Nadal overwhelms Del Potro to clinch Davis Cup for Spain

Spain have won the Davis Cup after their number one Rafael Nadal recovered from a terrible start to hold on to beat Juan Martin del Potro in four sets to give the hosts an insurmountable 3-1 lead.

Del Potro hit the ground running and Nadal soon found himself one set behind. The Argentinian gave him almost no chance in winning the first set 6-1.

The story looked like it was going to be repeated at the beginning of the second set, but little by little Nadal started to find his rhythm. He broke back and then secured another break to level matters on the clay court in Seville.

He continued to dominate and beat Del Potro with one of 35 winners to take the next set 6-1.

And the fourth turned out to be the final one. The players exchanged breaks to reach a tie-break, which turned out to be completely one-sided as Nadal whitewashed his opponent, winning 7-0.

Consequently, the Spaniards grabbed their fifth Davis Cup overall, and their third in the last four years.

ESA halts attempts to contact Russian Mars moon probe

The European Space Agency (ESA) said on Friday it had ended attempts to establish contact with Phobos-Grunt, Russia’s failed probe to one of Mars’ moons.

“In consultation and agreement with Phobos-Grunt mission controllers, ESA engineers will end ESTRACK ground station support today,” the agency said. “ESA ground teams remain available to assist the Phobos-Grunt mission if indicated by any change in the situation”

The Phobos-Grunt probe was launched on November 9, but its engines failed to put it on course for the Red Planet. The craft, designed to bring back rock and soil samples from the Martian moon Phobos, is currently moving along a so-called support orbit.

According to NASA, Russia has failed in all of its 17 attempts to study the Red Planet close-up since 1960. The most recent failure before this month occurred in 1996, when Russia lost its Mars-96 orbiter during launch.

Why Russia is backing Syria | David Hearst

While an international noose is tightening around the neck of Bashar-al Assad’s regime in Syria, with Turkey this week doing most of the pulling, one country, other than Iran, is intent on bucking the trend – Russia.

A day after the UN human rights council said that Syrian forces were committing crimes against humanity, and Turkey was considering imposing a buffer zone along its border to protect Syrians, Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said further attempts should be made to engage with Damascus.

Lavrov opposed the idea of an arms embargo, saying it was unfair to expect the Syrian government not respond to unrest. He thought that for the most part armed opposition groups were provoking the Syrian authorities. These were not empty words.

On Monday the state-run English-language channel, Russia Today, reported that Moscow would be sending the aircraft-carrying missile cruiser, Admiral Kuznetsov, and two escort ships on a two-month tour of the Mediterranean and would be dropping in on the Syrian port of Tartus. Six hundred Russian technicians are currently working there to renovate it as a base for Russian ships. Russia Today said the deployment had been long planned, but no one lost sight of the fact that the USS George HW Bush had just appeared off the coast of Syria. On Thursday, a consignment of Russian Yankhont anti-ship cruise missiles arrived in Syria.

Why is Russia engaging so heavily with Syria, where it did not with Libya or Iran? After all, the Russian president Dmitry Medvedev banned the sale of R-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Tehran.

The first answer is money. Apart from active arms contracts worth $4bn, the Moscow Times reported recently that Russia’s investment in Syrian infrastructure, energy and tourism amounts to $19.4bn in 2009. A Russian company, Stroitransgaz, is building a natural gas processing plant 200km east of Homs and is providing the technical support for the Arab gas pipeline. The Tatarstan-based Tatneft began pumping Syrian oil last year and in January vowed to spend $12.8m drilling wells near the Iraqi border.

But that is by no means all of the story. The shadow of Libya weighs heavily on Russia’s policy with Syria. Throughout the Nato intervention, Lavrov said Russia would not recognise the rebels (although that is what they ended up doing), that there was no UN mandate for a ground forces operation, that the Nato intervention caused more casualties than would otherwise have occurred. Back in August Lavrov said: “Russia will do everything it can to prevent a Libyan scenario happening in Syria.”

Even though such a scenario has for now been ruled out by Nato, Admiral Viktor Kravchenko, former chief of naval staff, said Moscow was sending a message to the US and Europe. “Having any military force other than Nato’s is very useful for the region because it will prevent the outbreak of armed conflict,” he said.

This is not as daft as it first seems, although Russia’s naval deployment is no match for Nato, and indeed will be eagerly awaited by them. Naval watchers will be agog to know whether Russia can keep three large ships on the seas without one of them breaking down.

