Kevin Held raised almost three quarters of a million dollars to construct a vast 9/11 memorial quilt capable of covering 25 football fields, possibly as an early TSA test to see if shouting "terrorism" really could let you get away with anything. Even if it wasn't a scam, it was the worst charity of all time: His plan was to raise money to make blankets that were no use to the people who might need them. If charities get tax breaks, he should have had to pay the government extra.
Matt Rourke / AP file via MSNBC
Left: The real heroes. Right: The opposite.
He raised $713,000 to make a quilt, then moved into a $660,000 house and didn't make a quilt. Then he moved out of the house when the Associated Press noticed. He claimed the quilt hadn't been completed due to "tough economic times," which included charging the charity $37,000 rent on office space in the house he had bought, paying himself $175,000 and his own family $74,000 and spending $170,000 on travel expenses. This guy's "tough economic times" sound an awful lot like anyone else's "winning the lottery." Bedding hasn't been so horrifically misused since smallpox.
Lieb Cellars are selling "September Mission" wine for $9.11 a bottle, because a novelty drink price point is the most tasteful place to commemorate tragedy, and a "9/11 Memorial" wine for $19.11 a bottle, because even getting the date right is less important to them than making an extra 10 dollars. Either that or this doubles as a tribute to the Italo-Turkish War.
We shall never forget Tripolitania, Fezzan or Cyrenaica!
The problem is that no one orders wine to commemorate mass murder outside of a hollowed-out volcano lair. In fact, if someone does gaze across the romantic candlelight to toast you with terrorist-attack wine, well done on dating the baroness, but you've already been poisoned. The New York Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services found out this was being sold in restaurants and called Anthony Bourdain to do something about it. These people responded to 9/11 itself, but this wine was such a travesty that they needed external help. The way 6 to 10 percent of sales go to charity only reminded people that about 92 percent doesn't, and that shouting "charity!" doesn't actually undo disrespect. Bourdain responded in his trademark calm and reasonable manner:
He went on to inquire, "Holy F***! What kind of piece of shit would create such a product?" describing it as "exploitative" and "vomit-inducing." When Anthony Bourdain is calling you the asshole, and he's right, you've invented more new kinds of assholery than Sodom's first proctologist.
The $20 silver coin certificate was released in 2008 and is made up of a $9 and an $11 certificate. That's more disrespectful to victims and capitalism than the "$9.11 for Rudy" campaign and couldn't be more anti-American if it killed Apollo Creed. The National Collector's Mint combined tackiness and numerology into a solid anti-respect -- if you rub these certificates on royalty, they become commoners.
This travesty has less chance of being worth $20 than a $10 bill, and not just because they sell it for profit at $19.95. The National Collector's Mint has already been censured for deceptive business practices in 2004 with their Freedom Tower Silver Dollar Coin, and again in 2011 for the 10th Anniversary Dollar, so if you think they dabbled in legality in between, well done on picking the one thing they probably aren't guilty of.
As before (and after), it comes with a certificate of authenticity confirming that it's non-circulating currency in Liberia. You couldn't push dollar bills into uselessness faster with a lighter (although at least that way you'd gain some warmth for your money).
9/11 was an incredible challenge to Americans: Should we give up basic human rights to fight attacks that were already very illegal under the laws we had? This was a challenge airports would fail, but not as hard as hand-held LCD game makers (who are by definition exempt from, and unaware of, anything after the release of the Game Boy).
Laden vs USA was made in China and can at best be considered financial judo, with China using America's capitalism against us. At worst, it's battery-powered hatred. Someone had clearly been stuck with a warehouse of hand-held electronic parts since 1989, and the most appalling terrorist attack on American soil was when they thought "NOW I REVENGE MYSELF AGAINST CAPITALISM!" It was converted so quickly the instructions still describe it as a boxing game, and being repeatedly punched in the head is still better than playing it. The makers only had enough time to Photoshop news footage of actual 9/11 wreckage on the box and only had enough brain cells to think that it was a good idea.
If you actually beat a level, it plays "Deck the Halls," because if you play this game for an entire level you deserve to have every kind of happiness poisoned by the memory.