On That Day

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It was a beautiful September day — no, not that one.  I was 9 years old and very excited about the Olympic games in Munich.  My dad had told me — I have mentioned, somewhere, right that my dad is an idealist, a dreamer, always ready to believe the best of people and institutions — that the Olympic games were a way for the whole world to come together in peace.  For a child of the Cold War, this was an important symbol.

And then the illusion was shattered by Black September.

It was a beautiful September day.  I was 38 (corrected the age.  You know there are ages you attribute things to?  Well, the year I turned 33 is one of those.  Ridiculous of course, since that’s when I had younger son.) and just the week before I’d thought “these are the best years of my life.”  My husband had a very good job, we had a beautiful house in a peaceful mountain town.  The boys were happy in school.  More importantly, we had a writers’ group that had been working together for years, and finally everyone was getting published.  Saturdays saw our house overflowing with our friends and their kids.  The meetings started at 12 and were supposed to be over at 3, but more often than not I ended up putting spaghetti on, and setting the table for the stragglers.

I took the older kid in, then sat outside the younger kid’s classroom, (I think he was in kindergarten, but it might have been preschool.  It started late) reading an old paperback, while he played with his friends.  Then he went in.

Before breakfast, I went upstairs to check for email from agent/editor/friends.  There was nothing, but there was a news tab saying a plane had hit the twin towers.  I thought it was a small plane, an accident.

I went downstairs.  I made coffee.  I got a phone call.  It was my friend Becky Lickiss.  “Turnonthetv,turnonthetv,turnonthetv.”

She knew we didn’t really get TV and didn’t have cable.  But I dutifully turned it on and through the “rain” on the screen saw the unbelievable.

Minutes later my friend Charles showed up.  They’d sent him home because he worked in one of the tallest buildings in town.

I tried to call my husband and he didn’t answer.  I knew he was somewhere in Washington DC, but not where.  (Turned out I was wrong.  He was near DC not in.) The pentagon was not an impossible place for him. I made doughnuts and drank Jim Beam from the bottle while trying to reach him.  Three hours later Dan called.  He was safe.  He’d been in a meeting in a secure room.

A few days later he drove across the country, and our friend Alan Lickiss and I met him in Hays, Kansas so he wouldn’t have to drive the whole way.  (We lost Alan last November. I’ll always remember that drive, his friendship and his loyalty coming to help me at a time of need.)

It was a beautiful September day.

I was in Dallas, staying with my friend Amanda, to teach a class on writing.  I was exhausted and my semi-chronic since the older son was born issues were reaching the point I couldn’t function.  I’d been working hard in the run up to the elections, including over at PJM.  As always when I’m stressed, my autoimmune was going crazy.  I couldn’t sleep and my arms were raw flesh.

Then the news about Benghazi came, and were buried by the media.

It was a video on you tube that caused it, they said.  They lied without shame, they lied to the country.  They steamrolled us. And I wondered why everyone was sleepwalking through this.  If we’d reached the point when attacks could be buried by the press, ignored by the voters.  (For the “gentleman” who said I freaked out when Obama was re-elected.  Yes, I did.  That incident was the harbinger  of what has happened since leading us to the edge of WWIII.  Deal.)

Tomorrow will be a beautiful September day.  In our area it should be mild and clear.

We are in a very bad position — across the board — our politics stink right now, and it’s very hard to figure out how our foreign politics would be worse if we’d been occupied 14 years ago.

But — remember 1972.

This is a new phase in a very old war.  You might not believe in the war, it believes in you.

You will say it’s not fair that we have to fight this now, while fighting the internal cultural battle as well.  But without our culture being where it was, this external enemy wouldn’t have a foothold.

Besides, fair compared to what?

The odds against us are just a chance to fight harder, to win bigger. You could say we are in a target rich environment.

We’ve been losing battles.  We’re nowhere near losing the war.  We’re not even in a permanent downturn.  Look at that link from 1972.  The murderers were released because their supporters  highjacked a plane.  Those who lived through the seventies remember.  I remember.  Flying was risky and the culture was coming unglued.

Believe it or not, we’re saner now — culturally.  It’s our politics that are rotten, because politics are downstream from culture.

That means we have our work cut out for us.

Did you think it would be easy?  Did you think it was just a game?

In the end, we win, they lose.  In the end, civilization will not be allowed to perish. Even if we have to fight against worse odds than a kinder divinity would allow.

Many have gone crazy, but we’re holding the fort.

599 responses to “On That Day

  1. On the very same day, I heard liberals who had listened to certain media outlets blaming the Jews for this in outraged indignation. Not that the Jews flew the planes but that their policies incited those who did. These are the same people who watched the footage of people leaping from buildings over and over again on the news. In horror. Sort of.

    As for us, we were driving a 2 1/2 old home from Hopkins recovering from anesthesia when we heard it on the radio. Then we saw the signs on the beltway to avoid DC. A long drive around, but there was no panic along the way. Only watchfulness. It felt like we had been plunged into wartime. Within about a year, we had joined a church for the first time.

    • Yes, I heard that too. And there was a distinguished figure in SF/F making a list of Jews in SF/F who were “ruining the field” for everyone else. Weirdly, I was on the list. Which served notice that my family is still “Jewish enough for Hitler.”
      And so it goes. But that doesn’t mean the battle is lost. Is it not written? “the idiots you shall always have with you.”

      • You’re Jewish?!? I didn’t know that! Is your family converso? Forgive my curiousity; I’m always looking for remote connections.

        • Rumors on mom’s side, substantiated only by traditions kept. Genealogy on dad’s side. The grandmother who raised me and whose theology wasn’t PRECISELY Catholic was dad’s mom though. Someday I’ll have the genetic testing.
          Early in internet days was contacted by the world’s most polite Jewish group. This was shortly after I’d let my birth name out. I was told my surnames from the region I came from (or my ancestors came from, at least) correlated highly with Jewish ancestry, and did I wish to learn more about the fate of my ancestors. Which is why I belonged to a Torah study group online for the longest time.
          Part of why I was shocked finding myself on that list is that other than that there is no connection, I’m under husband’s name, and I don’t look it (younger son does.) But since I’ve long since decided if such evil comes, I know on which side I belong, I felt vaguely honored.

        • “Wherever thou goest, I shall go. Wherever thou livest, I shall live.” (Only Dan would never move to NYC. Yes, that’s a joke to lighten up the mood.)

        • Jews in Portugal didn’t have the option of leaving. I think that all the Jews had to convert. Forgive me Sarah for commenting on something of which you know much better.

          • They did, actually. There is a reason in France, until the 19th century Portuguese meant “Jew”. Grandma’s family moved there, then appears to have gone to Scotland with a Jewish doomsday cult then back to Portugal. But yeah, the majority didn’t leave.

            • It would have to be a doomsday cult for Jews to move to Scotland. As the auld joke goes: A Scotsman is somebody who can buy from a Jew and sell to a German and still turn a profit.

              • It was a rather crazed cult that ended up in mass suicide, at which point the ancestors seem to have said “bugger this for a game of soldiers” and went back to Portugal and (sort of) converted. Shrug. They’re all crazy depressives, anyway.

            • The oldest Jewish community in North America is the Portuguese-descended New York Jews. Their descendants are something of an aristocracy among Jewish Americans.

          • Larry Patterson

            A group of Portuguese Jews founded Curaçao in the Caribbean.

            • Not the first time someone found out what they learned in school wasn’t quite true.

              • There are always reasons not to leave. Dad’s family was very safe until the 18th century. And then it was “we’ll pretend this” — they don’t realize how that changes with generations.
                Mom’s family AFAICT converted for lands and position. Eh. Maybe “converted” for several centuries… but who knows.
                They are a very odd family, anyway.

            • The first immigrants to Azores were a group of forcibly converted Jewish kids. There was a boat chartered to take (mostly children) somewhere that disappeared. Long history.

              • That sounds like the beginnings of a book.

                • Well, it follows a similar plot with the lost tribes of Israel somehow making it to North America and becoming the Mormons. (That is the excessively-simplified version, of course, and I am open to correction from folks in the know.)

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Nit, in the Book Of Mormon, the Lost Tribes Of Israel become American Indians.

                    • One boatload of people to the Americas hardly qualifies as “The lost tribes”. [still oversimplifying]. It’s now considered that those had an outsized cultural effect on an existing native population.

                      More particularly in regard to North Americans, It is also thought, (based on a brief mention in the Apocrypha) that a comparatively small group of non-Jewish Israelites headed north from what used to be Assyria into northwestern Asia and disappeared from written history. Those, in turn, are thought to have been among the ancestors of the Germans and Scandinavians. Those can be followed, in general terms more than specific individuals or families, to the English. Given the gaps in written history for those places and times, there’s roughly half a millennium of who-really-knows-what-might-have-happened in there.

                    • One might then think that Indians would have circumsised their sons.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      My opinion of the Book of Mormon if given might provoke a reaction that Sarah wouldn’t like. [Polite Smile]

                    • They left all the mohels behind?

                  • The Book of Mormon immigrants are two families – one descended from Ephraim, and the other from Mannasah. And they leave Jerusalem during the reign of Zedekiah, long after the Kingdom of Israel with the ten tribes had been subjugated.

                    So not the Ten Tribes.

            • A bunch of “Portuguese” sailors ended up in the Lac St Jean area of Quebec, oddly enough.

          • A number too the option of “convert for show, then travel abroad on business and stay there”, then returned to Judaism. The famous Sephardic synagogue in Amsterdam (the “Esnoga”) was founded by such Portuguese Jews and is officially known not as “Sephardic” but as “Portuguese Rite”. Likewise, the small Sephardic synagogue in the Antwerp diamond district is officially known as “Portuguese rite”. There was even an ancient Spanish and Portuguese descended congregation in Hamburg! (I’ve got some ancestry there, even though I’m mostly Ashkenazi and outwardly can pass for Scandinavian if you don’t look too hard.)

            • I think that’s also what the ones who went to France did, so those who returned just went back to the show.
              But it is important to remember that they THOUGHT they could convert for show and keep it for generations. In many ways we of a conservative/libertarian bend have done this to succeed in the post 60s society. It doesn’t work.

      • A lot of people find out they are Jewish when the pogrom sweeps through. In the tradition of let no crisis go to waste.

        • As a neighbor was fond of saying:
          “Zkhor she-ata yehudi lifnei she-mazkirim lekha” / “Remember that you are Jewish before they remind you.”

        • Years ago, the group of friends I ran with contained a German guy, and a Gay Jewish guy. The German would sometimes make remarks to the Jewish guy. Just little jokes and such, but just snarky enough to be annoying. Then one day he showed up white as a sheet, apologized, and begged forgiveness. Apparently, his grandmother heard one of his remarks and let him in on the big family secret. When the Nazis came through, her family changed names, mode of dress, hair styles, and did everything they could manage to transform themselves from a nice Jewish family… to a nice German family. The transformation was so complete, that just a couple generations later, the kids didn’t have a clue.

      • Dare I ask whom that might have been?

        • You know, the really funny thing is that I don’t remember. I’ve been working my brain trying to remember. All I know is that it was, at the time, a bestseller in the “literary” subcategory in one of the multiple little forums that SF was spread over at the time. Not protecting him. I honestly don’t remember. Perhaps mercifully.

          • It doesn’t really matter; many that day were in shock and said things their wakeful minds would not have allowed. A dear friend of mine called for nuking Mecca, only to regret it when BP returned to normal.

            It is those still desperate to pretend this is a 9/10 world who merit our wrath.

            • Some of us are still in favor of nuking Mecca. Or at least a few MOABs. We are in a war, but currently, only one side is fighting.

            • “A dear friend of mine called for nuking Mecca, only to regret it when BP returned to normal.”

              Wasn’t me… I have no regrets about advocating that.

      • I heard that theory promulgated from overseas by former World chess champion Robert Fischer, who was a very strange and bitter man at that point.

      • So let me see if I have this right…You’re a male Mormon Jew? Are these people trying to cause mental BSOD’s?

      • Daniel was ‘Jewish enough’ for some of the Babylonians who sought to him thrown into the lion’s den. Esther and Mordecai were ‘Jewish enough’ for some of the Persians. It is an age old problem — what to do with this stiff-necked people who insist on keeping their own historical records and hold to their beliefs?

        So long as this world continues, ‘the idiots you shall always have with you.’ Meanwhile keep your own records and hold to your beliefs — and hold on to your piece of the sacred flag. 😉

      • I have it on high quality accusation that you are a white Mormon male.

  2. Munich happened the day I was born. I remember the others, though. And my own son will have his own dreadful memories because our country has grown feckless and lost heart – the folks that were voted in don’t believe in the ideals of America in specific, nor of civilization in general.

    The fix is a change in heart, not in politics. And God changes hearts. I pray for this for all of us, lest my son live in a land where such prayers are punished.

    • I was in college.

      Someone had put my hair up in electric rollers, something to do with the presentation we were going to be doing in acting class. One of the rollers had gotten knotted in and it took a while to get it out neatly. As a result I was still in the room finishing up and listening to the radio when the news flash came on, terrorism at the Olympics!

      I froze, listening to the whole report. I was late to class. When I arrived bearing the news somehow what the class was supposed to be doing no longer seem to matter very much.

  3. And Vichy Mitchy celebrated by refusing to consider the House bills blocking the surrender to Iran.

    • Come 2017 Boehner isn’t going to be Speaker, and I expect McClellan is going to have his work cut out for keeping a leadership job. With any luck there will be a conservative President to draw the media lighting away from those two cowards.

      • I recently heard — possibly from Trifecta — that Boehner was planning to step down and turn the Speakership over to Cantor … except Cantor lost the primary.

        Until you have successfully herded >200 cats I recommend being a little more charitable toward Boehner. It is not that I am happy with the job he is doing so much as i doubt anybody else could do it better. keep in mind that the majority of the Speaker’s work is, like an iceberg, out of our sight.

        • I would agree with you on cutting Boehner slack except he keeps opening his mouth to commit to one battle and then never fights it.

          If you know you don’t have the numbers just quietly move on. Don’t make a big production about, “but when it comes to X we’re going to stand our ground” and then when X comes have to retreat again.

          Knowing when to fight and when to yield can be seen as wisdom.

          Yielding and the proclaiming you’ll fight next time over and over just to yield again is hard to see as anything beyond being a feckless loser.

          What’s really sad is as much as Boehner does this, McConnell is worse.

          • Anybody with three brain cells and a working spine could do the job better than Boehner. I am deeply ashamed of him.

          • I was surprised that: 1. Sid Blumenthal’s assessment to Hillary of Boehner which was revealed in the dump of her emails was that Boehner was an alcoholic. I hadn’t heard that before and it was certainly an odd accusation to make if it wasn’t at least plausible. and 2. There didn’t seem to be a lot of interest into whether that was true or not… even though it would explain his ‘weepiness’. But then a quick internet search of the terms Boehner and alcoholic showed up a LOT of speculation on the subject outside the typical news sources. If Boehner scared the democrats, then they would be making lots out of this (regardless of whether it was true).

            • The reliability of any rumour passed along by Sid “Grassy Knoll” Blumenthal is on par with the confidence placed an assertion by Bill Clinton starting “You stupid woman, can you not see that …”


              Listen carefully, I shall only say this once.

        • I daresay that if the theory about Boehner and Cantor is correct, that it shows quite a clear motive for him to behave exactly as observed when it comes to the Tea Party elements of the base. They sank his heir apparent, he’s ticked off, wackiness ensues.

          I’m not sure how he can be regarded (or regard himself) as a clear-eyed political pragmatist while at the same time acting from spite and holding deep grudges, whether based on personal feelings or partisan setbacks.

        • I would be more charitable to Boehner, if he simply lost battles, but he actively colludes with the other side, and consistently stabs conservatives/libertarians in the back. Somebody else might not do a better job, but somebody else might at least try to do a better job, rather than trying to block and/or undermine anyone in the Republican party who is attempting to do what they were elected to do.

    • Larry Patterson

      We’re not supposed to talk about personal appearance, but that dude has to be the squirrelyest squirrel on Capitol Hill.

    • “Vichy Mitchy” – HA! That’s going right up there with Dick “The Turban” Durbin.

    • I remember when McConnell was the stalwart conservative presence fighting campaign finance reform, defending the right of free speech on behalf of candidates and opposing McCain-Feingold, culminating in the 2003 Supreme Court case McConnell v. Federal Election Commission and the 2009 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

      I also remember successive Senate Majority Leaders … Dole, Lott, Frist, McConnell … and conclude the problem is the Senate majority, not its leader.

  4. I wish I could believe that we’re holding the fort, but I don’t see it. I see a global media lying on a scale that would make Orwell shake his head in disbelief. I see a racist President actively working to destroy Europe, America and Israel because of his own petty resentments. I see tyranny on one side and anarchy on the other and no path between them. The fort has no walls, its defenders have no weapons, and we’re hiding or fleeing, not fighting.

    • WE are still holding the fort. Politics is downstream from culture. Quit at your own risk.

      • “Culture” seems to be moving in the wrong direction even faster than the politics. More and more, those who give any indication that they hold the wrong views are hounded out of public life (see the recent Curt Shilling affair). Bless those like you and Larry who seem to be trying to hold the line, but I fear that pretty soon, Baen and Sad Puppies are going to be little Rivendells and Loriens surrounded by the vast empire of the Dark Lord.

        • Christopher M. Chupik

          Ah, but Rivendell and Lorien *survived*. Well, until the Elves took all their toys and went home, at any rate.

    • I don’t know in exact terms what will happen, but I have this very nasty feeling of a very big capacitor charging, and things are set to arc over.. soon. How big that arc will be, what it might trigger, and what the world will look like when the $EVENT(s) is/are over, I do not know. But… something is gonna snap, and it’s gonna snap hard.

        • Makes me think of what Soviet defector Yuri Bezmenov taught about the tactics of subversion and how the KGB spent the vast majority of its resources on programs meant to demoralize, destabilize, and ultimately subvert Western societies. I’m not a conspiracy theorist who believes that every major conflict was deliberately orchestrated by a secret communist kabal, but when I look at the culture wars and the rise of identity politics in America, I see a very blatant attempt to pick up where the Soviets left off.

      • Oh yeah!

      • I get the vague feeling that a number of influences – the Race Pimps, the academic revolutionaries, and their ilk – are fumbling toward some kind of insurrection, having mistaken the inner-city unionized police for White America.

        I have bad news for them; they may, and probably will, be able to kill a bunch of cops. The police of the Democrat controlled inner cities are arrogant, stupid, and slovenly. And the White Liberal Suburbs are probably no problem; they will grovel. They’ve had a lot of practice. But the day they take their revolution to the countryside, that day they vanish from the face of the earth. The people in flyover country have had Enough. Of. This. Shit. They are armed. They practice for fun. And they know and like each-other, black, white, hispanic, and purple checks, a great deal better than the Liberal Intellectual Radical Progressives and their inner city peasant mob do.

        The LIRPs mistake numbers for effective force. Mistake the polling numbers in stolen elections for actual support. Mistakes angry gang-bangers for dedicated revolutionaries. Mistake slogans for education.

        I don’t think the society that rises out of the coming clusterfuck is going to be nice. We would do a great deal better if the LIRPs would stop stirring the pot, let career criminals like Al Sharpton and Hillary Clinton be tried and go to prison, and allow the rule of law to cover everybody … even Politically Enlightened Union Organized Public Officials who Really Mean Well.

