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Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Freedom Tower goes way of freedom, making room for Chinese

Posted by James McPherson on March 28, 2009

Remember that “Freedom Tower” being built in New York where the World Trade Center once stood? It’s still going up, but don’t call it that. You wouldn’t want to confuse the Chinese tenants.

After a slow start, the building is now about one-eleventh of the way toward its eventual 108-story height. But the Port Authority, which owns the land, has announced that the name of the structure will be “One World Trade Center.” Is that to remind us that there will be “one” tall building where there used to be two?

Also announced was the first tenant of the tower: a Chinese corporation that will occupy more than five floors of the new building after it is completed in 2013. Somehow that seems appropriate.

After all, the Bush/Cheney administration lied us into an unending war in Iraq, and kept warning us about Iran, but continued warm relations with the equally nasty Saudi kingdom–where most of the 9/11 hijackers and money actually originated.

Then, to “get back” at the terrorists even as the economy was headed toward a cliff, Bush told us to “go shopping.” That was a great boost for the Chinese, who produce most of the stuff we buy. In the meantime, the administration (aided, of course, by gutless and clueless of Congress) spent the next few years doing all it could to strip us of freedom at home.

Now Barack Obama tells us the fate of the world rests in Afghanistan, and maybe we ought to worry about those crazy drug lords on our southern border. But Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s first overseas trip was to China, the nation that will be–if it hasn’t already–the one that replaces us at the top of the heap in terms of world power.

Clinton went to plead with the Chinese to please, please, please don’t let us go bankrupt. Hey, soon perhaps freedom will return: After all, in the words written by Kris Kristofferson and famously sung by another Texan, Janis Joplin, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.”

You can hear the full song below, by both artists:

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6 Responses to “Freedom Tower goes way of freedom, making room for Chinese”

  1. J N Gavin said

    I can see it now “Wok Delight Tower”

  2. Dale said

    Once again the Clinton’s bough down to their foreign masters and America is once again controlled by China and other countries. What ever happened to America standing up for itself? Politicians like Clinton, Obama, Gore, Pelosi, Reed and others have weakened America so they can remain in power. The Freedom Tower name needs to stay!!

  3. PJF said

    The Chinese can be such dick-heads at times. Afraid of the word FREEDOM? Shame on the people who own the place. The new masters are demanding and the politicians are caving in to them for $. Bush lied, Cheney got us into 2 unimaginable wars and we are supposed to go shopping. They should have left the gaping hole as they were. IT IS DISGUSTING THAT THEY ARE CAVING IN TO THE CHINESE!!!!!

  4. James McPherson said

    On the other hand, I do see the point of some who say that “Freedom Tower” sounds like a xenophobic remnant of the same attitude that brought us “freedom fries.” The fact that the change was publicized late on a Friday (though apparently first mentioned on Thursday) suggests that those making the announcement know it wouldn’t be well received, however.

    As for those who’ve made us “weak” (though you and I might disagree on what constitutes weakness or strength) there’s plenty of blame to go around. After all, Republicans held most of the power for most of the last decade. More importantly, most of us did very little to “stand up” to our own government when it was engaging in foolhardy actions. Thanks all, for the comments.

  5. Gabrielle said

    i hate this. so much potential for change, so little action actually taken.

    i love hillary for her strength of character and the fact that she chose to continue in politics at all after the whole monica lewinsky thing (i was a child when that happened, but as a woman now i can hardly bear to imagine how she must have felt, with the eyes of the entire world on her….) BUT. i HATE that she went to china and literally said, “please don’t worry about us interfering with the way you treat your citizens” (i.e.; GINORMOUS CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS). we basically kissed china’s you-know-what just so they would save our slimy sell-out skins, economically speaking.

    my hippie soul would rather that we cut off all delegates to china at all rather than even IMPLY approval of their actions.

  6. Gabrielle said

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/01/jillette.skid/index.html – interesting article by noted magician penn jillette vis-a-vis what ‘change’ has come to mean in the aftermath of obama’s actual election

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