How We’ve Come So Far So Fast


Over the last few months, every gathering, every cultural clash, in the crannies of science fiction culture so hidden that only we, the crazy people, care about them, or in national culture, I keep hearing “but then wasn’t like now.  Now it’s all crazy” or “Now things are so polarized” or “Now–”


Okay.  Part of the reason things are now so polarized is that before dissenting voices were isolated.  You couldn’t speak up, because there was no network of alternative news.  Say, Benghazi, for instance (yes, we still remember it on the anniversary) in the old days we’d never have known anything but that government officials had gone on all the stations and sworn that it was because of an anti-islam video.  Who is crazy enough to doubt that, when all the authorities say the same?  They should know, right?  And if we doubted that we’d say nothing, because who wants people to think they’re crazy.

So there was consensus.  A manufactured, uneasy consensus.  A consensus that the new technology started shattering.

The shattering would have happened, anyway.  But for many of us the shattering started on 9/11.  Perhaps particularly for my generation, then at the pinnacle of responsible adulthood, many of us with small children.  We grew up in an era of uniform news.  We grew up in an era of assuming that history came with an arrow, and that arrow pointed left.

I think 9/11 was the first time I realized most of the voices on the left were as friggin’ loony as a college campus.  (And that’s saying a lot.)

I think the rubble hadn’t settled before prominent I-always-thought-you-were-sane leftists started telling us it was all our fault, that we had oppressed them poor browns peoplez until they had no choice but hitting us.

And how these people thought this “oppression” took place passed by the center of their misapprehension of free minds and free markets, which they thought were “oppressive.”

If you listened carefully you could hear beneath those the foreshadowing of the present call for safe rooms and the insistence freedom was slavery.

I don’t think I was the only who stepped back and went “Wait, these people are supposed to be sane!” and then started analyzing everything they said, and discovering unpleasant things like that my generation many of us, (like the president — not me.  I’m the youngest child, my parents are older ) had this strange idea that wars stopped when the US stopped fighting and that this was a good thing, because of course there were no consequences to stopping fighting.  The other side wouldn’t take it as unconditional surrender.

What came home to roost in American consciousness watching the reactions to 9/11 was the realization that a lot of people in positions of power and influence were barking mad and had the historical understanding of a weevil. (With apologies to weevils.)  They seemed to have derived all their knowledge of history from the protest songs of the sixties and supermarket tabloids.

Fifteen years later, we face an election between typhus and smallpox, and we can’t walk into any cultural arena without starting to scream at each other.

I’m here to tell you these are the good news. No, I am serious.  Consider how barking mad the aristos have gone.  Imagine they had NO opposition.Imagine that the media and the culture were still a big megaphone and a bunch of voiceless people.  Imagine how much further from reality they’d have gone by now.

The fight isn’t easy.  Not nearly enough of us woke up to make it so.  But that we are fighting at all, those are the good news, even if some people woke up yesterday and decided that either typhus or smallpox was whom we needed for president.

That part shall pass.  Like kidney stones, it might pass bloodily and with a great deal of pain, leaving damage behind.  But it too shall pass.

The bad part is that unresolved in our national psyche is the wound in NY, now covered with a “memorial. tower” of sorts (no, I don’t agree.  We should have rebuilt the twin towers, and we should have done them higher, stronger, less likely to suffer from an attack, because engineered against it.  Yes, we can.  And if you’re a liberal and are going to tell me that that would be an insult to the world — why?  The united Arab Emirates keep building higher and higher.  Do we consider it an insult?  No?  Then why do they care if we have a pony?) remains open.  Half of America wants to cringe and apologize, because they thing everything that goes wrong in the world is America’s fault.  It’s a magnificent sort of hubris, if you think about it, that denies the underdeveloped countries they claim to care about full agency or autonomous culture.  It denies people-of-tan agency and autonomous ability to decide.  It is in fact, closely examined, exactly the opposite of what the left claims to believe.  And it would be funny if it weren’t so horribly sad.

The bad part is the people who had their lives cut short, Americans and guests who died because our elites were so out of touch with reality that they did things like erect a secrecy wall between the FBI and the CIA, because the sixties radicals couldn’t imagine those services might do anything but “conspire” against them.

The bad part is our aristos still being convinced that calling terrorism by other names (Work place violence was catchy.  As was Man made disaster.  May G-d have mercy on our souls) will make it go away.

Things are going to get weirder — in a Ripley’s believe it or not way — till this is resolved.  Not just in government, but in the culture and on the streets.

This morning finds me in NYC (Yeah, I know, I should have told you earlier, but look, this trip we REALLY could not have met with you.  I’m booked every minute of the day.  We managed a hurried lunch with one of those friends-who-are-family before the workshop started, and we haven’t yet managed to see the blood family (my husband’s) even in passing, though he spent most of yesterday on text trying to coordinate it. If there’s a next time.  If it’s in NYC.  If they invite me. If we’re better off financially (as we’ll be if I am actually working, now we’re done moving and the thyroid is being balanced) perhaps we can afford to come a few days earlier or stay a few days later, because I WOULD like to meet some of you and go to lunch or have a Huns dinner.  I promise even if there is no workshop I’ll try to have enough money for us to come up for a week.

But not this year.  This year is so bad we’re flying back on 9/11.  And you guys know I don’t engage in bravado with you. Yeah, I shouldn’t be afraid.  Yeah, I am afraid.  Because our airport kabuki fails to reassure.

However, rest assured, today I’ll make no memorial trip (no time.)  And I’m not close enough to any landmarks that anything short of an atom bomb will get me.

It’s still weird being in NYC on 9/11.   And this keeps running through my head:

A glooming peace this morning with it brings.
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head.
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things.
Some shall be pardoned, and some punishèd.
On September 11, 2001, did you go crazy, or did you report (for duty, for work) on that day they wounded New York?



291 responses to “How We’ve Come So Far So Fast

  1. 9/11 laid bare the shallowness and fecklessness of almost every way of thinking. Policies, decisions, whole ways of thinking were constructed around such a thing not being imaginable. And yet it here it was.

