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Month: September 2010

Doctor Zero: “Hopelessness and Stasis”

Doctor Zero: “Hopelessness and Stasis”

The soulful stylings of Doctor Zero, on the President’s September 20, 2010 Townhall Meeting in Washington D.C.

Responding to a question about the perception of business leaders that his policies are hostile toward them, Obama field tested a new meme about how the recession has really been over for a year:

Well, first of all, even though economists may say that the recession officially ended last year, obviously for the millions of people who are still out of work, people who have seen their home values decline, people who are struggling to pay the bills day to day, it’s still very real for them.

And I think we have to go back to what was happening when I was first sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. We went through the worst recession since the Great Depression. Nothing has come close. In fact, if you look at the consequences of the recession in the ‘80s, the recession in the ‘90s, and the recession in 2001, and you combine all three of those, it still wasn’t as bad as this recession that we went through.

Translation: Experts say we’re all being irrational.  The recession’s been over for a year!  We should stop being such ingrates to the dazzling heroes who saved us from the Bush Great Depression, and get back to our assigned duties of creating jobs and pumping out tax revenue.  By next week, this meme will go swirling down the memory hole, since it will dawn on Obama that he’s insisting the recession ended before he and his Congressional accomplices swindled us out of that trillion-dollar “stimulus.”

The President has a problem with allowing people to keep what they have earned. The President’s considered position is that it is all well and good to spend $800 billion dollars, that our children will have to pay back, on a stimulus package whose effectiveness is clearly in doubt, but it is criminal to allow citizens to keep $700 billion dollars of their own wealth. Got it!

“Future generations?”  You mean the kids who will be born into bankruptcy because of your irresponsible spending, Mr. President?  The truth is that Obama’s policies are entirely based on the concept of robbing future generations blind, to pay off current constituencies and expand government power.  There are intravenous tubes reaching into the future to suck blood from the next generation for the nourishment of ObamaCare.  Cap-and-trade energy policies will transform the mobility we take for granted into bedtime stories, which the children of 2020 will be told by candle light.  No President has cared less about the freedom and prosperity of future generations than Barack Obama.

Doc Zero gives me the vapors.

Keith Hennessey Details Ground Zero and the Bullhorn

Keith Hennessey Details Ground Zero and the Bullhorn

Keith Hennessey reports about President George W. Bush visiting Ground Zero, on September 14, 2001, the story behind the remarkable spontaneity,  the words that helped to fortify the rescuers, comfort the grieving, and reaffirm Americans’ common faith in each other.

As the President talked to them, expressing gratitude, consoling some, and encouraging all, you could feel the strength and energy rising.  He stepped up on the ruins of the fire engine, was handed the bullhorn, and began to speak.  From the other side of Ground Zero, where a large number of the emergency responders had gathered, someone yelled “We can’t hear you!”  The President’s response was from his heart, totally unscripted, and everyone felt he power of his words.  The site literally erupted with cheers, it was incredible and energized and lifted those working at Ground Zero and those of us traveling with the President.  In the end, all of us, I think the President included, left with a renewed energy and strength.  Those men and women inspired all of us to work hard and do all that we could to support the President as he worked to protect our Nation.  What we came to provide to them, they actually gave to us.

Remembering Edward F. Geraghty

Remembering Edward F. Geraghty

Battalion Chief Edward F. Geraghty, NYFD, was 45 years old on September 11, 2001. We was born in 1953. He was survived by his wife Mary, his sons Connor, James, and Colin, his mother Norma, his father retired NYFD Capt. Jim Geraghty, brothers Steve, Tim, sisters Lynn Cannata, Janet Baronian, Maureen Perez, and Collen Lopez.

Edward’s son Conor has been behind an effort to name September 11th National Firefighters’ Day.

His wife, Mary noted his eternal optimism:

“He would always say, ‘Life doesn’t get any better than this.'”

Edward Geraghty was a hero walking among us. More significantly, he was a hero to his family, and his community. Please take time to remember the unassuming grace of Edward Geraghty, and the many men and women like him.