        Not going to happen. The LIRPs are too f’ing stupid to quit playing with the noose.

        • They fail to grasp the fundamental difference between warriors and soldiers. Their policies develop warriors, barbarians who appear fierce but are ground into the dust by the Miles Gregarii.

        • Perhaps the Starship Troopers idea will come to pass, though not world-wide.

        • You’ll be lucky to get them out into the countryside. The core of the Prog shock troops are rather lazy and unmotivated people – otherwise they’d have jobs. You might be able to convince them to march into and loot some of the closer wealthy suburbs, but you’re never going to get them to hit the next town over. Far more likely they’d loot the gentrification areas of the city proper and call it a day.

        • A lot of the white liberal suburbs are only liberal when they’re safe. I doubt the people you describe would start anything there (they don’t know the territory), but if they did they’d see such places swing right on over into law-n-order conservatism.

        • I had an interesting discussion with an older white ‘liberal’ grad student when I was an undergrad. He started to give me all sorts of reasons that unemployment and welfare are good for the economy and actually help… I cut him off and said that you get more of what you pay for, and that if we pay people to not have a job and lay about not doing productive work then that’s what we’ll get more of and if he didn’t understand that then he didn’t know the 1st thing about economics. Then he admitted he was an economics major. I asked him to look me in the eye and tell me that if he give people money to be unemployed then less people will be unemployed. Then a miracle happened. He took a deep breath and said that I was right. But then he got a strange… almost unhinged look in his eyes and he said that I was too young to remember the race riots in the early 70s and to understand the growth of the Black Power movement then… if we DON’T give “those people” (I still recall that’s what he called them) these little payoffs then they will come for more. We have to do it, he explained, to buy peace. Either he was the best actor/debater I’ve ever seen or he was genuinely scarred of what The Blacks would do if we cut off their entitlement payoffs. The conversation before was just social posturing where we were supposed to make the right PC (they didn’t call it that) noises to establish our relative goodness. But for some reason, for just a moment, the mask slipped and I think in his mind he felt sorry that I didn’t know it was a show and he tried to actually help me… to educate me on the game we are supposed to play and more importantly WHY.

          Vast numbers of the supposed good, well-meaning liberal and middle-of-the-road people are cowards. I think the race hustlers understand this. The excuses are just that and may change from year to year… but the real reason they won’t ever ‘have enough’ and ‘fight back’ is that they have no spine. They want to pay the Dane. Short of teaching some of them the addictive and empowering hobby of shooting, I don’t know how to change that.

      • Agreed. Even up here in the Sheepul’s Republic of Illinoisy, a helluva lot of the productive citizens are starting to boil about the direction of the nation. Talking to friends and relatives in Texas it’s even worse there.

      • Yes. Underbuild, underbuild, underbuild.

      • This. I was so happy to have my brother home from Germany for more than one reason.

      • This. So much this. And speaking as a member of the military, I fear that day. Not because I fear for my life, but because I am terrified of what I may have to do to preserve the idea and ideal of America. But, as the man said, here I stand. I can do no other.

        • I do not envy you and the decisions you may have to face. When I enlisted I had faith that our elected leaders actually had at least some small measure of integrity (hey, I was young!).

          I can see a whole lot of things going wrong in a very short amount of time. I’m also hopeful that when America faces true adversity again we’ll remember who we are and what we are capable of and put aside all this petty crap and do what we do best, deal with it.

    • I see the Marxists, having fought for generations to take control of institutes, surprised to see said institutes crumbling under their mismanagement. I see the mass media bleeding red on its financial statements and credibility in the hearts and minds of what it thought were a captive audience. I see a president frustrated because his ability to damage the west is limited.

      When my grandfather was my age, he had already seen a band of genocidal tyrannies stretched all across Eurasia, and most of the people he grew up with were dead. When my father was my age, people worried about mutually assured destruction. Now, we worry about a people with very little industrial capacity who don’t encourage novelties. People who feel under attack because THEIR culture is crumbling underneath them because of the exposure to western values.

      We focus on what needs to be done, so we see mostly the fail. But the west is winning.

      • Of course they are surprised. After all, they didn’t intend that to happen. No matter how many times the Laws of Unintended Consequences hits them upside the head, they never realize that it could apply next time. (Of course, it’s in part tautological. A person who has grasped the Law of Unintended Consequences is no longer a leftist.)

        “The man of system, on the contrary, is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamoured with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests, or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it.

        “He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board. He does not consider that the pieces upon the chess-board have no other principle of motion besides that which the hand impresses upon them; but that, in the great chess-board of human society, every single piece has a principle of motion of its own, altogether different from that which the legislature might chuse to impress upon it. If those two principles coincide and act in the same direction, the game of human society will go on easily and harmoniously, and is very likely to be happy and successful. If they are opposite or different, the game will go on miserably, and the society must be at all times in the highest degree of disorder.”

        ― Adam Smith

        • They never remember it’s impossible to block off everyone else’s every option.

          • They also never remember what happens when you block all escape valves but keep adding pressure. They are always so indignant when the boiler blows…..

            BRIEFLY indignant.

          • Right now the way to get what you don’t want said suppressed is to get it labeled as hate speech, which, it has been argued, is too nasty and dangerous to allow. Enough of society and some of the legislatures and courts have bought in the hate speech argument that it can be made tough for anyone who wishes to openly express a so labeled dissenting opinion.

            Silencing whatever they choose to label as dangerous speech is the anti-thesis of free speech protections guaranteed in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution. Then again, some people want to rewrite that document because these are modern times. Those dead white male Founders, some of whom (gasp!) owned slaves, didn’t include important things. Things such as positive rights.

            And maybe we should consider things like the definition of the difference between a vegetable and a sauce made from vegetables which was included in for the EU by the modern enlightened Europeans. (As opposed to the dead white European males who are the source of almost all the misery in the world. Wait a minuet! Hold your horses folks. Marx, Engles and Lenin are dead white European males … so maybe they have a half of a point.)

        • > A person who has grasped the Law of Unintended Consequences is no longer a leftist.

          I agree when you are talking about sincere lefties who believe in social good and helping people. But I don’t think authoritarian lefties care that their schemes will often achieve an effect opposite their intent – since that was never really the point for them anyway.

          • I walked out of a chatroom full of the sincere sort today instead of fighting, I’m afraid. Well, not that they aren’t also likely to be controlling. But I was torn between trying not to tear my hair out about the laments that jobs you can’t support a family on even exist and how if people knew what the US was really like they wouldn’t want to come and the WHO rated us a developing country based on quality of life… and wanting to argue… and comparing my to-do list for the day to the likely utility of debating somebody on the subject who’s already wrung out by personal issues.

            I still remember somebody remarking that what started her to changing her mind on one subject was hearing one argument for the other position, when she’d always been told no such arguments existed. And I feel guilty for not trying. And yet. Argh.

            • It’s frustrating, but I don’t even think you were wrong to walk away. A leftie has to be willing to question what they’ve been taught before they can even look at evidence objectively. Sometimes you just plant seeds and wait for people to come to the truth of things in their own time.

            • Don’t feel bad. Live right, plant the seeds you can, recharge yourself when you need to so that you can come back and plant more another day.

            • the WHO uses a really biased slide, including “everything health paid for.” and “education paid for” (By the US, mostly, for other countries. Never mind.)
              As someone who goes abroad, no, our standard of living is 20 years ahead (or a whole social class above) anything else I’ve seen. And that’s Europe.

            • Actually, I agree with the WHO (I’m not sure I’ve ever said that, before) we are a developing country. Not developing as fast as we once were, and Obama is doing his best to change that, but we are developing.

              We are also the root cause of most of the medical “developments” in other countries.

          • Those ones are equally baffled at not getting their real point.

            • They do seem genuinely baffled when people flee the institutions that they take over and run into the ground – but that bafflement often turns to anger: “the insolence of this rabble, don’t they know who I am, don’t they know I’m just trying to build a better world?”

              • We don’t understand.

                Only possible reason. No one could possibly really disagree with them.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Or the people are being scared by those Evil People.

                  Progressives are always seeing “Evil Masterminds Leading The Innocent People Astray”.

              • It isn’t their building of a better world which concerns us, it is their slumlord style arson by which they plan on clearing the way for it which frets.

                Well, that and the clear evidence that their “building a better world” is the sociopolitical equivalent of swapping us Yugos for our Crown Vics and Vespas for our Harleys.

                • It sounds noble in their minds. They want equality. Unfortunately they want equality of outcome instead of equality of opportunity. I could spend the same amount of time as Sarah working on a novel and the outcome of my novel vs hers would be much much much more in he favor. By the same token if her and I spent the same amount of time working on firewall configs I’m pretty certain mine would work better since I’ve spent the last 15 years doing it 🙂

                  They also seem to want to take competition out of the equation and have some higher authority (them) decide who wins (or doesn’t win, come on we all deserve a trophy just for showing up).

                  • I’ve started finding them on tumblr declaring that they’re going to start responding to “You just want to give people stuff” with “Yes, I do” and arguing that the concept of having to earn a living should be obsolete.

                    The person I saw posting that you shouldn’t have to earn a living also posts stuff about how if you complain about the high prices charged by somebody trying to get started in a business, you are playing into the hands of capitalism because that’s what allows big corporations to charge less and make life difficult for entrepreneurs.

                    • What color is the sky in their world? This absolute idiocy. They don’t have clue one about how the world works.

                    • It’s difficult to argue with insanity and basic resistance to even attempting to see how reality works. Somebody still has to grow crops, harvest them, ship them for processing, ship them to them to a store, and then stock the store. If work is obsolete then how exactly does that happen?

                      Oh no, not evil capitalism. What’s more fair? Having success based on your ideas and effort or having your success be based on being the child of a politician or having parents who can bribe politicians? I can’t believe how many people seem to be falling for this politician as infallible myth. (Or at least the Democrats are infallible and innately good).

                    • If socialists understood economics they wouldn’t be socialists anymore.

          • +++++

            My brother, bless his heart, is a lifelong socialist and union activist. When I visited him in Europe a few weeks ago he revealed he had voted for a center-right party for the first time in his life. Why? “The bill of lading misrepresented he load.” (free translation). He explained that he still believes in socialism as a platonic ideal, but now realizes it is unworkable with real people, and that the parties touting it are really only interested in their own power.

            • Socialist is in its ideal form unworkable. It requires that the planners have access to economic information to work. And it also requires that there be no channels for this information to reach them, because all possible ones have been preempted to carry commands instead.

              • Socialism’s ideal form utilizes the market to make decisions about allocations, it simply relies upon participants acting in the general interest, not the self-interest.

                It also require pigs flying and bears using porta-potties.

              • Many years ago, I read an interesting link to a discussion about how much computing power you would need to solve the necessary equations to make a socialist economy work.

                Based on Moore’s law of doubling computing capacity every 18 months, we begin to become capable of a planned socialist economy somewhere between the year 2200 and the year 2400, depending on your other assumptions.

                At this time, you should assume that everything has miniature molecular-sized sensors and computers continuously communicating with each other. You know those wireless ‘Amazon buttons’ that you can stick to your washing machine that you can just press when you run out detergent so it sends a blip to your computer to send a request to amazon to send you more? Everything you have, doing that automatically and continually.

                Until we get to 2200 and molecular computers, don’t even try.

                • That explains the mass slaughters typical of communist regimes: they’re trying to reduce the number of variables in order to fit the problem into their computers.

                  • If you think the world can be fundamentally improved, you must think that the cause of its not already being there is something that can be changed. That is, the decisions of humans. When you discover they are harder to herd than you like, your only choice to eliminate the meanies who are keeping the improvements back.

                • That’s an interesting thought, but note the assumption of a static early 21st century level technology based economy being run by the early 23rd century level supercomputers. In fact, by the time we develop such supercomputers, we will have a much larger and more complex economy.

            • I think my brother has been on a similar trajectory, NCT.

            • Good for him. Perhaps he will next learn that discount aluminum siding is not always a bargain and that not all which glitters is gold.

              Be sure to remind him that center-right parties often suffer the same dynamics, one reason so many of us look elsewhere than the political world for messiah.

      • I appreciate your optimism, but here’s the thing: we may be up against a stone-age people who can barely rub two sticks together to make fire, but they BELIEVE in what they’re doing. We (as a culture) do not. They say, “Our God commands us to take this land and kill all the infidels,” and we say, “We know, we know, it’s all our fault.” They say, “Our God says that cutting the throat of a soldier walking down the street is a good thing, and we will go to Heaven for it,” and we say, “We know some of our people have, in light of all the killings done in the name of your religion, said a few uncomplimentary things about said religion. We’re aware that this makes us horrible, evil racists and Islamaphobes.” They say, “These cartoonists have drawn a picture of our prophet and therefore we will kill them,” and we say, “This narrative about evil people of color walking into an office filled with white people and murdering them is offensive and colonialist, so we’re just going to say the white people had it coming.”

        Are you sure that we want to bet on us over them?

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          IMO our culture is still strong. The News Media reflects a different culture than ours. The Islamics will find out that we’re still here. Of course, the “Progressive culture” will also get a rude awakening.

        • Yes. There are a LOT of former combat tested Army and Marine infantrymen who will stand with us. Remember most of the Vietnam vets are still with us and in decent shape for the most part.

        • And then we say, “Those people who pretended to be talking for us have been removed. We’re talking for ourselves now. And we say we’ve had more than enough. We will be gracious and give you fair warning, because you are truly ignorant of our ways. From this moment forward unto the end of time, for every one of ours that one of yours kills, we will utterly destroy one of your cities.”

          • “Those people who pretended to be talking for us have been removed. We’re talking for ourselves now.”

            So life imitates art now? Or at least Monty Python movie credits?

        • Yes.

          I get what you’re saying. We seem to have lost confidence in the very idea of civilization itself while the barbarians are clearly committed to destruction. But we can rally to the Flag of Man (as Chesterton put it), and that involves overcoming the domestic noodges – and since they are the source of our unconfidence, they are not nearly as tough as they seem. Those who advocate folding at every turn are not going to suddenly find the heart to brave it out against an uprising against them. That’s why they are trying to demoralize us at any cost. As one ex-cultist put it in a documentary, “The strongest trap is the one where the person traps himself and fights off anyone trying to get him out.” The moment we want out, there’s actually very little to hold us.

          If it helps, think of the great mass of us sitting, getting shouted at very loudly if we stir, feeling penned in tighter and tighter… until we notice that the only way out is up. And up above us, as it turns out, is a giant ring that leads to a funnel, and as we head up that funnel, it narrows all the while, and the voices get louder and shriller… it’s easy to think we’ll be overwhelmed if it gets any narrower and louder.

          That’s because we’re making our way up the cone of a megaphone. We seemed to be outnumbered, hemmed in, shouted down, but that’s only as long as we stay down on the ground. When we finally reach the other end of the funnel, we’ll learn the good news – there aren’t that many of them. That’s why they need the megaphone. That’s why the Long March through the Institutions focused first on things like Education, Entertainment, and Media; a few people in charge of the whole show can co-opt a much larger group of people. (Think of Screwtape’s toast, where he talks about capturing the bellweathers.) Friom there they can get true acolytes into government to weigh us down with law and official punishment.

          Many of those on the ground with us who tried to pen us in were just as fooled and thought they were doing the right thing. A lot of them aren’t really committed to the cause so much as genuinely concerned that their friends – us – are mislead. They’re in the strongest trap – but we’re not. And if we’ve lived a good witness, enough of them will want out the moment they see us leave, see that we press on, and realize that nothing’s stopping them either. The ranks of the free will grow as their ranks shrink. But we have to press on and get to the small end of the megaphone. Then we’ll see.

          And then we can do something about the stone-age stick-rubbers.

          • Thinking about it that way actually does help. Thanks.

          • ” We seem to have lost confidence in the very idea of civilization itself while the barbarians are clearly committed to destruction.”

            Somewhat, but not really true. Believe me, if we ever really, truly loose confidence in civilization, the barbarians won’t like it. We may drop our shield in the heather, but that will simply be because it is really difficult to run a Ma Duece singlehanded.

      • Static analysis. Same mistake that makes LIRP’s mistrust the Laffer curve — not understanding that all systems/organisms react to stimuli. And that change, while constant, can be seen to be at least complex if not chaotic. You start out on the long march through the institutions, never remembering that, by the end of it, the institution will be obsolete and replaced by something else.

        One is permitted to hope that this is the Left’s core weakness.

        M

    • And I see many things. I see young people who are quiet, but observe. I see young people who are growing more conservative, not less. I see push back happening more, and more, in more places, often quietly because the media doesn’t cover it, but they can’t keep word from spreading. I see

      To quote:
      “Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?”

      The watchman said, “The morning cometh, and also the night: if ye will inquire, inquire ye: return, come.”

      /quote

      We’ll be manning the walls. If you need to hear that the night is ending, but our guard needs to stay up. We’ll be here.

      • Yes. I’m surprised at how conservative politically the teenagers are that I’m around. I try to keep strictly neutral (i.e. sigh about politics in general but never about one party or individual), but I don’t get the sense that I’m teaching a mass of raging Progressives-to-be.

      • “But you and all the kind of Christ
        Are ignorant and brave,
        And you have wars you hardly win
        And souls you hardly save.

        “I tell you naught for your comfort,
        Yea, naught for your desire,
        Save that the sky grows darker yet
        And the sea rises higher.

        “Night shall be thrice night over you,
        And heaven an iron cope.
        Do you have joy without a cause,
        Yea, faith without a hope?”

        G.K. Chesterton

  5. Sarah, I remember that incident, and an ABC sports reporter breaking down, because of what happened. Just as I “remember” a close friend calling me on 9/11. Her husband worked in Kokomo In. (about 30 miles away) and she had friends that worked in, or had family in the “towers.” I dressed, and drove to her house, to keep her and her younger daughter, company. (She’s my “adopted” Sister, and her daughters are “the Daughters of my heart.” Thank you David Weber, for that term.) The second plane hit, as I was halfway there.
    I knew, not long afterward, as I listened to hearings about the behavior of our “Intelligence” agencies. The “rot” is so deep, and so pervasive that it will not be a “minor crash.” It was also when I stopped seeing “survivalism” as being surviving “bad weather,” or bad “personal times.” The “Political establishment” is so deeply embedded in stupidity (deliberately ignoring reality, in favor of ideology) that we will “lose” the populations of many States. States, where people I _Love_ live, right now. I expect, before it’s over, we will “lose” as much as 30% of the U.S. Population, to disease, suicide, riots, and starvation. (Think “Escape from New York,” for the states from Virginia to Maine, and as far West as western Penn.) I Also expect a big part of the West Coast, to collapse Nor. Cal may survive, but it’ll be close. Wa. and Or. are at best 50-50. I hope that my “prophetic fears” *don’t happen,* but I fear that they will. Much of the rest of the world, will follow the U.S. Coasts, for the same reasons. We’re propping them up, and our collapse will pull them down.

    • But there are signs of hope. In guns we’ve won the battle and there’s progress against the mindless profiteering from abortion. We’re not our media, either. And without the internet places like this wouldn’t exist. The sense of being “occupied” wouldn’t exist if the people weren’t different from their rulers.
      You can always despair LATER. There is always time for despair. And as Dr. Pournelle once reminded me at a dark time for me Despair is a sin. And it might not be needed.