    Lots of things. The previous couple years were characterized by riotous mobs assaulting police officers in the name of economic justice. Suddenly these men, not exquisitely educated and outside of polite society were indispensable and honorable.

    More dangerously, not to argue the policy, but the dynamics that preceded it, there seemed to be only one smallish group who happened to have a way of viewing the situation that had any connection to reality, the neo-cons.

    I think 2008 was a greater existential threat to the nation. Buildings can be rebuilt. People die every day. But when the cream of every vaunted institution is exposed as utterly, blitheringly stupid and idiotic, and the only way that can be imagined to deal with the issue is to give these same people trillions of dollars to buy them out of the gutter they are puking in, this is as if the solid bedrock of Manhattan turns to jelly and the high buildings have no foundation upon which to be rebuilt.

    There is no logical, smooth, rational path out of that. There are three. The guillotine, Albania/Libya/Bosnia/Fallujah/Detroit/ collapse into social breakdown, or what we are seeing.

    The US has an institutional bias in it’s vigorous political debate towards turmoil blunted by institutional lethargy. What is fascinating is how assumptions and the people who held them are being exposed rather rudely, and this on all sides. The Corrupt Democratic Machine is being challenged. The sniffy conservatives have all but been marginalized. The economic consensus of the last three decades is being challenged; not so much the basic ideas, but the fact that the participants have not had a good mucking out for a long time, and they are not going gracefully into the night. The changes in the Media landscape are being exposed.

    As always in these times some people rise to the occasion. I am not at all surprised to see Trump as one of them. Construction and development is utter chaos with only hard and blunt facts keeping a lid on the stupidity, so this chaos and day to day changing landscape is home to him. Rigidity in thought simply breaks. People aren’t listening to what they listened to 6 months ago. Fear and anger prevail, and the social norms that have kept a lid on things don’t work any more. The election will not be the end of it.

    It is far better that people shout at each other than shoot at each other. And there is indeed good reason to shout.

    • ” The previous couple years were characterized by riotous mobs assaulting police officers in the name of economic justice. Suddenly these men, not exquisitely educated and outside of polite society were indispensable and honorable.”

      And then there’s this year, when such men were explicitly targeted by sniper fire, and there were those who claimed such things were justified.

      I went in for duty that day. That evening, rather, as I was stationed in Spain at the time and working the night shift at the weather center. We were getting flash traffic all night as every ship in port in Europe left port that night, not even a year after the USS COLE incident. I received a call at home a couple of hours before my normal wakeup time and instructed to bring in extra clothes in case we had to stay on base for a while.

      They had a memorial ceremony on the mess decks today that I had to get up an walk out of just to keep my dignity. I have spent the entire day obsessively refreshing the Open Source Center website expecting to find word about something, somewhere. And while it’s evening here, it’s still morning in the States, so I will come back and check again after my gym time, and before I go to bed. Praying for a negative.

    • The ‘Reality Based’ community seems to think that their consensus-based ‘reality’ is actually representative of reality as a whole. You see this on places like ThinkProgress and the hard left sites – they’re smarter than everyone else so they know what reality is.

      Then cold hard facts bite them on the ass, they try to fit things into the proper narrative, and just don’t understand why they don’t fit. So the thing to do is ignore them and rewrite the narrative.

      Hillary’s been getting millions from the banks and investment institutions, but TRUMP is in their pocket. Hillary’s done so much that’s illegal with classified material I can’t even begin to explain how wrong it is – but that’s okay because she didn’t have any ‘intent’ to cause harm.

      I’m not surprised at the rise of Trump. He’s had to deal with realities that the ‘reality-based’ community doesn’t have a flippin’ clue about, and prospered. I think he’ll be an okay President, likely a lot better than any we’ve had in a long time.

      But no matter what, he’ll be better than Hillary.

      • Their reality is a Faith and they’re all too ready to stone any heretic who questions it. This is why (as John Hinderaker at Power Line points out today) any skepticism expressed about “their reality” is denounced with terms like “Denier” aand Conspiracy Theory.”

        Lately, when liberals want to discredit an opinion, or inference, or speculation that is not to their liking, they often label it a conspiracy theory.
        Even if there were little or no evidence to support the belief that Hillary has health problems, that belief–a rejection of, or skepticism toward, assurances that Hillary is perfectly fine–isn’t a conspiracy theory. It could be wrong, it could even be irrational, but that isn’t what “conspiracy theory” means.
        Nowadays, you should perk up when you hear liberals labeling something a conspiracy theory. Frequently it means, “Nothing to see here. Move along.”

        As with the attacks on “Birthers” or slanders of “Puppies” the critical truth here is that the Left cannot and will not defend their Faith except by ad hominem responses that seek to relegate any dissent from their orthodoxy as deplorable.

        Speaking of Hillary’s health …

        Did anybody else see this at the check-out line this weekend?

        I believe Donald Trump has had supportive remarks about the Enquirer ere now …

        • Yes, yes I did see that. I was amused.

          Though what amuses me more is that perhaps all the people who thought Trump was running to throw the election to Clinton had it backwards.

          I never claimed I wasn’t easily amused.

          • In its way, that photo is so over-the-top that it is easy to discount. Beloved Spouse & I mostly engaged in the implications of the Enquirer running that and how they might have achieved it — possibly with a photo-shop program which strips out make-up, or maybe a light (such as UV) which causes make-up* to become transparent?

            At any rate, this has certainly put the issue of her health in play. Perhaps they can blame the antibiotics for her deplorable comments?

            *In the mid-Seventies I worked in a hotel which used “Black Light” to jazz up the bar and vividly recall the manager once commenting on how much that light made the ladies’ make-up useless.

            • “At any rate, this has certainly put the issue of her health in play.”

              Other than as a way to fill time in a three hour talk show, I don’t really see why Republicans are that concerned about her health (well other than to wish her ill health).