A portrait article about Edward appears at the New York Times.

You can visit Edward’s memorial page here

Remembering Joan McConnell Cullinan

Remembering Joan McConnell Cullinan

Joan McConnell Cullinan was born August 12, 1954 and was 47 years old on September 11, 2001. She worked at Cantor Fitzgerald, as assistant to the President and lived in Scarsdale, New York. She was survived by her Husband Tom, stepsons John and Will, her Mother Bee Savage Joudzevich, her sisters Blaise and Brenda, and nieces Caitlin and Allison.

Joan had completed her final course work in July 2001 for her B.A. degree from Pace University as a Psychology Major.

From the In Memoriam Online Network:

She and her husband were married in the summer of 2000, and they had just begun filling out paperwork to try to adopt a child from China. She had also sent out applications to graduate schools to pursue a degree in clinical social work.

You can visit Joan’s page here

Many comments cite Joan’s deep friendship with her sisters, and how she was a cherished mentor to numerous women she worked with throughout her career.

Today, let us remember the remarkable dignity and spirit of Joan’s all too short life.

Gentle Rest, Joan.

Remembering James Trentini

Remembering James Trentini

James Trentini, of Rowley, Massachusetts, was a retired teacher and assistant principal. He died as a passenger on Flight 11 on September 11, 2001. Also lost with him on that sad day, and equally devastating to his family, friends, and community, was his beloved wife Mary. He was born May 24th, 1936, and was 65 years old at the time of his passing.

James touched the lives of so many people (young people specifically, as a teacher) that it is incalculable to measure the impact he made upon his community, and the world. Every child he taught and each of their descendants will have been touched by his guiding hand, after a fashion. Many of his former students have expressed that in James, they saw someone who could see the potential in each of them, and was eager to help each of them realize it.

James coached football and track. He was an active member of the American Cancer Society.

James was survived by his children Patti Trentini, Paige Landry, Pamela Trentini, and Jimmy Trentini, as well as his grandchildren Albert Landry, Parker, Payton and Piper Paris.

James left behind five sisters:  Mary Luciano, Lorraine Egan, Patricia Malatesta, Della Spadafora, and Bernice Barletta.

You can see the questbook for James. Also visit the 9-11 victims tribute page for James. Prepare yourselves to be overwhelmed and humbled by the impact of one very good man on the world.

Remembering Louise A. Lynch

Remembering Louise A. Lynch

Louise A Lynch. Photo provided by CNN

UPDATED From September 11, 2009

I was assigned to remember Louise A. Lynch as a participant in Project 2996.

I am honored, and very privileged to do so.

Sadly, I discovered that there wasn’t much public information available about Louise. And that is a tragedy, because, from all accounts, hers was truly a life well lived.

Louise was 58 years old on September 11, 2001. She was an employee of Marsh & McLennan in the World Trade Center. She lived in Amityville, NY

A posting by her family at the Marsh & McLennan memorial site speaks volumes about the impact that Louise had on her family:

“the memory of Louise has not diminished in her small family circle. Her presence is still strong in our lives and her influence is felt on many occasions. Her spirit lives on in the way we cherish the little things in life that make us laugh and keep us together. Louise taught us all a lesson in every day courage and dedication to what was her only treasure; her family”

I’ve found that she had a daughter Maria, whom she adored, and I’ve read a few postings from her Nephew, John Bennett, who mentioned that she enjoyed the Neil Diamond song Forever In Blue Jeans. John also notes that she prepared numerous feasts that she loved to share.

Her co-workers remarked on how much they enjoyed working with her, and how over-the-top helpful she was to one and all.

A small tribute to Louise can be found here

Please take some time today for a special thought for Louise Lynch, and remember, that everyone has the opportunity to make a special significant contribution to the world, just in the kindness and thoughtfulness we show to each other, from Louise’s example. Her courage, strength and uncommon grace should be treasured by one and all.

A single life lost. The value and joy that it contained and was shared by all that knew her. Immeasurable.

