as I did, but on the other side. His office overlooked Trinity Church and Century 21. He said that it was a commercial craft and he didn't think it was an accident.

I said it “had to be, who would do that? It's crazy.”

I was wrong on one count and right on the other.

I called my mother and told her to call my sister the news junkie and tell her we were all right. By then I had the agents back in their seats as they were bored after 10 minutes away from their computers and were wandering back themselves. The Princeton office was calling every 2 minutes telling us to get out because they had televisions and could see what was happening-and we could not.

They knew we were under attack and we thought it was an accident. As I was preparing to shift the calls to Princeton as primary receiver the building jumped again. I walked out of the office and I could see Kevin's head above the cubicles. He didn't say anything and although the PA system was saying to stay in the building. Kevin cocked his head in the direction of the hall leading out and I nodded my head once in reply. We were blowing this taco joint and taking everybody with us.

No mean feat given the assortment of people we had. He wasn't indicating the closest exits but the ones that led to the back of the building were we used to be before they moved us.

I made one last call to Princeton, a call that would make the rounds of the entire company and be laughed about for the whole of the next year-people would tell the story and laugh although it made them feel guilty for laughing. I plugged my headset into an agent desk buzzed the supervisor in Princeton and said “Sherry, if they start to complain that we aren't answering the phones fast enough, tell them we're very very busy.”

It was 9:10am and we were getting out.

I took the lead of the line because Kevin was counting people on the way to the stairs. None of us had ever seen the stairs before or been in the stairwell for that matter but what the heck we weren't getting in the elevators because the numbers were all lit up and they obviously were not operating.

Furthermore the PA was still going on about staying in the building. Yeah, whatever.

The blare of sirens was awful. I am certain that the end of the world will consist of sirens blaring away and paper flying all over the place. The guard at the door to the stairs told me they were only to be used for emergency access and although I can't remember exactly what I said to him I do remember that it contained ever 4, 5, and 7 letter word I have ever known. He got out of the way.

Kevin and I switched at that point and he took the lead I recounted the humans to make sure we hadn't lost anyone-we had every sort of human you can have. A 74 year old Israeli woman dressed to the nines at all times who had been in the army and wanted a gun so she could go up on the roof (in her kid shoes and matching purse) with her perfectly coiffed white hair and Tahari suit to shoot at Arabs.

A three hundred pound diabetic who was as much of a pain in the ass from her dramatics as anything else. One babbling idiot of a secretary who was among us picking up tickets and bitching that she didn't have her sneakers with her, Walter who was all but carrying an otherwise healthy woman down 6 flights of stairs because she was “falling out” all over the place, and our two Indians one of whom was convinced that her next life would be better and the other of whom did not wish to begin her next life just yet.

In all there were 40 agents not including the back room guys and the management people (Kevin and me). When we got to the bottom Kevin tried opening the ground level door but it wasn't moving-Walter and he gave it a shot together and there were flames everywhere.

They closed the door and shouted up to me that we had to go back up.

This might have been alright except that the doors in these stairways are one way. Once you're in you can't get out. Never the less we had no choice so we started back up. Three flights later we were at the cafeteria level and I started banging on the door while everybody else yelled. It sounded like the last scene in The Inferno.

Some kind fool opened the door and we effected our escape through a giant commercial kitchen with gas flames all over the place. Gee thanks. That route took us through the atrium which is the glass structure you have all seen in all the photos with the palm trees. Once out there I looked to the right and realized that the land bridge was gone. Not just damaged-gone.

There was open air where it had been.

We told them to walk down the escalators and for once they didn't argue. Once down the escalators it was a short run to the marina and we felt we were far enough away-because we still didn't understand what was happening.

Kevin was pushing them on to the ferry that goes to Jersey City as fast as he could and others had started walking toward uptown. I had an odd idea that my husband, less than a block away would make it down here or I would make it up there. It was not a particularly sane idea.

I watched all my agents getting on boats and walking away. One of them begged me to go with her to Jersey City-she lived there we could get in touch with my husband-I thanked her and said no he was a block away. I'll find him.

“Go-get on the boat-they're starting to bring wounded you have to go now.” She went.

