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1  Messages / Causes & Activism / Eight GOP State Senators In Wisconsin Can Be Recalled Right Now on: February 20, 2011, 01:12:56 am
Eight GOP State Senators In Wisconsin Can Be Recalled Right Now; Gov. Walker Can Be Recalled In January

All this week, thousands of protesters have stormed the Wisconsin capitol in opposition to Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) plan to cut public employee pay and weaken or eliminate state workers’ collective bargaining rights. Many of them chanted “recall Walker,” as these protesters in Madison did Tuesday:

Yet Walker, who cannot be recalled from office until next January, is not the only official who could be the subject of a recall election. Under Wisconsin election law, any elected official may be recalled from office:

    (a) The qualified electors of the state, of any county, city, village, or town, of any congressional, legislative, judicial, town sanitary, or school district, or of any prosecutorial unit may petition for the recall of any incumbent elective official by filing a petition with the same official or agency with whom nomination papers or declarations of candidacy for the office are filed demanding the recall of the officeholder.

    (b) Except as provided in par. (c), a petition for recall of an officer shall be signed by electors equal to at least 25% of the vote cast for the office of governor at the last election within the same district or territory as that of the officeholder being recalled. . . .

    (s) No petition for recall of an officer may be offered for filing prior to the expiration of one year after commencement of the term of office for which the officer is elected.

Because the recall statute allows elected officials to serve for a full year before they are subject to recall, Walker himself is immune until January of 2012. Eight of Walker’s Republican allies in the state senate have served at least one year of their current term, however, and thus are eligible for a recall petition right now. If just three of these Republicans were to be replaced with Democrats, the state senate would flip to a Democratic-majority body.

The eight Republicans who can be recalled right now are:

    * Robert Cowles
    * Alberta Darling
    * Sheila Harsdorf
    * Luther Olsen
    * Randy Hopper
    * Glenn Grothman
    * Mary Lazich
    * Dan Kapanke


When next January rolls around, a little over 500,000 petition signatures will be necessary to trigger a recall election for Gov. Walker.
Update An e-mailer asks how many signatures are required to trigger a recall election for an individual senator. The exact number will vary by district according to how many people cast a vote for governor in that district, but if you divide the approximately 500,000 signatures needed to recall Walker by the 33 senate districts, it adds up to between 15,000-16,000 signatures per senator.

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/18/wisconsin-recall/
2  September 11th, 2001 / the World Trade Center Remembered / Re: Twin Towers Bulletins on: February 09, 2011, 01:23:16 pm
3  September 11th, 2001 / the World Trade Center Remembered / Re: Twin Towers Bulletins on: February 09, 2011, 01:22:10 pm
1/30/11 — “The Sounds of Silence…” It was announced this week that Jon Stewart has joined the board of the National September 11th Memorial & Museum. Stewart was instrumental in bringing attention to the languishing 9/11 First Responders Bill, for which we should all be grateful. But we cannot help but be concerned that a voice that has been fearless in exposing official arrogance and misconduct may now start pulling his punches.

We hope not. If anyone is above getting sucked into Bloomberg’s orbit, it’s Jon Stewart, who pointed out in an interview in the fall with Rachel Maddow on MSNBC that the problems in our country are not a matter of right vs. left, but of “corruption and not corruption.” But the credit he is due for embarrassing lawmakers who were ready to defeat the James Zadroga Act into doing the right thing, doesn’t change the fact that it was years past due. If all it took was a spotlight, better late than never, but in the meantime, years of suffering and hardship were borne by those who should not have had to ask twice for help.

Now that our debt to the first responders is finally going to be paid, it does not remove the black mark that years of default left on our nation’s credit report. But it is a giant step in the right direction. Another tremendous debt we owe is to insist on moving the final resting place for those who were killed on 9/11 out of a dump. That is another example of vital information that has been kept out of the nation’s bloodstream. WTC Families for Proper Burial fought all the way to the Supreme Court to remedy the insult of leaving what remained of the Trade Center and the 9/11 victims in a landfill. But Michael Bloomberg has a right to be small-minded and opinionated. The courts can’t do anything about that. They would have a much better chance of making their case before the court of public opinion instead — and still can.

The victims’ families suggested remedies that included moving the tons of WTC “debris” to a spot elsewhere on Staten Island — they weren’t asking for the moon. After all, the site was cleared months ahead of time — at a tremendous savings. It is only right that a small portion of the money workers saved would be available to correct something so indecent. In any case, the price tag does not always trump everything else — which Michael Bloomberg must believe since he is backing a billion-dollar memorial, that many 9/11 families find disturbing and inappropriate, when a far more uplifting memorial would cost a fraction as much.

