Monday, May 9, 2011

Standing Tall In the Shadows Of A New York Tragedy That United The World: September 11, 2001 (1b)

By Miriam B. Medina

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But what about all the emergency workers who bravely sacrificed their lives in the face of enormous endangerment that day and what of thousands of other emergency workers and New York citizens who faced the same peril that day and survived? Those terrorists didn't just violently take down the Twin Towers and kill thousands of hard-working people they attacked the American Dream personified.

Keep in mind that when we remember 9/11, we must remember New York and America's response to that attack. The bravery, the unity, the poise that was displayed, and love and human bonding that formed. In place of the victims and the towers that fell that bloody day stood a unified city and nation, united to seek justice against terrorism wherever it might run and hide. The commercial hub of the United States, the epicenter of trade, fashion, entertainment, banking, publishing, and shipping was assaulted, as were freedom and hope. Nevertheless as always, we persevered.

Leaders like Mayor Giuliani displayed resolve and poise. He guided the city through the horrors that we endured. Like him or not, he was a picture of leadership during that crisis. He did not sway but remained calm and focused. He gave the city and the nation the stoic, resolved face that it needed to see at the time. What of the united policemen and emergency workers who lost friends and relatives, who stood together exhausted as the President, addressed them and vowed justice. What of millions of New Yorkers who donated time, energy and resources to help the survivors get through the crisis?

It wasn't just New Yorkers who displayed the unity that the country and the world felt in the aftermath of 9/11. At the first home Boston Red Sox game after the sports world resumed as all pro sports ceased for days and weeks after September 11th, thousands of Red Sox fans stood and sang "New York, New York" to honor the victims of 9/11 and the citizens that survived. The fact that Boston fans, die-hard fans of a team with a 100 year heated rivalry with the New York Yankees, would show such love and support to such a hated rival says a lot about this nation, its true feelings for its fellow citizens, and its understanding of true priority.

Numerous nations around the world held a unified moment of silence to honor the victims. Many nations sent donations and assistance to aid in the recovery. In New York, as in the rest of the United States and most of the world, humanity exists, even in this day and age. We must always remember this.

We must also always remember September 11, 2001. We must remember the 400 emergency workers that gave their lives to save others to protect the symbol and ideal of hope, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. We must remember the brave passengers on flight 93 that gave their lives to stop the hijackers from attaining their goal. The famous last words of a heroic victim, Todd Beamer, who died aboard that plane, were: "Are you ready? Let's roll."

Those words must not have been uttered in vain. Let's roll means to move on, to take action, and they hold more contexts in regards to September 11th and its true meaning than to take a plane back. We must move on and forward. We must learn from the heroism displayed by victims, by New Yorkers and Americans during that tragedy and its aftermath. We must roll on in the name of hope and freedom. We must roll on in honor of those victims. We must remember the unity, support and love that New Yorkers and the nation shared. We must always remember and pay homage to the wreckage and destruction of the symbol of the American Dream that were known as the Twin Towers. We must always remember and pay homage to the victims caught in that destruction and to those that have died since, protecting the very American Dream that the Twin Towers personified. That's the irony of it all. By destroying the symbol of freedom and the American way, the terrorists utterly failed. They united us in the name of those principles, strengthening our common bond. We must continue to build on that strength when we honor and remember those that died on September 11, 2001, and we must continue to prevail.

How about it America, are you ready to roll? Let's go build upon the American Dream that the terrorists tried to destroy on September 11th. Let's continue to protect and honor freedom, and lead the world by our actions and deeds, not our words.

Let's roll.

With 12 years of research experience, History in all its manifestations is Miriam B. Medina's passion, and she loves nothing more than sharing what she learns with everyone. So be sure to check it out at, a one-stop resource center for writers, journalists, historians, teachers and students.

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Standing Tall In the Shadows Of A New York Tragedy That United The World: September 11, 2001 (1a)

By Miriam B. Medina

It has been almost a decade now and there's much to remember when it comes to the tragedy that befell New York, The United States and the world at the hands of Islamic terrorists on September 11th, 2001. The catastrophe itself was a real horror for those killed and injured as well as for the family of those attacked in New York City, in planes, in the air, and at the mighty Pentagon. Those people should not ever be forgotten. Pain fades but it creates scars and scars never disappear, but for those who survive, it takes plenty of help to move forward. In light of the apparent death of Osama Bin Laden, there is some closure in regards to the actual crime that was committed against humanity that day, but from every great tragedy, there comes stories of extraordinary heroism, bravery, hope and humanity. September 11th was no exception. A decade later I want to remember the good that came from the aftermath of this tragedy, the help, solidarity and compassion shared by New Yorkers and the rest of the United States in the face of such a tremendous man-made catastrophe.