God Bless you Louise. Rest well.

UPDATED 09/11/10:

I’ve found a small photo of Louise from CNN. I’ve included it here and updated the post.

Also, I had a comment from Louise’s daughter Maria last year on September 11th, after she googled her mother’s name, and found this post. I cannot possibly convey how honored I was that Maria left a remark, and further, would like to note that Maria indicated that the street that her parents resided on for 30 years in Amityville, NY,  was named for Louise last year, due to Maria’s effort to honor her mother: Louise A. Lynch Memorial Lane.

UPDATED 09/09/2016:

Had to make a photo from a Google Street View. This day will always remind me of the sweet woman I’ve never met, from Amityville NY.

Louse A Lynch Memorial Parkway

You shouldn’t want to forget

You shouldn’t want to forget

BUMPED: From September 10, 2009

I know exactly where I was at when I first heard that an aircraft had crashed into the World Trade Center.

It was right before 6:00AM Pacific Daylight Time, and I was listening to The Rise Guys on Sports 1140 in Sacramento. I was in the middle of of my 30 plus mile commute from El Dorado Hills, and I was thinking I was late.

I was late because we were not getting our usual amount of sleep. Our first born had arrived at the end of June, and we  were acclimating to her new schedule.

In fact, everything was new to us. After 15 years of marriage, we had just welcomed our first child, and the world was brand new to us again, like it never had been before. We’ve always been pretty optimistic, but there just seemed to be unlimited potential in front of us as we took our first tentative steps into parenthood.

My Child Bride was on maternity leave, and I was on my way into work when Whitey Gleason reported, somewhat doubtingly, that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center.

Our office had a rather strict rule about personal items at our desks, and radios were strictly prohibited. I was granted some leeway, as I frequently worked early morning or late evenings on a plethora of IT projects. Still, not wanting to abuse my privilege, I left the radio off.

And then, other employees started arriving and the tales grew grimmer by the minute. A second plane? The Pentagon? Hijackings? What the hell?

The Agency owner arrived later and instructed us – if you have a radio, turn it on now. We all checked in with different stations, and the news was confusing, but consistent.

It had finally happened. They did it here.

Thousands of Americans – just going to work, or traveling across the country. Killed. Savagely. Without warning. Except for the years of warnings that had gone ignored. Or answered with a couple of cruise missiles, lobbed into the wilds, the way most people would swat at a bug

By the time I arrived home that afternoon, my 2 month old Daughter was sleeping in her crib. My Wife and I embraced, wordlessly, tears in her by now very red eyes. Who knew what would come tomorrow? Or next week? What sort of savagery would our country fall prey to in my young daughter’s very first years?

Eight years later, and it seems that the date is almost an asterisk. ‘Oh, yeah… that‘.

It hurts to remember. It’s painful.

But we need to remember. We cannot wash away that pain. We need to hold on to it. It needs to burn and fester, because the work before us is so immense.

We won World War Two in a few years. But we were fighting countries, not anonymous individuals spread across the globe, plotting to visit terror upon us. Easily defined targets are one thing – this is another. This will not be over for decades. And we need to see it through.

George W. Bush wasn’t really my guy in 2000. Sure, he was my guy compared to Al Gore. Whatever his other errors, I, for one, am grateful that it was he that day, at that time. I doubt that what lay before him was something that he or his advisors had contemplated, at least to the degree that they now faced. I saw him grow into the crisis that confronted him. And he was doggedly resolute. What he said later to those firefighters in New York with the bullhorn, were probably the most inspiring words in the face of a crisis that I think I have ever heard.

So look at the images from that day. Listen to those voices. Listen to see if you can hear the cries of those innocents that were silenced that horrible day. They are calling to each of us.

Remember what no one will show you now. People confronted with an inferno so hellish, that they could rationalize leaping out of an 80th floor window as a better option?

Remember what it felt like.

The helplessness.

The horror.

The loss.

The fear.

Then later:

The anger.

The utter rage.

Don’t look away.

Don’t forget.

You shouldn’t want to forget.