Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Jenna Orkin

September 11, 2007 8:30 A.M.

At the corner of Fulton and Church, two dozen cops stand around, murmuring. Nearby huddles a smaller contingent of firefighters. More are undoubtedly on the A list of the actual ceremony in Zuccotti Park from which we hoi polloi are barricaded. The sky is fittingly bleak, spitting needles of rain.

Pedestrians pour out of the PATH station, a few talking loudly. A woman mimes, "Ssh."

A man with his arm around his twelve-year-old son is being interviewed for TV. He's flown in every year from San Diego, he says, to pay his respects.

Three hulks in black T-shirts reading "Investigate 911" with a picture of the towers billowing smoke, stride purposefully towards some meeting place.

In the plaza of Brown Brothers Harriman a sculpture of a giant red cube stands poised on one corner like a ballerina on pointe; a feat of engineering rather than art but these days no one cares about the difference. Across the street to the east is Chase Manhattan; to the south, HSBC; to the north, Bank of America. A block away stands the beleaguered former Deutsche Bank, - also site of a more recent tragedy - sixteen storeys shorter from its catastrophe-ridden deconstruction. We are in the heart of the beast.

The clock of Trinity Church which, for several months after September 11, 2001, was frozen at five to nine, inches towards 8:46.

At 8:43 a choir starts singing. At least that's when we in the plaza are able to catch a few high notes. Sounds like a harmonized version of the Star Spangled Banner. The distance adds to the removed, ghostly nature of this ceremony which seems designed to attenuate the memory of 9/11 and, as they are so fond of saying in booming downtown, to "move on."

South Korean TV wants to talk. I tell them they probably won't use what I have to say. They persist.

I tell them I'm here because 9/11 signalled the beginning of the end for much of America. Then I tell them, in brief, why I think so.

The reporter - who is the most respectful journalist I've ever come across, and in Lower Manhattan over the last six years, there have been many - says, "But some people want to move forward."

I am not giving him the poignant sort of soundbite he is looking for but he takes several minutes' worth of footage.

Next to a marble slab honoring that great New Yorker, Harry Helmsley, an African American guy blows a shofer, a beautiful ram's horn which, he explains, he laminated himself. It's a gesture of ecumenism since although he's Christian, he is playing a traditional Jewish instrument of mourning.

A reporter from WNYC who's been diligent about the environmental issue, also approaches for an interview in the course of which 9:03 comes and goes without apparent acknowledgment. This is what a moment of silence looks (and sounds) like from a block away.

As I leave I pass the podium where family members are reading the names of the victims ("...and my brother, firefighter....") including one whom I knew slightly from the playground when our children were small. The reading is slow and deliberate so as not to shortchange anybody. They are up to the letter D.


Rice Farmer said...

PM Abe quits (good riddance!)


but the program continues.


Rice Farmer said...

Senate OKs $1 billion to repair bridges
DOT says $65 billion needed nationwide to fix backlog

"The infusion of bridge repair funds would be paid for by tapping the dwindling reserves of the highway trust fund. Gasoline tax revenues are coming in below estimates and are unlikely to be able to fund highway programs at the levels set forth by the 2005 highway bill."

One of the many signs that the infrastructure built on cheap oil will NEVER be repaired/rebuilt. It's all downhill from here, folks.

Tyler Havlin said...

Oil hits record on big inventory drop


In its weekly inventory report, the Energy Information Administration said crude stocks plunged by 7.1 million barrels last week. Analysts were looking for a drop of 2.7 million barrels according to a Dow Jones poll.

Distillates, used to make heating oil and diesel fuel, rose by 1.8 million barrels while gasoline supplies fell by 700,000 barrels. Analysts were looking for a 1.4 million barrel increase in distillates supplies and a 500,000 barrel decline in gasoline stockpiles.

Get ready.

Pandabonium said...

Sayonara Shinzo (Abe) - don't let the door hit you on your backside on the way out!

Rice Farmer said...

Al Gore takes private jet rides.

Al Gore: just another elite hypocrite.

Pandabonium -- Rice harvest will probably be late this month. It's ripening now. In the meantime there are fall veggies (for eating and pickling), soybeans, compost bagging, and other stuff to take care of.

Rice Farmer said...

The rise of resource nationalism in Indonesia

My, how quickly trends spread!

Rice Farmer said...

MCR's research proves valuable again.

Was a Covert Attempt to Bomb Iran with Nuclear Weapons foiled by a Military Leak?

captain said...

I received this link from Brasscheck about the news footage on Sept. 11. I found the analysis in line with Mr. Ruppert's work.

linda ush said...

as time passes, more and more of ftw "predictions" have come true.

i wished i sold my house and bought gold. i am not that kind of risk taker, i was afraid.

now prices are up, i can barely afford my bills, and i am just befuddled as to how to "GET READY"

i think i need to buy a bicycle powered generator, and start a victory garden, but i'm the fat american who isn't in shape to do so.

i just can't imagine what to do to keep warm in winter, and keep cool in summer. (without cheap oil, can't burn any wood)

just have to move to Gilligan's Island...

linda ush said...

I thought of something,

what is the likelyhood of Wal-Mart
selling bicycle powered generators and viable seeds?

Pandabonium said...

