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A Dash of Pepper

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9/11 & the 9 story
hole in the ground
The Gazette StaffIt's outrageous and scandalous that almost a decade after the worst attack on the homeland in our history, there remains in Lower Manhattan a nine-story hole in the ground.
In the depths of the Depression, we built the Empire State Building in 18 months. Previously, the beautiful Chrysler Building was erected with similar speed.
In World War II, in 1942, we built the Pentagon in just under 18 months.
In those days, apparently the builders were not constricted by the maze of regulations and intra-agency wars that stall the process today.
For a long time now, a bureaucratic tangle and financial wrangling between factions in the Port Authority, which apparently will be building the memorial portion has delayed progress. The towers, separate from the memorial site, will be rebuilt, but progress there also seems very slow.
This is an ominous sign, not just for New York City but for America. We want to believe our best days are ahead. But other current situations give us pause.
For example, we seem to be losing control of our Southern border. In facts, the feds seemed to have ceded a portion of Arizona to the Mexican drug cartels. The federal government has erected signs in southern Arizona that state "DANGER - PUBLIC WARNING - TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED" After further specific warnings, the sign states that the Bureau of Land Management (quickly becoming an oxymoron) "Encourages Visitor to Use Public Lands North of Interstate 8."
The now-forbidden area runs from the sign's location about 12 miles east of Gila Bend to Casa Grande and due south from both these points to the frontier. The area covered by the restriction, according to Deroy Murdock's calculations, is roughly 3,600 square miles of American territory the federal government has no intention of defending. The group know as La Raza must be overjoyed.
There are other areas where we seem to have lost our national purpose. The new head of NASA recently said he had been tasked by the President to make an outreach to the Muslim world and make the people in those countries feel better about their abilities in math and science. He said he considered this a priority in his new job.
Outside of other considerations, this seems on the face of it to be more than a little condescending. I was taught that the ancient Persians were world leaders in the development of mathematics. Who is working on nuclear power in Iraq? I don't think they are Swedish or American. And don't we use ARABIC numerals? Beyond all that, what happened to the actual space program? The President doesn't seem to dream big, until it comes to transforming the U.S. into a quasi-socialist fiefdom.
Think about it. Just imagine if this week, you could take your children or grandchildren to New York, and watch them as they stared with amazement and pride at a shining spire, or better yet, a group of spires, all pointing with boldness toward the Heavens. The mosque controversy would probably have paled in comparison to such a statement of bold achievement and pride in ourselves.
There is no more truly American word than skyscraper. It once said everything about us as a nation and the endless opportunities and freedoms we enjoyed. By not rebuilding quickly after 9/11, we lost the opportunity to make that statement, once more, to the world.