NYSun.com

The Fines – NY Sun

We swore that we would never forget. And for those still counting, today marks four and a half years and three days since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Yesterday will be remembered as a minor milestone in our city’s process of grieving and healing for another reason. It was the day that construction formally began at ground zero – as a dozen workers contracted by the Bovis Construction firm quietly showed up to work in the pit at 6 a.m. to prepare the site for the foundation of the memorial and museum.

Outside the perimeter gates a dozen protesters had quietly stood vigil throughout the moonlit night beside the 10 & 10 Firehouse on Liberty Street. Led by the Reverend Bill Minson – former ICM talent agent turned Baptist minister – a collection of fallen firefighter family members milled by a makeshift memorial to their loved ones, passing coffee and comfort, urging passersby to sign their petition to stop the construction process next to a yellow sign which read, “No underground memorial. Don’t bury our memories.” Read More…

U2 Showed the Relevance of Rock Music – NY Sun

One year ago, New Yorkers were still walking around in a haze: unmoored internally, rocked by shock, anger, disbelief, and despair. The days were surreal but they were not silent – music helped see us through. And one album, more than any other, seemed to be the soundtrack of that time – U2’s “All That You Can’t Leave Behind.”

The album had been released in October 2000 but had fallen to 108th place on the Billboard chart by September 10th. Its earnest message about the search for what’s essential and an unfashionable emphasis on melody in a techno-inspired world left the biggest band on earth seeming vulnerable and, some whispered, irrelevant. Read More…

‘West Wing’ Bows Out – The New York Sun

At a time when the TV show “American Idol” garners greater levels of voter participation than actual American elections, there is reason to question whether the entertainment industry adds much civic value to our society. But viewers of NBC’s “The West Wing,” which will be taken off the air after seven seasons next month, know that there is a positive counter-example, making the show’s demise all the sadder. Read More…

Would Goldwater Leave? – The New York Sun

Washington – Would Barry Goldwater be a Republican today?

It’s a question that might have been considered sacrilegious even a decade ago. But as the Republican Party searches for its soul, post-Tom DeLay and in advance of the 2006 and 2008 elections, it is a question worth contemplating. Read More…

Kadima Shows Strength Of the Center – The New York Sun

The centrist Kadima Party’s victory on Tuesday sent shock waves through Israeli politics by relegating the conservative Likud to fifth place in the Knesset, down from winning 38 seats in 2003 to just 11 this week. It was a dramatic display of the electoral strength of the center. Read More…

The Fight for Redistricting Reform – The New York Sun

Redistricting reform: the wonkishness of the term alone causes some folks to fall asleep – as it apparently did to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who reportedly face-planted on her desk for 15 minutes during a Supreme Court hearing last week on the constitutionality of Tom DeLay’s 2003 district-packing plan. Read More…

Post-Katrina Mardi Gras – The New York Sun

When the guy rolling the giant wooden cross down Bourbon Street passed the “Pimps and Ho’s” party on the balcony of the Hustler Club, you knew that juxtaposition-rich New Orleans was getting back to business.

In this first post-Hurricane Katrina Mardi Gras, there is a willful effort to look forward instead of back at the structural and psychological scars left by what a recently released White House report calls “the most destructive natural disaster in American history.” Read More…

Buy Danish – The New York Sun

As Danish embassies come under attack around the world in misplaced retaliation for the four-month old decision by a Danish newspaper to publish satirical cartoons of Islam’s prophet, Mohammed, it is a time for choosing. Read More…

Morality And the Deficit – The New York Sun

Budgets are ultimately moral documents. They establish our priorities and reveal our values.

Despite a brief flirtation with fiscal responsibility in the 1990s, for most of the past several decades our government’s economic actions have been marked by pious words and profligate spending. It’s been a succession of free lunches paid for by passing the buck on to the next generation. But the bill is coming. Read More…

Where Is King of the Middle East? – The New York Sun

Where are the Martin Luther Kings of the Middle East?

In a land where millennia-old resentments routinely erupt into violence, the selective amnesia about the more recent example of Martin Luther King is striking – it is a part of the world that pretends as if the non-violence movement never existed. Read More…

Bush, TR, and the Road to 2008 – The New York Sun

Sometimes you need to look back to get a sense of where you’re going. With his administration settling into late middle age and the Republican Party staring nervously at mid-term elections, President Bush occupied himself during his Christmas holiday in Crawford by reading a biography of President Theodore Roosevelt’s post-presidential years by Patricia O’Toole titled “When Trumpets Call.” Read More…

Where Have You Gone, Ed Murrow? – The New York Sun

The news industry is in chaos. Newspaper circulation is nose-diving. The reign of the iconic network anchors ended over the last 12 months. “Nightline” as we know it will end its 25-year run tonight. The expansion of the Internet has resulted not just in the free flow of information but also of misinformation and political self-segregation. Partisan skirmishes are on the rise and trust in media is on the decline. Read More…

From Katrina To Sept.11 – The New York Sun

The devastation of the city of New Orleans hangs inescapably over the fourth anniversary of September 11.

The suddenness of the destruction, the shattering of old assumptions, the assimilation of previously unimaginable loss, all evoke unwelcome old emotions at a time when summer turns to fall. But the damage visited upon the two cities is fundamentally different. Read More…

Our City, Indivisible – The New York Sun

Look around our city this September 11 and realize that which does not kill us makes us stronger. Now, three years after the worst day in our history, we are perhaps ready to reflect on what would have seemed almost sacrilegious just a year ago: how the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, not only changed our city forever but, by making us stronger and more united, changed us for the better. Read More…

Two Years On We’ve Kept The Faith – The New York Sun

We swore that we would never forget: the thunder and shudder of the towers coming down; funeral after funeral, our hearts shattered; searing image after searing image, our souls scarred.

Now, two years later, we have kept the faith. We have not forgotten. Truth be told, we could not if we wanted to.

The attacks on America, the destruction of our World Trade Center, all the brave and innocent lives lost, these are the central facts of our time. They do not grow easier to understand with the passing of days. Read More…

Hamptons West – the Rockaways Renaissance – The New York Sun

At the height of summer, as New Yorkers try to find the nearest faraway place to beat the heat and relax on the beach, it’s startling to realize that the largely forgotten Rockaways were once the nation’s premier seaside resort.
Blessed with an extension of the same strip of beachfront that makes the Hamptons the favorite destination of hot and bothered New Yorkers, the Rockaways should be the crown jewel of New York City’s 578 miles of waterfront, which is more than the entire state of Rhode Island. But decades of lousy local government planning and general neglect have wasted the potential of this oceanfront asset. What Herman Melville once used as a prime example of the beauty and lure of the sea has more recently become a symbol of urban decay. Read More…