Monday, September 11, 2006

Open Forum


Anonymous said...

A John Kerry moment!

Anonymous said...

^^^ A Swift Boat moment ^^^

(Personal attack which misrepresents what happened and fails to address issues.)

(Also, a moment particularly inappropriate for this day of rememberance.)

"Have you no sense of decency left?"

Anonymous said...

In the immortal words of National Insecurity Director Condi Rice, "Planes flying into buildings, who could've imagined such a thing?"

Of course a 1994 Tom Clancy novel, "Debt of Honor" ended with a 747 flying into the Capitol building.

Government failed us that day. What is amazing is that so little is known as to what happened with NORAD. With today's technology, commerical airlines shouldn't be able to "disappear" for an hour after hijacking. What happened to our state of readiness?

Anonymous said...

Is it true that even though in D.C., Senator Lieberman skipped two votes related to Iraq last week?

Tim Tagaris is writing about it over at the official Lamont Blog. But it doesn't sound like the Joe Lieberman that I thought I knew. (principles before politics.)

Does anyone know more about this, because I haven't seen it in the newspapers. Since when does Joe Lieberman skip important votes about Iraq?

Genghis Conn said...

Here's an article from NBC about the votes, anon10:53.

Scott MacLean said...

On September 11, 2001 I was the Pastor of a small church in Rockville Centre, NY, just 20 miles from the World Trade Center. This small town on Long Island lost 40 residents that day. I wrote this article for a local newspaper 6 weeks later.

May God Bless you all on this solemn day of remembrance.

