Thursday, May 19, 2005

COMPOUNDING THE ATROCITY. Donald Trump has begun a campaign to take over the WTC site and build a one-floor-higher version of the old Towers:
Mr. Trump's model was designed by his structural engineer, Kenneth Gardner, who quoted poetry at the news conference, apologized to his mother and thanked many people who "made this day possible."

Mr. Trump's comments about the Freedom Tower were not so appreciative. "In a nutshell, the Freedom Tower should not be allowed to be built," he said. "It's not appropriate for Lower Manhattan, it's not appropriate for Manhattan, it's not appropriate for the United States, it's not appropriate for freedom."

But Mr. Trump's proposal is not exactly appropriate for him. He said he would not be willing actually to lease space in the buildings. ("I only go in buildings I own.") Nor would he explain how his towers would be paid for. "Larry Silverstein hopefully can do this," Mr. Trump said, referring to the lead developer of the site. Mr. Silverstein plans to use insurance money from the terrorist attack to develop both the Freedom Tower and 7 World Trade...

Joanna Rose, the spokeswoman for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, said in an e-mail message: "Donald Trump is entitled to his opinion, just like the millions of people who actually involved themselves in the public planning process, which resulted in the master plan."
You might have thought the spectacularly unsuccessful builder would have his hands full, finishing up another season of his "reality" TV show, trying to dig his latest bankrupt property out of the hole, overseeing the Trump video game, and keeping the hundreds of miles of gleaming gilt surfaces in his hideous Trump Tower polished, but you can't keep a short-fingered vulgarian down!

Deroy Murdock is juiced. "If the public applies enough pressure to New York’s powers that be," he writes, "Trump may get the chance to apply the lessons of Wollman Rink to the World Trade Center," and even supplies an address at which we may entreat the Governor to entrust the sacred site to the savior of Wollman Rink.

I can't much care. The original WTC was an eyesore and a monument to waste and fraud. Of course the enormous slaughter that took place there would, in a better world, demand the very best that our builders could come up with, but there was never any chance that we would get it, given the enormous number of crooks, scoundrels, and egos -- now increased by one -- involved with its reconstruction.

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