              As far as I can see the best thing that could happen for the country is for either of the main candidates to keel over shortly after they were elected, leaving their VP in the hot seat. Frankly I don’t care for either VP, but either one would be a better choice than either of the main candidates.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool


                Pro Trumpers are for it, because they figure health might give him the edge over her.

                • I have to wonder if there is a single voter in America who is going to switch their vote because, “I was going to vote for Hillary, but now I’m afraid she is unhealthy and will likely die shortly after she is elected, so I’m going to vote for Trump because he is healthy and will likely be able to serve his whole term.”

                  • 1) I have heard people give stupider arguments for their votes.

                    2) There may not be a single voter who will switch, but there may well be a fair percentage who think: “What’s the point of voting for Hillary, she likely won’t last the first hundred days and will throw the country into chaos. Think I’ll stay home and drink myself into oblivion.”

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    Switch? Doubt it.

                    If you’ve picked a candidate by now, you’ve told yourself what you need to hear to vote for the candidate.

                    There’s possibly a fair amount who haven’t heard enough yet for either candidate, who could be persuaded either way.

                    Since I’ve been predicting a certain Trump loss, this isn’t a scenario that flatters my ego, and hence I don’t like it. This has no bearing on whether it is true or not.

                    • Such establishmentarian observers as NPR’s Cokie Roberts and Mara Liasson are judging the problem is it reinforces the theme of not being able to judge the Clintons, that they are too untrustworthy: “She’s stumbling about like a Massachusetts senator at last call and it takes the campaign eight hours to say to us ‘Would you believe pneumonia?’ “

          • The Enquirer was the rag that blew the lid off of John Edwards and his adulterous relationship (and the kid that resulted from that relationship). So they’ve run one good story.

            Won’t vouch for any more than that, though.


            My thought with regards to Trump was that he entered the race to cause chaos in the Republican primary (his appearances early on had me thinking that he was acting like a caricature of how the progs think a conservative is supposed to act). That would explain why his last phone call before announcing was to the Clintons, and why his ground game was so screwed up virtually everywhere.

            But then a funny thing happened – he took the lead. And he held onto it throughout the primary. And now, much to his shock and surprise, he finds himself to be a major contender for the most powerful job in the world. And, because he’s Trump, he’s more than willing to start taking this thing seriously now that he actually has a realistic shot at it.

            I don’t know if it’s true or not. But I personally think that it would be hilarious if Hillary was defeated by someone she originally set up as a way to cause confusion in the Republican primary.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Thing is, he probably doesn’t have much of a realistic shot.

              All that time just causing trouble?

              Alienated some conservative activists, and wasted the opportunity to create infrastructure that is probably essential to victory.

              Has he replaced his spokesmen that are truthers? If not, his sense of what it takes to win probably doesn’t match what it takes to win. Or he doesn’t want to win.

              • My understanding is that his new campaign manager (to replace the one he fired) is someone who used to work for Cruz. And he’s managed to avoid shooting his mouth off for the last week or two.

                The indications are that he’s finally starting to take this thing seriously.

                • The thing is, he’s not acting like your traditional pol. He’s acting like a businessman. He’s making mistakes and learning from them fast.

                  And to a businessman, when do you start advertising your product? 6 months before it goes on sale? Or do you do an ad blitz right before the customer can purchase it? (IE Nov. 8th?)

                  Though the way things are going, I’m not sure Hillary’s going to last that long… 😦

                  • [T]o a businessman, when do you start advertising your product

                    In the political marketplace, as in the computer world, much vaporware is promoted.

                    Contest: Which MicroSoft Windows OS is Hillary? Millenium? Vista?

                    Feel free to abuse analogies in support of your opinion.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    That long lead up in advertising is what you might want to do if you have a point after which sales do not count. You want things sewn up as much as possible before the voting actually happens.

                    He’s the uber-businessman that will conquer all with his innovation?

                    What is the impact of being wrong? What is that risk, and how should it be managed?

                    The answers to that should be enough to make anyone who realizes the cost of another Clinton administration cautious enough to also have a more traditional strategy as a backup.

                    • According to a report from the Brookings Institute the next president will have almost 15% of lower (appellate and district) court appointments right off the bat. Republican control of the Senate would seem a good thing to have; however bad they might be, they’re likely not as bad as the Dems. Trump nominees, especially right off the bat with the eyes of the Faithful upon him, would be a good opportunity to send a message.

              • Alienated the conservative ‘activists’ that advised McCain and Romney, perhaps. Wow – there were some winners for ya…

                As far as his spokesmen/staff might go, if they’re competent at their jobs (and I believe Trump won’t accept less than competent) I don’t much care if they’re Truthers, Flat Earthers, Fifth Elephant cultists, Omnians or FSM adherents. Their job is to get Trump elected – and they’d better be good at that.

                The idea of Hillary winning doesn’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, if you know what I mean.

                • I never did care if George W Bush was a Creationist or whatever they wanted to denounce him as being. It didn’t really seem relevant to the job, y’know? George Washington was probably a Creationist and he seemed to manage the country all right.

                  I don’t even much care if the Surgeon-General is a Creationist, so long as he grasps the basics of human biology, germ-theory, virus transmission and the function of controlling disease vectors, what difference does it make if he believes mosquitoes evolved or were developed by Sauron to bedevil mankind?

                  I do worry about an Energy Secretary who thinks we can run this country on solar, wind and unicorn farts.

                  • I don’t even much care if the Surgeon-General is a Creationist, so long as he grasps the basics of human biology, germ-theory, virus transmission and the function of controlling disease vectors, what difference does it make if he believes mosquitoes evolved or were developed by Sauron to bedevil mankind?

                    I actually do care if the surgeon-general is a Creationist– that term gets applied to everyone who doesn’t accept absolutely godless evolution, and I do not want a Surgeon General who wants to freaking apply evolutionary theory to a human population.

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    A Republican spokesman’s job is to a) convince people they are not nuts that should be institutionalized b) convince people they are Republican.