Through Holy Ground Zero
By The Reverend Scott G. MacLean

I had to go. For six weeks I’ve felt a certain unsettledness at the core of my being that could only be addressed by a trip to lower Manhattan. The heartfelt stories of others, the two dimensional view which nightly comes from the lighted box in the corner of the living room, none of these experiences has been sufficient. My soul seems to need a “three dimensional perspective” in order to begin the journey to recovery and deep in my heart I knew the day would come when I’d have to make a solemn pilgrimage to Ground Zero. That day was yesterday, October 22, 2001, a beautifully warm fall day.
Walking there felt like the right thing to do. I knew I could have taken any of the trains traveling south from Penn Station but merely getting to the site wasn’t the purpose, making the journey was equally important. Traveling south on Eighth Avenue the high rises of mid-town give way to the shorter shops and restaurants of Chelsea and Greenwich Village revealing the once proud skyline of lower Manhattan. This intensely vertical environment is confusing to someone like me and I wasn’t quite sure which street to take next. But that information wasn’t really necessary and I became a moth beckoned, not by light, but by a rising cloud of brown dust.
The site itself is still mostly closed to the public although you can catch glimpses of the wreckage between the buildings along the perimeter of the security zone. Hundreds of people gather at the intersection of Fulton St. and Broadway, some watching stone faced, others being urged to move on by the young, camouflaged corporal. It was a most surreal moment. This was Broadway, where at one end of the street actors dramatically man the barricades (Les Miserables) while singers and dancers mock terrorists from the previous century (The Producers.) Meanwhile, at the other end of the street, real soldiers patrol real barricades and fight real terrorists from this century. And yet the predominant emotion at the corner of Fulton St. and Broadway was neither the exuberance of midtown Broadway or the patriotism on downtown Broadway, it was a strange incongruity foreign to the Great White Way. But not now. In the midst of cops and crowds and cameras I experienced a mostly silent reverence. It felt like I was in the Outdoor Chapel of Perpetual Motion.
I went up to the camouflaged corporal at the barricade with my driver’s license in one hand and my business card in the other, identifying myself as clergy, and asked if I could get access to the site. The soldier asked me what business I had within the security zone because many people who worked there or lived there or who had appointments inside were being allowed to go in with a police escort. He denied my request because my reason wasn’t on the approved list. I just wanted to go in and pray, right there where it happened, at the site itself. Undeterred, I went up to a New York City police officer and asked the same thing. “I’d like to go onto the site, just to pray,” I said. He thought about it for a moment and said, “Sure, follow me,” and in we went. It turns out that this was his first day back on the job since September 11th. He had been in the hospital with a lung infection I assume he contracted from all the dust inhaled that fateful day. As we walked down Fulton St., through the canyon land of undamaged buildings, the police officer said “they don’t want you taking any pictures,” and, of course, I complied with his request. As we came out of the canyon the whole sky opened up allowing one to experience the entirety of the moment all at once. This was no gradual immersion for hell knows no subtleties.
Two words came to mind as I stood before what was left of the twin towers: Acrid Amputation. What’s left are two charred cubes, each on their pedestals, about ten stories high. A certain symmetry remains, with only a few mangled girders sticking out to mar the otherwise even lines as if some demonic architect designed it that way. The odor was appallingly unique: one part electrical fire, one part concrete dust, two parts death. I put down my backpack, took off my camera and went up to the plywood safety fence which surrounds the immediate site. And there I prayed. I prayed for Jim Barbella, the husband of a member of my congregation. He was a Property Manager at the World Trade Center, responsible for the building itself, and was last seen escorting three police officers UP the stairs during the evacuation. I prayed for the rescue workers and the cops and the firefighters and all the victims and their families. That was it really. It didn’t seem like the time for a long string of insufficient words, just presence and heartfelt prayer.
I headed back to the police officer ready to exit the site, a bit shook and teary. But he caught me off guard and asked if I’d like to go around the corner and see the rest of the site. I hadn’t really thought about trying to see the rest of the area because my purpose was accomplished and I wasn’t really in a tourist frame of mind. But after thinking about it for a moment I said, “Sure,” and he walked me down the street, on the east side of the 16 acre site. That’s when the pit came into view. A constant stream of water poured on the debris, the fires below still red hot. Billows of hot steam rose towards the freshly opened sky as a giant crane continued its terrible task. At the far side of the pit stood a five story mound of destruction. Like a line of refugees climbing the next mountain in Afghanistan, 75 to 100 rescue workers stood shoulder to shoulder, passing buckets of dust and debris down this artificial hill. It all seemed so out of place. To the South, still standing like a sentinel on Liberty Place, was a majestic 50 story building, the length of it’s skin scarred by intense heat and the abrasion of falling girders. It looked somewhat proud still standing there, keeping watch over the graves of it’s big brother and big sister, it’s wounds still fresh and on public display.
That was it. The police officer and I headed back to the barricades on Broadway, I thanked him again, turned North and walked up that proud boulevard to 32nd street and Penn Station where I caught my train to come home.
So where’s the Good News in this story, the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? The Good News is nothing less than the Classic Christian message that has been a source of constant hope for centuries. The message is that death is not death, death is not the end of the story. The good news of the resurrection is that those who believe in Jesus Christ, though you shall die, yet shall you live! New life and new energy and new opportunities come out of death experiences and my walk back up Broadway felt like a metaphor for this new life. I saw people coming together in ways they never would have considered before September 11th. We’re better for that. I walked past street merchants from every ethnic group on Earth. We’re better for that too. Three different characters handed me a flyer offering me a good deal on a cell phone. These guys belong in a Hollywood movie, playing themselves. It was wonderful! The NYU Track team jogged by in their coordinated running outfits, having to wait at the light like the rest of us slower paced people. FANTASTIC! Some merchants sold food but many did a brisk business selling FDNY hats and World Trade Center memorabilia: tee shirts with flags, ribbons with flags, World Trade Center posters with flags in the foreground; what a truly American response! Patriotism, capitalism, determination and, some would say, that edgy New York attitude, all coming together in a Broadway show of a different kind. There in all it’s chaotic street side glory rang the bell of freedom, the freedom of opportunity and hope, the freedom for which billions yearn, the freedom we now must defend. It was so Alive!, SO NEW YORK and it felt good to walk through this shining example of our ongoing American experiment. Were it not for that terrible experience six weeks ago I never would have had such a life affirming experience as that long walk up Broadway on a beautifully warm fall day.
Here’s to the journey!

The Reverend Scott G. MacLean is the Pastor of the United Church (UCC) of Rockville Centre, NY.

Anonymous said...

Even on a Day of Remembrance, politics doesn’t stop.

Interesting developments in the 16th.


AnonAndOnAndOn said...

Sacre bleu!! Just what the heck did Sammy ever do to Kevin Rennie?? Steal his Capitol parking spot one day?!

I think they named the wrong person to write the Courant's gossip column... Seriously, Kevin, Sam's a phony, but is your column all about personal revenge?

Genghis Conn said...


