The Dagley Dagley Daily  

By Janet Dagley Dagley
Covering the world from the waterfront in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA

ISSN 1544-9114

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The Dagley Dagley Daily

01/26/2003 - 02/02/2003 02/16/2003 - 02/23/2003 02/23/2003 - 03/02/2003 03/02/2003 - 03/09/2003 03/09/2003 - 03/16/2003 03/16/2003 - 03/23/2003 03/23/2003 - 03/30/2003 03/30/2003 - 04/06/2003 04/06/2003 - 04/13/2003 04/13/2003 - 04/20/2003 04/20/2003 - 04/27/2003 04/27/2003 - 05/04/2003 05/04/2003 - 05/11/2003 05/11/2003 - 05/18/2003 05/18/2003 - 05/25/2003 05/25/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 06/08/2003 06/08/2003 - 06/15/2003 06/15/2003 - 06/22/2003 06/22/2003 - 06/29/2003 06/29/2003 - 07/06/2003 07/06/2003 - 07/13/2003 07/13/2003 - 07/20/2003 07/20/2003 - 07/27/2003 07/27/2003 - 08/03/2003 08/03/2003 - 08/10/2003 08/17/2003 - 08/24/2003 08/24/2003 - 08/31/2003 08/31/2003 - 09/07/2003 09/07/2003 - 09/14/2003 09/14/2003 - 09/21/2003 09/21/2003 - 09/28/2003 09/28/2003 - 10/05/2003 10/05/2003 - 10/12/2003 10/12/2003 - 10/19/2003 10/19/2003 - 10/26/2003 10/26/2003 - 11/02/2003 11/02/2003 - 11/09/2003 11/09/2003 - 11/16/2003 11/16/2003 - 11/23/2003 11/23/2003 - 11/30/2003 11/30/2003 - 12/07/2003 12/07/2003 - 12/14/2003 12/14/2003 - 12/21/2003 12/21/2003 - 12/28/2003 12/28/2003 - 01/04/2004 01/04/2004 - 01/11/2004 01/11/2004 - 01/18/2004 01/18/2004 - 01/25/2004 01/25/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 02/08/2004 02/08/2004 - 02/15/2004 02/15/2004 - 02/22/2004 02/22/2004 - 02/29/2004 02/29/2004 - 03/07/2004 03/07/2004 - 03/14/2004 03/14/2004 - 03/21/2004 03/21/2004 - 03/28/2004 03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004 04/04/2004 - 04/11/2004 04/11/2004 - 04/18/2004 04/18/2004 - 04/25/2004 04/25/2004 - 05/02/2004 05/02/2004 - 05/09/2004 05/09/2004 - 05/16/2004 05/16/2004 - 05/23/2004 05/23/2004 - 05/30/2004 05/30/2004 - 06/06/2004 06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004 06/13/2004 - 06/20/2004 06/20/2004 - 06/27/2004 07/04/2004 - 07/11/2004 07/11/2004 - 07/18/2004 07/18/2004 - 07/25/2004 07/25/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 08/08/2004 08/08/2004 - 08/15/2004 08/15/2004 - 08/22/2004 08/22/2004 - 08/29/2004 08/29/2004 - 09/05/2004 09/05/2004 - 09/12/2004 09/12/2004 - 09/19/2004 09/19/2004 - 09/26/2004 09/26/2004 - 10/03/2004 10/03/2004 - 10/10/2004 10/10/2004 - 10/17/2004 10/17/2004 - 10/24/2004 10/24/2004 - 10/31/2004 10/31/2004 - 11/07/2004 11/07/2004 - 11/14/2004 11/14/2004 - 11/21/2004 11/21/2004 - 11/28/2004 11/28/2004 - 12/05/2004 12/05/2004 - 12/12/2004 12/12/2004 - 12/19/2004 12/19/2004 - 12/26/2004 12/26/2004 - 01/02/2005 01/02/2005 - 01/09/2005 01/09/2005 - 01/16/2005 01/16/2005 - 01/23/2005 01/23/2005 - 01/30/2005 01/30/2005 - 02/06/2005 02/06/2005 - 02/13/2005 02/13/2005 - 02/20/2005 02/20/2005 - 02/27/2005 03/20/2005 - 03/27/2005 07/02/2006 - 07/09/2006

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Thou shalt not steal, even if thou art a big media conglomerate and the person you're stealing from is a construction worker who doesn't speak English

Pavel Hlava, Czech immigrant construction worker, just happened to have his video camera on while riding with his boss, Michael Cohen, in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001, and just happened to record both planes hitting the World Trade towers. That recording is the only known recording of both impacts, and one of only two that captured either, the other being what was originally intended as a documentary on rookie firefighters, produced by French filmmakers Jules and Gedeon Naudet. The Naudet brothers' video became the documentary "9/11", and you can buy a copy legally if you want:

Mr. Hlava's video, however, was not turned into a documentary. For whatever reason, he didn't do much with it, perhaps out of concern that someone, possibly his boss, would call him "an opportunistic money-grabber." By the time the second anniversary of the attacks rolled around, The New York Times acquired a copy and and made it available online, with the original Czech backround conversation replaced by Times reporter James Glanz saying, "This is unbelievable!" over and over in as many permutations as possible (obviously they needed an experienced, trained professional to do that job). It is unclear (to me, anyway) just how the Times got the recording, whether they paid for it, and which rights they acquired (The New York Times generally claims all rights in all media in all universes for all time for no additional compensation, and has already lost at least one case about that in the U.S. Supreme Court). ABC News also got a copy, and various news reports say they paid Mr. Hlava $40,000 for it.

Meanwhile, The Times also reports that Mr. Cohen, himself a Russian immigrant, threatened to fire Mr. Hlava if he sold the videotape. It is unclear from the news reports (at least to me) whether Mr. Cohen has followed through on that threat.

Anyway, it is clear from those same reports that the cable channel New York 1, part of the vast AOL/Time/Warner media empire, aired Mr. Hlava's video on Sept. 10, 2003. A lawsuit filed yesterday by attorneys for Mr. Hlava in U.S. District Court in Manhattan charges that Mr. Cohen gave a copy of the tape to New York 1, and named both AOL/Time/Warner and Mr. Cohen as defendants. The New York Post today quoted Mr. Cohen as calling Mr. Hlava "an opportunistic money grabber," but Mr. Cohen apparently declined the opportunity to comment for any other media organization.

I strongly disagree with Mr. Cohen. It was just chance that Mr. Hlava happened to record that news event, just as it was chance back in November, 1963 (presumably before Mr. Cohen came here from Russia, or maybe even before he was born), when Abraham Zapruder happened to have an 8-mm movie camera in his hands to record a glimpse of President John F. Kennedy as his motorcade drove past, and ended up with the only known recording of the Kennedy assassination. Mr. Zapruder sold his film to what was then known as Time/Life, now part of the very organization being sued by Mr. Hlava.

If Time/Life paid Mr. Zapruder, then in my (non-lawyer's, non-judge's, non-jury's, just-one-person's) opinion, their successor, AOL/Time/Warner, can damn well pay Mr. Hlava as well. If you'd like to see the Zapruder film yourself (that is if you're one of the few who never have), you can buy that, too:

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @10:30 AM


Johnny Cash, 1932-2003

I hope he and June are together again.

Rolling Stone has put together a nice obituary package, featuring the articles they've done on Cash over the years. He qualified for a New York Times obituary, of course, and MTV gave him quite a writeup as well. His death has been reported all over the world, from South Africa to Australia to the floor of the United States Senate.

As many people may find themselves inclined to buy some of Johnny Cash's music, The Dagley Dagley Daily offers this link to The music of Johnny Cash at

June Carter Cash's posthumous CD, Wildwood Flower, was released just three days ago:

One of my favorite images of Johnny Cash is this one (warning: may be offensive to some, but then so was Cash).

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @5:41 PM


Tribute in light, for a night

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @8:52 PM


May they* rest in peace...

and may the rest of us learn to live in peace.

(photo of Ground Zero from the Empire State Building Towercam.)

*official list of victims of World Trade Center attack

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @10:12 AM

Overtime: Victory in Senate, now on to the House!

We did it! Today the U.S. Senate voted to block a proposed Bush administration rule change that would have meant the end of overtime pay for an estimated 8 million American workers. If you're one of the Dagley Dagley Daily readers who contacted your senator on the issue, please accept my heartfelt thanks. But the battle isn't over: now the measure goes to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and even if it passes there, Mr. Bush has already announced he will veto it. So now I'm urging you to contact your congressional representative and let her or him know that you're paying attention and you want overtime preserved. Don't delay; do it today.

P.S. Here's the survey Buddy Don mentioned in his comment yesterday: Americans are far more worried about losing their health insurance than about another terrorist attack. Even though the U.S. spends far more per capita on health care than ANY OTHER NATION IN THE WORLD (more than TWICE the average of other industrialized nations), we don't get more or better care for that money. Besides which, an estimated 60 million Americans are uninsured, most of them unable to buy insurance at any price, and most of them working people with families. Meanwhile, rule changes are scheduled to go into effect November 10 that would bring back the so-called "wallet biopsy" for emergency care, which means hospitals will once again be able to turn away patients who can't show the means to pay for treatment. Those who feel compelled to keep on chanting, "We got the greatest country in the world" over and over may continue to do so, of course, since free speech is still protected by the Constitution. But you may be surprised to learn that there are many other nations that not only have all the civil liberties we do, but health care, too. They also have longer life expectancies and lower infant mortality.