Russia’s fears about a civil war developing in Syria are geostrategic and may not be too dissimilar to some of the more cautious western foreign policy analysts, war-gaming the effects it would have on the region. Russian middle eastern experts compare Syria to Russia’s own province of Dagestan in the North Caucasus.

Unlike its neighbouring Chechnya, Dagestan is patchwork of competing tribes, religions, ethnicities and loyalties, more than 150 of them. If a breakaway Muslim insurgency took hold there, Dagestan would explode like a grenade, sending hot shards of metal and people across southern Russia.

Russian fears of a Lebanese-style civil war breaking out in Syria, with the country fissuring on sectarian lines, may not be as far fetched in three months’ time as they currently seem. Keeping Syria together while getting rid of a vile dictatorship may conversely be a harder task than western leaders pressing for more sanctions realise. Turkey for one is talking big, but acting on the ground more cautiously.

Police brutality and harsh tactics at OWS

After several months of protests at Occupy Wall Street camps all over the US and hundreds of arrests, RT takes a look at some of the increasingly militarized tactics the police have been using against American citizens.

­Popular uprisings abroad get applauded in the United States, but  similar uprisings within the US turn into a crackdown on that same democratic will. Has America been in a war on its own territory – against its own people – during the last several months of the nationwide Occupy Wall Street movement demonstrations?

“For basically our entire history we’ve been an imperialist state, so I think it’s only a matter of time before imperialism abroad starts affecting individual liberties at home,” said Occupy Wall Street activist Katie Davison.

The methods being used to end civil disobedience in the US have been increasingly reminiscent of war tactics.

“There is a lot of casualties, so you can say it’s a war zone,” said one New York protester to RT.

Peaceful students have been pepper-sprayed while seated, demonstrating Americans have been getting beaten until they bleed, and even war veterans have gotten injured into unconsciousness.

“Our police forces have been militarized. They are working more in cooperation with the Pentagon. They’re buying and being given military surplus equipment that has been kind of designed for use in war, and this is something that leads to treating the public as you would treat an enemy,” said film maker and blogger Danny Schechter.

“As if they were hugging me, like, ‘Don’t make a move, just put your hands behind your back.’ And then 6 people jumped on me, they tried to wrestle me to the ground, they wrestled me to the ground, and then kneed me in the back for about 5 minutes,” 37-year-old lawyer and artist Amin Husain recalled of his own arrest.

Amin said the only political right not cracked down on in the US is the right to vote on Election Day. Everything else, according to the Occupy Wall Street activist, is seen as a threat.

“The United States has created a space for people to shop. For people to buy cards, go on picnics, do things like that – but the moment they are politicized in any way – that’s a problem,” said Amin.

Hundreds of arrests throughout months of Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have shown the world an image of America not seen for a long time. An image authorities have tried their best to hide by demanding special credentialing for journalists covering demonstrations and evictions, as well as threatening to take media passes away.

“We’re seeing this pattern, and it’s very disturbing, and a lot of reporters aren’t seeing it because they’re getting thrown out of the action and arrested, and this is something that’s outrageous also,” added Schechter.

Police presence and aggression has been overwhelming at non-violent protests.

“Since the Patriot Act was passed, they’ve used instances of violence to revoke liberties,” said Occupy Wall Street activist Jesse La Greca.

Some of those who’ve been part of the protests since day one, have said officials turned the movement into a civil war.

“The show of police force and the coordinated attempts with Homeland Security show that this is coming from a federal level,” explained Occupy Wall street activist Katie Davison.

Even with the use of militarized tactics on the rise, those who have been fighting for change are not planning to give up on their battle.

“The police overreaction and the political overreaction only emboldens us, only strengthens our resolve,” said Jesse La Greca.

Many are saying the real fight is yet to come.

“The actions of a dying regime become more aggressive and crazier. We’re just going to see more of that. 2012 will be the year of American Revolution,” editorial columnist and author Ted Rall said to RT.

The aggressive vigor with which America’s biggest protests in years have been met is the latest example of the fact that what the US preaches is not necessarily what it practices – only heating the outrage of its citizens who want the system to change.

Small airlines kicked out with safety standards up

New technical requirements for civil aviation could put smaller Russian airlines out of business. Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin says, “about 30 airlines would probably fail to renew their certificates of airworthiness this year”.

­New regulations, which include providing, ground proximity warning apparatus on all planes comes into effect next year. The measures are seen as urgent by the Russian authorities. The government has increased the requirements for airlines after a series of plane crashes caused by technical failure.