The media has often obliged officials by mischaracterizing the victims’ families to take the heat off themselves. But this travesty is particularly egregious. If it really doesn’t matter where people are buried, as Michael-I’m-giving-my-body-to-science-Bloomberg apparently believes, then there is no reason for anymore cemeteries – an unmarked dumpster should do. But most of us don’t share his care-less philosophy and would be revolted to learn that under the topsoil of the now-closed Fresh Kills dump, mixed in with the garbage, is the DNA of our countrymen who died horrible deaths only because they were Americans.

Which brings us to the inevitable corollary to Ground Zero: Just imagine how much different the landscape at the site would be today if only Jon Stewart and others in the media had put a klieg light on the World Trade Center instead of leaving David Shuster to do the heavy-lifting alone. How can the media spend hour after hour debating health care and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” but never give the debate on Ground Zero a hearing? It is much easier to repair a bad bill, than it is to correct a bad building. All we have ever asked for is due diligence and it is certainly not too late to subject the current plan to that.

If officials had their reasons for defeating the will of the people back in 2002, those reasons had evaporated by 2005, when “Twin Towers II” was first brought to the public’s attention. And there was certainly no justification in 2008, when Chris Ward chose to ignore the superior claims of “Twin Towers II.” But regardless of what officials were up to, where was the media? And where are they now?

The countdown to the tenth anniversary of the attacks has begun. The first of the 10th anniversary tributes, “”Rebirth,” just premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The documentaries and publications to follow will give important perspective to our still searing pain – but how will self-respecting journalists and filmmakers explain the deafening silence surrounding the movement to rebuild what the People Want, New York needs, and America deserves?

One person should not be able to get away with undermining the aspiration of millions of people, just because he does not share their hopes. No doubt the mayor thinks that he is doing what is best for the people, but when he is wrong there is no one willing to tell him so. We have been told, off-the-record, by everyone from regularly published journalists to senior Congressional staffers, that no one wants to cross Michael Bloomberg. And that has played an incalculably decisive role in defeating the will of the people for the World Trade Center.

The defining face-off that is now taking place over the treasured Central Park landmark, Tavern on the Green, could shed a lot of light on the struggle for Ground Zero. Once again, Donald Trump has come forward with a vision to bring a legendary part of the city back to life, by making the shuttered restaurant — which was the second-highest-grossing restaurant when Windows on the World was the first — better than ever. And once again, Mayor Bloomberg is playing the spoiler.

That prompted a great fan of the Twin Towers to write in “BLOOMBERG STARS IN ‘HONEY, I SHRUNK (THE SOUL 0F) NEW YORK CITY:’”

“A battle may be brewing between billionaire heavyweights Mike Bloomberg and Donald Trump over their divergent vision for the former ‘landmark New York restaurant and watering hole of the rich and famous’ known as Tavern on the Green. This is, however, not the first issue over which these two titans have clashed… Say what you will about Donald Trump but every time politicians have reminded us what can’t be done and exhibit a serious lack of the ‘vision thing’ Donald Trump reminds what can be done, what should be done and why someone should just maybe give him the damn keys and get out of the way.”

Mayor Bloomberg: Thanks for “311″ but please stop doing our thinking for us. That’s not your place. New Yorkers know what they like. Try asking for a change.

Mr. Trump: Don’t cave in to the Bloomberg machine. The people are counting on you…

4  September 11th, 2001 / the World Trade Center Remembered / Re: Twin Towers Bulletins on: February 09, 2011, 01:20:12 pm
1/26/11 — “Coming Full Circle…” We have been receiving a lot of calls and emails asking what the chances are that we will ever see the Twin Towers back where they belong. To be clear, we at the Twin Towers Alliance have always believed that where they truly belong is exactly where they stood when thousands of people walked through their doors, never to walk out again — standing tall beside a fitting memorial. And if only Governor George Pataki had led, instead of pandering, that is where they would be today. He, and every Governor since, has actually had the executive power to correct a terrible error in judgment — once our national concussion cleared — if they had had the courage and vision to admit the mistakes.