      • Daniel ended on a hopeful note, himself.

        Armstrong says it’s not the end of us, but only the final end of marxism (kicking and screaming)

        • it had to end here. It took refuge in our cultural institutions. What we’re doing is fighting back. Science fiction is a backyard skirmish but it counts. It’s where people dream. We also fight who write exploding spaceships.

          • Maybe not so backyard. Everyone knows things are sporked-up, but the overpowering narrative leaves them nowhere to turn. This generation needs a return to a proper narrative that actually describes reality. Our job, no?

      • This. I think the worst-case scenarios are at odds with Human Wave.

      • On guns, yes we continue to win battles, but the war ain’t over yet by a long shot. We are winning because eventually to even the most casual observer it becomes obvious that their “common sense” gun control at best fails in its goals and at worst actually makes honest citizens into victims.
        The anti gun crowd desperately wanted strict gun control (ie outright bans on entire classes of firearms much like Britain) at the federal level. Attempts at that finally got a large number of liberal politicians handed their walking papers. The Democratic blood bath after the 1994 AWB still weighs heavy upon them. So now they’ve taken to nibbling away at the state level. Yes, every state now has some form of concealed permit, but far too many are “may” issue rather than “shall” issue. What that means is your “right” to carry the means of protection under “may” is subject to the whim of your county sheriff. And we’ve seen how exceedingly well that’s played out on both of our left coasts, both east and west.
        And then there are those “studies.” Paid hatchet jobs with cherry picked or outright bogus data designed to give back the result they wanted going in. Yes, it is actually true that a firearm in the home indicates you are at higher risk of injury or death. The little detail never mentioned is that the statistic includes homes with illegal guns which practically guarantees illegal drug dealings, gang activities, or both. Change the input data to reflect only legally owned firearms and you get a much different result.

        • True. The back-door gun ban attempts continue, like the new bill (I forget what state) that would require all private transfers (sale, gift, whatever) to have a background check done, while prohibiting private access to the database.

          • That would be WA, and last I heard, OR was going to follow suit.

            • All states with proglodyte power groups seek such controls, but they are a rear-guard by a scared foe. Put “gun control” in your search engine of choice and you’ll see that opposition is wide and deep. As more Americans become accustomed to gun regimes which recognize our rights, fewer Americans consider such attitudes suspect, diminishing the elite’s power to define normal.

              Poll Suggests a More Gun-Focused Electorate in 2016
              By Jim Geraghty — September 10, 2015

              Deep in the numbers of the newly released CNN poll, we find 42 percent of registered voters said the issue of “gun policy” would be “extremely important” to their vote for president next year. In 2012, that number was 22 percent. That year, 22 percent said it was “not that important”; that figure is down to 8 percent now.

              Interestingly, 43 percent of women said it was “extremely important,” and 40 percent of men.

              Unsurprisingly, illegal immigration is also much more prominently on voters’ minds. In 2012, 28 percent said it was “extremely important” to their vote for president; that figure is now 39 percent. Only 14 percent said it was “not that important,” and now that figure at 11 percent.

              The percentage saying the economy is “extremely important” is down a bit from the summer of 2012; back then 58 percent ranked it that highly, now it’s 52 percent.

            • Well, look at how well the people of Washington, New York, and Connecticut are obeying those new state gun laws…

          • Just implemented in Illinois is what I’ve been told and has been the law in several other states for a while now. To sell a firearm to your best friend you must go to an FFL holder and pay them to run a background check before you can legally transfer the weapon.

            • WA just passed that. The problem with the statement that we are winning the war on guns is, we are currently winning more battles than we are losing, and so, yes we are winning. But we lost a tremendous amount of ground, and are still fighting deep in our own territory. We are fighting battles constantly to either hold or own, or gain inches. Yet it is miles to what is clearly stated as a legal right in the Constitution.

              We are winning, but we are doing it with tactics similar to Russia’s in WWII (and numerous other wars) we give ground, and give ground, poisoning wells and scorching fields when necessary, to deny the enemy subsistence, until we can consolidate and push back against a weakened and disheartened enemy. I’m not saying it isn’t working, but it is going to be a long drawn out, bloody, nasty battle. And every day we people and territory behind enemy lines, the casualty count rises, often among the innocent. Hopefully it will serve as a reminder, if we ever get back to our original boundaries, we need to heavily fortify them, and be more vigilant next time. In the meantime, we are spending a tremendous amount of precious resources fortifying every hill we regain. Because if we don’t, we stand the likelihood of losing it once again.

            • And if there’s a more ignored provision of the law I’m not sure what it is.

          • That’s a Federal bill actually.

      • Despair of ultimate and eternal consequences is a sin. Despair of limited and mortal consequences is sometimes common sense — but does not change duty.

      • Churchill’s swan song to Parliament: “The day may dawn when fair play, love for one’s fellow-men, respect for justice and freedom, will enable tormented generations to march forth serene and triumphant from the hideous epoch in which we have to dwell. Meanwhile, never flinch, never weary, never despair.”
        http://www.winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/102-never-despair

    • I see, he turns it around in the end. But I don’t think we’re as bad off as he thinks.

    • This! I think many here in the US and across the world are seeing the fiasco in DC and thinking all of America is like those fools. It is becoming impossible for even the most oblivious to ignore the corruption and stupidity going on in DC. That more and more they see themselves as a ruling class exempt from the rules.

      This crap of left selectively ignoring or enforcing the law is not going to work the way they want it to.

      It’s been odd. Almost every person I’ve talked to thinks the iran ‘treaty’ is going to lead to wwiii. Do the people in dc actually know something we don’t?

        • No. They want what they think WWIII will be. They are totally unprepared for the reality. They do not understand the military culture, haven’t understood the military culture for decades, and won’t be told.

          Migod! Kerry, who had BEEN IN THE MILITARY did not understand that if he wanted to run for President he had to apologize for his anti-war stance. At a minimum he had to say something like “When I came back from Vietnam I was a very angry young man and did and said some things that were not wise.” Nothing specific; just enough to imply “Yes, I know I testified before Congress in the company of people who anyone doing due diligence would have known were frauds”.

          They think that if there is a war, they will be able to control the outcome. They think that if there is a war, they will be able to control the returning veterans, if those veterans conceive that they have been betrayed. They think that a gazillion armed and arrogant bureaucrats are a match for an armed and angry citizenry and a disciplined military.

          They err.

          • Yes, they want a fantasy war.

            • I think they look at the USSR from 1946 through 1960 and see utopia, until those darn kids in the western hemisphere screwed it all up. This time they’ve started here, and plan on imposing Stalin’s post-war “cleanup” policies in the aftermath and implement perpetual control.

              They have no idea what it is they want to unleash. I still think the Kratman Option (“Ah, you thought that was American Imperialism. I see your error: That was global free market participation with self interest sometimes pursued – THIS is American Imperialism”) is the most likley outcome.

              But with the other side, it’s always this time…

              • Sometimes I wonder it Tom was an optimist while writing Caliphate.

              • They have failed to grasp the fundamental differnce between a Russian Peasant circa 1917-1941 and an American Redneck. Basically, given a full briefing and a choice between attacking a town full of Rednecks and batallion of werewolves, any moderately intelligent cossack would pick the werewolves.

                They THINK the Tea Party and the American Gun Nuts are peasants. They have NO idea how wrong they are.

              • Be compassionate — they are not actually very bright as they are mostly A-students.

                They were the ones who gave the teachers the answers the teachers expected, thinking those answers were right when they were at best correct.

          • They want war powers and the level of government control not seen since WWII.

          • “Control the outcome” of a war. I honestly can’t imagine a stupider concept.

            • Ranks right up there with calling Sarah a white male Mormon Jew.

              • With a great rack, (she says complacently.)

                • Can you sing it a la Billy Madison? 🙂 (If you’re not familiar with the movie there is a scene about in the middle where his love interest beats the crap out of him for feeling sorry for himself. The next scene is a fantasy/dream sequence she’s singing and ends the song with ‘Don’t I have a nice rack?’)

                  Just watched that the other night so it was the 1st thing I thought of.

            • One of the various WWI lessons not learned:
              “We’ll be home by Christmas!” (of 1914).

              All anyone can control is, perhaps, when the war starts. After that… you have a mess.

              • They said the same in 1944.

                Then the German Ardennes offensive of 1944 happened…

                Even when things actually are going their way, they still can’t control what happens.

            • Call yourself an SF fan?

              Steering an avalanche. Directing a hurricane. Harnessing the next eruption of the Yellowstone caldera. Tugging on Superman’s cape.

              Admittedly, controlling the outcome of a war is the LIRP version of “Hey y’all — watch this!” with considerably more collateral damage.

          • In terms of handling vets after a general war it seems they are bound and determined to prove RAH right again.

            Except I think he had a much rosier society when only vets can vote than we will really get although he hinted at a darker side here and there.

        • I guess i can see wanting wwiii. . .if you stand to make a crap ton of money and survive (if you’re an absolute psychopath!) But this 1 will be ‘global thermal nuclear war’. Many of the players pushing this live in cities most likely to get nuked. Since it’s also likely to be suitcase instead of missile there is no early warning.

          Unless this is the ultimate in cold blooded decisions. Reduce human population and energy consumption in lots of big kabooms. (With more bonus government control of what’s left).

          • No, this isn’t cold blooded. This is blindness. They don’t think anyone would REALLY use a nuke on a city. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are totemic myths to them, incantations to start ritual abasement. Not real cities that were really bombed because we were really at war. They think of War as being the Vietnam War as they (or their parents) “fought” it. Not as a global catastrophe. Just tryng to comprehend WHAT they think gives me a dull headache.

            • The reason they “don’t think anyone would REALLY use a nuke on a city” is because they know that, had they the power, they would have used it. They see our failure to use such a weapon as irresoluteness, as weakness, as moral cowardice for them to exploit.

              Funny how all those preaching the gospel of multi-culti so often ignore the underlying cultural realities. Their approach to Fenrisúlfr is the same as to a leashed hound.

              • Piffle.

                Their approach to Fenrisúlfr is the same as to a leashed hound.

                Their approach to Fenrisúlfr is the same as to Marmaduke.

                Stupid staircase.

              • That’s because it isn’t actually about culture. It’s about power and having an easy way to silence your opponents and stifle debate on your ideas. It’s been sadly highly effective in the past. The implication of racism has been powerful enough to cause that moment of hesitation as the person momentarily questions their own motives.

                After the way racism/sexism has been abused for the past 6 years it’s rapidly becoming ineffective. When I criticize Obama, Hillary, and Warren I know for 100% that it has nothing to do with race or sex and everything to do with their goals and policies.

                • The Progs have to cry “racism” or “sexism” (let’s not forget islamophobia and homophobia) in response to criticism.

                  If your argument is based off of bigotry, then they don’t have to entertain it and therefor don’t have to challenger their worldview.

                  It’s how they can entertain contradictory thoughts without their brains exploding.

                  • I know. It only took a few times of getting ambushed with cries of ‘racist, sexist’ before it became expected and stopped working. I even did some self-reflection so see if there was any validity. I’m an equal opportunity jerk, I don’t like stupid people no matter what sex, religion, or race they are.

                    My favorite was when I was arguing with some progressive (no longer friends) about the upcoming health care law. When they couldn’t come up with any convincing arguments it switched to ‘why do you hate black people?’ At the time I was in to much of a wtf? frame of mind to process. Then it sort of hit me that the racism wasn’t mine, it was theirs. it was their assumption that only people of color would require assistance in getting health insurance.

                    • Back in the 90s, when I still had enthusiasm for smiting idiots and proglodytes (BIRM*) on line associates and I came up with “The Carvile Award” for excellence in trolling. Rather than engage incoherent rants we scored them like Olympics judges, mocking their use of standard tropes such as racism, sexism and the like.

                      There is no need to defend one’s honour against nonsense, merely acknowledge the nonsense for what it is.

                      *But I Repeat Myself

                    • The problem in defending against the attack was the unexpected nature and timing (at least at first). Especially since at the time they were coming from people I considered friends and thought knew and respected me more than to apply those labels as a strategy to win an argument.

                      Now it is easy. You can see it coming as they fail to come up with logical arguments and resort to name calling and accusations to win. Like practicing martial arts it’s much easier to be looking at their arguments and to be able to throw them back where they belong.

                    • Nowadays they’re not being racist against blacks. They’re acknowledging that blacks have to overcome white privilege.

                      /rolleyes

                • I know. If it weren’t for the fact the Chicom being a racist slur accusation is on the face of it lunatic, I’d have checked and wondered. (Particularly since I was applying it to idiots on the left being Chicom sympathizers, and all the idiots on the left I was thinking of — who immediately self-identified, btw — are whiter than milk.

                  • Critical thinking seems to be in short supply on the left. That is what most disappoints me considering they are supposed to be the intellectual party. (At least in their minds).

                    I remember reading your post on all of that and thought it was absurd. China is communist and it’s just applying a label that is factually accurate. Nothing like being chastised for someone else’s ignorance!

                    • The Left’s confusion stems from having convinced themselves that “critical thinking” consists of thinking criticism of others.

                  • The Other Sean

                    As pale as china, you might say. 🙂

                  • By declaring that an ethnic slur, wasn’t she also declaring herself a Chicom sympathizer?

              • As bad as it sounds, I’m glad that the US was the first country that used nuclear weapons. *Someone* was going to do it, as no one really had any idea just how devastating those weapons were. And the fact that it was the US meant that they didn’t get used again the moment we got into another war (the Korean war would have been VERY different, otherwise…).

      • Hey! you know, them presidential foundations don’t just fund themselves.

      • They want to remove the US from its hyper-power position, and the only way to do so is to reimplement the old balance of power system. And for that, you need at least one power in each region to safeguard that region from any imperialistic ambitions from Western nations. Since Iraq is gone, Iran is their designated regional power for the Middle East. And unlike those rubes in other parts of the country, our leaders in DC know that the Iranian leadership doesn’t really believe all that religious stuff.

      • No, but they think they do.

  6. I think Sarah’s channeling Chesty Puller, “They are in front of us, behind us, and we are flanked on both sides by an enemy that outnumbers us 29:1. They can’t get away from us now!”

  7. Pingback: Chicago Boyz » Blog Archive » 9/11 Plus Fourteen Years

  8. I was on the Net and a message arrived on the board.
    “We are at war.” It went on to say that a plane had been
    flown into the first tower. I turned on the TV in time to see
    the second plane hit.

    We had been going to the range and then out fishing for
    trout. Instead stayed in watching TV all morning and into the
    afternoon. I was furious and the feeling lasted a long time.
    I can still reach it if needed.

    • To be fair, before sitting to watch TV I went to the store and bought food for a month. Because that’s how I react to emergencies.

      • Lucky for me I had just been grocery shopping… it was two weeks before we could get on base again… so I was prepared. And yes lol I keep emergency rations around all the time.

        • I was in Army ROTC–this was before I busted up my back. I was in the weight room, with a couple other cadets. They had one of those obnoxious early morning radio shows on, and at first we figured it for one of the host’s jokes. Then we went upstairs to the cadet office, where the TV was on. Mostly I remember we were mad. The Pentagon was a fair target, the Towers were not. The engineer cadets were not impressed and wrote out the equations for a much more deadly and damaging thing to do with a plane on the whiteboard. The cadre let those stay up for weeks.

          Last year on this date I had Baby. Little pistol: she waited until half an hour after midnight to be born–I would’ve taken a shorter labor and a 9/10 birth date for her if it had been up to me, but I think anyone in labor would. I was born on 4/19, so I know what it’s like growing up and having your birthday taken over by terrorists (thank you Janet Reno and Timothy McVeigh). So we keep radio silence on 9/11, and will until she’s much, much older. (We don’t get TV down here in the canyon.) The adults can find out anything they need to know from the internet.

          So happy first birthday to baby Sophie.

    • I got laid off the Friday before, which was very bad timing on my part. I think I watched maybe 15 minutes of TV on that day. Spent more time online. (including news sites.)

      Heard of the PA plane not from the news but when Jerry Pournelle posted about it to the newsgroup, having gotten it from the father of one of the passengers. Well, the verified fact of the PA plane. I remember there were a lot of rumors and that plane aircrash was just one of them until that news.

      • It did seem the internet was a lifeline and it was groups (be it newsgroups, forums, or mailing lists). Until I hit one of the Boston colleges that was streaming I couldn’t get to any news sites. I got more news from the Boston netgoth mailing list than any other source until well into the afternoon.

    • I heard about it indirectly from mailing list traffic. I’ve never seen any of the news reports or videos.

    • I was at work. When the second plane hit, I said it was war. My boss wanted us to keep working, but I went home and brought in a small TV that I set up in the break room, and everyone would check for updates from time to time.

      My father was retired by then, but still used the Pentagon workout facilities most days. It was four days before I managed to get through to him and verify that he wasn’t working out when everything occurred.

    • I had not slept very well the night before. I was a manager at that time, and 9/11/2001 was the planned date for the first major layoff I had to participate in – i.e. I was going to have to lay off coworkers and friends that morning.

      As a result I was up early and creeping along in Silicon Valley rush hour traffic when I heard what was going on. I phoned my girlfriend and got her to turn on her TV, and after seeing what was happening she kept repeating “They have to do something – They have to do something.”

      Once in to work I tried to keep up on any news while waiting for the call to start layoffs, but it never came. I remember everyone walking around the cube farms so quietly, all day long. Lots of folks just didn’t come in. Even outside, it was so quiet with all the airliners grounded.

      Eventually my next level manager stopped by and told me that due to the “events of the day” management didn’t want our layoff announcement press release going out with that date at the top, so it was deferred. We ended up going throug with the planned layoffs about two weeks later.

      • Funny, with me it was doing the math. Fifty thousand people worked in those buildings on any given day, another fifty thousand transited through the subway interchange lying below them. The rat bastards (an insult to rats, i am sure) Tried To Kill ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND AMERICANS.

    • I was working, surveying just outside the boundary of Evergreen State College. The guy I was working with got in the truck to move it, and heard on the radio that a plane had hit the Towers. We were thinking little bi-plane. Next time he went to move the truck, they were saying a second plane had hit the towers. He grew up in New York, and so it probably hit home a little more for him. We sat in the truck and ate lunch, listening to the radio (we NEVER took a lunch break, this day I think we took over an hour break). He called his ex-wife and told her to turn on the news. I called my mother, and told her the same, about then we heard about the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania plane.

      Many politicians and leftists seem to have forgotten that day.

      I have not forgotten.

  9. I was in Spain. I had been in the Navy about three years by then, in Europe for a year or so. I was working nights, so I was asleep when it happened. I got woken up about 3 o’clock, for accountability purposes, and spend the rest of the day before going in to work, obsessively refreshing the Yahoo page on the very slow Spanish internet. We were told to bring in enough clothes for a long stay, in case we couldn’t go back home, so I did that. Getting onto base took four or five times the usual time, and there were news vans out front. The concrete barriers had been out in front of the building some weeks before, mostly due to flight operations during Operation Southern Watch.

    We had four big plasma screens on the front of the watchfloor for briefs, and usually during night or weekend watches we would watch sports, or a movie, but that night it was just the sight of the towers falling over and over again. I was in and out of the building, because everyone had to go in pairs anywhere we went, and we were getting Flash traffic all night as every ship in the Med pulled out of port that night. The comms building was all the way across the base, in an area I would ordinarily never go, and I had only gotten access to it a couple of months before.

