David Kirkpatrick

September 11, 2011

Ten years later …

I don’t really have a lot to offer aside from two blog posts.

First up is a post of mine from MarketingSherpa this Friday. I interviewed a reputation management expert for a how-to consumer marketing article who worked the American Airlines account for a major PR firm that day. He provided an interesting insight into some of the behind the scenes aspects of 9/11.

From the link:

I spent 48 hours doing nothing but monitoring and taking in reports from different people. I didn’t go to bed. I didn’t go home. It was kind of funny because the next day after the first 48 hours was over, I actually had scheduled a meeting with the Interactive Marketing team at AA.com.

I went to that meeting and I hadn’t gone to sleep. They insisted on having the meeting, not because they really wanted to have the meeting, but they knew that I was also in the Corporate Communications side, and that I knew what was going on.

The second is a post on the personal blog from a Sherpa colleague of mine, Brad Bortone, was a NYC resident on that morning. His post covers the first Mets home game after the attacks.

From the link:

For all the good that a night of baseball seemed to be doing, it was clear that the outside world wasn’t going away, no matter how much we wanted it to do just that. Then Mike Piazza stepped up once last time.

In the eighth inning, with the Mets down 2-1, and fan enthusiasm rapidly waning, Piazza hit a defining shot of his career. A fastball by Steve Karsay, left right in Piazza’s wheelhouse, promptly found its way over the center field fence, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead which would hold up till the end.

Piazza tried his damnedest to maintain composure as he rounded the bases, but the fans weren’t as controlled. Despite the thinning attendance, the cheers were as loud as any I’ve experienced in my 31 years. It was as if 41,000 people, after two weeks of holding their breath, finally allowed themselves to exhale.

September 11, 2010

Remember

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:46 am

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=world+trade+center+attack&iid=1232563″ src=”http://view2.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/1232563/file-photo-authorities/file-photo-authorities.jpg?size=500&imageId=1232563″ width=”500″ height=”590″ /]

That image is not easy to look at, but I think it’s important to remember what it meant for America and to protect this date from demagogues and politicization. This event brought international terrorism to U.S. soil in a manner that dwarfed all previous attempts, and in consequence it, at least for a while, united all citizens of America.

The aftermath of what happened to U.S. polity and policy after 9/11 can be debated, but for a few weeks in September 2001, this was truly a nation united.

Here is bit from a comment on a blog post of mine from February 2, 2008 (the post from January 31) on how I felt on September 11, 2001:

Sure that Tuesday morning I was blindingly angry. I was woken in a vacation condo on the beach in Panama City Beach, Florida, to hear the World Trade Center towers were both struck by planes. When the media began reporting celebrations in Afghanistan I immediately thought of bin Laden (didn’t think of al Qaeda per se, but I was aware of bin Laden pre-9/11). My next thought was we should nuke that country back from its then (and now) Middle Age society to the Stone Age, or maybe to time before humans walked in Afghanistan.

That was my heart. I feel no less strongly about Islamic terrorism today than I did at that moment. I do know I think the US did very well for itself before 9/11, and to me nothing occurred that warrants changing our fundamental approach to the world.

August 22, 2010

On the Cordoba Center controversy

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:26 am

Or as it’s better known these days thanks to the latest media meme, the “ground zero” mosque. Here’s the plain facts as simply put as I can get them down — the group behind the Cordoba Center has every Constitutional right to put the center right where it is planned to be as it has met New York’s zoning, and other, requirements. Proponents, and (more likely) opponents of the center have every Constitutional right to debate, discuss, cajole and otherwise use their free speech rights to influence the general public and the group behind the center. Whether placing the Cordoba Center that close to ground zero of the New York 9/11 attacks is a good or bad thing is subject for debate, but whether it can, or cannot, be placed there is not.

Which leads to this incredibly wrong-headed post by Andy McCarthy at the Corner.

From the link:

A friend poses the following: Imagine that there really were these fundamentalist Christian terror cells all over the United States, as the Department of Homeland Security imagines. Let’s say a group of five of these terrorists hijacked a plane, flew it to Mecca, and plowed it into the Kaaba.

Now let’s say a group of well-meaning, well-funded Christians — Christians whose full-time job was missionary work — decided that the best way to promote healing would be to pressure the Saudi government to drop its prohibition against permitting non-Muslims into Mecca so that these well-meaning, well-funded Christian missionaries could build a $100 million dollar church and community center a stone’s throw from where the Kaaba used to be — you know, as a bridge-building gesture of interfaith understanding.

McCarthy goes on to pose a series of hypothetical questions on the reaction from the Saudis, the Obama administration, Christian leaders and more. It’s very clear he’s getting at the point if his friend’s imagined situation had come to pass (I’ll just ignore the insinuation right-wing Christian extremist groups don’t exist in the United States) the conversation would be quite different.

In that he would be very correct, but unless he’s arguing the United States should become more like Saudi Arabia — a freakish mix of monarchical and theocratic power — the entire premise of his point means nothing. Of course if the situation were reversed the entire discussion would be radically different. Because the Cordoba Center discussion is playing out the way it is here is testament to the strength of the United States Constitution, and an example of what makes our nation great — truly the land of the free and the home of the brave.

It’s too bad some actors in this late-summer mini-drama want neither freedom, nor see bravery, in America. Some of those commenting on the center want the power to bulldoze the Constitution and to see fear in the America people.

