Triple Murder, Republicans, Gay Escorts …

This investigation isn’t getting the usual attention.

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, NC MAN IMPLICATED IN DOUBLE MURDER- SUICIDE

Former head of the Georgia Republican Party, Ralph Gonzalez (39), David Abrami (36) and Robert Drake(30), were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide in Orlando, FL last week. Officials say the three had been dead for several days before their bodies were discovered. Police discovered the crime scene acting on a phone call from North Carolina expressing concern over one of the three men. The call reportedly came from an unidentified female friend of Abrami.

Read On

Via: The North Carolina Conservative

Personal Reflection of 9/11/01

Hackerbob, over at REAL Free Speech has a blog post up about his own experiences as a military recruiter on September, 11, 2001.

(Radio announcer)

“We are not sure what is going on, but we are going to break from the coverage of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center. There seems to have been some kind of explosion at the Pentagon.”

(Inside my head)

“What, a plane crashed into the World Trade Center? How the hell did the pilot do that? An explosion at the Pentagon? What the fuck is going on?”

(My daughter, as I am driving her to school, and running late for work as usual)

“Daddy, are you going to pick me up today or is Momma? Don’t I have Girl Scouts Tonight?”

(Me again)

“Just a second, baby. I need to hear something on the radio” (cell phone rings) “Damn, Top is calling (“Top” is a Marine Corps nickname for someone the rank of Master Sergeant, my boss).

I answer, “Sergeant Perkovich”.

I hear her reply “Where are you?”

Me: “I’m dropping my kid off at school. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

Top: “Are you listening to the radio?”

ME: “Yes”

Click here to read the rest of the blog post.

Thanks, Hackerbob.

Calling All Bloggers

If you have a talent for writing and enjoy politics, you might be interested in applying for the Blog Fellows Program with my friends over at Think Progress. They’ll even pay you!

A personal note: While I believe that TPZoo is a wonderful site in its own right, I do not look at it as a substitute for Think Progress. I have nothing but admiration for the work the Think Progress staff performs in providing all of us with high-quality useful information in a timely manner. Without that site, this one would never have existed, and we would not have the amount of traffic we have been blessed with here. I look forward to having a good long working relationship with the great people at Think Progress.

CNN: Breaking News

bush-dumb-look-scratching-head.jpg

– President Bush will announce this week plans to cut U.S. troops in Iraq by about 30,000 — to pre-’surge’ levels — by next summer, a senior administration official confirms to CNN.

This sounds to me like George W Bush is about to divulge military secrets to our enemy. The terrorists will know exactly when to hit us. Isn’t this emboldening the enemy by setting a timetable for withdrawing?

Why is George W Bush aiding the enemy?

Ignoring The Other Victims of 9/11

Continuing to focus on the subject of health issues that have arisen due to 9/11:

Ignoring the Other Victims of 9/11
by Marie Cocco of the Washington Post
via: Truthdig

“The country says it will always remember 9/11. Few politicians miss the chance to appear at this or that commemorative service.

Perhaps it is true we have not forgotten those who died that day. But we have abandoned those who are dying now.

Thousands of construction workers, janitors, communications specialists, food-cart vendors and others who worked amid the noxious fumes for weeks or months—removing debris not only from Ground Zero but from the office buildings that still stood, reviving communications, feeding and providing aid to those who toiled—are sick with lung disease and all manner of rare cancers, according to various health officials. An expert panel created by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg concluded that as many as 410,000 people faced sufficient exposure to health hazards that they could become ill.”

What are we as a nation going to do about it?

The Lingering After-Effects of 9/11

I remember the morning of September 11, 2001, as if it were yesterday. I live on the West Coast and had just put my children on their school buses headed off to school. With my coffee cup in hand I turned on the cable news in time to see video of the WTC towers, one of them with smoke pouring out of it.

While I stood there trying to comprehend what had happened, I saw another plane come into the screen and fly into the second tower. It seemed like it was moving in slow motion. I ran into the bathroom where my husband was showering, calling him into the bedroom to see what I was watching on the TV. We both stood there totally stunned and speechless, incapable of taking in the enormity of what was happening before our very eyes. It was surreal.

I don’t think I ever got out of my bathrobe that day. I was glued to my TV, watching in horror as people ran down streets trying to escape the enormous waves of pyroclastic material that chased them like a tidal wave. I watched the first responders as they frantically searched for victims that may have somehow survived – including so many of their fellow first responders.