    I had managed to call my family to make sure they were okay in Illinois, and reassure them of my own safety, and a number of the internet message boards I was on did a roll call. I remember just sitting there numb, like I’d been punched in the gut. When I got off work the next day, I went over to the mini-mart and rented a couple of Disney comedy-type movies. I just needed to lose myself in something mindless and silly for a couple of hours.

    My 21st birthday was two and half weeks later and I went up to Sevilla with a friend of mine. Didn’t feel much like celebrating, for some reason.

    Now I’m sitting in my apartment in the Middle East, getting ready to go into work tomorrow to find out how people “celebrated” the anniversary here. I’ll look at all the reporting and hopefully, breathe a sigh of relief that we’ve once again managed to stave off WWIII for another day. Then I’m going to go see Man from Uncle again, because I will once again need a couple of hours of mindless comedy.

    • Are you still in the Navy Chris?

      • I am. Changed rates, got out for a brief time for full-time college, then went back active. I’m six years into my current hitch, and I’m about to re-enlist for orders to a smallboy in Norfolk. I’ll be there next spring.

        • thank you for your service. What’s a small boy? I know very little about the Navy.

          • It’s a target smaller than a carrier or battleship 🙂

            • Is it a destroyer or what used to be called in WWII a PT Boat?

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                Apparently “small boys” are the Navy ships, cruisers & destroyers, that protect aircraft carriers.

                • aha. it’s a class not a particular type of ship.

                  • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                    Yep. And it’s an unofficial class not an official class.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    More like category.

                    It includes stuff like cruiser and destroyer. I’m not certain if those are classified by weight or role.

                    Classes of ships are made to the same general design. Like, first they make the Advil. It is a new design, so it gets called the Advil class. They learn some new things, so they make changes when they build the Benadryl. The Benadryl is still called Advil class. If the Advil is a Uchuu Senkan, a ‘Space Battleship’, so is the Benadryl. Eventually they find out the problems of the Advil class, make a lot changes in construction, technology advances, or doctrine changes. So they need to make a new class. So they come up with a design for the Tylenol, whose class is intended to replace the Advil class. They get the Tylenol constructed, it works, and so they go forward with the Sudafed, the next in the Tylenol class.

                    • Actually, you can argue there are no cruisers left in the US Navy. The current cruiser class, Ticonderoga, began life as an improved Spruance and are built on destroyer type hulls. If you compare them to the immediately preceding cruiser class, the Virginias (as well as the Californias and Belknaps they derived from), you’ll see a world of difference.

                      The official reason for uprating the Ticonderogas was the Agesis system made her the battle equivalent of a cruiser. I suspect it had as much to do with the Navy pretty much getting out of the cruiser business after the expense of Virginias. You can also make an argument that the traditional cruiser, an independent operating non-capital warship for show the flag operations, scouting, commerce raiding, and commerce raider hunting, had ceased to have a purpose in the modern era, at least for the US Navy. Modern US destroyers can do the first (in part given the small size of most other navies); aircraft, satellites, destroyers, and submarines work as scouts; by WW2 the third commerce raiding was a submarine job outside of a few German ships; destroyers and aircraft are better at ASW and thus fill the anti-commerce raiding role.

                  • j c Calhoun, olly pop, flying fish — 79 to 87

          • What they said. I’m not sure which ship it will be yet, but either the Mason, an Arleigh Burke class destroyer, or a Ticonderoga class cruiser, possibly the Monterey. I will be on independent duty, which is um, a bit scary but an interesting challenge.

  10. Whenever I see a ‘war is not the answer’ bumper sticker I think to myself that, ‘They weren’t asking if we wanted war. They are set on having one whether we want it or not.’

    (Oh hell, I admit it, I often grumble this to whoever is with me)

    • those people aren’t living in the same world as us. Perhaps they feel that if they ignore the bad stuff hard enough it will go away.

      • Good grief! —

        I just got the image of them going through life with fingers in their ears, repeating, ‘Neener, neener, neerer.’

        Must make it hard to drive … which might explain a great deal about traffic …

        • I think listening to NPR is the way to stuff your ears without taking your hands off the wheel.

          • Once upon a time the locally received NPR stations could be counted on to broadcast classical music most days as well as some bluegrass, swing and jazz on weekends. Now they are just about all propaganda all the time.

              • Ours still puts out music much of the day. But, you know, there used to be standards in broadcasting. I think those went out in Pres. Clinton’s term. I don’t need to have to explain certain things to my four year old, so news goes on radio goes off.

                • This. And more. It is a sad world where reasonable adults need to be circumspect about allowing young ones they care about from programming intended for children. 😦

                • The one out here is classical music (well, classical to modern periods; there seems to be a distinct lack of medieval and almost no renaissance), but I have to change the station when the “If you like our non-biased news reporting…” promo pops up. Daily.

            • Every time I listen to NPR I wonder who the bigger idiots are, those who produce the crap or those who believe it. I simply cannot fathom an intelligent person who listens for any length of time.

          • +++++

            New-class Preening Radio

    • Yep. Also it must not be an existential question.

    • I love that one. “If war is not the answer, THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE ASKED.”

      Another one is “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” I mean, first off the bumper sticker is wrong – Jesus would know to use “whom.” Second, I think Sir Thomas More answered a similar question in “A Man For All Seasons”:

      “Father, arrest that man!”
      “Why?”
      “He’s bad!”
      “That’s not against the law.”
      “It is – God’s Law!”
      “Then God can arrest him.”

      Jesus might not bomb you – but you didn’t bomb Heaven, you bombed New York City, so I hope you got your supply of Acme Umbrellas handy, ’cause it gonna rain, son.

      • And if you are very, very lucky, it’ll *only* be anvils.

        • Did you see where we took out the explosives in JDAMs and replaced it with concrete so that we could destroy specific vehicles or apartments with minimal collateral damage? The US Air Force has precision-guided anvils. I only hope that every one of them has “ACME” stenciled on the side.

        • Patrick Chester

          Unless the anvils are dropped from orbit.

      • “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” is a remarkably ignorant question considering the how the second coming of Christ is typically described. Jesus isn’t going to need bombs.

        • I understand he prefers a terrible swift sword.

          I don’t recall ever hearing of a Jihadi putting “Who would Mohammed behead?” on his car’s bumper.

      • “Who would Jesus bomb?” is a rather stupid question to ask, given the result that they’re trying to achieve. The people who came up with it were no doubt completely unfamiliar with the part of the New Testament in which Jesus explicitly told his disciples that they should be armed to protect themselves from the rest of the world.

    • Remember that except for slavery, Fascism, Nazism, Communism, and genocide, WAR NEVER SOLVED ANYTHING.

    • I swear I’m gonna get a bunch of stickers made up that say “wouldn’t that depend on the question?” And slap them over every “War is tpnit the answer” sticker I see.

      • I used to have an entire riff on replies to that especially stupid bumper sticker, but fortunately I no longer see it sufficiently often to enrage.

        War is not the answer, war is the question; the answer is victory or defeat.

        • I have a little checklist of cars I don’t want to get behind. Is it a Toyota? Is the bumper obscured by stickers? Are said stickers of the Coexist, etc variety? Is the Obama sticker still pristine?

          Even if the stickers don’t start the rage meter climbing then more than likely the quality of the driving will.

          • Whenever I see a Prius plastered with those stickers, I always have to suppress the urge to knock on the window and say: “The sixties called, they need their politics back.”

            • That makes so much sense, most of the time they drive like they are on drugs. . .

              Thanks all, you’ve helped make a slow Friday afternoon go by much faster!

          • I’ve seen one coexist bumper sticker that wasn’t so bad – the letters were all made out of different firearms. 🙂

            • I saw a Coexist bumpersticker that had the Islamic crescent ‘C’ looming over the other letters,which were all cowering in fear of it.

          • First time I saw a car with “hybrid” in its logo I realized: If the point of driving such a vehicle was not social signalling there would be no point putting such information on the vehicle.

            • Yep 🙂 Though I love the hybrid hummers! It’s huge and it’s. . .green?!

              So it gets 20 miles to the gallon instead of 10? (No idea, just guessing).

              Even if we did away with fossil fuel and switched to hydrogen (from what I understand the exhaust of hydrogen cars is pretty much water vapor) I wonder how long it will take to find out that it’s a bad idea and dumping large amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere does influence the climate. (Probably more than the carbon that is getting dumped I now).

              • No idea about the hybrid hummer, but Chevrolet (GM makes the hummer) came out with a half-ton, full size, four wheel drive hybrid pickup a couple of years ago. By the figures in their advertising, the hybrid only got 1 mpg WORSE than the standard gas engine!

                • Yah, I vaguely remember reading that the hybrids in general are much less energy efficient and it takes a LONG time to actually pay off the additional cost of the vehicle.

                  • They typically fail to take into account the global cost of the vehicles, neglecting such things as environmental costs of producing the batteries and the electricity.

                    • That was it. But hey, they get to have the ‘hybrid’ label on the their car to show that they care.

                      If I get motivated later I’ll see if I can use some google-fu to track down the article 🙂

                    • it is more ecological to buy and drive a new H2 Hummer (and is GM still building them? I thought the Chinese had bought it after the bailout?) than it is to buy and drive a Prius. Right about the time the Pruis’ eco kicks in you will need to replace the battery, and you drop well behind the Hummer again. That is if someone doesn’t steal your pack, or the controller goes bad (Lexus had that issue).

                    • Of course you can buy a Yaris, (another aerodynamic beer can built by Toyota) with a regular gas motor for just a cat’s whisker over half the price, and at 37 mpg compared to 46, it is going to take a long time to make up the over $10,000 price difference in fuel costs.

                      And that is before you add in the ridiculous costs of replacing the batteries in the Prius.

                      Of course I recall a 1984 Honda Accord, 4-cylinder, 5-speed. My Grandfather bought it, and after he died my Grandmother drove it for several more years before upgrading, at which point my dad took it over for a work car. That car got 45 mpg on the highway reliably for years, and it was carbureted. At some point a sensor went out, and the carburetor would freeze up in the mornings, so to cure that my dad ran the cheap Arco gas*; you know the junk stuff with 10% ethanol, that nobody ran in there good cars, because half of them pinged and ran like junk on it, and the rest got terrible fuel mileage. That dropped its fuel mileage down to about 37-38. Finally at about 460,000 my dad failed to put the radiator cap back on tight, and managed to run it out of water and blow the motor.
                      If I had known what I do about motors now, I might have tried to rebuild it, because you certainly can’t find a comparable car today, for comfort, reliability and fuel mileage.

                      If they could build a four door sedan thirty years ago that got that kind of fuel mileage, I find it really hard to believe that they couldn’t do the same today, if it weren’t for all the increased regulations.

                      *This is identical to the “green” fuel that our government forced down our throats a few years back. One has to wonder if lower emissions per gallon from an alcohol blend can possibly compensate for the higher gallons per mile burned due to decreased fuel mileage.

                    • (because WP reader thinks we have too many comments, this is to bearcat)
                      A few years ago, when Honda was having issues with their Hybrid, and Toyota was killing it with the Prius, someone asked a retired Honda exec what his opinion was. He said essentially “Big Deal. We had over 50mpg in the 80’s with a carburated car.”
                      The Honda CRX HF was what he was talking about, and he was one of the team who developed it. He was wondering why they can’t seem to get more with todays better tech, even with the stupid food “enhanced” gasoline.

              • I think it’s 10 instead of 5. One of the Top Gear guys once said he was going to modify a big SUV to have an AA battery, and call it a Hybrid. I think Hummer ran with the idea.

              • Water vapor has a greater greenhouse effect than CO2. Already proven.

                • It is also a critical contributor to the massive storms variously known as hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons: yet one more reason to slap government controls on use of DiHydrogen Honoxide.

            • That’s why the Prius dominates the hybrid category, it has unique styling while its competitors all look like their conventional counterparts except for the badge. Moral preening is so much harder to pull of when only those directly behind you can see the evidence of your enlightenment.

              • Leno has made that point several times about eco cars, even though he is silly enough to think they are actually good for the environment, I think he really just like the tech in them (which is pretty cool, but there are better ways imho)

            • SheSellsSeashells

              A local bar near me puts various opinionations on its blackboard during the day. My favorite so far was along the lines of “If you drive a Prius, don’t bother putting the Obama sticker on; we already know.”

          • Apparently there was a study a few years back that showed a strong correlation between number of bumper stickers and number of accidets/moving violations, but no correlation with the content of those stickers.

      • Well, war isn’t the answer. The answer is 42.

    • The Other Sean

      One day I went to the mall and a car with a “War is not the answer” bumper sticker was parked almost next to a car with a “Jesus is the answer” bumper sticker. Both had me scratching my head and wondering “Doesn’t that depend on the question?”

    • The assumption being made is that all wars are optional from our perspective. This is a fundamentally arrogant assumption in that it requires that only we have agency, while other countries merely react to our policies, and only in direct and predictable fashions.

  11. Larry Patterson

    So many memories, Sarah.
    1972 I had my first real job out of school at a radio station. The boss was furious, but this was before radio was free, so on air, we just played music.
    2001 in Portugal, we had recently started our own shop, fed up with supporting an incompetent boss. On a week at the beginning of the golf season, the shop was dead quiet. Went across to the café, and even the normally raucous crowd was silent as the TV showed the attack on the Pentagon. So I went back to the shop and tried to get on the Internet, dial up at the time. Finally connected to NPR, which was just reporting the news. A wow! moment. The normally busy golf season collapsed as people cancelled flights and hotels.
    Every year we relive that day, but now with fewer tears.

    Hope my memory of that day is not too boring. Funny that the Europeans, pronounced You’re peons, hated Bush, but even so were sympathetic for a short time to Americans.

    Benghazi we saw right away was just a subset of the 2012 reelection campaign. An unopposed reelection, it turned out. Meh.

    Someone later quipped on Twitter “Put not thy trust in princes,” nor Reinces.

    So bad guys prevail for now, but not for much longer.

  12. You will say it’s not fair…

    and

    Did you think it would be easy? Did you think it was just a game?

    Momma told me (more times than I can remember) that life isn’t fair. That it isn’t easy. That it isn’t a game.

    • My fault. I failed to properly signify the HTML to close the italics after the third question. Sigh

    • Seems that there have been too many mommas, several generations now, who have wanted to shelter their kids, the few of them, from everything bad. Those kids grow up into adults (at least physically) who can’t really truly believe in monsters, but rather cling to the illusion that it can’t happen for real, and everything can always be talked over and there is no need to fight if you just try hard enough.

      And then, if their generation gets smacked in the face by reality (WW, other wars, 9/11…), they don’t learn, not all the way. They may wake up enough to fight that one time, but when it’s over they again want to shelter their own kids and make sure their kids never ever have to go through what they did. Because surely the threat is over now, no need to be paranoid. They can only see one obvious threat at a time, and even then it has to be very much in your face one.

      And they still believe that things can be solved by talking. If only the people in power had just tried hard enough… and no need to stress the kids with this, let them be kids, or teenagers, or young adults, start their own families without that extra stress, surely it can’t happen again, we are too wise by now to result to those primitive things, and if we just help everybody else to get there too then OUR kids will surely be the generation who can forget war and all that other unpleasantness and just concentrate on living and making the world better.

      • And to some extent this was my parents. I absorbed my mother’s hate of communism by osmosis, she didn’t teach it to me (father didn’t like it, but he was more of the ‘the war is over, no need to think about that anymore’ school. Both vets).

        And that “you don’t need to worry about that, it’s over now, just enjoy your life” was something I saw a lot during my childhood, youth and pretty much ever since. Back when I was a child the adults who had gone through war very much wanted to forget it, most of them. And since, most of us who grew up with peace just plain don’t think about that possibility, maybe because most can’t quite believe it could happen here, again, and also prefer to think that way. So people worry about money and jobs and getting education to get those and whatever personal crises they may have, but most who even think about the bigger picture try to keep war away by denying everything connected to it, like guns and all types of violence, and concentrating on trying to make everybody act nice and talk things over. As if the whole world was one big kindergarten.

        • BTW, a lot of this also seems to be some sort of magical thinking: if you refuse to believe it could happen hard enough then it won’t. And if you could make all the talismans connected to it disappear – weapons, armies etc – then it would surely disappear too.

        • Those kids grow up into adults (at least physically) who can’t really truly believe in monsters…

          Well, not the real monsters in this world, anyway.

          Hot house kids don’t fair too well when they get out from under the glass. For example we have seen that the self-esteem movement created kids who were full of hot air and crumbled when buffeted by the winds of life.

          These days it seems they have been raised to be too self-occupied with sorting out the micro-aggressions that just plain everyday life has committed upon them to recognize that there is a greater threat out there.

          Kindergarten? I do believe that kindergarten used to be tougher.

          • Yep, but it’s one place where order can be kept without resorting to actual war. Because the adults in charge have superior force. 😀

            I think the latter part may escape the notice of some people who’d like that system – lets talk it over, now act nice, everyone – to be used, solely, in the adult world too. Or maybe they do notice, and mistake their own governments for those adults.

            • Hm. The cult of the expert is probably involved too: unless you have specifically studied something, graduated and have the papers to prove it you can’t really understand well enough to get involved. So any man of the street can’t really understand well enough what happens in the wider world. End result: sleeping voters, many of whom don’t think it matters all that much who is in the seat, they are all the same anyway.

              Have heard that opinion more than a few times, often seems to go with the assumption that the man on the street will end up holding the short end of the stick anyway too. Rather contradictory, admittedly, but some really do seem to hold the opinion that the people in government are both good enough and bad at the same time. Well, looking after their own interests, maybe, which would presumably mean: good things for rich people, which perhaps explains why they presumably wouldn’t want war, at least not war where they live and own property (only explanation I can think of). But the end result is anyway the opinion that voting is waste of time, as well as thinking about that stuff, better concentrate on dealing with the system on a personal level (whether that means gamins the system or trying to do honest work in it or combination) and leave everything else to the politicians and other powerful people.

          • “Micro aggressions” is a good example of it. They mean by this both honest criticisms and just plain routine mean-spiritedness that one sometimes gets from others. In regarding such behavior as offensive to the point of demanding legal or disciplinary redress, they are not only shielding themselves from having to listen to criticism and thus having external checks on the flaws in their own reasoning, they are also obsessing over minor slights to the point where they are letting those slights unnecessarily wound them.

            Look, some people are just plain mean and rude. One has to deal with this, because this isn’t going to change. If one obsesses over every little insult, then one can’t ever accomplish anything positive. They are behaving like honor-obsessed 18th-century dandies, with one key difference: at least the dandy who challenged others to duels was putting his own life on the line (albeit foolishly) to defend his honor; in contrast, the complainers about micro aggressions are whining for others to punish those who have offended them. Which is despicable.

            • All of which is compounded by the fact that such allegations of micro-aggressiveness is itself a (at minimum) micro-aggression.

              I’m a micro-aggressor, she’s a micro-aggressor, wouldn’t you like to be a micro-aggressor, too?
              (From the Valley of Lost Jingles.)

        • It was that way in the States, too. A generation which had spent their adolescence in the Great Depression and come to adulthood in World War wanted their children to have “normal” childhoods.

          That is how we got the Baby Boomers, a generation unfairly maligned for the twenty percent of its most vocal and ignorant members … who were nearly as vocal as they were ignorant. (Keep in mind that for all the anti-war rallies the majority of Boomers served when called.)

