Monday, September 19, 2011

Calls from Chicago for Obama to Skip Second Term

It will take a few minutes for the White House Team to muddy up the buzz caused when Chicago Tribune columist Steve Chapman called for President Obama to skip a second term and let Hillary run. It's a tempting thought, but will go nowhere. It won't be possible for the Obamas to live in the style that they like without a second term, so the show will go on.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11 Ten Years Later: Et Lux Perpetua Luceat Eis

September 10, 2011.  Ten years since that horrible morning of the terror attacks.  You can still hop onto any number of hundreds of websites and read how 9/11 was all America's fault, an inside job done by the government and blamed on Islamist terrorists for a cheap excuse to get into an oil war. Disgusting. As a member of 2996, a bloggers project to remember the victims of 9/11, over the years these pages have honored two special Americans who will not be with us today. I reprint last years tribute:

In Memory of Michael Grady Jacobs

If Michael Grady Jacobs was alive today, this morning might find him practicing the bagpipes, dreaming of retirement just a couple of years away. Or perhaps he would have been off to breakfast with one of his children and some of his grandchildren, who were deprived forever by cruel foreign terrorists from ever knowing their grandfather.

When Michael Grady Jacobs headed off to work in Manhattan from suburban Danbury, Connecticut on September 11, 2001, it was a bright and beautiful morning. Fifty-four years old, at the prime of his career, he had a fine job at Fiduciary Trust International, as Vice-President of Tax Operations. He was a local Danbury boy, having received a good Jesuit education at Fairfield Prep, which prides itself on forming men of competence, compassion, and commitment as leaders of the world, after which he went on to Fairfield University.

Michael Grady Jacobs worked on the 90th floor of World Trade Center. He was only one of the 2,996 US citizens and guests whose life was snuffed out on 9/11 by foreign Jihadist warriors. Their terrorist value system defined anywhere in the world they chose to strike as their battlefield, and men the calibre of Michael Grady Jacobs--who spent the last minutes of his life attempting to lead his co-workers to safety-- as their enemies. His life, which included his family, his work, his rebuilding of an old Volkswagen beetle, and learning to play the bagpipes was cruelly taken from him that 9/11 morning without cause, warning, or justification.

The online exhibits at the National September 11 Memorial  Museum tell the stories of many who survived the horrors in New York City just eight years ago. Do take a moment to visit, to remember Michael Grady Jacobs, his family including his four children and now a grandchild, the others who were brutally murdered, and the many thousands of others who are left with a life-long struggle resulting from a loved one's loss.


In Memory of Carl Molinaro

If Carl Molinaro had been alive this Sunday, he would have still been a fairly young man of 42. Perhaps this morning, a warm Saturday in September, he would have headed out to church with his 13 year old daughter and his 10 year old son. Maybe the afternoon would have been spent off at a movie or the mall, or just lazing about in the yard. Unfortunately, due to the cruel attacks of September 11, 2001, Carl's children really never knew him at all.

"Everybody that knew Carl loved Carl, especially me," said Donna Molinaro, in an interview in October, 2001. A year later, she wrote, "I will love you with all my heart until the end of time. You stole my heart at 15 and it will be yours forever." Mrs. Molinaro is the widow of firefighter Carl Molinaro. He died in New York City in the collapse of One World Trade Center while aiding building evacuation with Ladder Company 2, on September 11, 2001. Nearly 15,000 lives were saved through evacuation that fateful morning.

Carl was only 32. His newborn son was just three weeks old, and his daughter only 3 at the time of the attack on America. A native of Brooklyn, he had moved to Tottenville on Staten Island in his childhood, played football for Tottenville High, and was raising his family in the same neighborhood.

Carl was remembered by famous writer Kurt Vonnegut at a Memorial Service held on October 23, 2001. In that speech, Vonnegut--whose own life and house had been saved by firfighters just two years earlier--referred to an earlier quote of his, "I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire truck."

Clearly, Carl was as taken by firefighting as was Vonnegut, moving from working in his Dad's New Jersey furniture factory to learning to be a firefighter in his late 20's. His life and contribution to the survivors of 9/11 is memorialized in nearly 2,000 online tributes to him, including one at the New York Times.

These tributes are part of Project 2996, an online initiative which remembers the victims of the terrorist attacks upon the United States on 9/11/2001.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Staycationing: Off to the Lake Forest Art Fair on the Square

Today I wanted to go do something different, so I decided to take the train from Wilmette to Lake Forest to see the Lake Forest art show. If you don't have your whole Labor Day planned, you might want to consider going, as the art show continues tomorrow. It's a great train trip via Metra, because when you get off the train you are about 10 steps from the show. How easy is that?

I took the 3:04 pm train and returned on the 5:24 train, and it was just enough time to see everything without too much lingering at any one exhibit. There are some nice things at the show, and some very nice things, too. There were some artsy kids clothes, and pretty clothes for ladies. One vendor had every type of artistic wooden spoon you could dream of, and next to him was a vendor selling some nice Japanese type pottery with a number of small vases that were very affordable. There was sculpture, jewelry, and some pricey but very creative baskets. Of course, there were paintings and photos, and a number of different kinds of art.

A number of very good looking dogs accompanied some shoppers, so if you have a very well behaved pooch, you probably can take him, but I don't think they can go on the train. The kids there seemed to be having a very limited amount of fun, but don't hesitate to take older family members because there are a number of benches around the square. I heard a number of people comment on how nice this art show was, and with the mild weather it was something pleasant to do outside.