Most people know the heart breaking details of what happened on 9/11. On a cool, crisp autumn morning, a handful of terrorists kidnapped several commercial jetliners. One crashed on its way to Washington D.C., killing all aboard, including a few brave passengers who tried to take the plane back from the terrorists. The plane plunged into the ground, thus saving hundreds or perhaps thousands more lives than if the aircraft had reached its destination. Two more planes flew into the World Trade Center, toppling and forever destroying the wondrous man-made towers. Many that were inside, simply going through a seemingly normal day at work, died in their attempt to escape the destruction or in their efforts to save people from the catastrophe. A third plane plunged into the Pentagon, killing many more people working to protect American lives and interests.

When all was said and done, 2819 people died in that tragedy. Over 400 firefighters, policemen, paramedics and civil servants died saving many people, and trying to save many more. We have been at war with terrorism ever since. This was an unabated attack on innocent civilian lives, affecting many more than those killed or wounded in the attack itself. It also affected many more than just New Yorkers. Over 100 different nationalities lost citizens in the attack. The Twin Towers were more than just a few extremely tall buildings. The World Trade Center complex was a beacon illuminating hope in the city from 1973 to that fateful day in 2001. The designs were finalized in 1964 for the 7 building project with the Twin Towers to be the heart of the finished complex. Construction began on August 5th of 1966. The completed towers were 1368 and 1362 feet tall respectively, 110 stories in height, once and the tallest buildings in existence. They housed approximately 50,000 employees and saw 20,000 visitors per day. People came to see the grandeur of New York. The towers were part of the financial hub of the country and the world. To many around the planet they were a symbol of freedom. Many people from many nations went there to build a better existence for themselves, as well as for their families and their communities.

That is America in a nutshell, opportunity and hope, where anyone can come and enjoy the freedom. We are a nation built of immigrants, and New York is the epicenter of the melting pot. This was no more evident than when such a large number of people from so many nations died along with thousands of New Yorkers in those buildings, and when the intrepid New York public workers, firefighters and policemen went into that building facing death or injury, they went to save anyone that they possibly could, not just New Yorkers. People from around the nation streamed to New York in the days that followed, making extensive attempts in whatever way possible to offer their help, as well as searching for survivors and victims. America always has unified in times of crisis, even if we squabble when there is no crisis. However, that's the beauty of America. We argue and fight to find the best way for all, so we can each enjoy our own freedoms without hurting others, and if need be when push comes to shove, we will even help each other out. America often gets a bum rap, as do New Yorkers. We are often labeled burly, loud, grumpy, and so forth, but September 11th perhaps more than any other tragedy exposed the true heart and character of Americans and New Yorkers. The love and sympathy and unity that grew from that tragedy showed who we are.

New Yorkers, in spite of their many differences, attitudes, and famous lack of patience, have always managed to come through for each other and the world. Believe it or not, New Yorkers are one giant family of dedicated citizens that help each other out in times of sorrow and need. We always have. Although New Yorkers are accustomed to social, political and economic upheavals, crime, overcrowding, deterioration of neighborhoods, intolerable housing, outrageous rents and high taxes, they accept the turbulence that is associated with daily life as a normal and inevitable way of life. However, it still doesn't stop them from being aggravated with these issues and complaining about them, as well. There are a few rotten apples in the Big Apple too, but then there are rotten apples and chronic complainers everywhere.

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American Politics and the Second Coming of the Tea Party Part 2 (b)

By Miriam B. Medina

(Continue from Part 2: (a)

Teddy Roosevelt was a very American major disruptive factor in the 1912 presidential election, 4 years after he declined to run for President for a 3rd term. He found the policies of his own party's President, William Howard Taft, to be far too conservative for his liking. After a rift at the Republican Convention, Teddy formed the Bull Moose Party and took enough Republican votes from Taft to allow Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson to win the Presidency.

Little in the two political party system has changed in the past 100 years since the election of 1912, with the exception of an occasional Independent like Ross Perot who popped up in the 1980's, and 1990's to make some noise, until very recently. CNBC financial analyst Rick Santelli hit on a nerve on a broadcast after the financial crisis of 2008 erupted. Upset with more bailouts of people who bought houses they could not afford and people who financed those houses, Santelli said: "We're thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July! All you capitalists that want to show up at Lake Michigan I'm organizing a party!"