But hey, at least the health-care workers who put in overtime will still get paid overtime, that is if overtime protection survives its trip to the House and then the White House.

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @2:55 PM


Survey results: Iraq war didn't make us any safer

The results are in on our survey question, and it's unanimous: our readers don't think the Iraq war made us any safer.

Here were the choices:

Yes, the world is safer now that Iraq has been invaded and occupied. 0%
No, it didn't make any difference in the likelihood of terrorist attacks. 0%
Yes, it showed the world that the United States will not tolerate terror. 0 0%
No, the war in Iraq made the world much less safe and made terrorist attacks more likely. 100%
How dare you question our government!! We have no business criticizing the administration in these difficult times; they have enough problems to deal with already. 0%
Now that we've found those weapons of mass destruction, the world is much safer. 0%
It doesn't matter; this whole thing is just media hype. 0%

And Dagley Dagley Daily readers aren't the only ones of that opinion. A British study published today concluded that Al Qaida is now stronger than ever. Meanwhile, a new Marist Poll found that even though 81 percent of New Yorkers are afraid of another terrorist attack, only 36 percent expressed confidence that the city was prepared for one.

While the media hounds are busy saying "87 billion dollars" over and over, giving us the impression that's the full cost, I refer you once again to that interview with CNBC's Ron Insana, and if you visit the link you'll see that I am required to use this phrase: "in an interview with CNBC's Ron Insana " in exchange for permission to quote the following:

"INSANA: Now, do you want a supplemental that will finance that for a year or longer?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Generally the supplementals, Ron, are either 6 months or a year in length, and of course, we're working the strategy out right now with the speaker and the leader. One of the things I won't do is, you know, drop a surprise on them."

I'll leave the survey question up for another day, just in case anyone out there wants to offer a different opinion.

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @5:31 PM


Waterfront loses irreplaceable resource

Our congressman, the 3rd-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, cried when he heard the news: Peter Weiss, political editor of The Jersey Journal, died over the weekend from complications of heart surgery.

For nearly 30 years, Weiss was the top political reporter in one of the most politically active places in the nation outside the Washington beltway. I only caught the last few years of his career, and I never had the privilege of meeting the man in person, but when I moved to Hoboken three years ago, I soon became a regular reader of his "Political Whirl" column, and I came to depend on Weiss not only to keep me informed, but to explain the whole complicated mess in his succinct style. When I wrote to him to point out a small error, or ask for clarifications, he always responded and if a correction was necessary, it showed up promptly in his column. He was a reliable source if ever there were one.

Rep. Bob Menendez, who chairs the House Democratic Caucus, didn't wait for a reporter to call him for comment: he called the Journal himself. "We lost what amounts to the national archives for Hudson County, a county icon and institution. Presidents and governors who were running for office and came to Hudson County knew that it was paramount that they talk to Peter. Even people who have been caught on the edge of Peter's criticism, generally with humor, still have a great affection for him - as have I." Other politicians joined the chorus, though one of them (or the reporter she talked to) seemed a bit confused: The Jersey Journal reports that "Lois Shaw, former Jersey City councilwoman, said she couldn't believe Weiss was gone. 'I received an e-mail from him not long ago concerning an upcoming Harry Chapin concert. We're both big Chapin fans.' " Chapin died in 1981. But if he's still gigging in the afterlife, maybe Weiss will be able to catch his act after all.

There's still time to save the fireboat Harvey

Another waterfront resource is still with us, but it may not be for long. The historic fireboat John J. Harvey, which came out of retirement to pump water for 80 hours straight when the World Trade towers fell, is in dire need of repair, and the funds to make that possible. You can learn more about how Harvey and her active-duty sister fireboats tonight at 10 p.m. Eastern when the History Channel airs "The Fireboats of 9/11".

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @5:50 PM


Mamma mia! Fireworks over Hoboken

These days, when you hear explosions and see flashes outside, it can be a bit unsettling, especially if you can't quite tell where it's all coming from. Fortunately, even though we can't see the southeastern corner of Hoboken from our windows, we (and you) can turn to the trusty Towercam, high atop the Empire State Building, to check things out.

Turns out it was just the high point of this year's Hoboken Italian Festival. Not only did last night's fireworks get my attention, but they attracted quite a few boats as well.

  posted by Janet Dagley Dagley @1:22 PM


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