I was thinking that. Kevin Rennie seems to take a perverse glee in sabotaging Republican campaigns.

Aldon Hynes said...


Thank you for your beautiful article. We are all remembering the events of 9/11 in our own special ways today, and your thoughts fit very nicely with my own reflections.

I would like to add my own thought, which is the beginning of a great poem by W.H. Auden.

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;

Musee des Beaux Arts by W.H. Auden

A Different Anonymous (No! Really!) said...

Rennie is a bitter little man, isn't he? That must be why his column is such a must-read for everyo ...

Oh, wait.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Kevin Rennie is so interested in the personal lives of the people he writes about? Is he trying to hide anything about his personal life?

AnonAndOnAndOn said...

I don't think this has anything to do with sabotaging campaigns, Ghengis. It's personal. There is a decidedly vicious streak there regarding Rowland, Ellef, Moody, Jim Amann, and now this...

It all makes for great reading, though. A bitter man with a tool to play out all his grudges.

Paul Vance said...

I remember standing in front of St. Peter & Paul's School in Waterbury's East End when I first heard that a plane had hit a tower. It was primary day and I stood outside the polling place waiting for voters to come cast their ballot. It was surreal, seeing people shuffle to the polls- some with their faces marked by tears, most everyone quieter than usual.

God Bless those who perished and those who protect our Nation.

Anonymous said...

Aren’t we all kinda missing the point?

I'm no great fan of Kevin Rennie either, and grown people can do whatever they want, but this guy had an obligation to let people know of the relationship. This raises serious questions about the man's ethics.

For a minute I thought that maybe Sam had distanced himself from Rowland, but this shows that the “untouchable” hubris in his office was, sadly, universal.

bluecoat said...

and exactly which part of this supposed backgrounder on Caliguiri is untrue and what is fact has yet to be addressed by Rich Harris.

bluecoat said...

from the new London Day:Better Prepared For Disaster, But Region Still Lacking
By Paul Choiniere
and from the Stamford advocate Five years later: Funding for security falls
but none of this speaks to the lack of competent public safety & security leadership on this from both Rowland/Rell and the state legislature that has dragged this out longer than need be..

Anonymous said...

Even though it seems like somebody urinated in Mr. Rennie's Cocoa Puffs, I have to say, you never take on someone armed with a barrel of ink.

bluecoat said...

Tocco’ never spoke of conduct --- from New Haven Register
Gregory B. Hladky, Capitol Bureau Chief September 11, 2006

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan of Rennie, but I don't hate him either - I could take him or leave him. That being said, I applaud him for pointing caliguiri's sliminess out. God, that just smells bad - I had no idea! I knew about his being fined for ethics violations, but this goes beyond that to me.

Basically, I knew he was ethically challenged, but I didn't know he was so morally challenged as well.

Derby Conservative said...

On my blog again Bluecoat? To answer your question, probably some scheister chiropractor...

bluecoat said...

yes, dc and I used my handle too. It's more likely a MD certifying the injuries since most jury folks don't think they'll lie to make a buck - but the medical doctor lot has it's share of the ethically challenged just like every other profession. Hey, and I don't know the facts - maybe the govt. really was negligent.

bluecoat said...

Speaking of ethically challenged docs; I had a great internist for years but at age 70 he decided he wanted to play more golf and closed his business/practice - the doctor union used him as a statistic for CT being hostile to doctors but I know he retired for lifestyle reasons. Anyway, I went to a new guy who was supposed to be a pillar of the community and happened to be on the list of the new health insurance plan I just bought for a physical - he did it all - bloodwork, EKG etc. but then I asked him for a cert to go SCUBA diving since onetime I was in the Islands and a freind of mine couldn't rent equip without one because he had recently hit 50. Anyway , to make a long story short the new doc says I need a stress test and writes me a prescription stating that I complained of chest pain - when I questioned it he said that's so the insurance company pays - and the insurer even approved it but I never went for the strees test and I never went back to the ethically challenged doctor. Turns out , I didn't need the note to rent the gear either.

Anonymous said...