The Tea Party movement was born. Though Santelli is not affiliated with the Tea Party directly, he said some things that many Americans felt at the time. Many like Santelli were vocally tired of big government and special interest politicians taking tax money and throwing it at every problem in the hopes of fixing it. Santelli and the traders on the floor on that show expressed; that they were tired of a government that is self-perpetuating for government's sake instead of for its people's sake. The Founding Fathers were right, the danger of any political system, even a well-intentioned one, is that it will grow to a point where its only concern is maintaining political power at any cost.

The Obama Administration came in preaching change, and they are not the problem. Even if, they truly believed they could enforce change when they took office, the two-party systems don't allow it. Policy change would allow a shift in the balance of power. That hasn't occurred in this country since the Whigs threw a curve ball to the power grid of this country's political framework back in the 1840's. However, the fact is, change can be a good thing. The Founding Fathers demanded change. A new voice or view-point could help the country get a new perspective. It is obvious the Tea Party has managed to get a lot of people involved in politics who were never involved before. Besides even more people getting involved with different views and different voices would be better. That is what a democracy is about. Self governance that is equally participated in and therefore, equally represented.

The Tea Party has swelled in its ranks since members started forming protests a few weeks after the Santelli rant. Since then, the fledgling movement has grown rapidly in America, sponsoring hundreds of protests, boasting millions of members, and affecting the 2010 elections that swayed the balance of power once again from one party, the Democratic Party, to two parties. The Tea Party, however, is not yet an official, political party in America. The line between self governance and being ruled over is a fine line, that's what makes the project the Founding Fathers did with the Constitution so miraculous. However even they knew that it would require effort, perseverance, vigilance and participation to make a true Democratic Republic work.

As Benjamin Franklin famously said just after the Constitution was ratified, "Well, Doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy? A republic, if you can keep it." With more participation from the American people and more effort from those being governed, America will stand as a republic for many years to come, but it's not politics or political parties that make America strong, it's the people who make up the nation, who believe in freedom and who fight for what is just. Sometimes it just takes a new voice to remind every one of that fact.

As for what Ben Franklin might think of the Republic today and whether or not all Americans should be aware and involved in the politics of the nation to maintain it, I think Ben might have said: "Let's have a cup of tea and talk about it. With some good open honest discussion, always there's a consensus to be found that can satisfy us all!" On the other hand, then, he always was penny wise and pound smartly!

I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

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American Politics and the Second Coming of the Tea Party Part 2 (a)

By Miriam B. Medina

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself." - Alexander Hamilton

This piece, part two of a two-part series, will pick up where part one left off, at the demise of the Federalist Party and the emergence of the Democratic-Republican Party. It will then explore the remaining history of American political parties up to this day.

The party system in the United States was born as the Federalists, in favor of central government and industry, and the Anti-Federalists, in favor of states rights and farming, struggled for power. As part of the deal that ended with the ratification of the Constitution, the two parties agreed that a body elect would choose the President and the Vice President, not the people themselves. This was the method of choosing the President until 1824, when the system we have now was put into place. George Washington was unanimously elected by electoral vote as the first President and John Adams was his Vice-President.

The Federalists' demise began in 1790. Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson took opposing sides on the formation of a central bank and the beginning of a national debt. Jefferson became head of what would become the Democratic-Republican Party, denouncing the Federalists as no better than the king himself. Washington and Adams were voted in again, and The Federalists hung onto power. Nonetheless, the makings of the first real American Heavyweight bout were underway. In the champion's corner, was John Adams for President representing the Federalists. In the challenger's corner, were Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party. Washington decided to retire as his Administration was harshly criticized over policy. In the ensuing election, Adams received 71 electoral votes to Jefferson's 68. So much for unanimous elections and harmonious political existence! The result was that Adams became President and Jefferson became Vice-President.

Into the 1800's, the Republican and Democratic parties remained aligned with the Republican party growing in strength. As a result, the federal government grew and strengthened, as well. The government was growing in scope of power too. The "Sedition Law," which punished "any false, scandalous, or malicious writing against the government of the United States, or either House of Congress, or the President," was considered a despotic act. Jefferson and the Republicans won in 1800 and Aaron Burr, the Democratic Party leader, became Vice-President. The Federalist Party was no more. The Democratic - Republican Party for the time being would reign supremely. The effort to strengthen the central government excessively at the expense of the power of the states had come to naught, and the Federalists, as a well-defined party, gradually vanished from existence.

With the Democratic-Republican Party firmly in power, many unpopular laws were repealed, and the federal government went back about its business. Over the next 30 years, the Democratic-Republican Party slowly became two more distinct parties.