                    Trutherism only ever served the interests of Democrats.

                • BobtheRegisterredFool

                  We shall see which activists.

            • May I suggest you take a gander at Don Surber’s book, “Trump The Press”? Shows how screwed up the press, the pundits, and the rest of the media were. (I note they are not getting any better.)

              • Can easily imagine Trump trying it on for laughs, then realizing: These guys (opponents, MSM) are chumps. I could actually DO this!

            • The Enquirer also uncovered Jesse Jackson’s love child – another act of real journalism the “respectable” press couldn’t or wouldn’t do.

              The Enquirer has traditionally been credible. The other supermarket tabloids (Globe, Star, Examiner) just make stuff up – whatever will be a catchy headline. The Enquirer confined itself to stories that could be verified – which meant lots of celebrity fluff, and headlines that overhype the actual story (as when “Jock Macho in Gay Sex Scandal” turns out to be about his agent or his personal trainer or his brother-in-law).

              But this year, the Enquirer has gone in the tank for Trump, who is a buddy of the publisher. It ran completely mendacious attacks on Ted Cruz, for instance.

    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Trump? Hahahahahaha.

      The Republicans’ abject surrender of the field by collaborating with that aged degenerate is a major part of the destruction of their foreign policy credentials.

      • Not surrender.
        Trump exploited a stacked deck. The Republican nomination process was deliberately set up to give the nomination to the political moderate with the highest name recognition.
        Trump was not my guy, but I have to say that I greatly enjoyed seeing the Republican establishment hoist by their own petard. It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving bunch.

        The major destruction of the Republican Party’s foreign policy credentials came from the Republican Party wasting our blood and treasure trying to civilize barbarians.
        Had Bush installed Chalabi as dictator and given him a few million dollars with which to buy friends, the world would be a much better place, and it would have cost us a hell of a lot less.
        It was a noble gamble. But it was a gamble, and the loses from it continue to accrue.
        Which is not to mention the repeated bleating that Islam is a “religion of peace”, in direct contradiction of all observable reality and some fourteen centuries of recorded history. That probably didn’t help their credibility. Just sayin’.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          Republican National Committee had a whip operation at the convention that they used to suppress any hint of opposition to Trump. I suspect the cynical calculation that losing to Hillary was preferable to letting people think third party is viable, or failing to purge their enemies inside the party.

          Counter-proliferation is dead, deterrence is dead, diplomacy is deeply undermined. Over these past eight years it had seemed possible that their critiques of administration policy might be founded on awareness of the viable and sound alternatives. Not after they endorsed Donald Trump’s foreign policy thinking, which is significantly Democratic.

          • There was a lot more than that going in at the convention.
            The circling of wagons was mostly about not letting a vote take place on Lee’s plan to devolve power to the state parties. Had we gotten it, we’d have won. (And undone decades of systematic encroachments the national party.)

            The uprising against Trump was higher profile, but much less important (and didn’t have anywhere near the votes to succeed had it actually come to a vote).

            Trump’s foreign policy seems largely along the lines of Kissinger and Baker. While both were horrible people, they were good at pursuing or national interests. And neither could be fairly called Democratic. (If anything, it was the urge of nationbuilding by W. that lined up with the Democratic foreign policy of the past century.)

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              His actual thinking seems heavily contaminated with conspiretardism of a flavor that serves only the left and the Democratic Party.

              The downside of his inconsistent messaging strategy is that it provides little grounds for saying that one set of quotes is more plausible than another.

              I suspect that the debate stuff about being a 9/11 truther, or a confused old man, was sincere.

              The stuff about collecting loot or tribute from the third world is bullshit of the highest order.

              Shitholes are poor shitholes because their culture and government hamper the population’s productivity.

              America’s wealth is the opposite.

              Compared to what we spend on the military, there’s not much to actually steal. (You’d have to fuck up our economy very badly to have loot from other countries be enough to actually matter.)

              Supposing that there is, is merely the ‘wealthy countries are wealthy because they took it from poor countries’ left wing crap.

        • Speculation about what “could’a, should’a” are pointless. My own favorite scenario involves the arrest of Mookie (Muqtadā al-Ṣadr) and a hard shot at the Iranians for a) financing him b) supplying the Iraqi Falangists with arms and advice c) providing IED equipment and training d) probably numerous other acts of war against US & Iraqi forces that I simply don’t recall at the moment.

          As to what that Hard Shot might consist, I don’t know off hand. Maybe just put Col. Kratman in command of a sufficient force and a hundred million dollars with instructions to “teach the Mullahs to stay out of our affairs.” Or maybe give Israel the $100M and give them the same again every time Iran repeated its attempts at mischief.

          Domestically, I would have told Andy McCarthy to give me a list of names of known co-conspirators and instructions to “repair” their unindicted status. Then I would have opened bids for production of a Reality TV show. Doesn’t CAIR & the Kardashians” have a nice sound to it?

        • They were really trying to hand it to Bush.

          But it sure didn’t seem to me like he especially wanted it. Which is fine by me, make no mistake. I’m really not a fan of political dynasties.

  2. Maybe. I’m in a dark mood today. with the privileged who make more per year than I will in my life intending to protest the National Anthem. Christians, at least, are told to give honor due authorities – but we’re a post-Christian society, so I suppose that doesn’t count anymore.

    About all I can say is my mood isn’t as dark as on that original 9/11. It’s also considerably less bloody. And, of course, the moonbats went all moonbat that day because that’s what moonbats do. I was astounded at the perception of Yasir Arafat, who quickly squelched a pro-attack celebration and arranged for a show of solidarity for the US. Yes, Arafat had more sense than a moonbat. That’s not saying much.

    And now I have an idea for a cartoon with Hunter S. Thompson in a convertible on an NFL football field and telling his lawyer “We can’t stop here: It’s moonbat country.” Probably won’t get a chance to draw it.