February 20, 2010

Just one more reason California is a moving train wreck

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:15 am

This almost doesn’t seem real, but the date isn’t April 1 and the source isn’t the Onion.

Yikes!

From the link:

Tracy residents will now have to pay every time they call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency.

But there are a couple of options. Residents can pay a $48 voluntary fee for the year which allows them to call 9-1-1 as many times as necessary.

Or, there’s the option of not signing up for the annual fee. Instead, they will be charged $300 if they make a call for help.

(Hat tip: Fark)

January 8, 2010

9/11 didn’t happen under Bush’s watch?

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:18 pm

Man, it sure seems like he was POTUS in September 2001.

This bit of revisionist history — the idea Bush was not president when 9/11 occurred — seems to be something of a right-wing meme. So far it’s come from Mary Matalin, Dana Perino and Rudy Giuliani.

You could make the semantic argument that the terrorist attacks were’t under Bush’s “watch” because he’d only been in office for less than seven months (although there is very solid evidence his domestic defense team knew about the threat and did nothing to act on the intel), but to take one example from above — Giuliani’s — the quote is very direct: “We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama … ” And of course 9/11 wasn’t the only domestic terrorist attack during Bush’s presidency. Two high profile examples are the shoe bomber and the anthrax attacks distributed via the U.S. Postal system soon after 9/11.

This type of political linguistics no longer works in the age of online video. At one time a political actor could make a crazy, carefully worded statement to a small publication, make certain the deeper point and the blatant lie got into the media stream and then later spin your original quote around to explain what you really meant by the words “Bush’s watch.”

Not any more. When that quote is preserved for all to watch online at will — all three links above go to video of the statement in question — there is no way to spin your words unless you want to admit to either being quite confused, ignorant or a blatant liar.

Yes, there is a fringe of the GOP base that will hear these quotes and completely forget the Bush 43 administration presided over the worst domestic terrorist attack in U.S. history, plus a few more to boot. That base won’t win elections. These lies won’t entice any swing voters, and could absolutely force those voters away from the party. That does seem to be what the GOP has become at this point. Catering to a dwindling base at a moment in U.S. political history where the Republican Party could be making great strides back to the fore.

Update — Rudy’s already working to spin this one, but this comment from “dave” from the link is a great response to the entire issue:

According to Rudy, it appears the republicans define “terrorism” much in the same way Clinton defined “sexual relations”.

With that in mind, would you rather be represented by a politician who dissembles about personal behavior with no broader implications, or a politician who does the same on issues of national security?

December 1, 2009

Wikileaks publishing 9/11 pager messages

Filed under: et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:11 pm

This should provide context and raw emotion from a tragic and historic day in US history. I always find this sort of window into people’s lives and thoughts interesting. (The Wednesday referenced in the blockquote is last Wednesday — 11/25/09.)

From the link:

It’s one of more than half a million Sept. 11 pager messages obtained by secret document publisher Wikileaks, all of which are gradually being published on the Internet Wednesday. Wikileaks hopes that they will shed some light on the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil, an incident that continues to arouse heated debate in the U.S.

“This is a historic day … and a day that has a lot of historic questions,” said Daniel Schmitt, a Wikileaks spokesman. “So whatever helps to understand what happened on that day is important for everyone.”

“It’s a precise second-by-second record of how the event unfolded,” he said.

Wikileaks began publishing the messages at 3 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday and will release them in small batches for about 24 hours, Schmitt said. The group hopes that posting them in increments will make the messages easier to analyze.

September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

Filed under: et.al. — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:06 pm

Another day that will live in U.S. history infamy. Here’s the New York Times from today looking back to an awful morning.

And this bit is taken from a post of mine on a different subject remembering where I was and how I felt when I first heard the news of the terror attack:

… that Tuesday morning I was blindingly angry. I was woken in a vacation condo on the beach in Panama City Beach, Florida, to hear the World Trade Center towers were both struck by planes. When the media began reporting celebrations in Afghanistan I immediately thought of bin Laden (didn’t think of al Qaeda per se, but I was aware of bin Laden pre-9/11). My next thought was we should nuke that country back from its then (and now) Middle Age society to the Stone Age, or maybe to time before humans walked in Afghanistan.

That was my heart. I feel no less strongly about Islamic terrorism today than I did at that moment. I do know I think the US did very well for itself before 9/11, and to me nothing occurred that warrants changing our fundamental approach to the world.

July 25, 2009

9/11 changed everything …

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:39 pm

… and almost gave rise to a tyrannical police state in America. If Dick Cheney had his way with every policy directive the terrorists would truly have won.

Thanks, Dick.

From the link:

Some of the advisers to President George W. Bush, including Vice President Dick Cheney, argued that a president had the power to use the military on domestic soil to sweep up the terrorism suspects, who came to be known as the Lackawanna Six, and declare them enemy combatants.

Mr. Bush ultimately decided against the proposal to use military force.

A decision to dispatch troops into the streets to make arrests has few precedents in American history, as both the Constitution and subsequent laws restrict the military from being used to conduct domestic raids and seize property.

The Fourth Amendment bans “unreasonable” searches and seizures without probable cause. And the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally prohibits the military from acting in a law enforcement capacity.

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