There were curiously few wounded in fact and I was starting to wonder about that. But in any case I was leaning against the fence at the marina and the man standing next to me was from one of the other buildings. I had seen him around. In downtown Manhattan everybody talks to everybody anyway. Don't believe what they've told you about New York. You can talk to anyone who isn't already talking to the voices in his head and they will answer you.

The smoke was unreal swirling skyward.

We couldn't see the bottom of the buildings but the fire (we thought) was all at the top anyway. I pointed to the transmission tower and said “If that thing comes down are we far enough away?” He shuddered a bit and turned to me “Honey, if that thing comes down, Texas won't be far enough away!”

On the word 'away' the most incredibly loud screeching soul rending sound surrounded us. It was a combination of all the souls in hell and an explosion of a size unimaginably large. The building screamed and began to fall.

My feet decided to go in opposite directions. I began to run and was instantly thrown to the ground. Several sets of feet ran up my legs across my back and somehow skipped my head to be replaced by more feet. Suddenly I felt hands under my arms I was on my feet or rather I was off my feet and being carried along. On my right was a strong tall man and on my left a tiny woman no bigger than I who were carrying me to the edge of the crowd.

When we got to grass over by the Mercantile building they let me down. I looked back and one of the towers was gone. I had no idea what had happened, the people who had carried me were gone too. I was sitting on the grass and I began to take stock of what was broken missing or bleeding. My elbows were both bleeding, my knees were scraped and my shirt was torn. OK that is not bad considering.

My ears were ringing from the sound the building had made but with all the sirens and the general panic around me that wasn't much. Having done my own triage and decided that I wasn't in bad shape I stood up and decided to walk to my son's office on 14th street and 7th avenue. I had lived in New York all my life and worked in World Financial Center for 13 years, in my head 14th Street was 14 blocks away and 7th Avenue was 3 blocks away.

These were not true facts either.

But first I wanted to get to the old Telco Building next to Trinity Church, where my husband worked, certain that he would still be there. It is clear now that I was in shock but humans are very adaptable creatures.

I could hear my father's voice in the back of my head saying “Walk with purpose, put one foot in front of the other and just keep going.” Dad was military, he would know what to do. So I did. The fact that dad had been dead since 1974 didn't have any bearing on the quality of his advice.

The first time the policeman stopped me he looked into my eyes and said, “Mam, you can't go up there.” He was very calm and as I was looking into the third button of his shirt, very tall, I said “oh yes officer, I'm so sorry I lost my sense of direction.” It would have been truer to say I had lost my mind.

He turned me around and I walked away as though I were going to keep going. As soon as I didn't see him anymore I retraced my steps a few feet away and the giant paw once again descended upon my shoulder, “Mam, you can't go that way.”

“Oh yes officer, I'm sorry.”

The third time he caught me he looked into my eyes and said “The next time I see you trying to go toward the Towers I am going to throw you into the Hudson, there are rats in the Hudson.”

Now that I could understand.

I started what would turn out to be a two hour journey to 14th Street. It was a beautiful but hot day. I kept wiping sweat from my face and pushing my hair back. As I walked along the water people I would pass looked at me as though I were carrying my head under my arm. I thought to myself, “Really, people are so rude, they expect you to look your best under these conditions?”

Fighter jets were finally above us, but I couldn't tell who they belonged to.

Maybe we were about to be strafed. I mean, what the hell the rest of the day hadn't gone that well. I turned around several times to see the building, as though it would be back in place and this would all be some awful nightmare that I could awaken from and everything would be as it was before. At one point I looked back and I saw someone in a pink and white striped shirt head down, one leg flexed spinning slowly down from the smoke belching window like a hellish barber pole spinning.


There were two young girls from the high school I guess standing in front of me with their backs to the tower, one had tears streaming down her face like a river the other was saying over and over “my cell phone won't work, I can't reach my mom.”

I decided they were not going to see or remember that site, that barber pole from hell if I could help it. I took one under each arm and said in my best calm grown up voice “none of the cell phones are working. Come with me we are going to one of the ambulances”

I hadn't even noticed them before but there were ambulances on the street-with their back doors open-there was no one to save, that hadn't hit me yet. Either you were dead or you walked away.