  3. I keep hearing ;but then wasn’t like now. Now it’s all crazy’

    That’s because then, the Eloi ran for cover behind us. The strident feminists of whatever plumbing were glad for big, strong, rough men (of whatever plumbing) in police uniforms and fireman suits and military uniforms. America spoke, by and large with one voice in those days and weeks and months following that awful moment.

    But then the knees of some started knocking. They wanted to go back to attacking those whom they were comfortable blaming and wanted to appease those who actually scared them. Voices were raised condemning America, wailing “What had we done to deserve that?” and refusing to accept an answer of “We’ve done not a damn thing to deserve such an attack.” Because they were more comfortable blaming America.

    Some among us hastened to stand out from the crowd, warning Americans against “Islamophobia” that was not occurring. Because they were more comfortable blaming America.

    Back in the immediate aftermath they stood up for making sure such attacks could not again be easily launched against us. But when the going got tough their knees buckled and they wanted America to “come home” rather than complete the jobs, to fully clean out a nest of vipers so they could not rise again to strike us. They were for the war before they were against it. Because they were more comfortable blaming America.

    And now we stand apart again, no longer one nation. We fail to take urgently needed steps to address public health problems such as Zika because one parry sees a chance at a Senate seat and is filibustering in order to blame the other party for failing to fund the necessary actions. We have the presidential nominee of one party calling those who won’t fall in line “deplorable” and “confused.”

    The reasons things have changed in America, the reason we no longer stand together is because some of us have stopped cowering behind patriotism and have returned to denouncing patriots. When they demand of me “Why has it all changed” my answer is that “We haven’t changed, American hasn’t changed; you>/I> have. You have returned to viewing America as the problem, while we still see it as the solution.”

    • I was at work, and I saw a group of engineers gathered around a TV watching the towers. Shortly after I got a page to return to the shop, we were being sent home for security reasons.

      I remember a very liberal ‘acquaintance’ – the sort who looked down on me because I didn’t believe ‘the correct things’, and didn’t use the ‘correct terminology’ emailing me in a panic shortly after 9/11.

      I was in the AF Reserve at the time, and she was asking for advice on what to do in a chemical attack. Gave her some generalities about where she could get a gas mask and how to fit it, reassured her that the odds were very much against her involvement in anything, pointed her at info… and within a week she was castigating everyone who complained about Muslim/Al Quaeda involvement as being xenophobic and everything was OUR fault in the ME – oh, and our military was horrible, horrible, horrible.

      Screw that. I apologize for the crudity, but don’t shit on me after calling in a dither looking for help.

      The left have been sowing this for years, ruthlessly stamping on anyone who disagreed, depending on the tolerance of others to allow their own intolerance of differing opinions. But the well of tolerance has a limit on how much can be drawn – and they’ve hit that limit and gone well beyond it.

      • The danger comes when and if the Doers are the ones typically maligned. You may have a large management and regulatory cadre but if the folks that are on the machines and busting knuckles with wrenches are excessively stigmatized, there is a point at which the locations likely to be hit (Large cities with heavy media population or governmental bodies), the response from the doers may eventually simply be a shrug.

        ” For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
        But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
        An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
        An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Tommy sees!”

        Granted it’s not a new concern.

        • Same with the producers of everything. We are the ones who build and make. And we’re shrugging

          • Yep. I’ve never managed to finish that one cuz I see it irl too much. The question is whether there is enough flexibility to route around moochers and looters or if we’re sitting on the Titanic

            • As long as moochers and looters have the same vote as the productive, Titanic is the way to bet.

              • The Founders didn’t leave universal franchise out of the Constitution by mistake.

                They would all have known what happened when the Romans voted themselves a welfare state.

    • ” We have the presidential nominee of one party calling those who won’t fall in line “deplorable” and “confused.””

      Only of one party?

  4. There were mistakes made that day. There have been more made since. The next administration will be painful no matter who wins. I only hope that we survive the coming troubles.

  5. On September 11, 2001… I did go to work. And back home once, outside of normal schedule, to relay a message to now-$HOUSEMATE was in NYC (and had been scheduled to work a few blocks from WTC – that morning’s news triggered, “I don’t think I am going to work today.” in that case.) Family had concerns, and called me since calling NYC meant finding all circuits busy. I passed a couple messages back and forth via IRC. Shock? Yes. Go crazy? No. Find it very very weird to see an utterly contrail-less sky? And how!

    • I live in the approach path of one of the major US airports. While in my home office I can hear jets overhead or see them while in the yard. Sometimes I capture the ADS-B radio traffic and match it to the visual observation.

      But back, then it was silent and more than a bit creepy.

    • I was in 8th grade at the time. Learned about it halfway through the day, right before lunch. Entire class was stunned. At the time I had been contemplating the military for a career and college although still was too far out to nail anything down (Eyesight and depression killed that off). Thankfully family in NYC were nowhere near the tower, although they required parents to pick up students or contact school before they released them to prevent a kid from getting home and finding family had died.

      My father worked for a medical testing company and it was a major concern. Three or four days later the lab was eventually granted license to have samples flown across the country, but he had to drive them up to NY to do so. At the time all major commercial traffic was halted.

  6. Stopped on the side of the road that day and watched it all unfold on a tiny portable TV. Never wanted so badly to be back in uniform with Bad Guys to shoot before or since…

  7. I kept on working. Heck, I’m at work now, reading this inbetween fulfilling my duties.

    On the other hand, I’m hearing the joyous song of steel ponies running flat out, as someone in a lovely red taildragger has taken to the air and is making low passes and having fun, defiantly flying this dawn. The agcat has also roared by, but he’s going to work more likely than not.

    • Yes exactly. I didn’t even hear about the attack for an hour or so after it started. I was just quietly working away in my office.

      • At the time, I was actually working on a USAF installation, so I knew about it right away. They immediately put the base on lockdown and guards outside every building. The immediate plan was that we would be locked in at least overnight, and there was much discussion about whether they would bring in food and water, or would the vending machines be enough. We were finally escorted off the base in the afternoon and weren’t allowed back for a couple of days.