      • Smart mommas teach their kids that the world is not an hospitable place, that there always lurk boojums to take the unwary.

        Heinlein’s phrase “An armed society is a polite society” could have easily been expressed, “An alert society is a polite society” for they know what purpose politeness protects.

        • One minor objection — while there always lurk boojums not everyone they meet should be treated as a clear and present danger. That way lies the world of fragile precious flowers who nurse micro aggressions … who are admittedly are a minority, but a very vocal one.

          We now have a world where someone supervising children can’t even help them apply sunscreen, or hadn’t you heard? 😉

          • No, the precious flowers who anxce* about micro aggressions aren’t treating anyone as a clear and present danger. If they would subscribe to the theory, “walk softly, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” Instead they whine to the world and proclaim themselves ‘victims.’

            Talk about painting a target on your own back.

            *how do you spell that? Spellcheck doesn’t recognize the word.

              • Yep, for some reason I was having a brain fart and spellcheck was NOT helping.

                Of course that wasn’t the only brain fart I was having, that should read, “If they were, they would subscribe to the theory, “walk softly, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” “

            • The subscriber to micro aggression theory would tell you:

              You do not understand. You lack imagination. The world should be made safe! You want me to have to be attentive of where I go, to be prepared to commit violence in my own self defense? People should be free to do as they please, and not be burdened by the debilitating torture of concern and worry. You unenlightened soul! What you are doing is victim blaming!! You are an aggressor!!! For-fend!!!

              • ” People should be free to do as they please, and not be burdened by the debilitating torture of concern and worry.”

                It pleases some people to rape and murder innocents and idiots. If your subscriber had their way, the rapists would be unburdened by the debilitating torture of concern and worry, that their victims would be prepared to defend themselves.

                I guess such a world would be a Utopia of sorts, for certain individuals anyways, but it isn’t one any responsible adult would want to live in.

                • Well there you have it. You have proved that these people do not have a handle on clear and logical thinking. Why then would you expect them to act as if they did?

              • Speaking of being kept safe…

                There are companies where any employee of the company who sees you committing a gross safety hazard, such as climbing up or down stairs without clinging to the railing, can write you up.

            • Indeed, if one really thinks one lives in a dangerous world, then the last thing one wants to do is paint oneself as a “victim.” Doing so is inviting predators to finish off oneself.

  13. On that day I was at school: Auburn U–Montgomery(AL). My husband of 5 months was working at Gunter AFB. I got a phone call from him saying that the base was locked down and that he’d leave when he could

    My family lives in New York City. I couldn’t get a phone call through. All the lines busy. I learned later that my family was ok. The only bad thing was that a small plane crashed near my aunt’s house. I did have there but for the grace of G-d moment: My brother had worked in the Twin Towers previously but wasn’t then. My sister’s husband had been mobilized–he was working at NY hospital. Unfortunately there weren’t enough survivors to need all the mobilized doctors.

    • I’m glad your family was okay, Emily. I can’t imagine what it would have been like having family actually nearby.

      • My sister living a northern suburb of NYC about 20 miles away. Her husband was working in Mid-ManhattanMy brother was living with his 1st wife on Long Island. He also worked on LI. Today he lives and works in Manhattan.

    • Had a relative whose operation was canceled and turned out the doctors were not need. Oh well.

    • A bunch of us here have family and friends NYC. All of us who are old enough to remember have stories. It is one of those line in time things, one where most people recognize that the world you live in is not going to continue exactly as it had before.

      One of my memories of that day fourteen years ago? I spent a good part of that day online in a chat room with a friend whose husband was part of a special unit of FDNY — one of the very first first responders that day.

      • Yep, I have an Uncle that lives in Boston, but his wife (well ex-wife now, but his wife at the time) worked in New York City, and her parents lived on the outskirts. Not sure where she was working that day, but it was a possibility she could have been in the Towers, she worked there at times. She was some sort of computer guru, who went around troubleshooting and fixing companies systems.

        I notice a lot of people here mention getting online to check out the news on 9/11. At that time, I don’t think I had EVER been on the internet.

    • A friend of mine, now living in CA, never wears heels to work anymore. She had to walk 5 miles that day to get back to Long Island City from lower Manhattan.

  14. My recollections can be found here: http://vakkotaur.livejournal.com/11258.html
    The previous night was a bit haunting.
    (Warning: at least dead link)

  15. I got into my car to drive from Willimantic, CT where I lived to Providence, RI where I worked. I had left the radio on WABC in NYC the night before. As I started it up reports were coming in of a small plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. I remember thinking, “What, is Bin Laden buying Cessnas now.”

    About 10 minutes later the first reports of the South Tower being hit came in. My first thought NYC was having a massive ATC failure. My second was my brother in law was a NYC cop whose beat included the WTC. My first wife and I were separated but I stopped at every payphone I knew on the route trying to get ahold of her.

    Between the stops and the trip I got to my lot at work about 9:45. Between leaving my car and getting to my cubicle the South Tower went down. I finally got ahold of Nicole and asked if Jodi and Lionel were okay. She was clearly confused. I asked if she had the TV on? She said no, she’d just woken up (she worked second shift at the time). I told her, “Turn on your TV, New York City is under attack”.

    The person I remember most, though, was a clearly frightened young woman during her shift at her college radio station. Confused about what to do she’d read what news she could find (as most of the internet for us wouldn’t load because the whole world was trying) and then play a few songs. I remember her clear believe she had a duty to report and inform coupled with being completely out of her depth. I regret not remembering her name but if she ever interviews with me for a position I suspect I’ll hire her for that day as she’ll cleary do what it takes to get the job done.

    Niki finally called. Lionel had been late for work as Jodi had broken her glasses and they’d stopped to get them fixed. By the time he got to work he was dispatched to a rally point his unit having already go into the Towers. Some were still in when they fell and didn’t make it out. I know my former BIL. He would have stayed to the end trying to get one last person out and would be name on the memorial if he’d gotten into work on time.

    I have never been so happy someone broke their glasses.

    I know many others weren’t so lucky. A gentleman on my floor at work had a son who working in one of the bond firms in the Towers. He didn’t make it. My understanding is his office was above where the plane hit his building. He was the closest I got to anyone who lost someone.

    I remember wondering for days after if I had an obligation to re-enlist. My parents said as ex-Navy there wasn’t a point as this wouldn’t be a navy type war. When I got out both the SeaBees in the reserves and the NG had wanted me to sign up. The former as I’d been to diesel engine school and the latter because they had experience that nuke mechanics made good helicopter mechanics. In the end I didn’t figuring my age and physical condition would be disqualifiers anyway.

    Now, today, with a different wife I work in the tallest building in America not in NYC or Chicago (Bank of America Tower in Atlanta). When my wife dropped me off today she said if something happens to get out and call her as soon as I can and she’ll come get me.

    Fourteen years later and she’s worried. That means there is still work to be done.

    • If Dan hadn’t been assigned to that job in DC (he’d been on the bench for 6 months before) we were planning to take the boys to NYC — one last spree before school — we’d booked into the hotel in the towers. We were pretty bummed on Thursday when he got the call and we had to cancel.
      And that’s how close we came. With two young ones, there’s only a slim possibility we’d have been out and about sightseeing. We’d probably have been looking for Marshall’s shoes when the first plane hit.

      • Dear God. I didn’t know that.

        • I thought you did, but since we were using his miles and stuff, we might not have mentioned. It was going to be only a week and we’d booked the cats into boarding.

          • With me being partly deaf, I might have understood something less drastic than the truth, I might have heard that you might have gone to New York, that the WTC was a favorite visiting place. Not that you had bought the tickets and checked into the WTC One hotel at, what, floor 105? I had it in my head that you had said there had been a possibility of your being in New York, and that it was possible you would have been visiting the low floors stores that morning. I’ll talk to you sometime later; I’m starting to imagine that alternate universe.

    • “I remember wondering for days after if I had an obligation to re-enlist. ”

      I caused a car wreck when I was 18 and got a felony for it. I tried whatever I could do to enlist after 9/11. Tried Army, Marines, and National Guard (one of my best friends was a National Guard recruiter), nope, nobody was giving waivers* or anything. The Marine recruiter said they were getting a LOT of potential recruits coming in to apply. He said over half of those coming in had felonies, and a fair number of the rest of them didn’t have a high school diploma, so their actual recruitment numbers weren’t going up much. His exact words were, “apparently they are the patriotic ones.” He was pretty disgusted that he was having to turn away a lot of willing volunteers.

      *This is why I have never read the book Fearless about Adam Brown. He was undoubtedly a great hero, but I get mad every time I think about it, because he played the patronage system and had people he knew pull strings to allow him to join the military, not only with multiple felonies, but without having reformed (he showed up to Basic strung out and still high on cocaine). It isn’t that I think he should have been denied the opportunity to serve his country, but the fact that rules were broken and laws were twisted to allow him to do so, while so many others that were not only patriotic, but had already reformed prior to attempting to enlist, were not allowed to serve their country.

      • I used to know a Judge in Latah County who had been a (Marine) company commander in Vietnam. He said it was hard to give young men sentences that would disqualify them from so much in life.

        All the more so because he believed some of them at least, likely most, would have made good Marines – emphasizing to include his own willingness to lead boys who had been in his Court in combat and otherwise given a chance and the need.

        Speaking of Black September I remember during the interval thinking that it was a pity the Israeli heavyweights, (wrestler, weightlifter and somebody else) had died to hold the door briefly when it looked as though things would be worked out after all.

        Foolish me,

        What might be called Asimov’s Law (From Foundaton with a hat tip to Johnson see also Tuco’s Corollary) Violence,” came the retort, “is the last refuge of the incompetent.” always and forever applies. Last because too little too late is a very definition of incompetence.

        Let’s roll might have been and by rights ought to have been the first response on the first airplane.

        • People need to be responsible for their actions. They need to be punished appropriately for wrongdoing. I just find forbidding someone from serving and defending their country, for being a young idiot, an inappropriate punishment.

  16. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    On 9/11, I had gotten up late as I has worked the late shift at the Seven-Eleven the night before.

    I turned on my computer and the news was on my internet Home-Page.

    It was so unbelievable to me that I was sure that it was some sort of Internet Hoax.

    I called in to work to see if anybody there had heard about it and thus it became clearer that it wasn’t a Hoax.

    What I remember the most about that day was the people making sure they had enough gas in their cars. Gas prices sky-rocketed.

    I wasn’t scheduled to work that day but I was asked to help out at another Seven-Eleven that evening.

    It was the strangest evening that I had ever worked.

  17. September 11, 2001 I had arranged for a surprise treat for my father, a flight on a restored B-17 (he was a tailgunner in WWII). Needless to say that didn’t happen …

    I had also planned to fly to France to visit friends on the 13th. No go that station either. I waited until international flights were cleared and went then. Because I knew, human nature being what it was, that after a few months people would get complacent, and NOW would be the safest time. I remember landing in Frankfurt, and the Landschutz truck with armed soldiers *following the plane* as it landed, and guards with ARs on the tarmac.

    And then in France, some guy heard me speaking English and asked if I was American. Through the translation of my friend, I heard that we should “be careful of the repercussions of our actions.”

    The rubble was still smoking. They hadn’t pulled all the bodies out. One of my college friends was frantic because her husband, who worked in the tower, hadn’t been found. (they never did find his body). I have never been so coldly furious in my life.

    I just said, “We will do what needs to be done.” And didn’t punch him. I figured the “With you or without you, and you had better not get in our way” was understood…

    • My father was in Colorado when it happened. What he was doing didn’t end until Friday, when the airports had reopened.

      Had just reopened.

      He took the position that he already had a rental car and so drove home to Connecticut by Sunday.

      Heard of two men who were looking for a car as soon as they were let out of NYC, didn’t even try the rentals, and went straight to UHaul.

      Meanwhile, my mother had students coming into class thinking they would talk instead of doing redox equations. She told them that redox reactions were important in making bombs and put them to work.

    • I woke up to the radio stating that a plane had hit one of the towers. As someone else posted, I also thought ‘small plane, bad situation, but..’ Then the radio said a second plane had hit. Got ready real quick and headed downhill from the dorm to the gym. I’d scheduled three away games that day; it was the first time we able to do that. Checked in with the gym manager – at this point we were still packing gear. The volleyball team had played near Boston on Saturday and stopped off in NYC on Sunday, so their uniforms hadn’t gotten washed until Monday. We had a radio in the locker room with us. After the Pentagon was hit, there were a lot of rumors – bombs, fires, shooters on Capitol Hill. All false, but it took time before that settled out. I called the school where the men’s soccer game was going to be. It was still pretty early, and they were outside the Beltway, so the first call was inconclusive. Then our coach called me and said, “Cancel. I can see the Pentagon burning from my office window.” Then I called the school where women’s soccer was supposed to play. Their athletic director canceled right away. She had cousins in the NYFD very close to the WTC. Called the school where women’s volleyball was supposed to play. Their AD said all in one breath, “Thestatepolicearehereandgaveusthirtyminutestoclearthecampuscallmenextweek.”

      That women’s soccer game ended up rescheduled for right after planes started flying away. That campus is right in the flight path out of BWI. When a jetliner passed over, all twenty-two players and both refs stopped and watched it, and the soccer ball just rolled down the field.

      I’ve still got a picture of the volleyball team from their stop in NYC, taken in front of the WTC on 9/9.

      • Stories like this just give me the chills. So many small facets where the events touched each person’s life. It’s so much more than just the huge, awful stuff we all saw on TV.

        This is why we have to fight. It’s not just about national interests and official policy. It’s about the cooks and busboys and line preppers killed in Windows on the World; about the Jumping Man, known only to God, known to us simply as an image forever frozen halfway down the outside of the Towers; about a mom who staggered home coated in dead colleagues; about a dad turned into burning dust by vicious, dead-eyed fanatics; and though it’s way down the list, it’s even about a volleyball team smiling in front of WTC two days prior whose lives changed in a moment. Even if it’s low on the list, it is still on the list, and they still matter – it is still important to strike some small blow on their behalf, even if it comes far after from the blows for others who suffered more grieviously.

  18. I know of few things so dismal as looking at the world situation on this day and perceiving what a giant Charles Foxtrot has been achieved through “smart diplomacy.” Barack H. Obama: super-genius.

    People thought George W Bush’s foreign policy was bad; I shudder anticipating the bill for these wankers coming due.

    • There will be a butcher’s bill. It will be paid.

      • in full in cash.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          There will be cost in treasure, in sweat, in other things, but the most significant additional expense will be in blood.

        • Cash will be the least of it. The true bill will be paid in blood and treasure.
          And those most responsible will deny with every breath that very responsibility, damn their black souls.

          • And unlike in a Tom Kratman novel, they won’t meet their comeuppance in various creative ways outlawed by the 8th Amendment.

            • The backlash is bad enough the 8th Amendment will become irrelevant.

              • Remember that the 8th Amendment only constrains the government. They’ve also spent decades ignoring that document whenever it was inconvenient for them, they don’t get to hide behind it.

          • I didn’t mean literal cash. I meant it will have to be paid for immediately and the currencies of war: Blood, tears ,toil & sweat. The old Churchillian phrase.

    • George Bush’s foreign policy was bad — because he was unwilling or unable to recognize the true situation: He needed to kill off the Islamist supporting Fifth Column in this country before being able to act effectively overseas. Any policy that doesn’t recognize reality is by definition bad.

      No President / government that does not do that will be ever able to act effectively. The silver lining in what Obama, McConnell, and Boehner have done is that it makes events more likely that will enable that kill-off to be attempted .with success. Until a catastrophe happens that wakes people up to the treason of our governing class, nothing will be accomplished.

      Some may call this despair. There is a difference between despair and recognizing a desperate situation, hopefully in time to do something about it.

      • “George Bush’s foreign policy was bad ”

        True, it just looks good compared to the foreign policy of the President’s before and after him.*

        *Assuming you are talking of Bush II

  19. Reblogged this on Cyn Bagley's Shadowland and commented:
    I remember that day. I was in Germany at the time.

  20. September 11, 2001 I was in my final stages of training. I was to be a Cryptologic Linguist. We’d been in classes for at least two hours and there was one television in the building (secured building), it was always tuned to CNN. Always. 10 minute break, and we were just in time to look up and see the first plane hit. We went back to the room where our instructor was sitting and she said “Go watch. This is our job and someone missed something.”

  21. I was on Ramstein AFB, Germany in the post office, getting a package sent when my late-hubby called me. He just said the words– come home. I rushed home and he had the TV on. The first tower was already down and I saw the second tower go down.

    One of my good friends was in the Pentagon when the plane flew into it. She was a little late that morning and was getting a cup of coffee. If she had been there she would have been dead. Many of her friends and co-workers were in that section and died. From what she said, she went into shock and carried many of her friends and co-workers out of the building as fire raged around them.

    The first thing she remembers (she was in auto mode) was when someone put her into a car and took her to a hospital to be checked out. Most of her wounds came afterwards as she was helping to save people. (imho a true hero– she is still in the Navy).

    • The month afterwards, I was in the Post Office again (same place) when someone opened a package with white powder. The place was closed… all the postal sorters went to the hospital. All of the rest of us was sent home with no checks. They didn’t even tell us it could be anthrax. Thankfully there wasn’t an outbreak.

      • i.e. we stood for an hour with guards until they told us we could go home. No doctors for the customers. I remember being coldly furious and called a friend who happened to be the Civilian liaison on base.

    • You friend may have known and helped to retrieve the body of the young woman I wrote about as part of the 2996 Project.

      It never gets easier.

  22. You will say it’s not fair that we have to fight this now, while fighting the internal cultural battle as well. But without our culture being where it was, this external enemy wouldn’t have a foothold.

    We have the external enemies to fight because we’ve not been fighting the internal cultural battle. Weakness draws opportunists, and none are so weak as those without the will to fight. America has been Theoden, harkening to the “wisdom” of Barack Wormtongue. History shows that nothing so invites war as a reluctance to engage; our enemies are different cultures, cultures which only recognize strength and weakness, cultures which interpret restraint not as strength but as weakness. Obama and Kerry and Hillary have proffered the Danegeld to our enemies when we could have supported our allies.

    • Yes, they think it’s the gentleness of the helpless lamb, not the gentleness of the lioness picking up her cubs with jaws that can crush bone, the gentleness of the elephant picking up a peanut with a trunk that can uproot a tree. So they keep pushing, and we keep holding back, because we really don’t want to unleash the full force of our military might. They don’t understand that the last time we did, it ended with nations in ruins and two cities nuked — and we now have far more such weapons, even after significantly reducing them from the Cold War height.

      When I first read Tom Kratman’s _Caliphate_, I thought it a grim and pessimistic story. Now I think it’s a rather optimistic scenario, for the simple reason that it imagines a future in which Islam still exists as a cultural phenomenon in a world in which America has been pushed beyond the limits of its restraint.

      • Unfortunately, this country effectively has no nuclear capability. Oh sure, we have all those bombs, but the one person with the authority to use them is psychologically incapable of giving that order.
        And the worst of it is that many of our enemies are starting to realize that.

        • He will not be in office forever. In time he will leave the White House — and if the Final Provocation happens under his watch, I fear that Tom Kratman’s scenario of the fictional useless excuse for a President remaining in office until the next election is also wildly optimistic, and the actuality of the change of Administration will be *ugly*.