I took them to the ambulance and I turned back to the buildings. I arrived below the marina just in time for the second building to come down. This time I knew better. I got on the ground and rolled under a bench.

The second tower seemed faster for some reason. Time had stopped having any meaning. Once that tower was down there was no point in waiting for my husband. He had been in two militaries, the Irish Army and the American Air Force. If every anyone had training in terrorism it was him.

I started for my son's office in earnest. The jets were scrambling over our heads at this point almost non stop. I figured if they were going to strafe us they would have done it by now. A man stopped me and in a half hysterical voice said “They're coming to help us.”

Now just exactly what he thought they were going to help us with was beyond me, but I knew one thing for sure, I wasn't going anywhere near the tunnel to Jersey. If I were blowing up New York after the Trade Center, when everyone is running away full tilt boogie I'm going to mess up the tunnels.

I tried heading up a cross street but it was blocked off. So I zigged to the left and got one more block toward what I perceived to be 7th Avenue. The streets were full of ghost like figures covered in ash which made them look like they were painted with grey paint. I kept walking.

My father's voice reminding me to “Just put one foot in front of the other. Again, one in front of the other.” I wanted water. I am from NY I assumed that they would charge me $5.00 or better for it. The Indian behind the counter backed away from me and said “No no-you take the water. No money-take the water!”

I checked under my arm to see if I was indeed carrying my own head.

The jets screamed overhead every few minutes and each time I dove for cover.

Considering that I was in an area of town at least 200 years old it wasn't a great place to hide. I ducked into a print shop on Reade street the Chinese man said get under the desk. The Desk? What the hell will a desk do?

I kept right on going.


All along the way there were rumors and horrible stories about the Pentagon being bombed, the White House the Congress. I dismissed most of it, but I stopped at cars and vans with their doors open to listen to their radios.

Thus far I had made every possible mistake you can make at a site where terrorism is happening. Eventually I had found 14th Street and curiously I had twice found 7th Avenue although I did not remember there having been two 7th Avenues before. People had still been backing away from me and I was starting to get pissy about it. But I was too tired to answer back.

When I finally located my son's office building I walked in and the security guard went all round eyed and as I said “My son works here” he said “Yes, mam, you go on up.”

Before they had always been a royal pain in the ass ~ I chalked it up to the circumstances. I got off at his floor and one of the salesmen was standing there. He looked at me with that same round eyed horror and said “Where did you come from?” I answered “I think it was hell, where's my son?”

“In his office-he's in his office looking for you.” I walked back there and it was chaos. There were 20 people on phones trying to reach people they knew on downtown streets so they could go over and look for friends. None of the phones were actually working in the downtown area which made matters worse. My son turned around and screamed. There's something about a guy that big (6'3”) screaming that is unnerving. “How did you get here?” “I walked” , “”She walked!!!” He was crying. I was appalled.

Why was he crying? It turned out that he had been in a closed door meeting and someone had burst in and told him that the World Financial Center had taken a 747 and there were no survivors. Which, if a 747 had hit the Financial Center there wouldn't have been. He had been hysterically trying to get a bead on me every since.

His boss was a woman. This was lucky because she took me into the ladies room and I got my first look at what people had been recoiling from. My bleeding elbow had dripped down my arm and each time I pushed my hair back it became more matted with blood mixed with ash. My face which was covered in some gray-black greasy soot was also streaked with blood as was my shirt, my neck appeared to be about to bleed out all on its own.

My knees were scraped and my ripped pants were soaked with blood. My mouth was bleeding and the water I had been drinking had carried some of the blood down the sides of my mouth. In short I looked like Alice Cooper on a bad day.

100 paper towels later I was cleaned up considerably. But I didn't find Timmy for several hours. His brother kept calling him on his cell until he found him, sitting in a park. When the first tower went down he told me, he thought to himself “If she isn't out of there she's dead. And I know she won't leave those agents until they are all out.” He assumed I was dead.

People don't realize how lucky I am.

~ MrsOC




Romanian Orthodox Byzantine Chant
Mărimuri, glas 1 :
Magnifications to Christ and the Holy Cross, Tone 1