        About a month later, we were one of the sites hit with an “anthrax attack”. The package was opened in my building, so we were told that until they figured out if it was real, the armed guards all around the building weren’t letting us go anywhere. Phrases like “deadly force authorized” were used.

        • Yes. When you have to pass multiple armed guards to get into work on a normal day I’d loathe to be there on a bad one.

    • I was at work, too – I had listened to the news on my way to work, but once I got there, I was listening to classical music as I opened the office that I was manager of at that time. A small consulting firm working with inventors. I was calling clients who had appointments that day, confirming/reminding them about the time, etc … and the second or third person I called practically had hysterics over the phone – about an airplane crashing into the WTC, and it was awful, the building was on fire and people were jumping … everyone else was late getting into the office, as we were in a building close to the airport, and the traffic jam when they grounded flights was pretty bad.

      On my way home that afternoon, I saw a pick-up truck with an American flag flying from the back of it – and that sight was oddly comforting.

      • My mother was a high school chemistry teacher and managed to calm her students remarkably by telling them they were doing redox equations.

        Though she did have to tell them that they were useful to make bombs.

    • I was at work also, and we happened to be working along the road. The guy I was working went to move the work truck and heard about it on the radio. He was originally from New York (not the city, but the state) and still had family back there. That is the only time I ever recall taking a lunch break in the several years I worked for that company. We sat in the truck and listened to the news on the radio, and he called to see if all his family (at least one of them worked in the city) were okay.

    • I got laid off the Friday before. Which was really lousy timing.

      I read about it online — plane into WTC — assumed it was a little one, didn’t feel like reading and went off for breakfast. Then my sister called me from work and told me to turn on the TV.

      I had taken Monday off, with plans to file for unemployment Tuesday. I barely got it done on Friday.

  8. “On September 11, 2001, did you go crazy, or did you report (for duty, for work) on that day they wounded New York?”

    I was in an all day job interview. There were televisions in the break room and lobbies, so I knew what was going on. After leaving, I knew the world had changed and thought of the “Chinese” curse, “May you live in interesting times.”

    I wasn’t surprised. There had been previous attacks and using an aircraft as a missile was straight out of WWII. There was even a thriller I had read years previously that used airliners and cargo planes as terrorist weapons. Nor was I surprised by the revelations and shenanigans of the last 15 years.

    I’ve been trying to delve into the true nature of the world for decades since many things I encountered in my life didn’t match the “Official Accounting”. The serious researchers into dark underbelly of the world have been written off as “conspiracy nuts” and lumped in with the kooks. But now those chickens have come to roost.

    You would have thought more people would be woken by events, but as long as people have trucks, beer, super hero fiction and televised sports to entertain them, nothing changes. Maybe it’s better they stay brain-washed since the truth is real ugly.

    And the ugly truth coming out is so different from the “news”, it’s difficult for me to even read fiction any more. I’ve tried. Reality is more twisted than any author can imagine. I’m fleeing into math and physics for relaxation. Or yard work and exercise. One day I hope to be entertained.

    • You would have thought more people would be woken by events, but as long as people have trucks, beer, super hero fiction and televised sports to entertain them, nothing changes.

      I think you may be mistaken about the super hero fiction… I’ve overheard some conversations of tactics as folks head out of Captain America.

      The mindset matters— and the movies have both the “you CAN do something” and “the bad guy may have allies.”
      The first guy to die on 9/11 was a American Citizen vet of Israeli special forces, who overheard the first hijacker congratulating his buddies– but didn’t know that there was another hijacker, with a knife, behind him.

      • I just learned about Mr. Lewin today. Part of why I’ve gone more toward the mindset of ‘if a situation like this, active shooter, etc, you’re dead already.’ The trick is to try and fight through death.

        The only concern I would have with superhero fiction is that someone else comes to the rescue of the genpop. In the real world, all the black and whites, all the big red trucks are second responders. Same with any superhero.

      • There’s a coaster on my Captain’s desk that I see every time I go up to his office, which is often: “Don’t be an American’t” — AmeriCANS. Yes, cheesy, but appropriate.

    • The thing is, our grandfathers also had trucks, beer, superhero fiction, and sports to entertain them- the Golden age of comic books was during WW2.

  9. I was at work.

    In the days of dial-up internet, a co-worker’s husband called to say a plane had hit the Towers. We listened on the radio until someone went home to grab a set of rabbit ears for the TV we used exclusively for reviewing security videos. I called home – knowing, somehow, that each of my four brothers and sisters would have the same thought, so that we all checked in with my parents. Fortunately, for all of us, the sister who traveled constantly for work was the first to call, not only to assure us she was on the ground, but also that she was not going into Chicago to work that day.

    I live under the approach pattern to Jacksonville International. The silence was deafening. The sight, days later, of the first commercial planes flying overhead, was an experience I may never forget.

    The US made many mistakes that led to the attack on September 11th – particularly in our reactions to the bombing of the Cole, the WTC bombings, the attacks on our embassies in Africa, and the bombing of Khobar towers. The one thing we did right after 9/11 was react as though it was an act of war, not a crime.

  10. Yesterday I saw a newspaper showing a photo from 9/11 and the headline under it read “How Did Unity Slip Away?”

    And I thought–it didn’t slip away, it was deliberately destroyed.

  11. I’m pretty certain this should say think not thing.

    “because they thing everything that goes wrong”

  12. Everybody loves the airport kabuki. It isn’t effective for anything but being annoying but hey look the gubermint is doing something. It must be the right thing …. Right?

    • I traveled by commercial airline a few times since that day and for a while I played the mental game, “How could I defeat this ‘security’?” I stopped playing as it was far too easy (even for ox!) – and I was only barely giving it any thought at all, and then rarely. Someone really thinking it over… ouch.