  23. At the time of the Munich terrorist attack, I was spending my last days as a civilian before going into the Army. At 19, I was convinced it would mean I would be fighting a war. Turned out it was my son who had to fight that war; he finally got his medical retirement put through this summer, after being injured in a rocket attack in May 2013.
    And as for what 9/11 was like for me, read my blog. It’s about when you can choose to have a lovely day.
    http://habakkuk21.blogspot.com/2015/09/september-11-its-going-to-be-lovely-day.html

    • Pat — our grandchildren will fight this war. And the butcher’s bill will be terrifying.

    • This is a generations war. I did my part. Which, as mostly shipboard duty, didn’t involve any actual action. My eldest is still doing his, and has had a few tours in the sandbox. A serious argument can be made that the war has been continuous since 610 AD. (Oh, and as part of the culture war, I use AD and BC for dates, and will correct people using CE and BCE.) Ending the war will require ending Islam. Either through conversion or extinction, and I’m not really fussy as to which.

      • do you have a problem with Jews? The only people I know who use BCE and CE are Jews. One can be not a Christian and not be a Moslem. Or are you trying to pick a fight?

        • Atheists, maybe. Everyone I know who uses BCE and CE are atheist or want to be seen as friendly to them.

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          While I understand the Jewish preference for BCE and CE, they are also used by others (some in academia) that don’t have the more legitimate reasons to use them that Jews, especially religious ones, have.

          So the dislike of those terms has nothing to do with Jews.

          The terms are used by Secularists who apparently want to “dismiss” anything to do with Christianity.

          Note to others, many Jews especially the Orthodox Jews dislike using AD because it means (roughly) Year Of The Lord.

          They see using it as saying that Christ is *their* Lord.

        • Yeah, I have a problem with Jews! I can’t get good kosher deli anywhere in this town, and I blame the Jews.

        • None of the Jewish people I knew growing up used CE and BCE. My HS graduating class was 30% Jewish. Just noticed it recently popping up.

          • I vaguely recall seeing it back when my weekends entailed taking Hebrew classes, although as I remember nothing* of those classes beyond having taken them some fifty years ago.

            *Nothing I am willing to admit to, at any rate. There were some cute members of the gender of my preference about which nothing more need be said.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              Spotting the AD/BC vs CE/BCE thing would IMO depend on how often the need would exist for using the terms. Most people have little need to use the terms in their daily lives. When we put the date on documents, we don’t follow the year with an AD or a CE. [Smile]

              If there was a need for referring to something happening “Before Christ” as well as referring to something “After Christ”, then the terms would be necessary.

              IE if I had to write a paper on the History of the Roman Republic/Empire, then I’d have to use BC & AD. [Smile]

              Oh crazy thought, the CE stands for Common Era which is highly Euro-Centric isn’t it. [Very Very Big Evil Grin]

              • I got into the habit in my freshman year in college. Iwent to Yeshiva U. I had Survey of European History and Survey of Jewish History. You got points taken off if you didn’t use the correct dating system.

              • So using BC/AD or BCE/CE could both be seen as micro-aggressions….

                Didn’t some future histories date things from before and after the first use of the A-bomb?

                • I don’t believe in microaggressions. You date from an inflection point or a founding date.

                  • That’s the problem with using CE/BCE rather than AD/BC, there is no reasonable inflection point or founding date between Year 1 BCE and Year 1 CE.

                    If they were intellectually honest, they would choose something like the beginning of the Renaissance, of the publication date of Darwin’s ” On the Origin of Species” as an inflection point.

                    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                      Just imagine all the “paperwork” required to change all the dates in all the existing records. [Sarcastic Grin]

                      Sorry Feather Blade, with AD/BC vs CE/BCE the “year” doesn’t change.

                      Creating a new inflection point would require changing all the years in all existing records.

                      That would be a massive undertaking and there would be plenty of “WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU TRYING TO PULL” from people powerful enough that it would be impossible to “make they shut up”.

                    • As the whole point was to accommodate the larger culture’s reference points without engaging in blasphemy, a certain casualness is permissible.

                      Those too punctilious to accept such accommodation should drink a “miracle*” and relax.

                      *Miralax & vodka

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  H. Beam Piper used “Atomic Age”. Not sure who else used it.

                  • I recall an Asimov(?) short in which “A. R. Mann” had brought the world to the edge of doomsday only to be foiled by the multitude of calendars and the argument that the date should not be so indeterminate.

                    The story concludes with him drafting a proposal for a universal human calendar dating from the Hiroshima explosion.

              • What’s wrong with being Euro-centric? We are descendants of Europeans. Yes yes with a bunch of other people.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  I’m thinking about how Progs might take it if some evil person would point it out. [Very Very Big Evil Grin]

          • I went to Yeshiva from kindergarten through college (Yeshiva U.) BCE and CE was what we always used because we didn’t want to say AD. I never attended public school. Jews who attend public school don’t usually know about this.

            • Think I was in my mid teens when I learned AD was for Anno Domini. Prior to that, thought it stood for a more neutral After Death. Which probably means that’s what most of my friends and acquaintances also thought.

              • an obscure fact known only to students in a religious school.

                • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                  Well, I never went to a religious school but for as long as I remember I knew AD stood for “Anno Domini”.

                  Mind you, I don’t remember if I learned what it meant in public school or it was mentioned in Sunday School or it just came up in my various readings.

                  On the other hand, I am 60 plus so it might not be taught in public school anymore.

                  • Pretty positive it isn’t taught (although it will probably be explained if asked; how well depends on the teacher). I Also learned it as “After Death”, then later learned it actually stood for the Latin term “Anno Domini”, but not the actual translation of Anno Domini and assumed that the literal translation was “After Death”. I thought it kind of cool that the same thing in two different languages had the same initials. It wasn’t until much later that I learned that Anno Domini didn’t actually translate as “after death.”

  24. I was working as a construction safety manager on an NYC Transit job when the attacks on the Twin Towers happened. I was part of a management team who were supposed to have a job progress meeting at 2 Broadway at 8:30 AM: about 2,000-ft from the Towers, where I had worked a few years back. Had we gone to the meeting, I probably would have been covered with that grey-white dust you’ve seen pictures of. (Years ago I’d taken 2 weeks to do a safety audit of the non-public spaces of the TWC towers and they were ROTTEN with encapsulated asbestos, so that coating would have been . . . problematic. Yes, our government lied about that, too.) But the meeting was cancelled.

    So instead of being at a meeting near ground zero, I was on my way back to our office from inspecting three sites we were running. I saw the fire at the first tower out of the No. 7 elevated train track as it ran up Queens Blvd, ironically as we were passing Aviation High School. The Transit conductor had heard about the plane hitting the first tower on his train radio.

    When I got to my station the view was obscured but when I got to ground level my project manager was there with a crowd, watching the towers burn from 7 miles away, line-of-sight. “I saw the second plane hit,” he informed me breathlessly. And my world changed.

    Local NYC cell phones, land lines, and television all emanated from the WTC or the next door NY Telephone building, where later you’d see chunks had been scraped out of the building as if with Godzilla’s claws. No phone, no TV. Internet was not loading due to being jammed with too many people seeking information all at once. I watched the horror unfold in a waiting room down the street, where they were getting cable from the BBC. (No one mentioned the things I knew about the inside of the WTC: it had one of the largest reserves of gold in the USA in a vault. This was an economic blow to us, too.) Subways were not running so a coworker dropped me off at the Long Island Railroad platform, where they were loading people for free onto trains away from NYC as fast as the bomb-sniffing dogs could clear them.

    I went in the next day to check our hastily-closed sites for “attractive nuisances” – things kids, vandals or thieves could get into. Then I went to the Javits Center, where the rescue operations were being coordinated. While they did not need the services of a middle-aged female safety manager, I got a list of safety equipment needed and passed that to my boss, who was in charge of the NYC safety professionals’ chapter and was coordinating donations of respirators and safety equipment from around the country.

    No, they wanted people with military backgrounds (no doubt to limit their liability: see asbestos & gold, above. They KNEW.) And, the HELL they were only looking for body parts it the rubble at that landfill on Staten Island!

    I have never been so proud of my fellow citizens and so ashamed of the lack of transparency by our government. We the people gave selflessly of our time–the line of volunteers at the Javits Center was three blocks long–and supported each other in the crisis. New Yorkers are wonderful people under the crust they maintain to be able to live so closely together.

    But try as I might I did not feel safe in NYC any more. Emergency preparedness was part of my job. I knew too much. And I’d seen the pendulum swing back-and-forth from common sense to liberal nonsense in NYC – libs screwed things up, somewhat more conservative leaders fix the mess, and then they went right back to the policies that made the city unbearable. I moved to SC before the pendulum brought us to where we are today, with Mayor DeBlasio and things as bad as when Dinkins was running the City.

    I pray they do not get to the point where there are riots in NYC again, but I am not hopeful. May they spare the WTC memorial if such riots come to pass.

  25. Pingback: 9/11: Bravery and Cowardice - Declination | Declination

  26. /unlurk/

    Sometime after the day while I was hungry for any info about how/what/why/etc .. and being a reader I wanted BOOKS… I found Lynn Spencer’s TOUCHING HISTORY from the pilot/AF/ATC perspective of that morning. It’s fascinating, and hopeful for how everyone improvised effectively. Whenver I pick it up I can’t put it down. Scary for the little things like the passengers with Arab-flavored names on a a plane called back to ground who never came for the luggage etc. If you all haven’t run across it, it’s worth a look.

    • It is … curious how little our popular culture has acknowledged that day. We don’t find that in film and radio following Pearl Harbor, nor during the wars in Korea and Vietnam. It does strike me that there should have been some recognition about the fall of the Berlin Wall (imagine a movie about the culture shock experienced by reuniting German families — okay, maybe that got made in German TV and Film, but we never saw any of it.) Maybe that was because there was no way to ignore Reagan and Poppy Bush’s roles in that.

      But 9/11 is a notable absence in mass culture; the closest we’ve come to it are a couple scenes in comic book movies (second Spiderman — Toby Maguire — in which ordinary New Yorkers attempt to protect the fallen Spidey from Doc Octopus, and the recent Avengers film.) Maybe I’ve simply missed it, but I don’t think so. It is the elephant in the room around which the film & TV industry carefully tiptoes.

      It would have been so bloody easy to do, too. And to do it non-politically, non-ideologically. Heck, I know I’ve several times provided the outline: a half dozen strangers, stranded in Seattle (LA, SF, Portland wherever) unite to rent a van and drive it back to NY (DC, Boston, wherever) and en route have adventures and debate their reactions about what the heck just happened. Piece of cake; start with stock characters and build and reveal depth of character along the way.

      But not even such a simple piece comes out? Not even a Rom-Com about a couple thrown together by the aftermath?

      It is a dog which doesn’t bark in the night.

      • A minor correction: 5 Great Videos To Watch In Remembrance Of 9/11

        There. Should. Be. More.

      • They control the mass media to that extent. They can’t deny it happened, but they wish us to go to sleep again. THAT is the greatest show that they control our entertainment and media.

        • Are there very many stories about Dec 7, 1941 written by 1955? I’ve often thought that perhaps it’s that the creative people are too raw yet to work with 9/11.

          • I’m not sure, but there are a lot produced “sometime” in the 1950’s. Including multiple John Wayne classics that are still shown regularly on cable/satellite/Netflix TV. To be fair, due to production quantity and quality, there are very few films produced before 1950 known to anybody but a few film buffs.

      • There were any number of documentaries, including the ones you linked to.

        As for drama, NBCs “Third Watch” incorporated 9/11 into their regular season. Ditto “JAG”.

        For movies, I can only think of two, one very minor.

        Spoiler: at the end of “Remember Me”, the husband turns out to be working at the WTC that day.

        Then there was “World Trade Center”, directed by, of all people, Oliver Stone. No BS, no smarminess. Just a straightforward telling of two Transit Authority police trapped in the collapse. Two of the VERY FEW people rescued from the aftermath.

        The odd thing for me is watching pre-’01 films and TV. THE standard establishing shot for “south Manhattan” was those buildings. Not sure the Freedom Tower will be able to step into the role.

        I personally spent most of the day numb, an dealing with a family member being…well, let’s just say bipolar and selfish and borderline sociopathy made him about himself a lot more.

        The nail to the heart for me was hearing David Angell was on the first plane to hit. He was one of the producers of Frasier and I was heavily into an online fandom at the time.

        • Heavens, I can’t believe I forgot “United 93” directed by Paul Greengrass.

          • Also Leslie Fish’s song:

            • Heck, that day’s events were even enough to shock the Liberalism out of Neil Young:


              He soon recovered, however, and now has to live with the embarrassment of this song.

              Other noteworthy songs include Alan Jackson’s Where were you when the world stopped turning?, Have You Forgotten by Darryl Worley and Toby Keith’s Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.

            • Pavlov was right – she’s far from my favorite singer but my eyes water as soon as I recognize the voice.

        • OK, I know some folks will want to scream at me for this, but the one great movie about 9/11 is “Cloverfield.” It took a fantasy plot to capture the “what is happening?” terror.

          • I mean, I’ve deliberately avoided the two official 9/11 movies because of the reports that Stone just treats the rescue as if it’s a part of a natural disaster, and doesn’t mention hijacking. And he later went truffer. And Greengras’s previous “Bloody Sunday” tells a very questionable official-left story. A book I read by someone in SAS tells a very different story. I wish I could remember who wrote the critique of “United 93” that condemned it for being “realistic” in the worst, literal sense, with a cold “everyone has his reasons” tone.

        • Before 9/11, if you had given a group of screenwriters the assignment to write the response to a Federation starship learning of a mass casualty attack, I don’t think it would have looked anything like this. To write this all they had to do was remember and then file the serial numbers off.

  27. Thank you Sarah. Like many of you I have memories burned into my mind about that day. I was working at a cemetery at the time. I recall seeing that second plane hit the tower and knowing that it was an act of war and the world would never be the same.

    Yeah, I still get emotional over the day. There is a small collection of my thoughts over the years on my LJ. (I’m a lazy blogger, I only post a couple of time a year.) http://keross.livejournal.com/tag/9%2F11 — Most of my thought reflect the dismay of seeing it all but forgotten.

    • scott2harrison

      Yes it was an act of war, but we ignored it. The terrorists in question were Saudis, but as far as I know there was not even a stiff note presented to Saudi Arabia, let alone the bill in blood and treasure due.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Well, do we have evidence that the Saudi government (or parts of the Royal Family) supported the 9/11 bombers?

        Mind you, I’m strongly annoyed at the Saudi government’s support for the more radical Islamic preachers in Europe and the US.

        • scott2harrison

          Perhaps not, but support them or not they are responsible for them. That is a good deal of the reason that US citizens can loose their citizenship if they fight under an alien flag.

          • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

            I hear you.

            Personally, I’d want the various governments to start putting pressure on the Saudi government concerning their open support for the radical Islamic preachers in Europe and the US. Oh, from what I’ve heard, they support the radicals outside Saudi Arabia to ensure that they don’t cause problems inside Saudi Arabia.

            I’m just saying that the 9/11 bombing, based on what we know, was not a valid casus belli for a war against Saudi Arabia.

            What’s “funny” are the Progressives who “claim” that we should have gone after the Saudi instead of Afghanistan (and later Iraq).

            IMO they’d be screaming if the US went after Saudi Arabia. Then they’d be claiming that the Saudi’s were innocent. [Frown]

            • We need to keep in mind that occasionally the most effective diplomatic reprimands are non-public. It is not always in the national interest to assuage public temper so much as to accurately convey the public temper to the foreign parties. “Speak softly,” as the saying goes.

              When you directly confront certain cultures you force them to stand up for their rights, even (especially) when their private inclination is to slap down, hard, the bad actors. If we make taking such steps seem a response to our pressure we may make such steps more difficult to take.

              OTOH, the current administration is a textbook example of conveying lack of resolve and willingness to bend over backward rather than assert our principles.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                No argument on both points.

                • Of course, we can be confident our Mainstream Media will accurately report the clever machinations which encourage bad actors to back down.

                  Revealed: How George W. Bush Saved Georgia From Russia
                  http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/09/04/revealed-how-bush-saved-georgia-from-russia/
                  [SNIP]
                  According to Shashkin, the reasons “Tbilisi was not taken by storm” were thanks to the “Georgian army, international support and specific steps by the US” which “stopped Russia.”

                  Shashkin reveals:

                  Many do not know that our peacekeeping brigade returned from Iraq to Tbilisi on American military planes which under the circumstances of war was direct military support by the US.

                  “Many do not know that Russia could not bomb the Tbilisi airport because American Hercules planes were on the tarmac,” Shishkin continues.”Many do not know that the flagship of the US Fifth Fleet which entered the Black Sea monitored on its radars the airspace in the Tbilisi-Moscow-Volgograd triangle.”

                  And “many do not know that the August 14 Hercules flights from Jordan were accompanied by (American) fighters. Many do not know that the statement of the commander of these fights that ‘any activity of Russian planes in the Georgian sky will be considered an attack on the United States of America,’ thus effectively closing the Georgian sky to Russian planes.”

                  Think how much more effective it would have been for Bush to do as Barack Obama advised: calling for “a United Nations mediator to address this crisis,” to “convene other international forums to condemn this aggression,” and even calling for Georgia to “refrain from using force” in the provinces Russia had wrenched away from the already small country (South Ossetia and Abkhazia constitute about 1/3 of the Republic of Georgia).”

              • Interestingly, it is in the “orders” for the Senior officer of my philanthropic order that we reprimand subordinate members in private. One of the reasons given is the maintain harmony in the room.

  28. I was 5 when Munich happened, so I can’t say I remember it happening. I’m sure my parents watched that news away from me and my little brother.

    September 11, I was working on command and control software for the navy, working for a Beltway bandit. My best friend and I came in to work together and saw the receptionist crying and people clustered in the conference room watching the tv.

    Throughout the day, we worked – our work suddenly taking on even more meaning that usual – and checking in on the tv in the conference room now and then. It was a quiet day.

    From my station in the lab, I looked down over an airport. We all waited that day, and the next week, wondering when the bombs were going to hit Norfolk and Langley (we were in Newport News), San Diego, Groton, etc. Turns out al Qaeda didn’t really think strategically.

    We all had friends and co-workers in the Pentagon, and it was days before we caught up with everyone.

    My best friend and I flew on a personal trip 2 months later. I remember how disquieting it was to be in the airport with military personnel carrying machine guns around. It meant we’d lost something.

  29. We were in the Army in Germany. I saw the second plane hit the Towers on the tiny TV in the day room. The Sergeant Major sent everybody home with the words, “Get what you can tonight. We’re at war now. We’ll find out who with tomorrow.”

    Recessional
    By Rudyard Kipling, 1897

    God of our fathers, known of old,
    Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
    Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
    Dominion over palm and pine—
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    The tumult and the shouting dies;
    The Captains and the Kings depart:
    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
    An humble and a contrite heart.
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    Far-called, our navies melt away;
    On dune and headland sinks the fire:
    Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
    Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
    Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
    Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
    Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
    Or lesser breeds without the Law—
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

    For heathen heart that puts her trust
    In reeking tube and iron shard,
    All valiant dust that builds on dust,
    And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
    For frantic boast and foolish word—
    Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!