 Analysts say smaller companies have few options, and they will have to merge with Russian or foreign operators to survive. But not all small airlines have a chance to join key participants of the market.

“Most of domestic airlines face difficulties and get financial support from the state. Investors aren’t interested in them”, says Kirill Markin, analyst  from InvestCafe.

“The market is very tough for smaller air companies due to the high fuel prices and high leasing cost”, said Alexey Astapov, analyst from “Gasprombank”. “Either they find a niche in the market which will turn profitable or they go out of business”.

Some air carriers that offer domestic flights would still get financial support from the state, but they would also have to fulfill the technical requirements. Russian authorities will consider providing financial backing for airlines from the Siberia region, the Russian Far East, Ural region and Northern West Federal District.   

Russian travellers wouldn’t notice a drop in the number of Russian airlines. “The situation in Russia is unique. About 130 air companies operate in Russia; it’s more than any other European country. But about 90% flights are provided by 20-25 large carriers”, Mr Astapov says.

The largest Russian air companies “Aeroflot”, “Utair” and “Transaero” would benefit from new regulations, Mr Markin supposed.  ”They can expand their business and improve their financial indexation by purchasing local rivals”.

Libya The Quagmire Nightmare of a Country: Thank You Western World…

From the beginning a few of us believed, and said, that this would happen. I, among others predicted and still consider it probable, that foreign troops will be needed to protect oil installations…

For reasons probably connected only with getting control of Libyan oil and gas, western politicians ignored all contrary advice and meddled with Libyan internal affairs, actively assisting one side in a civil uprising; without any thought of consequences, stepping over the Rubicon, if, indeed, they were able to think that far ahead…

The bare fact is that Libya is not a homogenous society, but a land of some six hundred tribes with numerous active grudges and feuds from as far back as Roman times. A land where any policy of concession, or democracy, is derided as weakness…

More than the stupidity and greed demonstrated by Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy, et al, is the disgusting and shameful self congratulations they showered upon themselves for their meddling in Libyan affairs…

I suspect the worst is yet to come. I suspect that violent revenge with attacks, will spill over into the countries that meddled in this conflict, and that all foreigners will now be at risk in Libya…

So much for law, order, justice, and decency. The leaders who might have stood up for those principles now only stand up, smirking, for the television cameras…

Now over seven thousand imprisoned by the victors: how did this happen? Thousands and thousands murdered for their skin color: how did this happen? Under the cover of the UN, the NATO alliance intervened on the side of the RTC forces. They did so, with “plausible deniability” through the forces from Qatar. They broke the UN arms blockade with tons of weapons for the RTC. Quatri troops on the ground coordinated the “no-fly zone” attacks on government forces, another violation of the UN mandate. Then Qatar’s al Jazeerah acted like a public relations shop for the rebels with the cooperation of the US media and others…

The NATO alliance attacked a foreign state that posed no imminent threat to any of the alliance nations. That’s called a preemptive war, also known as a war crime. Lies, double talk, and violence, the new trans Atlantic doctrine. With all of its faults, the Gaddafi regime was not ready to attack anyone in March. Libya is in ruins, thousands are in prison…

Will the next victim of preemptive annihilation please step forward. Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy are not ashamed, they don’t fret over their violence. Besides, they’re too busy planning the next unwarranted violence…

Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia!

Ground Controllers Make Contact With Lost Russian Mars Probe

Russia’s stranded “Phobos-Grunt” Mars probe has emitted its first “sign of life.”

The European Space Agency (ESA) said that controllers at a tracking station in western Australia made contact with the Phobos-Grunt spacecraft late on November 22.

The probe was launched successfully on November 8 but mission control lost radio contact with the craft hours later.

Since then, the probe has been stuck in a decaying orbit around Earth and Russian space agency officials have admitted that the mission may have failed.

The “Phobos-Grunt” was designed to fly to Mars’s moon Phobos and bring a soil sample back to Earth by 2014.

Russia on November 10 requested assistance from the US and the European Space Agency in tracking the probe.

compiled from agency reports

Clowns and matador fight Wall Street bull (VIDEO)

If you ask anyone involved in the Occupy movement, they’ll be sure to tell you that Wall Street is full of clowns. In a new video circulating the Web, some demonstrators decided to give them some company.

