So, just as the Chinese Government blocks its citizens from reading dissident (or even many mainstream) web sites, so they're able to censor the terminology used on the sacred 9/11 site. Not good.
It's all the more disturbing on the heels of Chinese grumblings about US monetary policy, the dollar as international reserve currency, and stimulus rules about foreign steel (which is standard practice world-wide for government construction projects.)
China is unmistakably starting to flex its economic muscles as well they should (from their perspective). I don't begrudge that nor am I overfond of the Freedom nomicker. After all the F word has indelible associations with the Bushies and has been used too often as a bludgeon against our overseas cousins. I can see why they or any entity would want to rid the tower of Pataki's unfortunate choice of names.
I am very disturbed though about what it says about us. First of all, the PA sold our freedom on a symbolic level for a less than 5% rental stake. How much would actual freedom cost? 40%?
More disturbing is the message about real estate. Eight years after 9/11, this behemoth office tower has exactly one tenant. Maybe it shouldn't be built? The thought of a hundred+ story darkened lighthouse keeping watch over the city is very grim indeed. Would it mean New York is officially done?
On the bright side, real estate gluts are good for artists but what tends to happen here in hard times is that you overpay AND have broken-window blight next door.
I do no wish to be a downer on a gorgeous Spring day but if that vertical shaft is a thermometer, today's reading looks rather chilly.
Update: Coincidentally, today's Leonard Lopate show has an excellent discussion about the evolving meaning of Freedom.
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