  30. If you’ll forgive me posting something I’ve written elsewhere, I had this to say on a thread a National Review about whether we’ve forgotten too much about 9/11:

    For me, the main lesson of 9/11 was, as a Holocaust survivor once said, “When someone tells you he wants to kill you, believe him.” On 9/11, they killed 3,000 of us, but if they could have killed 30,000 or 300,000, they would have. That guy screaming in a cave that he wants to kill all infidels? He means it, and if we leave him alone indefinitely, he’ll figure out a way to start doing it.

    Now? The leaders of Iran chant “Death to America” and our so-called leaders insist this is just a bit of rhetorical red meat from people who really want peace. ISIS says they’re going to establish a world-wide caliphate and plant their flag on the White House, and Obama insists it’s nothing to worry about, just the JV team, move along, nothing to see here.

    That’s what upsets me. Not that we no longer remember the horror of 9/11/2001, but that we no longer remember the lesson it taught us about the world.

  31. We got a call from a friend. My first though on seeing the towers burning was “I’ve been expecting this for twenty years”.

    The Islamo-idiots haven’t learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan; they’ve watched so many of their number get torn into bits, and they are still teasing the Rottweiler. And it is their defenders on the Left that have put them in that position. They think the anti-war protests MEAN SOMETHING. They don’t know enough uncontaminated history to understand that if and when they rio manage to piss us off, there will be no stopping us.

    And then we’re going to be stuck in the Middle East up to our necks, and re-learning how to be Colonialists, and going all Imperial. It’s going to be a mess.

    On the bright side, get the country really angry, angrier than we were on 9/12, mind, and the LIRPS who turn out with “The President is Hitler” signs are going to get slung into jail so hard they bounce. And cries for their ACLU lawyers are going to be answered “Where’s the difficulty? He’s in the next cell.”. Let Paris tell us “We are trebly sorry, but it will not be possible to allow you to use French Airspace” and we will very likely tell Paris “Then we’re taking over such parts of your country as are necessary for our operations.” I’m sure they’ll collaborate … I mean cooperate. And maybe somebody will get around to giving Ward Churchill the curb stomping he so richly deserves. A REAL Tribal American, for preference. After all, his very existence is an ongoing insult to them.

    • I keep hearing people say this and I can no longer believe it. “Just wait — people will wake up and we’ll go kick ass” no longer convinces me. If 9/11 wasn’t enough, what could be? You and I and everyone on Earth watched a gang of terrorists murder 3000 Americans on a beautiful Fall morning — and THAT SAME DAY I already began to hear liberals making excuses for the killers, blaming us, insisting that we not strike back. The rubble was still settling when the conspiracy theories started blaming Bush. And every one of those liberals voted for Obama seven years later. They are the ones who teach our kids, they are the ones who choose what news we watch, and they are the ones who decide what laws to enforce or ignore.

      What atrocity can convince those idiots? What horror could change minds so ideologically locked down? They elected a President who has plunged the world into chaos and they think he’s the greatest ever. They congratulate themselves on how smart and virtuous they are for electing him.

      If three thousand dead wasn’t enough, what would be? Ten thousand? A hundred thousand? The four hundred thousand who live in Tel Aviv? A million? The eight million who live in Israel? New York? How big a pile of corpses do liberals need before they admit they are wrong?

      • How big a pile of corpses do liberals need before they admit they are wrong?

        Last time they weren’t satisfied until over 60 million died (WWII). Oddly, that is still less than the combined cost of the USSR and China (external to WWII).

        • “How big a pile of corpses do liberals need before they admit they are wrong?”

          That isn’t the proper question, the proper question is how big a pile of corpses is needed before patriots start throwing progressives on the pile? Sure there will be some liberals/progressives that see the light, but there are also those that are not misinformed or ignorant; they are in collusion with the enemy. Until the pile of corpses grows big enough that the groundswell of patriotism overwhelms them, they will continue to work to make anything the government may choose to do, ineffective.

        • If Tel Aviv disappeared under a mushroom cloud, they’d probably be dancing in the street.

      • 3,000, believe it or not, is a small number that people can wrap their minds around. If, if the People had listened to authorities and stayed in the towers rather then evacuating on their own, in an organized fashion, the number would have been 50,000 and up. Then, the reaction would have been different, and much more violent. I remain firmly convinced that the government has, with willing press cooperation, been covering up numerous post 9/11 terrorism attempts on American soil, for fear that Americans would hold their own version of Kristallnacht. But only because I know of incidents that never made the news. If you google “muslims and boston reservoirs” the first page of 100 results has only one single MSM reference to the event. 2 if you include Fox. Never saw it in my local newspaper.

        • After seeing the ignoring of Benghazi I no longer doubt they’re covering up other attempts.

          • I got into an argument with a friend of a friend on Facebook (and it’s probably still ongoing) today. He’s insisting that Benghazi is only of interest to people who want to bring down Hillary.

        • Shooting transformers is another example, and why did the anthrax attacks end?

          But through that door lies paranoia.

          • You’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you. Have my own theory on anthrax, which I don’t share in public forums.

      • I hate to be this cold, but on 9/11 we lost about 4,000 people and totemic and moderately ugly buildings. Neither the buildings nor the people were critical. It wasn’t even a case, like Pearl Harbor, of hitting the right area and the right targets just happen to be elsewhere. There was no single target they could have hit, killing 4,000 people, that would cripple us.

        If they had timed it better, and the Towers had been at max occupancy, they would have killed ten times as many, and then I think we might still be going. As it was, Bush managed to direct or anger into a limited war for limited ends by limited means, which was good. And the Left kept their heads down for a few months (ok, they made early trials, but ducked back) until they could get some traction with their anti-war nonsense.

        Bush=Hitler? Really? So, who, exactly, has Bush put in a death camp?

        *sigh*

        • The loss of the towers hurt the economy. The economy wasn’t crippled. But it was hurt. A lot of financial institutions had their offices in the towers (one of my bosses was actually in a conference call with one of those institutions when the first plane hit; he said there was sudden yelling, and then the line went dead). And not only were some of those companies completely wiped out down to the last employee, but any records being kept on-site were also lost as well – even in the companies that didn’t lose a single person.

          If the damage had been spread out across a wide variety of areas, then it wouldn’t have mattered aside from the loss of life. But because the damage was heavily focused on one specific industry, there were repercussions.

    • THIS. Something may happen next year. It’ll be the 15th anniversary. Stuff happened on the 10th.

      • Something will happen next year. We’re giving Iran a lot of money to make sure of it. (Spits.)

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          I’ve been wondering if something would happen this year.

          • I’m actually somewhat surprised. I tend to agree with Kratman that the mullahs tend to have impeccable timing [insert sarc/ tag] This would be the perfect time for Iranian sponsored terrorists to hit us, on the cusp of a deal to give them practically everything they want on a silver platter.

    • On the French telling us anything, I am always reminded of this story*:

      Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

      “You have been to France before, monsieur?” the customs officer asked sarcastically.

      Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.

      “Thenyou should know enough to have your passport ready.”

      The American said,”The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.”

      “Impossible. Americans always have to show their passports on arrival in France!”

      The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he
      quietly explained, ”Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in
      1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find a single Frenchmen
      to show a passport to.”

      *I’m not sure how true it is, but it is certainly passed around the internet.

    • Let Paris tell us “We are trebly sorry, but it will not be possible to allow you to use French Airspace” and we will very likely tell Paris “Then we’re taking over such parts of your country as are necessary for our operations.”

      I don’t think we will bother to ASK. I think we will TELL them we are going to be coming through, and that they are not, in no uncertain terms, to interfere.

  32. I’d gotten home from a med-evac flight at around 0330 or so. 0800 the phone rang. It was Sib. ‘Turn on your radio, Sis. Your world just changed.” That night, listening to Pres. Bush, was the first time in many years that I remember seeing red, literally seeing red. The next day I started studying Islam, and then I got involved with the Blog That Shall Not Be Named, Jawa’s YouTube Smackdown, and other stuff.

  33. Nah, we don’t need to go all colonial. The oil fields and pipelines don’t actually take up that much room. For everything else – implement a complete blockade – air, sea, and land borders. Let them stew in their own filth, without help or hindrance.

    That’s my nice version. My nasty version is – they only have so many sources of fresh water for those cities. I bet we could identify and target all of them in less than a month.

    • No, we don’t NEED to go Colonial. I simoly fear that we WILL.

    • You were nicer than me. I was all for the two nuke bet on Allah’s existence: we target Medina and Mecca with nukes. Allah stops them we all become Muslims. Otherwise, you behave or your city is next.

      I get why it isn’t PC, but still working on understand how that isn’t an appropriate response over all. Then again people get very upset at my Palestinian suicide bomber solution too.

      • Ever since the level of national anger dropped to the point that Lefties were ready to say “We didn’t need to invade Iraq and Afghanistan” in public, I’ve been saying;

        “I agree. If President Bush had appeared on national television on 9/12, picked the names of three or five Islamic cities out of a hat, and nuked them, nobody would have had the nerve to attack us for the next fifty years. Invading Iraq and Afghanistan was the vegetarian option.”

      • I keep hearing that ISIS is so fundamentalist, they’ll destroy Mecca themselves if they get a chance.

        • I remember a story that back when ISIL first really got their press machine up and running, one of the leadership was quoted as saying that they would destroy the ka’aba because it is a pagan remnant and only Al’lah should be worshipped. Then supposedly someone else denied that it had been said. I’m inclined to believe that some of ISIL’s leaders do indeed believe the black stone should be destroyed, but they are not going to say that where it could get the House of Saud dropping JDAMs on their heads.

        • From what I’ve heard, much of Mecca is already being destroyed. The Ka’aba, of course, is still as it’s been for the last millennia or more. But most of the older buildings that existed in 2001, and that (probably) date back to the time of Mohammed, have been destroyed.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Of course, if we controlled the Middle East Oil, we’d have a “club” to use against Europe. IIRC most of their oil comes from the Middle East or Russia.

  34. 9/11/2001 I was 21 years old and serving a mission in Romania. I’d been in the country for a little less than three weeks, and my grasp of the local language was shaky, to say the least. It had been a strange few weeks already, as shortly after my arrival in the country word came down of problems elsewhere in the world, with US embassies and also other LDS missions–problems to do with Islamic terrorism–and we were told to remove our nametags and only speak Romanian on the streets. (Which was, for me, a bit…frustrating. I’m good with languages, but I’d only been learning Romanian for 9 weeks at that point, and wasn’t functionally fluent for another three months or so. Also, I’m six feet tall with flaming red hair, and *no one* ever mistook me for anything other than a foreigner the entire 18 months I was there…)

    We taught free English classes as part of our service-to-the-community, and my companion and I were setting up for our early-evening class when one of the other missionaries came in and said one of his students had just told him that something had happened in New York, and that someone had bombed the White House or something. We were puzzled, and a little alarmed. We all canceled our respective classes for that week and trooped over to the apartment of someone who was investigating the church, and who was well-off enough to have good television with news networks. We got there in time to see the second plane hit the towers.

    The investigator, Mr. Pascu, and his wife were frantic. Their two grown daughters both lived and worked in NYC, not far from the towers themselves, and for several hours none of us knew whether or not they were okay. (They called finally, having found each other in the chaos and gotten to safety. I don’t know, however, if they were exposed to the toxic cloud of dust and debris, and can only hope they continue to be all right.)

    It was more than a little surreal. As missionaries, we didn’t watch tv, we didn’t spend any time on the internet (though soon after, with the anthrax problems and the fact that snail-mail letters home–already a bit problematic on account of the less than efficient Eastern European postal services–were never arriving, we were allowed to email home instead of writing), or read newspapers, so by and large I did not experience the media storm that followed, nor the eerie silence for those days immediately after when no planes flew. What I did see was black band of mourning the Romanians put on their own flag, and the sympathies and condolences offered to us by people on the street if they learned we were American. (As I said above, I was never mistaken for anything *but* a foreigner, but they usually assumed British or German…in part because Americans don’t speak anything but English, natch, and they couldn’t believe an American could speak their language. Also I didn’t have an obviously American accent, apparently.) Most were very kind. (With the exception of one taxi driver, who ranted at length about the arrogant, evil Americans, then asked us where we were from. He was rather embarrassed when we told him, and had the good grace to apologize, sort of.) If anyone else ever suggested we had brought it on ourselves, I either never heard it, or didn’t catch what they were saying.

    All the same, though, there was a noticeable tightening of security-based rules in our already very-tight-rules missionary world. We left the nametags off for months (though several of the missionaries there were native Romanians), and rules regarding speaking to Muslims–already tricky to negotiate–were tightened. (Though many of those rules were, as I learned, as much for the safety of the Muslim talking to Mormon missionaries as for the Mormon missionaries–if they really were serious about learning more, they had to be clear that they knew they were risking being killed doing so…) The ban on speaking English outside our own apartments wasn’t lifted until I was almost a year in the country (which led to no small amount of friction amongst missionaries who struggled with learning the language). In a strange way, though, those of us who were out there were a little bit insulated from the tragedy compared to those who were in the States at the time. It didn’t quite seem real until I arrived home eighteen months later to far, far tighter security than I’d seen when I left.

  35. Wife and I were in my SUV at about 1700 local. We were taking a couple of friends to the local grocery store. In Abu Dhabi, UAE. They were talking and I was listening to music on the AFRTs radio when the radio broke in and started live broadcasting what was happening. We ran into the store picked up a few things and went back to our apartment and left the wives there watching TV while Les and I went back to the American Embassy to see what was going to happen.

  36. I was in 7th grade on 9/11. Between 2nd and 3rd period, I was in the nurse’s office eating my morning blood sugar fix snack. The principal came over the PA system and announced that a small plane had hit one of the WTC towers. I figured it was an accident, like the B-25 that had hit the Empire State Building back in 1945. Then the nurse’s office phone rang. She answered, then a second later blurted out, “THEY BOMBED THE PENTAGON?!” I asked her what was happening, but she ordered me back to class.

    The wall-mounted TV in Mr. DiMarino’s classroom was on. I walked in and the first thing I saw was a replay of United 175 hit the South Tower. The North Tower had already been hit. That’s when I knew it was no accident. After about 15-20 minutes, DiMo told us he had to turn the TV off and teach. We made him promise he’d turn it back on once class ended. He did. Just in time for us to watch the South Tower come down. I really don’t remember much else about that day, other than that maybe half of my classmates were pulled out of school for the day by their families, and I spent the rest of the day speculating what would be hit next. It didn’t occur to me until years later that the reason those parents pulled their kids out was because we were less than 30 miles away from the Limerick Nuclear Power Plant, and they were terrified that the terrorists would hit the plant and nuke southeastern PA. They wanted to die together as a family.

    • You’re four years older than my older son. Who remembers the day in exquisite detail and uses it as one of the inflection points of his life.

      • I think the reason why I don’t remember it very well is because we all spent every class period (except lunch & recess) glued to the TVs. It all just blurred into one long newscast. The images from those TVs are seared into my mind for all time: what happened outside the TVs, especially after the North Tower came down, really didn’t matter much.

        • Someone in Manitou Springs elementary (! Consider this is Little Boulder!) looked at the fact they only had about 10% of kids and teachers in, herded them into the Gym and taught them patriotic and war songs.

          • Good for them!

            My school principal, OTOH, insisted that the day carry on as normal. In his defense, we had all teachers present and probably the majority of students too, but he insisted the TVs stay off and the scheduled lessons be conducted as though nothing had happened. That proclamation was about as effective as you’d expect.

            Come to think of it, I do remember my 5th period English teacher had the TV off, but she spent most of the class sobbing uncontrollably. She had family in NYC. I think that was the first time I’d seen an adult cry.

    • You know, flying a plane into a nuke plant is right up there with dirty bombs on the list of things I hope the jihadis are working on, because they’re both essentially harmless and they’ll take up quite a lot of resources that could go toward damaging attacks.

      If someone did fly a plane into a nuke plant, they’d probably hit a support building and do nothing at all. If they managed to hit the reactor building, they probably wouldn’t scratch the metaphorical paint – that concrete is TOUGH. If they managed to crack the containment building, they probably wouldn’t damage the reactor proper. If they did damage the reactor, there would be a significant radiological problem at the site, but the redundant safety systems would protect the core. If they did manage to destroy all safety systems and damage the reactor, then you’d have Fukushima stateside, and Fukushima isn’t going to kill anybody.

      Sorry, but nuclear ignorance bothers me so I go about correcting it even when it’s second hand.

      • Isn’t one of the tests for a containment vessel design a direct hit from a retired fighter plane? Or is that video I’m vaguely remembering something else entirely?

        • I don’t know what the specific tests are. But I do know that tests for equipment safety involving nuclear materials of any sort tend to run along the lines of “Can survive a firestorm during the middle of an earthquake while three trains collide.”

          😛

          • I just remember video of an F-4 Phantom crashing into something nuclear related while under remote control. Don’t remember if it was a containment vessel or a shipment container.

        • It was a test of then-new high strength concrete for a Japanese containment building.

    • Which goes to show that the terrorists knew more about American nuclear power plants than those parents.

  37. William Underhill, Barbarian 1st Class

    I remember exactly where I was that day in 2001. I had been exactly 1 week in my new billet as a instructor at recruit school. The adj, a normally unflappable Air Force Major, came running – running! down the flats, exhorting us to get into the staff lounge and see what was breaking on TV. We all piled in just in time for a clip of a pair of CF-18s escorting an airliner to the nearest airfield to be interrupted as the second plane went into the Twin Towers, and the collective reaction from everyone in the room was “Oh… fuck.”

    And it wasn’t even 12 hours before people started saying the US ‘had it coming’, that you, our neighbours, were somehow to blame for this Godless piece of work. 😦

  38. I post this poem every year on this day on my FB page. (and sometimes on my blog)… I wrote this about a month after 9/11.

    Thundering at Daybreak

    As cold sweat pours from my body, I wake
    to dark hounds baying at fleeing gray hares:
    to sounds of war thundering at daybreak.

    Oh, Holy Fool, quaking for Allah, break
    the fox’s chains, the fox who cowers in lairs;
    as cold sweat pours from my body, I wake

    knowing the hound, the fox, the hares will take
    us from peace of hearth and home, from our cares
    to sounds of war thundering at daybreak.

    Beware of false prophets, who shiver and shake,
    serpents who delight in killing human hares.
    As cold sweat pours from my body, I wake

    to falling towers—a large death. They slake
    their blood-thirst with innocent lives. Who dares—
    to sounds of war thundering at daybreak—

    who dares to strike again? My heart aches.
    Is this the end of choice? Must we forbear?
    As cold sweat pours from my body, I wake
    to sounds of war thundering at daybreak.

    Published in Acumen in 2002. By Cyn Bagley

    • Thank you, I don’t get on Facebook much (more in the last couple weeks than in the last eight years, probably) but I specifically got on there to Share that.

  39. Sarah, I wish I shared your optimism. But I don’t. Not anymore.

    You see, not only do I remember 9/11/01, but I also remember 5/1/11. The day we killed bin Laden. I was a senior in college, counting down the days until I’d graduate and be free of that hypocritical hell-hole. It was a Sunday night, and it was an off-week for the school’s biweekly-published newspaper, so I was at home rather than in the paper’s office copy-editing the latest issue.

    “Ecstatic” doesn’t quite come close to describing how I felt when I heard the news. I remember running back and forth from watching the TV, which was downstairs, to checking the internet on my laptop which was upstairs (we didn’t have wifi in the house at that point), trying to stay as up to date on the news as I could.