One thing we’ve learned over the past five years of relentless effort is that not only do politicians cover up their own [mistakes], but they apparently feel obliged to cover up each other’s as well, while the public is left out in the cold. A recent comment on the petition expressed the current situation perfectly: “I don’t want to look down from the new WTC and be forever reminded of a sick past.” Fighting Michael Bloomberg’s memorial was not winnable, because there are too many PR dollars manipulating the outcome. But restoring the familiar face of New York — instead of making the world look at the results of botched plastic surgery — is winnable. And that would be the most inspiring memorial of all.

Restoring the skyline with state-of-the-art towers never required going back to the beginning, as officials knowingly tried to misrepresent. That is what the fully designed “Twin Towers II” plan by structural engineer Kenneth Gardner and the late Herbert Belton, AIA, offered. When Ken Gardiner and the directors of the TTA spent the better part of an hour in September, 2008, in the office of Port Authority Director Christopher Ward, it seemed that he was going to keep his word to look into the claims that a transition to the plan the American people much prefer would save billions of dollars and years of time.

If he had done what he said he would do, when the World Trade Center was nothing but contracts and promises — as it was his duty to do — he would have discovered those claims were true. But that would have been inconvenient and would have involved admitting that mistakes were made, which is against their code of omerta.

So where do things stand now that the Freedom Tower is more than halfway up? Over the weekend we received the following message from Alex Davison, a supporter who last summer updated many of the “Twin Towers II” graphics to reflect the newer facade:

“I have been supporting this movement since the minute the North Tower fell. I’ve tried to help in all the ways I can. For example, I made all of those images for you a few months ago. But I’m beginning to wonder (and I know I’m not alone here) if it is possible anymore. One World Trade Center is almost finished, and I don’t think the PA is listening anymore. I refuse to accept the notion that building the twins in New Jersey is an acceptable alternative. If you can, please tell me what you plan to do in the coming months and years.”

We don’t know when the Port Authority has ever listened, but they are not quite as all-powerful as it may seem. We are working on “Full Circle” — our answer to Alex and all who have hoped to see America’s Skyline made whole — which will be posted at the top of the Home page when it is complete. Anyone who wants to see it develop will find it here. Just bear in mind that it may change quite a bit before it is posted. It is being developed at the same time that we are pursuing the LMDC Freedom of Information requests, reaching out to the Governors, and finalizing our book to Washington, which we have been adding to for the past year, and which we will soon launch as the consummation of all we have been doing.

The Twin Towers Alliance campaign to rebuild the Towers is definitely coming to an end. And the mission of the Twin Towers Alliance Foundation is beginning. Because whether the Towers are rebuilt or if they are not, the breakdown in the Social Contract that allowed things to go so wrong has to be diligently examined, understood, and repaired. The very fact that in this tenth anniversary year the documentaries have started and yet there is still no honest inquiry into what happened to rob people of the World Trade Center they wanted, needed, and deserved is a clear warning that something is very wrong.

Meanwhile, either our final maneuvers are going to register and grab the nation’s attention, or not. But anyone who thinks that such a clear-cut case of right overcoming might doesn’t have a chance is misguided. It was reported this week that “New York State and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey are both grappling with severe financial problems, but selling off One World Trade Center to bail them out would be a mistake, according to Port Authority executive director Christopher Ward.”

That may be true, but we finally have two dynamic and savvy Governors who could suddenly wake up to the fact that selling the entire property to the people would do wonders for the two states and be a tremdous net-gain for the country as a whole. If they recognize that soon enough, we could cap the Freedom Tower while it would still blend into the downtown skyline, before it really starts to resemble a tombstone. (Click on the link and give it time to download.)

A day after a Reuters puff piece announced that “Selling One World Trade Center not an option,” the Port Authority had its credit outlook cut to negative from stable by Moody’s Investors Service. “The biggest mistake we would make now would be to sell short now — to think that we could make up either the state’s financial difficulties or the Port Authority’s,” according to Christopher Ward. “This has to be an asset that returns value to the Port Authority for years to come,” he added. But try as they may to inflate their prospects, the fundamentals are against them. Whatever their two or possibly three towers could return pales beside the return-on-investment that would be realized by building new Twin Towers. That could be easily established.

How ironic that Ward warns against selling the Freedom Tower short, while his version of the World Trade Center is selling our whole country short. But he is out of step with the bipartisan mood that was captured at the end of last night’s State-of-the-Union address. As the President reminded us: “We Do Big Things” — and we’ll never get a better chance to prove it.