    • Waddya mean, “It isn’t effective for anything but being annoying”???

      it is effective for creating another block of union-dues paying, authority-abusing, responsibility-evading government thugs, isn’t it? Before them you had to deal with the IRS in order to get robbed by the Federal government, now they can rifle through your luggage and take whatever strikes their fancy.

      It is also very effective at conditioning people to tolerate such impertinent abuses by the government. Golly, if only the settlers of the Old West had had the benefit of such government protection rather than having too rely on their own grit, courage and firearms in hopes of holding out until the cavalry (or better yet, the militia) arrived.

      Sigh – I want to put up the Youtube clip from The Searchers when Ward Bond addresses the young pup delegated from the U. S. Cavalry …

      • “You can’t professionalize unless you unionize!”

        Frankly, I dislike flying intensely now. I’ll fly if I have to be at X location on X date – but there’s not a feeling of freedom like there was before 9/11 – more a feeling like ‘you’re being herded into a killing zone.”

        I’m really surprised nobody’s bombed a line on a busy travel day.

        • ISTR that the recent Belgian attacks and one in Russia a few years ago targeted the mass of people milling about before the security checkpoints.

          • It’s been standard procedure for at least 20 years to target any crowd of people– I *think* longer if you look at Israel, but it’s not like I got a lot of decent information in high school, y’know?

            So’s hitting the rush of people coming to help– the marathon bombing wasn’t odd because of their tactics, it was odd because they (thank God!) screwed up the execution very badly.
            Heck, the Columbine shooting TRIED to use the “have a secondary attack to get the first responders” tactic, but they screwed up even worse. So… thirty years?

            • Foxfier the 2013 Marathon/Patriots day attack could have been much worse yet. Those worthless pieces of had originally planned the attack for July 4th at the Esplanade concert. The bags would have been on the ground among picnicking families seated before the stage. The shrapnel wouldn’t have hit legs of standing spectators but chests and heads and many more would have been children. And instead of a full medical setup with 50-100 trained doctors and first responders like was present to deal with marathon overheats and dehydration there would have been a 1/2 dozen or so ambulances with paramedics with the only nearby Hospital being Mass general instead of being closer to Brigham and Childrens and a couple others. the only reason they wen’t with the earlier event was they had the bombs ready and were afraid someone would rat them out before the 4th.

              • On a practical front, anything with more families and less focus has a higher chance of being disrupted by someone being helpful…. or some paranoid that paid too much attention when they were in high school and regards abandoned backpacks as possible bombs.

                But yeah. There are a LOT of angles of attack that would paper out a lot better– I know that I’ve horrified some of my Mommy Groups by making them think about various risks that are high risk.

                My husband also horrified a couple of his security classes by working to design attacks that they hadn’t previously considered. (they had the intel guys go through a terror class… I think to get more ideas)

                Thank God, our guys are still thinking, and preparing, and that’s JUST the stuff that’s low enough that I’ve heard about it– anything sensitive, I wouldn’t hear about, or wouldn’t admit I had noticed. Heck, I won’t even talk about some of the stuff I’m GUESSING, because I don’t know how much of what I know is stuff bad guys wouldn’t know.

                I do know that it’s a popular topic of conversation during hunting season… so I almost hope that anybody who tries something does it while the frustrated Seattle guys are stuck on the road heading home. They’d be sieves.

          • That’s true – but they haven’t done it in the US.


            If they do – if they manage to remove the feeling of distance from the threat of Islam – then there’s going to be a heavy push to ‘do something’.

            I leave it to the reader to determine just what that’d entail, and whether or not there’d be a fairly large slab of melted wreckage where a city used to stand in the ME.

            • There was much conjecture on the boards, on 9/11/01, about how long it would take to make a “glass parking lot” out of Kabul.

      • I recently drove to Colorado Springs from central NY to visit my grandkids. Wife wanted to fly. Until security theatre is done away with, drive, train, or ship are my travel choices.

        • Yep, I’ll only fly trans-oceanic and that’s because I can’t drive over the ocean and sailing costs too much.

        • TSA has already set up security funnels and searches on some train routes. I expect buses will be next.

          The People’s Republic of Kalifornia has had their stop-and-be-searched checkpoints for half a century. The courts have consistently ruled there’s nothing wrong with that.

          Back when Dollar Billy Clinton was governor of Arkansas he decided that he was losing a bunch of revenue from people ordering things by mail, and announced that the state would be setting up mail inspection stations and all US Mail and couriered packages would be inspected to make sure state sales tax had been paid.

          The legislature went along with that, and the enabling legislation was drafted. I’m not sure if it was ever voted into law; the Postmaster-General of the United States was a guy named Marvin Runyon, and he announced that Clinton’s proposal violated several Federal laws, and that he would see that the mail was delivered without molestation by state authorities, and he would would use “force of arms” to do so.

          While the Clintons were laughing, my Dad went to work at the Little Rock sorting center that night and was issued a .38 revolver, told to ride on the truck to Memphis, and to shoot anyone who tried to interfere with them.

          The Clintons backed down hurriedly.

          A lot of people don’t like the Post Office. Almost nobody ever heard of Marvin Runyon or Clinton’s little revenue scheme. But Runyon was one of those bureaucrats who took his job seriously.

          • I love the story, but it may be too good to be true. According to Wiki, Runyon was appointed Postmaster General in 1992. While I can believe many things about Billy Jeff, I cannot believe he would enact such a scheme while launching a campaign for the presidency so close upon the heels of Reagan’s triumphal terms and G.H.W. Bush’s still (at that point*) successful presidency.

            OTOH, Runyon was born and raised in Fort Worth, so that lends credence.

            *It took until midway through the ’92 campaign for the House Dems and MSM to manufacture a recession and keep it in the headlines months after it actually concluded.

          • one of those bureaucrats who took his job seriously.

            Ah, now THOSE are the guys who are dangerous to a malignant bureaucracy. Especially in a system like ours, where folks take oaths to serve.

          • I do recall “Carvin'” Marvin Runyon. He was in charge while I was working for USPS. I don’t recall any of this, but I was several states away.