In 1834, as the National Republican Party faded into the background, the Whig Party was born with leaders like Daniel Webster, who favored Congressional power over Presidential power. The Whigs wanted to expand the national government (and the country itself) westward. In 1840, the first Whig president, William Henry Harrison, was elected. The last Whig president, Zachary Taylor, was elected in 1848. The Whigs were not around for very long. Mediocre sitcoms on television have lasted longer than the Whigs. In 1854, the Republican Party reformed, bolstered by support from the tattered Whigs and the independent Free Soldiers.

By 1860, the issue of slavery and state rights dominated the political landscape. The country was divided North and South. The Democratic Party literally split in two, just like the nation would a year later. The Southern Democrats were in favor of the federal protection of slavery in the western territories, the Northern Democrats were not. They wanted the Supreme Court to handle the issue. This led to the election of a Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, who firmly believed that the Union would be held together by the federal government at all costs. His policies and the divided nation's conflicting views led to the bloody, divisive, four-year long Civil War that lasted from 1861 until 1865. The Reconstruction Years that followed saw the South lose most of its political sway for the next few decades.

By the 1890's, the Democratic and Republican parties, mostly as we know them today, were firmly entrenched as the two major political parties that controlled United States Politics. Republicans became known as the conservative or right-wing party, and Democrats became known as the liberal or left-wing party. The parties themselves became entrenched in their positions, growing further and further apart in their philosophies, getting more and more concerned with Republican or Democratic values and less concerned with the values of the American citizens they governed. The divide between party values and American values varied so widely that Teddy Roosevelt broke his own party apart during the election of 1912.

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American Politics and the Second Coming of the Tea Party Part I

By Miriam B. Medina

"In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed, and in the next place, oblige it to control itself." ---Alexander Hamilton

The past 50 years of American politics are vastly different from the first 50 years of American politics. The Founding Fathers were charged with framing a Constitution and building a free nation that could be self-perpetuating. One that could offer hopes and promises, which is now known as The American Dream. Major politicians in the United States over the past 50 years have been concerned with fighting communism, expanding and protecting which by any definition should be considered an Empire, and quite frankly, by maintaining office and performing damage control due to failed policies of the past and a massive surge in the population. Still, one thing remains the same going back to the birth of this nation: cliques and sects of politicians aligned by political similarities have worked together in parties to amass political power and sway. Today we only know of the Democrats (liberals) and Republicans (conservatives), with the occasional Independent popping up in a Presidential or Gubernatorial race.

This piece, part one of a two-part series, will delve into the history of politics and political parties in the United States, exploring political alignments up to the prevailing parties and the emergence of the hybrid "Tea Party" that has recently dominated headlines. This unsatisfied modern Tea Party pays homage to the Boston Tea Party, who dumped English tea in the Boston Harbor on December 16th, 1773. As the nation grows weary of an ever-expanding government, increasing regulation, increased spending and a tax bill that seems as hungry as The Blob from the 50's horror movie of the same name, it's good to see new, more rebellious parties crawl out of the woodwork. Frankly, it takes us back to our origins, when our forefathers questioned the way that we as a people were governed and decided to do something about it. They would govern themselves.

The major rift between the Founding Fathers (men like Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Alexander Hamilton) and King George began to come to a boiling point between 1763 and 1769. The king began to encroach on American colonists' independence. He realized that the colonists, who were left largely to their own devices, had thrived. Their population and trade booming, King George decided he wanted a bigger piece of the action. He instituted a policy of taxation without representation. He began taxing trade and goods and even tea! We Americans were largely of British descent. We liked our tea. What sort of monstrosity was this monarch, to mess with a person's tea?

By 1770, tensions between Britain and the colonies worsened, and tempers flared, as well. Americans began to grumble about oppression and liberty, though gaining independence was no small task. Many feared independence and retribution from the massive British military power. They just wanted an ease in taxation or a representative in the British government. Others, like Patrick Henry, famously wanted "Liberty or Death!"

Ultimately violence erupted, which led to typical political wrangling as Britain and the colonies geared for war. The long year of 1775 was filled with prose, rhetoric and threats from both sides. By 1776, the War for Independence had begun. Since most people are aware of the outcome of that war, we'll skip through the war itself. Needless to say, The Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation were signed, and the war was underway, full swing, until October 1781 in Yorktown, Virginia when General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington. The Treaty of Paris was officially signed on September 3, 1783, and we were a nation. On the other hand, what sort of government was to run this new, young nation? Would it be a rogue gathering of city states with a myriad of individualized rules and state laws, or would it be a united federalized government? These were the two options, and those who aligned on each side of this argument formed the first real American political parties. The Founding Fathers had to agree on and formulate a Constitution and give this country an agreeable framework to build upon.