5  September 11th, 2001 / the World Trade Center Remembered / Re: Twin Towers Bulletins on: February 09, 2011, 01:19:26 pm
1/17/11 — “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda…” Martin Luther King believed that “the time is always right to do what is right.” In other words: It’s Never Too Late To Do The Right Thing…” Dr. King’s life was a prime example of what we can achieve when we know that what we are striving for is right. Big dreams cannot be judged by how “realistic” they may seem, but how much in alignment they are with our values.

No one knows for sure what the future holds, but what we do know is that the rightness of rebuilding the Towers has been evident to most people — at home and abroad — from the beginning. So we are on solid ground, while those who are pushing the current plan are not.

We have just started sending out Freedom of Information requests, but a pattern of obstruction and defiance is already obvious. If they were proud of their actions, officials would lose no time disclosing what we have asked for — but more on that soon.

Regardless of what happens in the future, the opportunity officials squandered to bring healing and inspiration to a wounded world is hard to fathom. The great leaders our country has produced have had their flaws, but what they all had in common with MLK was courage.



1/1/11 — “HAPPY NEW YEAR…” We wish all friends of the Twin Towers a very happy 2011. People may think that we are delusional to believe that this year will hold dramatic changes for the WTC, but believe it we do. Not because of vague hunches or wishful thinking, but because we have faith that our system of government will reward dedicated and well-informed efforts and that officials will come to see the magnitude of the mistake they are making.

Americans are used to vain politicians wasting massive amounts of money. But when did “because they got away with it” become an acceptable reason for doing anything, let alone for building the most significant construction project in American history? Fortunately, one thing officials can be trusted to do is look out for their own best interests and we believe that a convergence of interests is coming.

If those who are currently celebrating the halfway mark of the Freedom Tower only knew the whole story, they would be appalled, they would be ashamed, and they would be angry. When all the facts are considered, what is happening at the Trade Center makes no objective sense – until corruption is factored in.

The Freedom Tower is a giant middle-finger salute to the American people, and the higher it goes, the more offensive and obnoxious it becomes, because it is being built on a lie. What is most alarming is that those natural enemies – politicians and the press – have joined forces to present a blatantly false picture at Ground Zero. If they can do that there, what would stop them from doing it wherever they please?

So what happens when the facts about the ill-conceived project are known — we’ll just keep building it anyway? Not likely. If the media will honestly look at the project and report what they find, then at the very least the people will demand to know what it would cost to build new Twin Towers instead — and when they find out, the current project will be history.

The actual facts are not difficult to ascertain. All that is required is to put them in context and broadcast them. They are there for all to see, but have been buried in layers of opinions and assumptions. The questions that officials and the media have been ducking for years will not go away. We have been sending out a number of Freedom of Information requests, not only because we are convinced that reason can still prevail at Ground Zero – but also because we are dedicated, no matter what, to compiling an historical record that will indict everyone who participated in, or could have prevented, such a thoroughly despicable scam.

Our efforts got an honorable mention in the Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, just before Thanksgiving, when we were asked to comment on the way the Port Authority operates — and we hope that recognition will be the beginning of a trend.

As we told the PA Commissioners in November: “Anyone who thinks we are running out of steam, should think again, because just the opposite is true. What is going on at Ground Zero is an insult to everything this country stands for. Now Mr. Silverstein wants stimulus money, for towers that will never stimulate the spirit of our nation; they will depress it. What is going forward at Ground Zero is the rancid proof of a rancid autocracy that thinks that honoring power is what matters most. But this country was founded on the principle that honoring people is what matters most.”

A handful of officials are depriving our own citizens, and friends around the world, of a skyline that thrilled a generation of people everywhere. How could they rob the public of that legendary outdoor observation deck overlooking the most breathtaking city in the world and still pretend to care about what we want — or think we won’t notice that we’re being robbed?

But what makes the current prospect especially sad is that instead of showing that we have it in us to triumph greatly over whatever would defeat us — just when the world needs that reassurance most — our representatives have chosen to take the low road and be second-rate in our name.

Commentators have been suggesting that at the root of America’s current malaise is a dread that for the first time in our history the best is not yet to come. Most of us can easily imagine what new, state-of-the-art Twin Towers would look like and nothing could illustrate the depressing new-normal better than the two, or possibly three, towers they may eventually succeed in building at Ground Zero instead.

So who is delusional: The person who refuses to concede that officials have succeeded in cheating the people of the United States out of the Twin Towers they clearly want, need, and deserve? Or the person who believes that they will actually get away with it? One thing is sure, if we give up they will get away with it — to their enduring shame — and ours.

