Note: what follows is the original post for this day. Some afterthoughts and additional posts follow. BLACK TUESDAY One shudders to think of the enormity of personal tragedy, loss and grief to follow the disasters of this morning. Panic and mayhem will taper off. A semblance of order will be restored, and New Yorkers will adapt to new traffic and work patterns, travel patterns, and logistics. This is what New Yorkers always do. It is often a hectic city, change is more often a constant than not. But death and destruction on so large a scale casts a shadow long and large, on many and on the city as a whole. All New Yorkers become affected by the events of the day. Transit in and out, the ability to reach loved ones, concern for the safety of friends, relatives, acquaintances, become issues of heightened concern. Phone lines in the city are plagued by the overload. From my location in the suburbs I cannot complete a call to Manhattan. It was easier earlier in the morning, but now one simply cannot get through. Cell phone traffic is snarled, as the cells are tied up with more calls than the systems can handle. I attempted to reach Mrs. Yankfan via her pager, but that line is met with a fast-busy. She was able to get a line out and called me from work to let me know she was okay.

It just so happens that today is An International Day of Peace, declared so by the UN. This I learned from my friend and colleague Ashok in Toronto. Moments ago he called to check in on me, able to get through by phone from Canada. The airport in Toronto is closing, as is the Canadian Stock Exchange. Ashok sent along this link: . Here's the gist of it:

International Day of Peace

(September - opening day of General Assembly) In 1981, the General Assembly declared that the opening day of its regular session in September "shall be officially dedicated and observed as the International Day of Peace and shall be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples" (resolution 36/67). In 1998, the Assembly reaffirmed that the Day should continue to be observed on the opening day of its annual regular session (resolution 52/232 of 4 June). In 2001, the opening day will be 11 September. The question on my mind is this: when will the families and friends so affected by the losses of the day once again know a time of inner peace? Terrorism as a political act may seem righteous and justified to those who commit such acts. But they must also be accountable to the innocent and uninvolved, whose lives are shattered, ended, and the fallout to their friends and loved ones in the aftermath. The stoic, military/revoltionary ideal that counts the victims as either martyrs or necessary casualties cuts no swath in my book. In the vein of "an eye for an eye," there really cannot be any sufficient punishment doled out to compensate or penalize the parties responsible for these shameful acts.

Flying with what might be an olive branch

Earlier this morning our friend from the UK sent a note asking how we were doing, and if we could let him know what was up with the WTC plane incident, as there was no access to news on Reuters or CNN from where he logs onto the net. The following is my reply to his note You cannot imagine the disaster mode around here. I was fortunate enough to reach Mrs. Yankfan's mom by phone. She told me Mrs. Yankfan had left already. Also there was her sister, whose husband works in a building on Wall Street and who takes the twins to a Daycare Center at nearby Federal Plaza. She used to take the boys to a daycare facility at WTC! Yikes. All the bridges and tunnels leading into the city are closed. All US air traffic has been shut down for at least seven hours. Planes already in the air must land at nearest airports. There are reports of a fire somewhere in the White House. Also reports that a small plane or helicopter may have crashed into The Pentagon. Apparently (the byword of the moment) the first plane to hit the first tower was a highjacked AA Boeing 767. Smoke is reportedly pouring out of the WTC towers. Reports on the radio (my cable system went down yesterday during a thunderstorm) say people are jumping out of windows there, from as high as 60 stories. The wind from the smoke has papers blowing all the way over the East River into Brooklyn. Downtown is a traffic and pedestrian pandemonium disaster. Nearly all the subway lines run under the WTC, so that traffic will be shut down. I sure hope Mrs. Yankfan took the bus, not the subway, to work this morning. I can't reach her beeper, nor can I now get to my parents (they are in midtown Manhattan) as the phone circuits are jammed. Cell phones are very difficult since there are so many in Manhattan, so all one gets is a "fast-busy." It is a rather scary situation. Today is Primary Day. Registered voters from the parties get to vote for their choice for candidates in the upcoming elections. This will certainly have an impact on those results, possibly resulting in a second Primary Day so all the voters can get to their polling places. Imagine a voter at work in Manhattan when this happened, who cannot get home (due to all the traffic problems) in time to get to their local polling place. All the people who had already gotten into Manhattan who come here daily from the other sides of the bridges and tunnels...may be stuck here until the authorities re-open the ingress and egress....all of which are currently closed. I was going to suggest you try the ABC or MSNBC news sites for coverage, but I went there to get you direct-link URLs and got error messages:

HTTP 403.9 - Access Forbidden: Too many users are connected Internet Information Services

I will try to send Mrs. Yankfan e-mail at work...otherwise there is no reaching her by phone, cell, or pager. Very strange situation around here. More from here when I have info to report. --Dean

E-mail has also come from friends in Germany and other parts of the globe both here and abroad. A few lists and interactive BBS's I am on and/or peruse have asked about me and Mrs. Yankfan. If not for the net we would not have a way of communicating. BTW, I did hear from Yankfan, who made it to work safely. Still no way to reach my parents, but they are far enough away from the area to not have been impacted by the earlier events of the day.