Once again sammy tries to tout his religious and virtuous lifestyle, all the while, sleeping with a married woman, covering it up, not disclosing it when she is appointed to investigate him for violating the ethics code, after he was already told by Mr. Garfield he couldn't accept the tickets. Deep breath, now she loses her job, sammy runs away unscathed, still conected to Rowland to Waterbury, you know, that City where mayors are routinely lead away in shackles? Conspires to overthrow an extremely popular Republican cohort, which he does, and positions himself nicely, to assume the reigns of gov't when giordano is arrested, not for corruption that sammy thought would happen, oops, can you say inside information?
sammy has some SERIOUS ethical issues to address as well as the company he keeps, ie. Jeffrey Santipietro.

FrankS said...


The lack of leadership was equally disturbing in how homeland security funding was used. Allowing a candy store mentality, without oversight or purpose, it's no wonder federal funding is waining.

Anonymous said...

As an non affilliated voter I was leaning towards voting for Lamont. But I saw his ad where he uses the names dead soldiers to advance his cause. This offends me.

He criticizes Lieberman for an ad that has veterans supporting him and then allows something like this to air? I don't get it. I'm not sure what to do with my vote. I want this war to end but that ad is classless and offensive. The more I see it the less likely I am to vote for Ned.

justinh said...

Anonymous at 3:46,

Lamont's ad was "using the names of the soldiers to advance his cause"--of bringing home the troops and questioning the wisdom and competence of Lieberman and the administration, given what the war has cost America. What about that do you find offensive?

In what way was Lamont criticizing Lieberman? And why was it offensive to you?

Anonymous said...


I guess Lamont was angry with the veterans who endorsed Lieberman in the so-called "swift ad" because he couldn't use their names in his campaign ad.

Lamont hasn't said one word about what he would do regarding the war on terror. It seems to me that the more soldiers that die the more campaign material he has.

Maybe for once Lamont could do a commercial where he says HE is going to do on the war on terror to make our nation safer. What he is going to do with the problems in the Mid-east.

Brining our troops home and hoping it will all go away...that's some policy!!!

bluecoat said...

The only entities that I have seen do domestic security right are Boston, New York and Los Angeles - with the latter two being bigger at generally considered more at risk than CT. I am sure there are others but it's not just about capital and operational funding, it's about effective security and counter terror measures - not showboating like we've seen in CT.

bluecoat said...

FrankS: there is a comment in your Courant link that says the state had to visit Fairfield to get tham to spend the money; but here in Fairfield it was my understanding that we had spent the money and were waiting for many months for the state to reimburse us. Flatto, the First Selectman of Fairfield, isn't known for not spending money and I am not defending the expenditure becasue i know none of this stuff is coordinated based on a risk assesment or response plan. The guy from the state, Wayne Sanford, that the article quotes has never impressed me as being anything more than another mediocre state hack just one step above DeRosa in ability - I don't know where he came from. From what I can tell, CT gives out HS money the same way Ted Stevens thinks it should be given out nationally.

justinh said...

Anonymous at 4:11

"I guess Lamont was angry with the veterans who endorsed Lieberman in the so-called "swift ad" because he couldn't use their names in his campaign ad." Where did you get that from?

"Lamont hasn't said one word about what he would do regarding the war on terror. It seems to me that the more soldiers that die the more campaign material he has." First, he has said a TON about what he would do. Check it out. Second, the campaign's issues range much further than the tragic debacle in Iraq. This is pretty easy to check out, too.

"Brining our troops home and hoping it will all go away...that's some policy!!!" Of course, that's not a "policy" Lamont is advocating. (I'm sure you're joking.) Lamont has articulated a larger policy vision. And the other question here is this: what is the policy Lieberman and the administartion are advocating? Clearly, you would agree that "staying the course" isn't a policy. So what is? What is the standard for victory? And equally important, what is the standard for failure?--a question never really asked.

Anonymous said...


We're taking Kevin Rennie's gosip column as the gospel truth now? It's obvious Rennie has an axe to grind, it's just a question of what his agenda is exactly. He seems to like dinging Sam on family values, the gay marriage bill, etc. I wonder if this is more of the same from Rennie, i.e. settling personal scores via his gossip column.

And since when are Waterbury mayors "routinely" lead away? Waterbury has had how many mayors in its history and a grand total of 3 have gotten in trouble, one of them being in the 30's? Wow, that is routine!

As for the company he keeps, that is the most ridiculous statement I have ever read. Sam has no control over who participates in the political process. What kind of company are they keeping? I don't even this person's name on any of Sam's campaign finance reports. They must really close...

p.s. Nick Augelli wasn't that popular. Coaching a successful high school basketball team does not equal political popularity...