6  September 11th, 2001 / the World Trade Center Remembered / Re: Twin Towers Bulletins on: January 03, 2011, 01:30:01 pm
1/1/11 — “HAPPY NEW YEAR…” We wish all friends of the Twin Towers a very happy 2011. People may think that we are delusional to believe that this year will hold dramatic changes for the WTC, but believe it we do. Not because of vague hunches or wishful thinking, but because we have faith that our system of government will reward dedicated and well-informed efforts and that officials will come to see the magnitude of the mistake they are making.

Americans are used to vain politicians wasting massive amounts of money. But when did “because they got away with it” become an acceptable reason for doing anything, let alone for building the most significant construction project in American history? Fortunately, one thing officials can be trusted to do is look out for their own best interests and we believe that a convergence of interests is coming.

If those who are currently celebrating the halfway mark of the Freedom Tower only knew the whole story, they would be appalled, they would be ashamed, and they would be angry. When all the facts are considered, what is happening at the Trade Center makes no objective sense – until corruption is factored in.

The Freedom Tower is a giant middle-finger salute to the American people, and the higher it goes, the more offensive and obnoxious it becomes, because it is being built on a lie. What is most alarming is that those natural enemies – politicians and the press – have joined forces to present a blatantly false picture at Ground Zero. If they can do that there, what would stop them from doing it wherever they please?

So what happens when the facts about the ill-conceived project are known — we’ll just keep building it anyway? Not likely. If the media will honestly look at the project and report what they find, then at the very least the people will demand to know what it would cost to build new Twin Towers instead — and when they find out, the current project will be history.

The actual facts are not difficult to ascertain. All that is required is to put them in context and broadcast them. They are there for all to see, but have been buried in layers of opinions and assumptions. The questions that officials and the media have been ducking for years will not go away. We have been sending out a number of Freedom of Information requests, not only because we are convinced that reason can still prevail at Ground Zero – but also because we are dedicated, no matter what, to compiling an historical record that will indict everyone who participated in, or could have prevented, such a thoroughly despicable scam.

Our efforts got an honorable mention in the Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, just before Thanksgiving, when we were asked to comment on the way the Port Authority operates — and we hope that recognition will be the beginning of a trend.

As we told the PA Commissioners in November: “Anyone who thinks we are running out of steam, should think again, because just the opposite is true. What is going on at Ground Zero is an insult to everything this country stands for. Now Mr. Silverstein wants stimulus money, for towers that will never stimulate the spirit of our nation; they will depress it. What is going forward at Ground Zero is the rancid proof of a rancid autocracy that thinks that honoring power is what matters most. But this country was founded on the principle that honoring people is what matters most.”

A handful of officials are depriving our own citizens, and friends around the world, of a skyline that thrilled a generation of people everywhere. How could they rob the public of that legendary outdoor observation deck overlooking the most breathtaking city in the world and still pretend to care about what we want — or think we won’t notice that we’re being robbed?

But what makes the current prospect especially sad is that instead of showing that we have it in us to triumph greatly over whatever would defeat us — just when the world needs that reassurance most — our representatives have chosen to take the low road and be second-rate in our name.

Commentators have been suggesting that at the root of America’s current malaise is a dread that for the first time in our history the best is not yet to come. Most of us can easily imagine what new, state-of-the-art Twin Towers would look like and nothing could illustrate the depressing new-normal better than the two, or possibly three, towers they may eventually succeed in building at Ground Zero instead.

So who is delusional: The person who refuses to concede that officials have succeeded in cheating the people of the United States out of the Twin Towers they clearly want, need, and deserve? Or the person who believes that they will actually get away with it? One thing is sure, if we give up they will get away with it — to their enduring shame — and ours.



12/23/2010 — “A Case of Mistaken Identity…” Forty years ago today, the real One World Trade Center was topped off. And even though the Twins were soon surpassed in height, they were never surpassed in majesty. The Flim-Flam tower may be halfway up, but there is no way for officials to hide how illegitimate is. We wrote a couple of years ago that the Rightful Heir of Twin Towers I is Twin Towers II and it is an apt analogy. A pretender may usurp a throne and occupy it for awhile, but the fakes are never tolerated for long. We got a Christmas present today when a well-placed Port Authority employee noted off-the-record that many PA employees would be delighted to see the Freedom Tower pulled down and the Towers back where they belong. We’d heard that before, but coming now makes it all the more meaningful.