MORE THOUGHTS AND COMMENT 6PM NY Time It would seem that this day was not chosen at random for these acts of terrorism. This carefully plotted, intricate and calculated sequence of events, is the result of much effort, plotting, planning. From the success of the action(s) all indications would point to there having been some role-play sort of staging and dry runs. A plot of this sort takes logistics planning, expertise in any number of areas, and strong leadership. Whatever or whichever group claims responsibility, it is a finely tuned machine. No renegades or religious fanatic nutjobs with home-made, powerful explosives this time. This is a threat of a much higher order, from an organized and focused group. This sort of attack, and the resulting pandemonium, signifies success on the part of the culprits. This is the work of professionals, experts, no Johnies-come-lately to the terrorist camp. It leaves us wondering what might be next? What sort of attack might be mounted? When might what seems an innocent dayís events end up as another instance of vast tragedy, attack, and bloodshed? Again, the selection of September 11th is neither happenstance nor coincidence. A friend of mine, busy in his computer security duties, had to analyze this from the point of view of one who needs to head off software attacks, hackers, events of this sort. His job leads to some analyses of a specific and (I think) peculiar bent. He came up with some curious data about the date. Revolution and Religion are the consistent themes. On this date in 1782, it was at Fort Henry that the final battle of the American Revolution was fought. Ten years ago today there were 20 deaths in four air accidents. The National Tranportation Safety Board keeps statistics of the events. Last year, exactly a year ago on this day, at the World Economic Forum, S11, a non-violent protest group, staged an action at the conference. They plan to do the same at this yearís conference, too. The WEF is also known to many as "The Davos Group." Since 1999, September 11th has been a 'National Day of Art to Stop the Execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal',î Ever heard of the Chadds-Ford Historical Society? Among other things, this Society celebrates the Battle of Brandywine. As the site says, this was the largest engagement of battle in the American Revolutionary War. History of Chile Under Salvador Allende and the Popular Unity - examines the 1970 elections, the Popular Unity government, and the September 11, 1973 coup. This was the beginning of the end for Allendeís dictatorial rule. A website spouting beliefs of Messianic Judiasm (an oxymoron if ever there was one!) claims to describe how the Biblical Hebrew year 6001, or September 11, 1999, marked the first year of the Seventh Millennium. This stuff, by the way, is total anathema to me. Being a Messianic Jew is tantamount to being an Earthling from Pluto. Some interesting, notable September 11th political births and deaths. On September 11, 1789 Alexander Hamilton took the oath and was sworn in as the first Secretary of The Treasury in The United States. In 1941 on September 11, less than three months before the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Charles A. Lindbergh sparked charges of anti-Semitism with a speech in which he blamed ''the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration'' for trying to draw the United States into World War II. And now, as a result of this act of terrorism, September 11, 2001 will remain permanently etched in our minds and in the history books as the day of the most brutal, deadly, senseless and callous terrorist attack mounted against The United States.

MORE THOUGHTS AND COMMENT Just past 7PM NY Time In my comments above there is conjecture as to the events of the day not being attributable to a lunatic-fringe-religious (sic) hate group, but rather to a rather professional, well oiled machine. This argument is made rather well in this, which I just read on Dave's site, changed to a quick-load due to the events of the day. Check it out. It is written, rather eloquently, by Jonathan S. Shapiro. There are any number of sites and discussion boards devoted to the events of the day. The issues that keep rolling around in my head are 1) the casualties among the innocent and the long-term effect on their loved ones, and 2) the concealed identity of the perpetrators. It irks me that their invisibility is so part and parcel with their [apparent] guile and mission. Cowboys are calling for Arabs' heads. Reactionaries are blaming all sorts of Semitic types. News source after news source reports on the Palestinians dancing for joy in the streets. The bigoted, or just the less educated, decide than any Middle-Eastern in a turban is somehow connected to the terrorists. All of a sudden, new paths and pursuits of hatred are being marched on, by the righteous, the angry, the quick-to-react, and those who just need to blow off some reactive steam. Peace and understanding are set back by these events. It is part of the objective of the offensive. Jews fear the attack will be blamed on the Jewish people: either as the cause of Arab anger, or just because it is somehow always the fault of the Jews (in the minds of the bigots). We haven't heard the last of this, and won't, I suspect, for a long, long time.

Another Update, around 8PM I am happy to report that my parents managed to get through, after many, many attempts. They are okay. They were actually on their way to lower Manhattan when it occured, and were turned away after spending a few moments on a subway headed downtown. They had a long, healthy walk back to their place in midtown. Phone lines are a disaster. I received a landline call from a friend who said my cell phone gets a fast busy, and that circuits into NY are nearly impossible to attain. Earlier in the day a friend from California called, and we cut the conversation short. We did it in order to, as he put it, stop hogging a circuit that might be better used by someone in greater need than the two of us. I find myself wondering about those who are stranded, those who cannot get home, those stuck in airports all over, those who have been unable to reach their loved ones.