Hannah Morgan and Louis Jargow were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for donning clown attire, hopping a barricade in front of the iconic Charging Bull statue adjacent to Wall Street and horsing around in front of the bronze beast until the NYPD could apprehend them.

Nearby, an accomplice decorated in a full-blown matador uniform, vied for the bull’s attention while the clowns were detained by police.

This, we believe, was Wall Street’s first rodeo.




“This bull has ruined millions of lives!” Jargow exclaimed while police brought him to the ground. “Yet he and his accomplices have been rewarded with billions of our tax dollars and we, here to put a stop to it all, are thrown to the ground.”

“¡Un escándalo!” he yelled, or “a scandal!”

As police cuffed Jargow and Morgan for clowning around, the matador — unbeknownst to police — mounted the cop car and waved a red cape at the bull.

In classic Wall Street style, the bull did nothing to acknowledge the everyman before him.

“I wondered whether I, neophyte matador, could bring down this behemoth, world-famous for charging towards profit while trampling underfoot the average worker,” said the bullfighter. “Come what may, I knew I must try.”

Upon the installation of the statue in 1989, artist Arturo Di Modica’s assistant, Kim Stippa, said the intention of the piece was “to encourage everybody to realize America’s power.” The Charging Bull monument has since become a symbol of Wall Street, for its good and for its bad. Canadian anti-corporate magazine AdBusters used Di Modica’s artwork in their initial campaign to kick-start the Occupy Wall Street movement this summer before an encampment in Zuccotti Park began.

Undetected by the NYPD, the matador was not charged with any crimes. The clowns, however, were brought in and booked only to be released around an hour later.

Baltimore shelters keep homeless women on the streets

In Baltimore, Maryland, residents lovingly refer to their stomping ground as Charm City. If you ask the women of the historic Chesapeake Bay community, however, they might say it’s nothing but the contrary.

After Baltimore took 100 beds out of the city’s homeless shelters, they’ve responded by opening up a new $8 million facility for the city’s impoverished — but women aren’t allowed in to this exclusive club. Homeless women in Charm City are saying it’s not so charming that men are being offered sleeping space while they are being forced to catch their zs beneath the trees and on the benches of Baltimore’s inner city.

The newest shelter has beds for 175 men and only 75 women, and while “overflow” shelters are offered up once the building is at capacity, those establishments only accommodate males. Previously the city offered a 24-hour shelter with capacity for 350, but now those that miss first call for bunks are left scrambling to go elsewhere. The men, that is. Accommodations exist for men in need of shelter once the main facility has jam-packed, but females are not as lucky.

Carolyn Johnson, managing attorney for the Homeless Persons Representation Project, tells The Baltimore Sun women have to line up as early as 2 p.m. to try to reserve a bed for the night before the quote of women is met and those left in the dark are forced back onto the streets.

“We have women who have histories of domestic violence or sexual assault, and they’re terrified to sleep outside,” she said. “We have women with very serious physical and mental disabilities. They can’t protect themselves and they’re very vulnerable.”

“Women are literally being left out in the cold,” Sonia Kumar of a local ACLU branch tells The Sun. “It’s so egregious it’s hard to believe.”

Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union add that the hundreds of women being barred from facilities cannot even voice their complaints of sexism; according to the ACLU, homeless shelters are blacklisting the women who go and take their concerns to legal counsels. In response, a spokesperson for Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake tells The Sun that allegation will be investigated and addressed.

Meanwhile, around 700 women without homes search for beds in Baltimore every night. While men might be able to have their pick of the choosing — and defend themselves if stuck on the street — hundreds of women await help from advocates that attempt to put more bunks in shelters and make the city of Baltimore a little more charming for everyone.

‘Gaddafi wasn’t scared’

Muammar Gaddafi spent his last moments standing his ground and prepared for the inevitable as the rebels finally came for him. That is according to the Colonel’s loyal employee – one the few who witnessed his last days and secret funeral.

Huneish Nasr, who was Gaddafi’s personal driver for more than 30 years, has told the Guardian about the deposed leader’s last moments.

“He was always standing still and looking to the west,” Nasr said. “I didn’t see fear in him.”

Nasr said he spent five days with Gaddafi and his guards in the besieged town of Sirte, holding the last stand in ‘District 2’ neighborhood. They moved constantly from house to house under fierce attacks from revolutionary fighters. According to Nasr, Gaddafi seemed to be struggling to accept the reality of what was happening around him.

“He wasn’t scared, but he didn’t seem to know what to do,” Nasr said. “It was the only time I ever saw him like that.”