A video clip of Christopher Ward on NY1 today said that “New Yorkers want to see their tower…” The man is delusional if he really believes that the eyesore he is building is what New Yorkers want to see. And the question he should be asking is what do Americans want to see, since, as has been so often noted, New York took the hit for America. Something that really stood out when we met with him and Twin Towers II designer Ken Gardner in September, 2008, was that he was very smooth until Richard Hughes pointed out that the so-called public process was a fraud. Then he lost his cool and became defensive, because he knew that without the fiction that it was the result of a democratic process he had no justification for what he was about to do.

When it comes to Swamp Villains, Ward is as creepy as they get. Bin Laden celebrated that “The values of this Western civilization under the leadership of America have been destroyed. Those awesome symbolic towers that speak of liberty, human rights, and humanity have been destroyed. They have gone up in smoke…” and then our pitiful politicians gave him the satisfaction of seeing a tower shaped like a tombstone take their place.

http://www.twintowersalliance.com/petition/bulletins
7  September 11th, 2001 / the World Trade Center Remembered / Re: Twin Towers Bulletins on: January 03, 2011, 01:29:07 pm
12/20/2010 — “Ugly Is As Ugly Does…” A question that was posted on the “Ask Yahoo” forum earlier this month asked people for feedback on the following:

“Why is the Freedom Tower (World Trade Center 1) so ugly? I am a New Yorker and I think the new Freedom Tower is very ugly. It is nothing at all like the original Twin Towers. Why weren’t the original Twin Towers rebuilt? This Freedom Tower is so ugly and will not even have an outdoor observation deck. And if they had to build it, why not build 2 Freedom Towers the same size? The new buildings are so ugly, it is just awful. Shame on the city for selecting these buildings.”

The answer to that is because the media would rather give Michael Bloomberg a loud-speaker to distort the truth, as he did in TIME Magazine last month than ask him and others for answers to questions like this one that is so representative of what people really think. It would be virtually impossible to sustain the current project if the public had been kept informed. Instead, the public was uninformed, misinformed, and malinformed by those who are meant to give the people the information they need to run their country.

It is hard to believe that even someone as powerful as Mayor Bloomberg isn’t superstitious about stretching the truth to the breaking point. Boasting about the 1776-ft. tower is plain silly, because the 400-ft. antenna might technically qualify as part of the building height, but with super-talls sprouting all over the world, it just makes us look deluded to claim that we are building a 1776-ft. tower.

But when he says that “never before have so many citizens felt such a deep personal connection to a site and taken such an active role in planning its future,” and that “our nation’s principles and values” are being honored “with every steel beam that swings into place” he crosses a line that he should think twice before crossing, because he knows it is the farthest thing from the truth. The firewall he put up has been filtering out the facts for so long that even he may get confused about what is and isn’t true, but it won’t insulate him from the consequences of his actions, which sooner or later will come due.

A faithful supporter of rebuilding the Twin Towers — Peter Walukiewicz of Torrington, Connecticut — recently shared an email he sent to the Mayor:

“Dear Mr.Mayor; It was a surprise to see you on a segment of America, the story of us where you voiced your input about the Boston Massacre. But, what about the Massacre that is going on at Ground Zero? If you have time in your busy day, please visit www.glasssteelandstone. Click on the Freedom Tower..and all of the proposed buildings for the WTC site. I hope you have a seatbelt on your office chair, because, if you look at the current polls, only ten percent like Freedom Tower, ten percent for WTC Towers 2,3,and 4. Ten percent for Reflecting Absence…BUT..90 percent for the Santiago Calatrava WTC transportation hub! Between yourself, Former Governor George Pataki, The LMDC, Daniel Libeskind, and the Port Authority, you will have the honor of being the person, who is leaving the World Trade Center, not as a tribute to the heroism of those who perished on 9/11, but as a permanent trophy to those who destroyed it. There is still room at the site for new Twin Towers. Future generations will be stuck with the current plans, forever…”

In February of 2009, the Mayor stated: “Transparency and accountability: those have been the hallmarks of our Administration at City Hall. Over the past seven years, we’ve swung open the doors of City government and given the public the essential information it needs to make sure that we are living up to our obligations and responsibilities to New Yorkers.”

It is spooky how easily that man says one thing, while doing another. If officials were really proud of their plan for the WTC, they would welcome any and all questions. The most damning proof that they are doing something terribly wrong is the way they have kept legitimate questions from being aired because they have no answers — and they know it.