Bill Mastrogiovanni said...

I was driving from my home in Farmington to a pretrial conference in Milford Superior Court and heard the initial reports over the radio. When I got to court most of the other lawyers and even the judge didn't know what had happened. Only when I got back into my car after I was finished did I learn the towers had collapsed and there had been other attacks.

I also remember how little traffic was on I-95 southbound as I headed back to Hartford northbound- all very eerie. That night my wife and I took a walk with our then one year old and talked about how the world and our lives would never be the same.

bluecoat said...

4:38: are you saying that the events described by Rennie never happened? or are you just dissing Rennie?

FrankS said...


Here's the list of what towns sought and costs.

Fairfield's on alert, radioactive bloggers beware!

Anonymous said...

on Caligiuri/Rennie--

1) Rennie noted that Sam disclosed the violation. Sam could only disclose the violation of another when he learned of it. Right? So on the issue of disclosing the violation, Sam did nothing wrong... based on my reading of Rennie's article.

2) Unrelated to Caligiuri, but if Rennie is going to hold him to account, does anyone know if Rennie publicly blasted Bill Clinton on family values in 1998? If so, good for Rennie. If not, then Rennie ought to explain the difference.

3) Caligiuri was single. His "friend" was married. In Caligiuri's mind, he may have figured that his disclosure of the gift was enough. If he disclosed an affair with a married woman, that probably would've hurt the married woman a lot more than it hurt him... at least at that time... does she have kids?

I have no idea what happened. I'm just playing devil's advocate.

Anonymous said...

My reading is that Sam never disclosed his relationship. Someone else from Rowland's office made a call after Sam left, which set off a series of internal investigations within the Ethics Commission.

Sam kept his mouth shut throughout and that's not right. He let the women fry for something he should have taken 1/2 responsibility for.

This is just another example of people in government (especially in the Rowland administration) feeling that they are better that everyone else and are not subject to the same laws and punishments as the rest of

Anonymous said...


I'm not saying certain events did not happen, I'm saying that this particular column comes across as nothing more than a gossip column. There are no sources, no citations, nothing but gossip and descriptions of events that were publicly known at the time to begin with. Therefore, in my mind, it comes across as Kevin Rennie's version of events that took place 11 years ago and perhaps not necessarily accurate.

I'm not saying that any of the events may or may not have happened. I'm saying that it just sounds like one guy's opinion of it all and a guy who seems like he has an agenda at that.

Johnny Appleseed said...

Caligiuri/Rennie Article -

What is Rennie getting at here? I apologize for the rhetorical question, but this column infuriated me. It is not because I support Sam Caligiuri, it is because this is the stuff that should stay out of politics. This is a personal relationship that occurred 11 years ago. This is not John Rowland getting house renovations for political favors as Rennie(and comments here) tries to insinuate (just drops that name in the second graph). It is Rennie mudslinging, with 11 year old mud that evaporarted long ago. What does he hope to gain from this column?

I think the true point of the column was to stir up an 11 year old rumor in order place in this paragraph:
“Caligiuri, who enjoyed a vigorous social life in English and French when he worked in the governor's office, started his campaign in December running as the poster boy for family values. He pledged "to represent the mainstream values that most of us hold dear." He sounded vexed about the civil union bill, calling it "out of step with the voters." Both of those tidbits have since disappeared from his website.”

Caligiuri may be opposed to homosexual unions, but that is not reason to bring up rumors from 1995. If Rennie wants to write a column about homosexual marriage, he should do that, not mask it with rumors from a candidates personal life 11 years ago. Shame on you Rennie, lets focus on the issues, not mid-90’s gossip.

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like Caliguiri had the chance to set the record straight if it was wrong, but chose not to because it was correct. If it is factually incorrect, he should say so - now he has to - and Rennie should apologize. However, doesn't sound like that's the case.

And Anon 5:43 - on just playing devil's advocate - no more true words were ever spoken. But this devil needs to advocate for himself.

Anonymous said...

You would think that it would be hard to be morally superior and out someone, but ACR managed it! At least he didn't call anyone an anti-semite. This time.

Hey Bobby - in case you are wondering, outing someone just may cross that line, no?

Anonymous said...

Obviously ACR has no class or ethics, just like Caliguiri. Typical republican, rovian tactics.