Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Two Pools, Four Towers

It's a bright September morning here in central Minnesota. A school bus went by a few minutes ago.

Like most Americans, folks here are at work, sitting in classrooms, driving or walking, sitting or standing. Life goes on pretty much as it did before 9/11.

Living in the Real World

This isn't Brigadoon, of course, an idyllic place cut off from a changing world.

Ash Street, where I live, is wider now. A young family moved in across the street. They're Euro-Americans; but other new, and old, neighbors have ancestral roots in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Some folks around here seem to assume that Muslims are a particularly dangerous sort of foreigner. Others are equally diligent in expressing shock and horror at the enormities of American aggression.

Me? I'm delighted that folks are still trying to break into America. When my native land stops attracting people with get-up-and-go from around the world, we'll be in serious trouble.

Past and Present

(From Associated Press, via, used w/o permission.)

Names of people killed in New York City, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, are being read. I think it's fitting to remember the dead; and honor those who serve in America's emergency response services, and the military.

Remembering the past is prudent. So is keeping up with the present.

The Middle East is still far from quiet. Some autocrats are still around. Some countries, like Libya and Egypt, have traded old-school rulers for the troubles that come from developing new governments. I hope they are successful.

Some folks are still trying to force the rest of us into their antique world view:
It's not that simple, of course. Territorial, economic, and other issues keep almost everything involving humans from being "simple."

Looking Ahead

I was born in the Truman administration, and remember the 'good old days' of the gray flannel suit. I was one of those 'crazy college kids' who didn't want a 'successful career.'

I wanted to change the world. My generation made mistakes, some of them appalling. But we also changed America from a nation of WASPs and WASP wannabes to the more obviously cosmopolitan country we have today.

Some folks still yearn for the days when Harper Valley PTAs and Boston Brahmins set the tone, and that's almost another topic.

The 9/11 attack changed Manhattan's skyline, but did not change the way NewYork City or America works: not the basics.

While wreckage from the attack was being cleared away and repairs made to the city's infrastructure, architects and city planners were wrangling over what sort of buildings should replace the old World Trade Center.

Pools lie where the twin towers used to be, part of a memorial. Most of the new World Trade Center's offices will be in four towers. Tenants like the Vantone China Center and Condé Nast expect to move in this coming December, or maybe early 2014.

There's a bit of Americana built into One World Trade Center. It's the tallest building in the western hemisphere: 1776 feet high.

(From , via CNN, used w/o permission.)
"One World Trade Center rises above the lower Manhattan skyline in New York. Twelve years after terrorists destroyed the old World Trade Center, the new World Trade Center is becoming a reality in 2013...."

(From World Trade Center, used w/o permission)

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.