12/19/2010— “Okefenokee II…” So much has been developing since our last bulletin that we are preparing an overview for our supporters. But first we will start off with a comic that long-time TTA supporter Steve Kostis sent us last month — click on the image to enlarge…



We asked Steve, a professional graphic artist who lives in New Jersey and “has signed every petition since 9/12/2001,” for some background on his cartoon and this is what he wrote:

“I was always a big fan of Walt Kelly’s Pogo. The title character, Pogo Possum, had been the original animal superhero, and thusly was always seen rescuing animals in need, defeating Swamp Villains and very powerful politicians, and pulling the whole Okefenokee Swamp back together after the rest of its critters had torn it apart.

“In wishing to update the character, I stumbled upon the following observation: The political scene of the late-1990s/early 2000s had become so complex in comparison with that of the late-1940s-early70s (the timeframe of Pogo) that it would take 20 Pogo Possums to set everything right. One set back — only one Pogo.

“Solution: Increase Pogo’s natural-born abilities twenty-fold, hence my concept of Pogo Possum’s brand-new superpowered alter-ego Superpossum. The combination of the superhero transformation concept and the default subject matter of the original strip (Swamp-based solutions to intense political problems) produced the image.”

The moral of the story is that you never know when someone is going to appear to defeat the Swamp Villains just when it seems like they have won…

8  September 11th, 2001 / the World Trade Center Remembered / Re: Twin Towers Bulletins on: January 03, 2011, 01:27:59 pm
11/16/10 — “The Best-Laid Schemes…” The image below appeared on Curbed NY with commentary on the latest WTC stumbling-block, revealed in a Steve Cuozzo column in today’s New York Post. Cuozzo, who is the chief cheerleader for the current, irrational, plan, is shocked to learn that driving streets through a site that had a moat of protection around it will result in “over-restrictive security plans” that may “damage prospects for the site just as redevelopment is finally taking off.”

At a 9/11 symposium at Pace University in September 2006, Tal Barzilai, a young man who is devoted to seeing the Twin Towers rise again and faithfully attends every public hearing, asked the panel why the Twin Towers had not been included when the rebuilding plans were being considered. Stefan Pryor, then head of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) gave only one preposterous reply. He said it was an imperative to restore the street grid! So now the chickens have come home to roost.




Another fawning “reporter” on the WTC, Julie Shapiro of DNAInfo.com, wrote “One World Trade Center’s Shining Facade Begins to Rise.” The piece begged for a response, so we left two comments, which are posted in reverse order, with no paragraphs to help break up the material. Since those comments sum up the current state of affairs, we have developed the information into “The Best-Laid Schemes” and posted it on the Home page.

At what point will they admit that they have brought the unending problems on themselves? Whether they admit it or not, the fact is that we are all paying an incredibly high, incredibly wasteful, incredibly unnecessary price.



11/11/10 —“For the Record”… According to a November 10th New York Post article, “The rebirth of the World Trade Center took a spectacular turn yesterday when one of the memorial’s two massive fountains roared to life for the first time. ‘It was absolutely stunning,’ said Joseph Daniels, president of the 9/11 Memorial. ‘The way the sunlight played on the water, and the sound. It was perfect.’”

The piece went on to explain that the fountain, where the North Tower of the World Trade Center once stood, was undergoing tests of the massive pumping systems that will blast 26,000 gallons a minute over the 30-foot deep black granite walls. It noted that during the design phase of the memorial, there were concerns that the fountains might be too loud. But Daniels said the sound created “a nice, peaceful background, like the sound of the ocean. It’s perfect. It’s not overwhelming at all.”

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen what it will sound like when 26,000 gallons per minute become 52,000 gallons per minute. Prominent builder Frank Sciame once described the waterfalls at LMDC hearings as “so loud as to be headache producing” and “impossible to stand near for any length of time.” And the same piece that referred to the “peaceful” sound also noted that the fountain “roared” to life.

The Twin Towers Alliance has made it clear that we think the current memorial was not a good choice for reasons that have little to do with personal opinion. But we have resisted the temptation to get embroiled in controversy over the Memorial because we believe – along with most Americans – that restoring the skyline would be the truest memorial of all. That is where our focus is. Meanwhile, we hope as much as anyone that the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum will succeed in its mission and be a fitting memorial of all that we lost that day.



