9/11 Flashback: No Excuses

I wrote this in response to an analysis of George W. Bush’s actions in the wake of 9/11 by R.W. Apple of the New York Times. It was published on Democratic Underground just a week and a day after the event that supposedly changed everything. As far as I was concerned it did nothing to change my perception that the man in the White House was illegitimate. I believe that the deterioration of the American ethos that we’ve seen since that day is due largely to that central fact, which the media continue to prefer to sweep under the rug.

No Excuses
September 19, 2001
by Burt Worm

R.W. Apple and the New York Times are at it again: trying to bestow legitimacy on a president whom many people in the United States and around the world sincerely – and reasonably – believe was not legitimately elected. Continue reading

My 9/11: Afternoon

Continuing from yesterday’s posts. Rather than dig up faulty memories, I’ve decided to quote myself (writing as Burt Worm) from 2003:

The city felt like Berlin 1945

I felt like I was in a Graham Greene novel, especially when I was waiting [on the Queens side], with hundreds of tired, worried people, to be allowed to cross the 59th Street Bridge. No one was crossing any bridges at all, by car, train, bicycle or foot, and I wasn’t sure I was even going to be allowed into Manhattan. Continue reading

My 9/11: Morning

I first became aware on September 11, 2001, that something was up, so to speak, while waiting for a B train to Rockefeller Center at the 59th Street Station in Manhattan. I was getting a slightly late start on the day, having just come from voting for Mark Green for Mayor to replace Rudolph Giuliani.  I was feeling pleased with myself for doing my civic duty and confident that my vote would count, which, after election 2000, I didn’t take for granted any more.

The trains were moving through slowly that morning, which is not too terribly unusual. The southbound platform in particular was not moving at all;  trains sat there with doors open, confused commuters standing half in, half out,  and no sign of any chance for movement any time soon. I heard an announcement to the effect that no trains were going to Brooklyn because of–I wasn’t paying close attention, so I don’t recall if the phrase was “police action” or ” incident”–at the World Trade Center. It was probably the latter, though, perhaps, the word might even have been “emergency.” That would have been an unusual phrase to hear over the MTA intercom, and you’d think it would have stuck in the mind. Continue reading

#Irene Storm Over Rikers Island: Some Mitigating Facts

I was pleased this afternoon to see that the questions I posted here last night about where Rikers Island  fit into New York City’s evacuation scheme for Hurricane Irene were being asked all over Twitter and the blogosphere. I knew something was up when I saw the metrics on that post take an immediate spike, in both visits and referrals from Google. Clearly a lot of people were not writing off the Rikers residents even if the mayor and the city’s disaster planners were not going out of their way to include them in the discussion. Continue reading

#Irene: 12,000 on Rikers Island Don’t Count On NYC’s Evacuation Map

Residents of this island are not included in New York City's evacuation plan.

If you look at the map of evacuation zones New York City is sharing with New Yorkers to let them know which of the city’s coastal areas are most at risk should Hurricane Irene live up to the hype and deliver a disaster on Saturday and Sunday, you might not notice right away that only one of the large islands in the city’s waterways is uncoded:  A rather substantial white form, like a little Greenland, sitting in the place where the East River and Long Island Sound blend, just northwest of LaGuardia Airport in the bay between the Bronx and Queens.

West of that large shape are a couple of tiny ones, also uncoded. Those are uninhabited. The large white shape, however, is home to about 12,000 people, though that number fluctuates. That shape is Rikers Island, site of five of the city’s prisons. (To find it more easily on the Times map linked to above, enter “Rikers Island, Bronx, NY 10474” in the “Go to Your Address” form in the legend.) Continue reading