9/11: The Aftermath

This week Premium subscribers wrote in huge numbers thanking me for speaking out strongly against the downright treasonous comments made by two of America’s self-appointed “religious leaders.”

And thanks so much for your notes of support for my decision to publish last week, to get back to “normal” as soon as possible.

But a few people actually objected to my not running ads last week. Gordon in Virginia put it the most strongly:

Making a profit by trading value for value *is* normal. More importantly, it is utterly moral. Don’t let our enemies, foreign or domestic, rob us of that. If we accept their premise that profit is somehow ‘dirty’, then we also accept the underlying premises — that man is a beast of burden who must live for the sake of others, and that some have a right to dispose of the lives of others. Profit is a symbol of man’s right to his own life and the product thereof, and of his right to freely engage in trade with others by mutual consent and to mutual benefit free of force or fraud. It is, indeed, a symbol of civilization itself. That’s why the World Trade Center was targeted, after all. Stand proud to be making a profit providing a valuable product — it is your badge of honor.

I agree completely with Gordon’s philosophical argument, but sometimes duty comes before profit. For instance, I know that Nortel moved equipment into New York City to provide phone service there after a competitor’s system was destroyed. It was the right thing to do — and I’m not even aware of them getting any publicity for it (until now!)

Since the nation’s nerves were on edge, I wanted to demonstrate that profit was not part of my decision to stay on schedule, even though I obviously live in part on ad sales.

And there was plenty of mail about my “Honorary Unsubscribe” last week for the crew and passengers aboard Flight 93 (Pennsylvania). Mary in Texas:

Every issue has something that impresses me to no end, but your Honorary Unsubscribe for the 16 September issue was incredible. I am having a hard time thinking of words to tell you how touched I am. Those people on Flight 93 were living an ultimate nightmare, yet were able to think clearly and respond very effectively, even as people were being killed around them. Who knows how much greater the tragedy would have been without them!?

Barry in the U.K. renewed his Premium subscription, even though it wasn’t going to expire until January. He included this note as to why:

Last week’s news was awful enough, but seeing how the airlines and other companies are [laying people off] during this time, I wanted to help an American business stay running. We need ‘This is True’ as never before.

Thanks so much, Barry.

Indeed, people are spending their time looking at the news, not so much looking for entertainment. I do understand that, but I hope it changes soon — sales of True books and Premium subscriptions have dropped to almost zero since 11 September. So if you’ve been thinking of upgrading your subscription, or picking up some True book compilations, it’d be great if you did it soon.

Last, thank you for your great letters and support over the last two weeks. I have not been able to keep up with all the notes, let alone answer them. Besides taking uncounted hours off to keep up with the news, my fiancée and I spent several days working in a Denver Red Cross shelter for displaced travelers, and put out some special issues of HeroicStories — and took time to sleep for a few hours here and there.

The way people from all over the world have come together to support the U.S. during these difficult times — and the way Americans have come together to support each other — has been a wonderful thing to witness. The terrorists indeed awoke a sleeping giant: not just the U.S., but the world.

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I turned HeroicStories over to another publisher in February 2003, and continued to run by the ideals set in my original HeroicStories manifesto.

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4 Comments on “9/11: The Aftermath

  1. Thank you for your newsletter. Not only does it provide some levity during a somber time, but it also shows that life does and should go on. As you indicated, to let these tragic incidents disrupt our daily lives lets the terrorists succeed.

  2. I haven’t actually cried yet over last week’s tragedy. I’ve come close. The closest I’ve come so far was in reading your Honorary Unsubscribe [for the crew and passengers aboard United Airlines flight 93]. You’re an honorable man, Randy. Thank you for being there.

    …And the tears start to flow….

  3. Wow, thank you for reprinting that quote from Gordon in VA. It’s not that he expressed a new idea, but he did say it succinctly in very logical terms. I collect quotes from various notables and I’ve taken the liberty of adding that one as well.


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