Friday, September 11, 2009

What A Difference Eight Years Can Make

The days before the events of September 11, 2001 are telling of where the country was financially, politically, socially, and morally. I have video, mostly from CNN, that chronicles what was happening just prior to the attacks in New York.
The son of Jimmy Hoffa, James P. Hoffa, announces that D.N.A. evidence was found in the car involved in the disappearance of his father. The D.N.A. shows that his presence was in the car driven by Chuck O'Brien at the time of Hoffa's disappearance. Hoffa said his family wants closure. It had been, up to that point, twenty-six years since the elder Hoffa disappeared.
The Dow was down 239.99 points to 9005.85., and the jobless rate rose to 4.9 percent. President Bush claimed the economic slowdown started the prior summer. He said he inherited the failing economy, where the Democrats claim it started six months ago.
Ten to fifteen billion dollars would be dipped from the Social Security surplus by Congress to offset the budget deficit. This was announced by The Budget Director, Mitch Daniels. It must be remembered that Bush was working with numbers from President Clinton's 2001 budget, Bush's doesn't kick in until 2002. However , Bush's tax cuts were submitted in the spring , triggering the slowdown.
Lou Dobbs was the anchor of "Money Line," and reporting calmly. There were 113,000 non-farm jobs lost, and 141,000 manufacturing jobs lost. Elaine Chao, the Bush administration's Labor Secretary, said that the President's tax cut was "very wise and very timely." The National Energy Plan pending in Congress should be considered because it would provide stimulus to the economy. Lou , calmly, disagreed with Chao that the jobless rate steadily increased over the past few mouths, rather than inherited from the previous administration the year before.
Terror attack alerts went up from the State Department coming from "credible" sources. The thought was the attacks would occur at military bases in Japan and South Korea, but the location and time of the attacks were not known.
The Pentagon awarded five billion dollars worth of contracts to companies to assist in the destruction of the former Soviet Union's nuclear arms. The companies were Haliburton, Raytheon, Brown & Root, Betchel National, Parsons Delaware, and the Washington Group International. the contract runs through 2006.
What is weird is at the end of "MoneyLine" broadcast, they show the New York skyline. What is in the center of that majestic sight? The World Trade Center.
Bill Hemmer was still at CNN at this time, hosting CNN First Evening News Live." The jobless numbers for manufacturing was 141,000, making it one million since July of 2001. Trucking lost 8000 jobs, bringing it to 16,000 from march. Hotels 5000 jobs, temporary jobs lost 2000 , making it 400,000 from December 2000. Not all was lost, in the Health Services, 32,000 were gained, oil and gas extraction, up 2000 jobs, up 22,000 since the beginning of 2001.
Michael Jackson surprised the crowds at the Video Music Awards, performing with N'Sync, then preparing for his thirtieth anniversary celebration at Madison Square Garden the following evening. Bill Tuch said that this was a highly anticipated event. This was September 10,2001. All was well in the world, until......

On September 11,2001, our world changed forever. Before 9 A.M. E.S.T., a plane crashed into the west tower of the World Trade Center complex. A Theresa Renault was speaking to Brian Gumbel on CBS News. She said she heard a very loud explosion, then there were flames. During the interview, she exclaimed, "Oh, there's another one!! Another plane just hit!! Oh my god, another plane has just hit!! It hit another building! Flew right into the middle of it! Explosion! OH MY GOD!!! It hit right in the middle of the building!!" Gumbel asks,"This one into the east tower?" "Yes!,yes," replied Renault "Right into the middle of the building! And, right now.. that, definitely looked like it was on purpose." She said it looked like a smaller plane, not a commercial jet. "It was definitely was a smaller plane!"
At 8:24 AM, the AP reported that the F.B.I. was investigating the possibility that the planes were hijacked. The question posed by Brian Williams was who could overwhelm a flight crew, behind a locked cabin, and deliberately fly a plane into the W.T.C.? Then, he showed that the plane was a commercial plane because of the jet engines under the wings.
President Bush makes the announcement that this is an act of "possible terrorism" at 9:32 AM. Ben Laden's name is first mentioned as a possible suspect a minute later. But there was no mention from the F.B.I. that was the case.
Mary Schivano(sic) the former Inspector General for the Department of Transportation, said that this was possible because agencies rely on risk assessment security reports, and they have said that the possibility was low that something like this would happen. The free movement at airports and aviation have always been criticized, and quite frankly, "We allow it to happen." This was an "outrageous" act particularly if there were prior warnings that it would happen.
At 9:39 AM, Mike Miklaszewski of MSNBC, reported that there was an explosion at the Pentagon. Security was evacuating the building. There were no sirens, nor smoke, but the building shook. Interestingly, Miklaszewski said an intelligence officer said that when he saw the coordinated attacks in New York, his advise was to stay away from the outside of the building, "Just in case." Miklaszewski reported that there was a small blast. He saw construction workers running from the building and keeping a distance.
Chris Plante from CNN reported at 9:42AM that a "huge plume of smoke" was coming from the Pentagon. He said he did not hear an explosion, but does not see the cause of the smoke.