I watched as the story then expanded to the explosion at the Pentagon, only to be made worse by the report of another hijacked plane over Pennsylvania, apparently headed back towards Washington. The entire nation was in a state of total confusion. Each new event filling me with a renewed sense of horror as I witnessed the first and then the second of the WTC towers dissolved into crumbled concrete and glass, toxic debris, and mountains of steel.

The scenes were replayed over and over again for days, nonstop. The country was reeling with shock, grief and fear, trying to understand how this could happen.

And so now, six years later, the country is finally beginning to comprehend the extent of the lingering health effects that continue to plague most of the first responders and so many people living and working in the area of Manhattan where the towers once stood. Continue reading

A Day We’ll Remember

Alan Jackson Sings “Where Were You”

I still remember the day President Kennedy was assassinated. I was in a my fourth grade classroom when the teacher told us the news. In 1963 the networks had coverage of the events that followed and the newspapers were still brilliant but there was no 24 hour news channel or world wide web. And yet, it is as if it happened yesterday.

And then, after all those years I watched the events of September 11, only with a horror I could never have imagined. For those of us obsessed with the news we were able to immerse ourselves in even the smallest details of that day.

These two events, while vastly different, both engendered a loss of innocence and altered our history in some very obvious and other extremely subtle ways. While the crimes committed on these two days were horrendous, what our leaders chose to do in the periods that followed is worthy of our notice. And as Americans, who love our country, it is incumbant upon us that we continue to seek the truth until no stone is unturned.

Conspiracy theorist is a term that was used against one digging at the truth about JFK and is used now against anybody questioning the official report on September 11. But to not ask the hard questions is not brave and is not American. True patriots do not believe everything they are told so as not to “rock the boat” or “embolden the enemy” as we are told these days. Those of us who love this country and hold our freedom so dear must, in the name of all soldiers who fought to make this country great, continue to question what truly happened on that day and if the course we have followed since has been the right course.

Cudgel

Atrios writes:

Obviously it was incredibly naive to think that this crew would, after 9/11, come anywhere close to doing the right thing. But what I certainly wasn’t capable of predicting at the time was how a horrific event perpetuated by extremist religious fundamentalists could somehow be converted into a sustained attack on… liberals. What I didn’t understand then was the basic conservative worldview that if it’s good it’s conservative and if it’s bad it’s liberal.

The political blogosphere grew in the aftermath of 9/11, and quickly bored of the not exciting enough war in Afghanistan, self-styled “war bloggers” quickly turned on the enemy at home. It’s useful to remember, in this imagined time of national unity, just how quickly the Right claimed the tragedy as their own and used it as a cudgel to beat their fellow citizens with.

Some of the heroes walked on four legs

Some of the strongest emotions I’ve felt in regard to the 9/11 deaths in New York have been my admiration and grief for the first responders, especially those who ran into the WTC buildings just as everyone else was running out. I have no way to understand the depth of what the survivors in FDNY and NYPD experienced in the hours, days and weeks after 9/11 but the pain must have been profound.

Some time well after 9/11 I found myself again overcome with emotion, this time when a small parade of rescue, bomb and cadaver dogs were introduced during a major dog show. To some, the work of the dogs may seem trivial compared to the human loss and despair, but I wanted to take a moment of appreciation for the animals and, of course, for their human handlers. 300 search dogs from around the country and Canada joined dogs from FEMA, the NYPD K9 teams, and numerous others agencies and groups in the days following 9/11.

There are photos here: http://dogsinthenews.com/issues/0209/articles/020911a.htm

And a particularly poignant story, about a guide dog who led his owner out of the WTC here: http://dogsinthenews.com/issues/0109/articles/010914a.htm

UPDATE: gummitch provides this link to a musical tribute to our canine heroes. [Egreggious]

“My City of Ruins”

With so many other memories surrounding this day, I had forgotten about the benefit concert which was held on September 21, 2001. Among the memorable moments from A Tribute to Heroes was Bruce Springsteen performing “My City of Ruins.”

Many of those who played a part in this moving concert have since been demonized by our good friends, the Right Wing Nutjobs. George Clooney organized the event. The Dixie Chicks (before their infamous statement at a London show) were among the 21 musical acts.

I acknowledge that Enrique Iglesias is not for everyone, but his song “Hero” was one of the tunes I remember bringing a tear to my eye during the concert.