10/31/10 — “The Element of Surprise”… One of the latest comments on the petition suggested that we should be open to the Twin Towers rising in other cities. We are. “Twin Towers II” is a fully designed, re-engineered plan to restore what is quite possibly the most celebrated skyline in the world, but, as it happens, there is already interest in building the plan in another city. The idea of generating images with the Twin Towers rising in other skylines is a good one that we will pass along to Ken Gardner, the man who conceived of and designed the plan, mentored by the late Herbert Belton, AIA — an architect on the original WTC.

As for the Twin Towers Alliance, we read the same media reports as everyone else, so we appreciate why people would think it is too late, but it is not. Our new posting on the home page — The Bellwether at Ground Zero — explains one reason why. The New York Times article in September made it impossible for officials to keep pretending they are doing the right thing at the World Trade Center. But even more importantly, it made it impossible for responsible journalists to keep their blinders on.

We realize that faithful supporters come to the site and to this page looking for news and when they don’t find it they think that we’re losing the fight and nothing is going on. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is SO MUCH going on that it is hard to keep up with all of it. But instead of broadcasting what is ahead, we are going to let it unfold.

9  Mesoamerican Cultures / Toltec / Re: Toltec on: October 13, 2010, 01:31:22 pm


Columns in the form of Toltec warriors in Tula.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toltec
10  Mesoamerican Cultures / Toltec / Re: Toltec on: October 13, 2010, 01:30:33 pm
Aztec view

The word "Toltecatl" (Toltec) was originally used by the Nahua in contrast to the word "chichimeca" which describe their own prehistory as a nomadic hunter-gatherer people which later adopted the more "civilized," urban lifestyle described with the term Toltecayotl "Toltecness". Etymologically Toltecatl is derived from the Nahuatl language placename "Tollan" "place of reeds", which to the Aztecs signified "metropolis". The Aztecs also saw the Toltecs as their own predecessors whom they glorified in order to be able to legitimize their own structures of power by claiming royal descent from Toltec lineages. The Florentine Codex describes the Aztec view of the Toltecs like this:

"The Tolteca were wise. Their works were all good, all perfect, all wonderful, all marvelous... They invented the art of medicine... And these Tolteca were very wise; they were thinkers, for they originated the year count... These Tolteca were righteous. They were not deceivers. Their words [were] clear words . . . They were tall; they were larger [than the people today]... They were very devout... They were rich. (Sahagún, 1950–1982: book 10, 165–170)"

11  Mesoamerican Cultures / Toltec / Re: Toltec on: October 13, 2010, 01:30:02 pm

An expressive orange-ware clay vessel in the Toltec style. For other Toltec artifacts from the American Museum of Natural History collection, click here.
12  Mesoamerican Cultures / Toltec / Toltec on: October 13, 2010, 01:29:30 pm
Toltec

The Toltec culture is an archaeological Mesoamerican culture that dominated a state centered in Tula, Hidalgo in the early post-classic period of Mesoamerican chronology (ca 800-1000 CE). The later Aztec culture saw the Toltecs as their intellectual and cultural predecessors and described Toltec culture emanating from Tollan (Nahuatl for Tula) as the epitome of civilization, indeed in the Nahuatl language the word "Toltec" came to take on the meaning "artisan". The Aztec oral and pictographic tradition also described the history of the Toltec empire giving lists of rulers and their exploits. Among modern scholars it is a matter of debate whether the Aztec narratives of Toltec history should be given credence as descriptions of actual historical events. While all scholars acknowledge that there is a large mythological part of the narrative some maintain that by using a critical comparative method some level of historicity can be salvaged from the sources, whereas others maintain that continued analysis of the narratives as sources of actual history is futile and hinders access to actual knowledge of the culture of Tula, Hidalgo. Other controversy relating to the Toltecs include how best to understand reasons behind the perceived similarities in architecture and iconography between the archaeological site of Tula and the Maya site of Chichén Itzá - as of yet no consensus has emerged about the degree or direction of influence between the two sites.

13  Ancient Mediterranean Cultures / Mediterranean Islands / Re: Ġgantija on: October 13, 2010, 01:28:02 pm


Plan of the Ġgantija temples
14  Ancient Mediterranean Cultures / Mediterranean Islands / Re: Ġgantija on: October 13, 2010, 01:26:56 pm


View of Ġgantija's exterior wall
15  Ancient Mediterranean Cultures / Mediterranean Islands / Re: Ġgantija on: October 13, 2010, 01:25:55 pm
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