I could go on and on, but needless to say, things have changed in the world because of the attack. Many people have analyzed footage and reports, conspiracy theorists bring up interesting arguments. But in the Qur'an , there is a chapter called "The Shock of the Hour." This, for America, was our shock of the hour. I think atheists said on that day, at that moment, along with believers,


Friday, September 4, 2009

Who Says You Can't Learn Anything From A Fourth- Grader?

Sometimes, my daughter has the most interesting things to share with me about what she has learned at school. I find that I may turn out to be a very intelligent adult if I hang out with her a little bit. For example, she came to me yesterday and said, "Mommy, guess what I just found out? Shrimp have their hearts in their HEAD!!!" I must admit, I was quite surprised, and at a loss for words. If you know me, that in it's self, is surprising.
So today , Aminah (my daughter), informs me that her homework assignment is to write about inventions from the 1950's to the present, and how these inventions have affected our lives. I thought it would be cool to share some of these facts with you, so you can say, "Wow, I never knew that!"

1950- The first credit card (Diners) was invented by Ralph Schnieder.
1951-Charles Ginsburg invented the first video tape recorder.
1952-The first patent for bar code was issued to inventors Joseph Woodland and Bernard Silver. Also, Edward Teller and team build the hydrogen bomb.
1953- David Warren invented the black box flight recorder.
1954-oral contraceptives invented - the pill.
1956-Bette Nesmith Graham invented "Mistake Out," later renamed Liquid Paper. She was also the mother of Michael Nesmith, of "The Monkees."
1959-Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce both invent the microchip.
1962,1963 - The audio cassette and video disk were invented. I remember hearing Quincy Jones
saying in an interview that he saw these at a laboratory in Holland in 1962, and he was told that they couldn't release the compact disk for another twenty years.Also, silicone breast implants by Dow Corp.
1965- soft contact lenses invented, also NutraSweet. Kevlar was invented by Stephanie Louise Kwoick.
1969- the arpanet (first internet) was invented, along with the artificial heart, and our old friend, the A.T.M., were invented.
1971-The liquid crystal display (L.C.D.) was invented by James Fergason, the microprocessor by Faggin, Hoff, and Mazor, also the videocassette was invented.
1974- The post-it notes were invented by Arthur Fry. Let's thank Giorgio Fischer for inventing liposuction.
1978- The artificial heart, Jarvik 7 was invented by Robert K.Jarvik.
1979- Cell phones and the Walkman were invented.
1984- The Apple Macintosh invented.
1985- Windows program invented by Microsoft.
1988 - Digital cellular phones, Doppler radar by Christian Andreas Doppler, and Prozac was invented by Ray Fuller at the Eli Lilly Company.
1990- The World Wide Web, internet protocol (HTTP), AND WWW language (HTML), were created by Tim Berners-Lee
Looking at just a few of the things that were invented, I leave you with the question my daughter asked me, "Mommy, do you remember what you were doing BEFORE you had a computer, cell phone, and DVD player?"
I think I was just existing, but happier.