After Gaddafi’s convoy had been intercepted upon departure from Sirte, Huneish Nasr surrendered. Just before he was knocked to the ground, he saw a raving crowd swoop on his boss. That was the last time he saw Gaddafi alive.

Over three decades of service, Huneish Nasr, never saw any bad behavior in Gaddafi, who was “always just the boss” for Nasr. “He treated me well,” Nasr said.

Nasr is a member of Gaddafi’s tribe and one of the few surviving members of the inner circle who did not betray Gaddafi. But he could not give any details of where the surviving loyalists might be.

“If any of the other close staff are still alive, I don’t know where they are or what happened to them,” Nasr said. “The rest of them may be somewhere with the revolutionaries or they may be dead.”

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was buried at dawn on October 25 in an undisclosed location in the desert. Huneish Nasr says that he was one of a select group who were at the funeral, along with Gaddafi’s personal cleric, Khaled Tantoush, and two representatives of the ruling National Transitional Council.

Pentagon to monitor soldiers’ dreams

The Pentagon will be taking a page from the liner notes of classic rockers Cheap Trick as the DoD hopes to become the military’s official dream police with some spooky new sci-tech spectacles that they hope will curb PTSD-nightmares.

­

The US army is trying to perfect technology that will help soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress order have more soothing dreams as troops are constantly be subjected to flashbacks and nightmares resulting from their time serving with the military. The US Army is trying to get a project called “Power Dreaming” off the ground, and through it they hope to combat the fears of war that are dominating the dreams of servicemen, even years after they come home.

Though the project is still in experimental stages, the Army hopes to create pleasant, computer-generated imagery to be fed into a virtual world projected onto 3-d glasses worn by soldiers during sleep. These digital dreams will in turn try to tackle the problem of PTSD among current and veteran servicemen.

The program, says the Army, will “augment the current Cognitive Behavioral Treatment approaches for warrior trainees and other patients suffering with nightmares related to post traumatic stress disorder/traumatic brain injury with technological advances in biofeedback and Virtual Reality.” According to the official Army documents, the Power Dreaming project hopes to have soliders custom-create their own happy environment, “to develop physio-emotional states to counteract the reactive stress response inherent in trauma memories.”

To get the project off the ground, the US Army recently awarded $493,183 to a navy hospital in Washington State to begin testing.

During a recent poll from the Pew Research Center, 44 percent of soldiers surveyed that participated in the war in Afghanistan said that they have had difficulties readjusting to civilian life after completing their service. In that study, more than a third of those polled said that post-traumatic stress disorder has been a consequence of their time overseas; the National Vietnam Veterans’ Readjustment Study, however, suggests that the figure of combat vets that suffer from PTSD is closer to 52 percent.

Falling short: fighter jet crashes at air show (video)

A fighter jet has crashed during an air show in northern China, leaving one pilot injured and the other missing presumed dead.

­The incident took place at an air show in Pucheng County in the northwest Shaanxi Province.

The organizers did not say what type of fighter plane was involved in the crash. But Xinhua news agency reports it was a two-seat, twin-engine fighter-bomber Flying Leopard – or JH-7.

National broadcaster CCTV caught the moment when the Chinese-made plane fell from the sky and burst into flames as it hit the ground.  

Witnesses have said they saw one pilot eject from the plane, but his parachute failed to fully open due to the low altitude. He was hospitalized, Xinhua news agency reported.

The crash happened some distance from the main air show venue.

“There were no casualties on the ground,” AFP reported, quoting the China International General Aviation Convention.

A search operation to find the second pilot is ongoing and an investigation has been launched.

Putin calls for new state procurement system

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin called for a major overhaul of Russia’s state procurement system on Thursday, saying it was fertile ground for corruption and boosted purchase prices.

“All this creates a favorable medium for corruption, and creates unjustified increase in the delivery time for contracts, major increases in the price of things in state contracts and an urge to overspend state funds,” Putin said on Thursday at a meeting on formation of a new federal contract system.

City Hall Contemplates Underground Car Parks

City Hall Contemplates Underground Car Parks

Published: September 28, 2011 (Issue # 1676)

City Hall is considering the construction of automated underground parking lots.

According to a plan developed by the city’s Transport Infrastructure Committee, officials hope to solve the lack of parking space in the city center through the construction of underground parking lots, Fontanka reported.

The parking facilities may be located as deep as 33 meters below ground, but are projected to be only 16 meters wide.

