Sunday, July 06, 2008

Penn & Teller's Simple Message To Terrorists

Penn & Teller give their simple message to the suicide skyjackers of September 11 in this video advocating new construction on the site of the World Trade Center, which you can watch here.

There is an emotional appeal to rebuilding the fallen World Trade Center even taller than before as a rebuke to the contemptible Islam which sought to knock them down. On the other hand, the World Trade Center was a bad idea, economically and socially, from the beginning. They cleared away a working neighborhood of businesses to make way for the WTC, which substituted a sterile plaza nobody used. It was the kind of gargantuan urban renewal project which Jane Jacobs rightfully argued was bad for the city. Ric Burns lays out the problems of the WTC in his excellent documentary, "New York."

They could never fill the WTC, either. Even at the end, many of its floors were empty. Worse yet, building so much unwanted and unneeded office space depressed the market in the entire neighborhood. Rather than stimulating the economy of lower Manhattan, the WTC depressed it. It's not clear that committing the same economic error twice would be a sound decision, when the only reward is the emotional satisfaction derived from thwarting the terrorists' goal. We should never be driven by what terrorists think. Instead of spending a couple billion dollars to reconstruct the World Trade Center to impress upon Islamist fanatics the futility of their attacks on America, that money would be better spent simply smashing our Islamist enemies like bugs where ever we find them.

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3 Comments:

Blogger heidianne jackson said...

to do what some are recommending may be emotionally satisfying, but ultimately a real drag on our economy and more specifically the economy of new york. sort of like cutting off one's nose to spite his face. i vote for a memorial setup and then let the neighborhoods take it back over. life would be the best f/u to these guys.

Thu Jul 10, 01:43:00 PM 2008  
Blogger Um Naief said...

i totally disagree w/ you. i DO NOT believe we should try to find and smash the enemy for whatever cost. ridiculous.

the money should be spent to create a beautiful place... a park, pond... something to bring peace to that area, hopefully. it'll never erase, but i have to agree w/ that guy on al jazeera... why sit around depressed, crying over the past... it will never change what happened. chasing down and killing whomever we seem fit for the title of terrorist will not work either.

these ppl will get theirs in due time. we are not God.

Sat Oct 18, 05:47:00 AM 2008  
Blogger Tantor said...

Smashing the terrorists who perpetrated the Sep 11 attacks won't change the past, but it will change the future. The peaceful park you propose will not stay peaceful if allow terrorists to slaughter thousands of Americans at a time at will. If you do not resist evil, you become par t of it.

Sat Oct 18, 11:42:00 AM 2008  

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