    My euphoria ended when I returned to campus the next morning (only lived a few miles down the road). There’s a big rock outside the student union that students can paint messages on. Congratulations, event announcements, “I love you So-and-so,” etc. Someone had painted the rock entirely black, and then in big gold letters, written, “When Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies,’ I’m pretty sure he meant don’t kill them.”

    I don’t think I’ve ever been more furious in my life. Because I knew that it was intended as a protest against our killing OBL, and also because I was 99% sure that I knew the guy who wrote it. He was a fellow senior, part of the same honors program that I was in, and that particular maxim was a favorite of his. Honestly, the only reason I didn’t find him and pound his head into the nearest wall was because I was already in hot water with the school as it was (the SJW/CHORF crusade against the newspaper I’ve mentioned before was already in full swing) and I knew that the administration would probably use that as an excuse to expel or suspend (or worse) the entire editorial staff.

    But that statement seemed to be the common sentiment around campus. For days, I kept hearing “we had no right to kill him” over and over and over again. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore, so when a now ex-friend said that to my face, I replied with “What about 9/11? I’d say that right there was a pretty good right.” I don’t remember her exact response, but it was something to the effect of “God calls on us to forgive our enemies.” This, by the way was a Christian school.

    That, I think, is the heart of the problem, and the reason for my pessimism. We as a society have come to believe that we must forgive our enemies, which is a noble and worthy ideal to be sure, but the problem is that our idea of forgiveness seems to be, “don’t punish the offender for what he has done, and forget the offense ever occurred. Carry on and life your life as though nothing happened.”

    That’s why I have such a hard time with forgiveness, because I cannot and will not forget. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not one of those nuts who keeps a list of every time he’s been wronged by someone. I simply refuse to allow myself to be victimized twice by the same person. Yet I’ve been told that’s a moral failing at best, and un-Christlike at worst.

    Who was it that said, “Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names?” That’s the kind of forgiveness I subscribe to: hold neither anger nor ill will to those who have wronged you (another ideal I struggle with), but remember what they did to hurt you and yours, and do not let it happen again. That’s what we as a society should hold true, not this idiotic “pretend it never happened” bullshit. If we don’t, then we are doomed, because we’ll allow anyone and everyone to walk all over us like the proverbial doormat.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      You can love your enemies, and still kill them. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that if your blood commits a capital felony, that you don’t still see them executed for it.

      • ‘Ey! Atsa a-what I was a-gonna say!

        Forgiveness is something you do for yourself, so that you can kill the b@st@rds without feeling angry or resentful toward them. Nothing requires granting them pardon, absolution or clemency.

      • “In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.”

        Ender’s Game
        Orson Scott Card

    • It’s normal for college idiots to be college idiots. You lack the experience. This is why I included the seventies. In the seventies their control of the news was tighter and the culture was FAR crazier.
      Chill. We shall win this one. Unfortunately it will take my generation and yours and possibly one or two after. Unless there’s the kind of catastrophic events no one wants. Keep working.

      • In my defense, I spent all but the previous 3-4 months of my life trapped in Liberal Soccer Mom Central. I’m still adjusting to the reality that their politics and opinions are not shared by the majority of Americans.

      • There will be “catastrophic events,” though. Obama has made it almost inevitable now. The Iran deal is the seal on it. Now it’s merely a matter of laying out the board, rolling on the Political Tables to see who starts fighting first, and deploying the little cardboard counters on the hex grid.

        Why yes, I’m a veteran of board wargaming.

    • Just tell those who don’t support the “murder” of OBL that we just aborted him in the 219th trimester.

      • *malicious giggle*

      • Y’know — I didn’t actually give a [blank] about executing bin Laden. OBL had been effectively neutralized and my thinking was that his capture would be used by idiots, Dems and the MSM (BIRM) as an argument to stand down.

        That his capture was strategically meaningless was not in the interest of this administration to promote.

        • oh, I was in favor of finding and killing him as a warning, :You Will be found, and you WILL pay for such things”
          I would have prefered he was shot in the head by a lesbian jewish girl using a lard lubed black powder pistol bullet, and then his body cremated, ashes mixed into pig slop, the resulting manure incinerated, then mixed into clay for urinals in a Jewish civic center.

    • Where is the Like button?

      • Could the President order a nuclear after a casus belli without a press conference? Bush didn’t. Could he have?

        • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

          IIRC Presidents had been given the authority to respond to a nuclear launch against the US. It would be “iffy” for a President to order a nuclear strike if there was plenty of time to get Congressional authorization.

        • Yes. But… U.S. doctrine on nuke use is that nukes will be used in retaliation only for any WMD strike on the United States. Any WMD- which means nuclear, biological, or chemical. Using nukes as other then retaliation for a WMD attack without a Declaration of War would probably result in impeachment and conviction.

          • So if someone launched bio-warfare on us we could respond with nukes?.

            • In fact that would be the “restrained” response. Unrestrained would be responding with our own nasty biologicals. Of course the US claims to not stock nasty biologicals, so responding with such would be… surprising.

              • That’s the genesis behind the “a germ is a gas is a nuke”, so that we don’t have to maintain retaliatory stockpiles of everything, our strategic weapons are a broad-spectrum deterrent.

            • Correct. The US officially (and so far as I know) doesn’t maintain a stockpile of biological weapons. Thus, the WMD of choice for the US when responding to any other WMD attack – whether biological, chemical, or nuclear – is always nuclear.

          • scott2harrison

            I have heard this. I have also heard that we were relying on nukes to stop Soviet tanks in the Fulda gap. I wonder.

            • Officially, no. Unofficially, it was quietly acknowledged by everyone that we were probably going to have to initiate a nuclear exchange.

              And then Reagan came along and messed things up.

              A 15mm miniatures game that I play, Flames of War, is about to roll out a 1985 Fulda Gap set of rules. There’s been a lot of discussion on the boards about how dramatically NATO’s combat power changed in that decade.

              • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

                IIRC it was policy that an attack on Western Europe was an attack on the US and that the US would not say that nukes were out of the possible responses.

                I remembered hearing this when one of the Soviet leaders “promised” to Not be the first to use Nukes.

                There was a belief in the Military planning area that believed that the Soviet Union could take Europe without using Nukes.

                While it appears that the Soviet Military was not as strong as the US feared, you don’t tell a possible aggressor what you will not do in response to their aggression.

          • Doctrine is just doctrine. It’s not constitutional law. And no, I don’t think that an impeachment in the wake of 9-11 would have succeeded. The Congress would be paying too much attention to all the cheering, and too aware that those who voted for impeachment would, save in very liberal areas, be effectively ending their own political careers.

    • I’m all for forgiving our enemies….after they assume room temperature. Not killing them for revenge, mind. Simply killing them as I would kill a wasp.

  40. On this day in 2001, I was actually working a contract job for a major corporation in their corporate headquarters in one of the tallest buildings in downtown.

    We were evacuated from the building. I watched the rest of the coverage from a TV in a bar in an increasing rage.

    Today, my wife and I went to the range and got in some practice.

  41. 14 years ago, I worked at MSY New Orleans International, now Louis Armstrong, airport. I was fueling flights for Southwest Airlines, and there had been weather somewhere .. I think Dallas Love, and flights were running late (I likely could try to find this story over at the blog that shall not be named, and get it more accurate. maybe via the wayback), and after doing a few back to backs, I ran into operations and they mentioned a plane had hit one of the towers … wild speculation, some from those everyone knew were total morons (“It was a SWA flight to ISP!” Islip) was closer to accurate than expected as most figured “How’d a cessna get lost enough to hit one of the towers?”.
    I was hooked to another late running flight, and noticed everyone else working the flight was gone … don’t they know this flight leaves in 10 minutes? … and then I noticed plane was no longer rocking with passengers unloading/loading.
    Finished pumping and walked into Ops for the next ticket.
    Everyone in Ops was in the break room staring at the TV. The second plane had hit. The call came to lock down the skies. We got told to remove the fuel trucks as far from the terminal as possible, and then the owner told us to go home, and stick close to a phone.
    5 minutes after we drove off, the police locked down the airport and my Supe, and many of the folks I knew working at SWA got herded over to the Hilton, and didn’t get to leave until after 11pm that night.
    Afterward, the new “security” measures were put in place, and I can tell you it is mostly Kabuki.
    poor Kabuki.

    • Ah, my brother-in-law worked the tower at Islip. He was off that day. At first he was livid about it, angry that anyone would do such a thing.

      But he is a properly educated modern young man living on Long Island. He soon had his conscience reclaimed and adopted the ‘yes it was terrible, but it was our fault because we drove them to it’ attitude. 😦

      • being the cheerful optimistic sort that I am, I must admit that I was not really shocked, nor really all that angered by the attacks. A buddy of mine who worked at SWA (and who I should have listened to years before and gone to work at SWA, I’d be retired and well set already) even commented I wasn’t at all surprised acting by all the news when someone ran past saying they had just attacked DC.
        I think it is a bit of functional sociopathy or something. Not surprised. Not really angered, but oh yeah, lets make them pay in full for this act.

    • I’ve said it many times; the TSA was created because of popular demand, not need. Anyone in the government with any sense knew that the next idiot to try to take over a plane was going to get dog-piled and stuffed into the overhead luggage compartment. So nobody responsible paid any attention to the new agency, and it naturally filled up with empire builders, and jackasses one jump ahead of disciplinary action at their old jobs.

      • WEll, the security contractors were not all that good before 9/11, then after failing several tests like false bombs and guns being passed through security andsome big “whoopsies” like letting actually for reals guns get on the planes in carry-ons, they decided the TSA would take over the job.
        Guess who they hired first for all those replacement positions? The same folks who were letting guns through, and failing all those spot tests.
        My uncle ended up working for the TSA at a small “International” (so close to Canada and an Indian Casino near by some of the flights do come in from out of country, but it was a low work load place). One day he gets a call from his regional boss, late in the day: “Tell me you had random testing today!”
        “Well, now that you mention it, yes, they had some false guns and fake bombs.”
        boss – “Well, three of the stations missed at least one of them, and one let all the items get past.”

        feeling safe yet folks?

      • The TSA was created because the Democrats in Congress wanted more union workers, and were threatening to obstruct the war effort if they didn’t get it. Google “To professionalize, you must Federalize”.

        • The Democrats fought and fought to get the TSA recognized as a campaign funds contributing dues collecting federal employee union.

          Those two facts tell you everything you need know about the Democrats’ priorities on national defense.

          They care less about whether the tanks roll and the jets fly than they do about whether they were built in union shops.

        • What really sucks is that when the TSA was created we were told that it would never unionize. Ok, I guess that doesn’t suck as bad as them missing 90 some % of weapons test screeners were able to get through but it is up there in the suckage.

  42. Being in Arizona, and effectively in Pacific Daylight Time and three hours ahead of the East Coast this time of year; I was able to watch both the second plane strike and both the towers collapse before heading into work that morning.

    It was one of those numb, robotic work days; but as I was working two quotes sprang to mind.

    The first was the apocryphal quote attributed to Admiral Yamamoto after the successful strike on Pearl Harbor: “I fear we have awoken a sleeping giant, and filled him with a terrible resolve.”

    The second was also from Pearl Harbor. When the U.S.S. Enterprise entered Pearl on the evening of the 7th, Admiral Halsey is believed to have said, “When this war is over the Japanese language will be spoken only in Hell.”

    Now I wonder what Yamamoto and Halsey would think about our response to 9/11.

    As for Munich, I was seven, I member the attack, but barely.

  43. On 9/11/01 I was getting ready for work in my KC apartment when the news broke of the first plane hitting the tower. I remember being annoyed at FNC’s Jon Scott for speculating that it might be a terror attack . . . and then, shortly thereafter, the second plane hit the other tower and my annoyance transformed instantly into a white-hot rage that has yet to cool. Especially given how we’ve mismanaged so much of the ensuing War on Terror, starting by our refusal to even accurately define the enemy.

    My best friend from college was on Capitol Hill at the time – at the time he was a reporter for a conservative publication; these days he’s on the staff of the Competitive Enterprise Institute – and he was caught up in the panic / evacuation. It took me three days to get hold of John and ensure he was OK.

    A few weeks down the road John ended up in the hospital with a serious respiratory infection at the height of the DC anthrax scare – which briefly panicked his doctors, until the test results came back negative for anthrax – and later one of the DC sniper attacks took place less than a mile from his Falls Church apartment. Needless to say, he was seriously considering career options somewhere outside the DC metro . . .

  44. I remember that September in 1972… I was turning 18. It was clear that I wasn’t going to have to deal with the Vietnam draft, but the, after the attack, my friends and I were convinced, and -ready- that we had an opportunity for a righteous war, to team up with Israel and go take down the nation that would host those evil asses, and subjugate it.

    But no, it took more than another decade, and Iraq invading Kuwait before we acted, and even then, without a declaration of war. And long before we were done, long before we had troops in place to subjugate the enemy, and to take over their media and their schools and indoctrinate a generation or two like we did in Japan, and to a certain extent in Germany, instead we withdrew, leaving them their sovereignty and “honor”.

    And so more than a decade later, we had to do it AGAIN when the towers fell. Still no declaration of war, still supposedly we were not fighting the governments of the nations that succored and fed and funded them, but the Navy choir sang the Battle Hymn in the national cathedral, and we were ready to kick ass and take names… except… we didn’t. We didn’t do it. We ddn’t take over the media. We didn’t put rational curricula into their school systems. We didn’t place chaplains in every market square and mall to coordinate public services. We didn’t put competent managers in charge of the national electrical grid and shoot idiots who stole power lines. Nope. We held elections, and let them choose their very own corrupt leaders, using the same brains with the same training that had them succoring and feeding and funding the terrorists in the first place. But we left them with their sovereignty and “honor.”

    And now, it look like we’re going to have to do it AGAIN…

    I got nothing against Muslims. I got muslim friends. But the folks who are imposing a 12th century culture onto a 21st century population need to be stopped, and reason and science and justice put back in place.

    Are we up for that yet? It’s been 43 years since Black September. It’s 48 years since the Six-Day-War, which the arabs still call an-Naksah “The Setback”

    I hope to live to see our government ready to do what our people have been ready for lo these many decades.

    • Rick, OT, what the heck is your icon? Looks like a dead cartoon moose…

      • It’s a dead horse laughing at you. See the big version at the top of

        http://1632.org/1632tech/deadhorse.html

        I’ve been the keeper of the dead horse file for 1632 for 13 years. We have a saying in the 1632 community: “Sometimes, whipping dead horses works.” The list is a compilation of subjects that we’ve long since reduced to equine hamburger, but every so often a newby shows up with a way of looking at things that we’ve never thought of before. So, as the intro to the list says:

        “Therefore, if you are a relatively new barfly, please do not take this list as a prohibition to discuss these things, but rather, as a challenge. Sometimes, when you whip a dead horse, it gets up and stumbles around. Welcome to the bar.”

    • We had declarations of war for both Desert Storm and OF. Nothing in the Constitution states what is required in a declaration of war, just that Congress has the power to do so. An authorization of use of military force fits the bill. After all, what else is war?

      • Legally, war is an action directed at a nation state to achieve certain deliniated goals which define victory. Without the declaration of war against a government entity, there’s legally no one to surrender.

        an authorization of the use of force does not fit the bill even if we restrict it to authorizations of the use of force outside of the boundaries of the United States. The constitution doesn’t define what’s required for a lot of things. Congress and the courts have traditionally looked to the debates and to the published position papers of the founders to seek out the definitions required for implementing legislation.

        If they onlly thing required for a declaration of war is the authorization of the use of force, then there are “rather a lot” of conflicts that you would bounce up to war. It seems to me that a declaration of war has to acknowledge that is what it is. We’ve been careful to weasel word that so that things like the Geneva Convention and other treaties that control actions in time of war are NOT in play.. We’re cheating in that regard, and then, we’re chickening out in another.

        • Certainly the Founders did not view a “Use of Force” resolution as improper or unduly limiting, given the “war” on the Barbary Pirates.

          • scott2harrison

            The same law that defines the authorization for the use of force also defines declaration of war. They are different things albeit most of the difference is in domestic authority and constitutional issues (Habeus-corpus) rather than what can actually be done in theater.

          • See e.g. various as by Dr. Pournelle on an actual if not terribly logical distinction between the War Department and the Navy Department.

            This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead.

            Roosevelt dispatched seven warships under the command of Admiral French Ensor Chadwick, and several Marine companies, commanded by Major John Twiggs Myers, though with little idea of what US forces could achieve on such hostile foreign soil.

            See also the career of Smedley Butler. More than the band is the President’s own.

        • Per the Law of Land Warfare, a US statute, American forces are always bound by the restrictions of the Geneva Conventions, even when the conventions themselves state that they don’t apply (the conventions say that they do not apply to a signatory if their cobelligerent is not a signatory, or if they violate a restriction first.)

          As a practical matter, a declaration of war is whatever Congress says it is.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Agree, the key point about “only Congress can issue a declaration of war” was that the President had to get Congress to “go along with him”.

        “Congressional authorization to use force” is Congress going along with the President’s decision.

        Note, for all the talk about “LBJ got us involved in Vietnam”, LBJ asked for and got Congressional authorization/approval.

        IMO the “War Powers Act” was a Democratic Congress wanting people to blame the President and ignore that Congress had approved involvement in Vietnam.

        • The Democrats in Congress also tried to excuse themselves by claiming that they were deliberately lied to about Tonkin Gulf in order to get them to vote for the increased military involvement. They also conveniently forgot that it was President Truman who first sent in advisers into what was then Indo-China to aid the French. Or that it was President Kennedy who had escalated our involvement by tripling the number of advisers there in 1961 and again ’62.

          • “The Democrats in Congress also tried to excuse themselves by claiming that they were deliberately lied to about Tonkin Gulf in order to get them to vote for the increased military involvement.”

            Dang that sounds familiar, did they claim there were no WMD’s also?

    • “I got nothing against Muslims. I got muslim friends. But the folks who are imposing a 12th century culture onto a 21st century population need to be stopped, and reason and science and justice put back in place.”

      Not the 12th century, the 7th. The 12th is still too far advanced for them.

      At times, I find myself thinking we should light the way to guide them to that “paradise” of theirs, with packets of Instant Sunshine(tm). I know not everyone in the region supports the al Qaeda/ISIS/etc school of Islam, but enough of them do that the cultures that spawn those kinds have felt no reason to change. A series of W-88s dropped in the right places will either give them that reason, or they’ll be knocked back to the dark ages. I find it difficult to chose a preferred outcome in the event of such an act.

  45. I was working on Maxwell-Gunter AB in Montgomery AL. They put the whole base under lockdown. For a while, they considered keeping everyone including contractors on the base for 48 hours. That was reversed by about 2 pm and we were sent home for the rest of that day and the following one.

    About 3-4 weeks later, the building I was in had one of the fake anthrax attacks. They basically put a cordon of armed troops outside the building and no one was allowed to leave until the HAZMAT teams were brought in from Fort McClellan to give the all clear. Watching troops surround your building with live weapons and orders to shoot anyone who tried to leave will give you a certain perspective.

  46. Give Danny Lewin a buddy and the world’s a different place – the lesson might be to watch for somebody watching the bad guy’s back when there’s nobody watching yours.

    And maybe from Rick Rescorla: it’s easier with a song. Also heroes learn Portuguese.