Nevertheless the Founding Fathers wanted to do this the right way. They wanted to establish a new order of the ages with the United States Constitution. The proposition that "all men are created equal" had never before been the basis of a government. Regal blood and might formed the ruling class of countries until that point in history, not merely common men. The framers wanted to devise a government based on an objective standard of justice to be served equally to one and all, a government to serve and protect a people who were to be self-governed.

Over the progression of the history of the United States, there have been two main political "sides" or views, whatever the party names might be. Parties are based on degrees of these views. One is either liberal or conservative in their beliefs, or some combination of the two. The basis of these two core philosophies is what all parties are formed around. The Founding Fathers created the first parties based on States Rights. These parties were known as Anti-Federalists, in favor of state's rights, and Federalists, who were in favor of a binding, unified central government. Through the centuries, as parties have morphed and issues and party names have changed and grown, these two parties have developed into what we now know as the Democrats (in favor of big central government) and the Republicans (in favor of a much smaller federal government). As there is no chance of disbanding the federal government, the argument is now about having more or less federal government, not a federal government or no federal government at all, but the core principles are the same.

In fact, most of the Founding Fathers didn't think very highly of political parties at all. They'd be aghast if they saw the spectacle that is a Presidential election today. Nonetheless, many of the framers found themselves affiliated with one political party or the other during their government careers, because it is the nature of a voter to liken politicians to a specific party. As parties in American politics developed one party would gain and hold power for many years much like the Republican and Democratic parties of today. Over the years, we have had 5 major parties at the forefront of our political machine in the United States.

The Federalists and the Anti-Federalists were our first 2 prominent parties. They reigned from 1796 to 1828. The Federalists believed in strong centralized government, industrialization, the creation of a national bank, and government controlled and constructed roads and canals. The Anti-Federalists disagreed across the board. Good old American rebellious bickering ensued. The Anti-Federalists strongly supported the rights of the states, favored farming, and wanted to keep the government's hands out of building roads and canals. The Federalists fought for and ratified the Constitution on June 21st, 1778. However, the Anti Federalists, who became the Democratic-Republican Party, eventually gained influence over the American people and weakened the Federalists into obscurity by 1824.

In part two of this two-part series, we'll explore the history of political parties and introduce the evolution of what is a two-party system in the United States. We'll also cover the existing political party landscape inside the beltway today.



A.) Getting To Know Mimi (B.) N.Y.C. History (C.) Italian Harlem(D.) Spanish Harlem (E.) Black Harlem (F.) New York State (G.) Tenement Living: Social Issues Of Urban Life (Poverty, Crime&Vice, Homelessness, Group Conflicts, Diseases, Gays&Lesbians: Gender Identity, Domestic Violence, Drug&Alcohol Abuse, Police Brutality )

(H.) Chit-Chat Over Coffee Swirls

(I.) Jewish Knowledge (J.) Self-Improvement (K.) Historical Facts On England & United States

(L) Miscellaneous (M.) Timetables (N.) Ethnic Groups (O.) Legal Talk(P.) Entertainment: Backward Glances (Q.) Immigration

R.) Women__Bio Sketches, Feminine Fancies, Recipes, Kitchen Talk.(S.) Worship

(T.) A Little Taste of History, (U.) U.S. History-Transportation, (V) U.S. History-Panics, Economic Depressions, Business Matters

(W) El Rincón En Español (The Spanish Corner: ) . This section is dedicated to articles of historical facts, poetry, self-improvement, human interest stories etc. written in Spanish.

(X) So Mr. President, What Did You Do During Your Term in Office....? (The Series)

(Y) Brusciano, Italy News/Events

Dr. Antonio Castaldo, Journalist

Y) Brusciano, Italy News/Events

Dr. Antonio Castaldo, Journalist

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(Z) The Italian Niche

Pensieri di uno scrittore italiano: dott. Antonio Castaldo

Thoughts of an Italian Writer: Dr. Antonio Castaldo

I) "El Rincón Borinqueña"

II) Arts and Entertainment

III Architecture

Table of Contents (16)
IV Education

Table of Contents (17)

V Wisdom: Thoughts From the Indian Masters

VI Understanding Music

VII Published Articles Written by Miriam B. Medina

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VIII New York City Neighborhoods

IX Memories (Brooklyn, Manhattan and Personal)

John J. Burkard

X Red Hook, Reflections on History

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