Preliminary calculations, which assume a 13-level structure that can accommodate ten cars per level, foresee the new underground parking facilities holding up to 130 cars each.

The project concept envisages that car owners would be able to leave their cars in a special elevator on the upper level of the new lots. After that, the automated system would carry the car down to the appropriate level and leave it there. When the owner returns, the system would return the car to the surface.

In this way, the project’s creators hope to provide relatively spacious parking lots compared to those located at ground level and to single-level underground spots that hold fewer vehicles.

Plans call for 10-15 such automated parking lots to be constructed under squares and alleys in the center of the city. Possible sites include under Ploshchad Rastrelli near the city’s administration building; in front of the Mariinsky Palace where the Legislative Assembly is located, at Birzhevaya Ploshchad on Vasilyevsky Island, Senatskaya Ploshchad between St. Isaac’s Cathedral and the Neva, beneath Arts Square in front of the Russian Museum, in front of the Astoria hotel, and in other places.

For the time being, the plans are only at the preliminary stages, with no working version yet available. As a result, both the exact figures and locations are subject to change, Fontanka reported. However, fears about the expense and possible negative impact that such construction projects may have on the historic center, where subsidence is a very real concern, look certain to play a role in their future development.

First responders forgotten while 9/11 commercialized

The US has just marked the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Lives lost have been commemorated and patriotic words said. But are American heroes actually treated with due respect? RT investigates.

­They were the first to look disaster in the eye, digging through what was left of the collapsed towers.

“We’ll honor the heroic first responders who rushed to the scene and saved so many,” said Barack Obama ahead of the tenth anniversary of September 11.

The honoring is yet to happen. Hundreds of rescue workers died on 9/11, and hundreds more are dying today.

“The responders are fighting diseases – cancer, respiratory diseases, lungs, heart attacks – since 9/11 1,040 have died that I know about, and now we have to fight to be compensated? It’s disgusting,” said first responder TJ Gilmartin.

US officials refuse to recognize a link between Ground Zero debris and countless illnesses among first responders.

“The government is trying to block them getting healthcare, denied they’re sick, lied and told them the air was safe to breathe day one, continuously,” said radio show host Alex Jones.

“The US government would honestly just prefer that they shut up and/or die. And go away,” said editorial columnist and author Ted Rall.

A retired construction worker, TJ Gilmartin is one step away from cancer. “I had Robert De Niro serving me crème brulee, but do you think one person offered me a mask?”

After over 300 days spent in Ground Zero rubble, TJ is facing lung surgery, but it’s his memories that scare him the most.

“Finding half a woman’s body. The only way you could tell it was a woman’s body, it looked like a big piece of chicken, fried chicken – the acrylic nail polish on her fingertips didn’t burn.”

The 50 year old has travelled to Washington dozens of times to wake politicians up to reality.

“We had to bring bus loads of sick responders. Guys walking in in oxygen tanks. These aren’t guys who are faking it! And every time we took a trip, there was another guy missing, who died. I mean, it’s disgusting,” sighed Gilmartin.

Politicians do give attention to these heroes when they need a photo-op to boost their patriotic credentials.

“American politicians always talk about how valuable teachers are, but then they strip them of their unionizing rights, and reduce their salaries, and treat them terribly. Similarly, the first responders are merely the latest, I would say, suckers to be taken in and used,” said Rall.

First responders pushed to the side, 9/11 has been used as a pretense for questionable politics countless times, including a global war on terror.

“There is a 9/11 fatigue in the United States and in the world, because it’s been ten years, non-stop, of using 9/11 as politics of fear, as an agenda for political gain,” said 9/11 survivor William Rodriguez.

Gain has not only been political. The tragedy has also been commercialized. A money-making machine is operating in full swing on the tenth anniversary of September 11. 9/11 memorial wine for just over 19 dollars, 9/11 remembrance sushi for 12 bucks a roll and a 9/11 tote bag for almost 250 dollars – are on offer in the U.S. to commemorate the tragedy.

“All these vendors make money off of all these baubles and products. And it’s turned into a type of weird Halloween party, where it’s fun to get into the fear of the turbaned bin Laden bogeyman,” said Alex Jones.

While political and commercial profit is all the rage , the last to see big bucks are responders. As they die off, so do the expectations of some like TJ.

“Just to have somebody from the Government say thank you. That’s it. Just a thank you. I don’t want any money, I don’t want any medical. Thank you”.