Run on British bank Northern Rock -

Rice Farmer said...

Problem dams on the rise in US

More evidence of crumbling infrastructure.

Rice Farmer said...

Burning water and other myths

An article that touches on that burning salt water. Hey, where's that alien technology?

FTW admin said...


Mr. Matt Savinar Esq.
"lifeaftertheoilcrash.net" Peaking Oil webpage

Mssrs. Savinar & Reno-Tahoe Winter Olympics Committee.

I wanted to refer you-all to a book, "ELECTRIC WATER" by Christopher C. Swan, New Society Press, 2007. Maybe you can critique the concepts espoused by Mr.Swan.

My particular suggestion would be to examine the way America did things in the middle of the twentieth century, using a railway based economy. Railways expanded in capacity and reach, using much of the still visible abandoned footprint and some extended new corridor is called for. NV has the V&T corridor, more on that.

Old lines in CA would include rebuild of service to Santa Rosa, Monterey, Placerville, Ione, Calaveras, Isleton & Esparto/Capay Valley. For some frosting, add the railway connection from Merced to El Portal, and Truckee to Tahoe City. See further down the lines for Nevada prospects.

Your emphasis on individual preparedness is good to get the thinking processes flowing, but respectfully suggest you use your vantage point to investigate and promote renewable linked railway net rehab as mentioned here. You may be able to use Association For The Study Of Peak Oil & Gas, newsletter 42- article 374, "A transportation proposal", as a springboard for discussion & action.

It looks as though Mexico's Cantarell will be the miner's canary for Peaking Oil, unless Gahwar is highlighted first. Mexico's oil depletion is closer by, and will probably send the waves that wake up...

You (Matt Savinar) are selling household survival gadgets, booty for brigands, I fear, without the federally mandated & secured "Post Roads" as set forth in statute: The US Congress Post Roads Bill of July 10, 1838. This should be freshened up to include renewable power links to the local railway network, and circulated to planners, National Guard Commandants, Homeland Security, FEMA, etc.

Yes, I know this is late in the game, and it's a rotten deal, but it is the only deal we have. The further away from railway link someone moves their loved ones, the further they are from the federal/local security that comes with protecting "Second Dimension Surface Transport Logistics Platform" infrastructure- army lingo tor railroads and associated assets. Peaking Oil will put rails on the map again.

A new steel wheel on steel rail standard gauge electric rail corridor in California is the US 50 stretch, from Sacramento, via Placerville, to Twin Bridges Junction. "Junction" because at Twin Bridges, they surveyed line to South Lake Tahoe (5 mile tunnel) and line to Carson Valley (18 mile tunnel to Genoa). Info is from Mr. Will Kempton, CalTrans Director (Study titled "Reno -Tahoe Rail Study, 1995).

Monorails and mag-levs are bandied about by people without the foggiest notion of what Peaking Oil means to the country, and these vanity peoplemovers will be promoted until the reality of fuel allocation stops the non-standard guideway work forever. Unfortunately, the people promoting these "sexy" elevated systems are challenged when it comes to looking at authentic and proven regional approaches to transportation infrastructure. Too boring...

Please see "ELECTRIC WATER" and ASPO article 374. Try to encourage your readers to think twice about moving so far away from secure corridor, or so isolated, that no one will be able to hear the women scream. The gold bugs are going to be squashed, too. Who believes a desperate Federal Government will not outlaw private ownership of precious metal coins & bullion... That's a given! Anyone that can afford a gold stash would be better off getting the railway branchline rehabbed to their vicinity, or move closer... Before the Feds call in the gold, like FDR did.

I have included Mr. Jim VandenHoeven, a Reno Businessman in the recipient box. Mr. VandenHoeven is a promoter of rubber tire transport almost exclusively, giving Amtrak only scant mention in the Olympics promotion. The opportunity to re-vitalize Nevada rail access via both the 50 and the 80 Corridors is a no-brainer. It is my hope that a fair examination of the Peaking Oil challenge will prompt Mr. VandenHoeven to make fair use of his contacts with Bob Herbert, Senator Reid's Chief of Staff, and proceed with the discussed regional rail projects with ALACRITY!

Gunnar Henrioulle, tahoevalleylines.com

Rice Farmer said...

Maglevs mentioned here and rightly criticized. Thought I would supplement this with a word about Japan's maglev, an energy hog that has been many years in development and still going nowhere. It's one of many scams meant to enrich a few people and companies at the expense of taxpayers while trashing more farmland and forests. It is also used to keep alive the dream of a glorious technological future.

Paul Davis said...


I found this significant report in the Independent on Sunday:

Oil industry 'sleepwalking into crisis'

Former Shell chairman says that diminishing resources could push price of crude to $150 a barrel


gaelicgirl said...

Jenna, is there a problem with the site? When I come to the blog contents page, I only see the items from Sept. 11 and before, none of the new stuff?

FTW admin said...

gaelic girl

i don't think there's a problem. that gz piece was written last week. so far as i can tell, everything that you don't see on the page has gone into archives. look at the right hand column

Rice Farmer said...

Engdahl becomes an abiotic oil believer

US military bases coming to Africa

NWNET said...

Is there something wrong with the blog? Why no surrent posts?

FTW admin said...

the blog is current as are the posts. not sure what you're referring to