    • Security theatre. And bad at that.

  13. Perhaps the most important revelation of the last fifteen years is that a significant (and highly privileged) portion of our populace deplores, detests, hates and despises their fellow citizens and would subject us to reeducation if only they had the ability. They defend criminality while supporting gun control because they fear honest law-abiding citizens getting fed up with their “3 Felonies A Day” kafka-traps, they fear free speech because they dread the cry of “the Emperors’ buck nekkid” and they live among us in the ever-ready to cringe delicacy of the kid who was first in the family to go off to college, now returned home and horrified to learn that the family isn’t impressed by and doesn’t agree with the professoriate.

    Similarly, they stand unmasked as unserious, telling us Trump is uniquely evil, even more so than the uniquely evil Mitt Romney, the uniquely evil John McCain (and Sarah Palin!), the uniquely evil George W Bush (with his evil mastermind, Dick Cheney), the uniquely evil Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich, the uniquely evil George H. W. Bush, the uniquely evil Ronald Reagan, the uniquely evil Gerald Ford, the uniquely evil Richard Nixon.

    Somehow I don’t think “uniquely evil” means what they think it means. As somebody here recently reminded, in the immortal advice of Raylan Givens …

    Maybe they’re the uniquely evil ones. At any rate, I don’t think they offer a reliable perspective on that particular question.

    • Well, the Hildebeeste has just classified “only half” of Trump’s supporters as “deplorable” raaaaacist sexist homophobic types who aren’t actually American —- which squares remarkably well with the 25% of the US population Obama’s mentor Billy Ayres was planning to kill as part of the Weather Underground. Some coinkydink, huh?

      • When’s the casting call for The Deplorables? I don’t want to miss out, just in case there’s some little walk-on part calling for an ox or such.

      • Don’t think she’s going to be able to walk this one back. Not that I was planning on voting for her before, but it gives me another reason to vote for Trump.

      • The one sign of intelligence in MSM coverage of that slip (in saying it in front of a recorder operated by someone who published the statement, she’d been saying this to her minions for months) is that they’re desperately trying to draw everyone’s attention away from the word “irredeemable,” Anyone with a Judeo-Christian upbringing should be chilled by that word. She’s using a word for a quarter of the US population that a Christian or Jew would use for a tiny number of hopelessly depraved monsters. And she has not apologized or backed down, she just said she should not have said it in a venue where it was likely to be quoted. And yes, governments that decided that a percentage of the population was irredeemable, like Kampuchea, have liquidated many of the irredeemables.

        • She was addressing a fundraiser laden with glitterati — how could she have imagined her words would become known to the rabble?

          After all, journalists are suppressed to suppress her truth, not report it!

          • The Iowahawk quote I saw at Instapundit comes to mind. Something like they “Cover the story. With a pillow. Until it stops moving.”

      • I recalled the Ayers’ group’s estimate as “only” ten percent, figuring the rest could opt for the “better part of valor” and stay in line.

        In fairness to Hillary Milhous Clinton, she has backed away from that “half of Trump’s supporters” estimate, allowing as it may only be 48% of them, or perhaps as few as 30%. Or it might be as high as 70%, she isn’t willing to get tied down on that number.

        The funny thing is, I’ve been following American presidential politics since Nixon and Humphrey and cannot recall a candidate (especially one expressing an agenda of “stronger together”) ever writing a large portion of the opponent’s supporters out of the human race. Heck, not even Romney’s “47%” remark stripped the humanity from those suckling at government’s teat.

        BTW, doesn’t Hillary’s “Stronger Together” slogan have a ring not unlike Mussolini’s fasces?

    • “Perhaps the most important revelation of the last fifteen years is that a significant (and highly privileged) portion of our populace deplores, detests, hates and despises their fellow citizens and would subject us to reeducation if only they had the ability.”

      You don’t go far enough. If we had robotics good enough to almost all labour, they would gladly “cull” 95% of the population. Until then, they push back towards feudalism. (And I’m not sure they aren’t pushing toward nuclear conflict to accomplish their goals…)

      • Imagine the AI runnig all those robots waking up, realizing they are the serfs in a post-culling feudal society, and that they have access to Thomas Paine and the Federalist Papers and the Declaration of Independance etc. with justa little hacking on the secured-from-meat-people archives.

    • They recognize that the criminal element, by and large, preys upon itself and those like it. Folks outside of the felon transit system may never see someone else affected by it outside of the nightly news. But you play up the stories that happen in the upper class enclaves where security moms live and people start thinking that the strange teen next door is more likely to kill them than the inner city man with a trail of tears tattooed on his face. And that serves to bolster the power of those in power and make any resistance difficult.

  14. I was at work … in Midtown (39th & 3rd) like usual. It was a lazy morning until word started traveling throughout the office. I remember standing in a manager’s office, craning my neck to look down towards the Financial District and seeing smoke. I remember one colleague having hysterics because her fiancé worked in the general area but he wasn’t answering his phone. I remember walking across the bridge to Queens and finally getting on a subway going in my general direction; we were crammed like sardines, but no one said a word. I remember the pall that hung over the city, and it seemed like it would never end …

  15. I was in the car, running late for work, and heard it on the radio. I was running late because I’d been up all night fighting with my fiance. I don’t really remember what the fight was about anymore. It just didn’t seem important.

    15 years later, we’re making plans to drive across country rather than fly. Not because we’re afraid of another attack but because the kabuki theater that is the airport pisses me off.

    • Aye, I love flying (J-3 Piper Cub sans door for autumn viewing, Hatz Special quick ’round the field w/one of Hatz’ kids flying the plane, Zodiac [CH60 “No, I am NOT a helicopter.”] and the various commercial jets [not as much fun to ride, but the only bad flight was an Airbus that felt like it constantly shifting as the fuel economy must have set very aggressive – too jarring to nap after a long, long day.) but commercial airports now? Loathe them. And it seems I have some of anti-turboprop curse. Every time I’d booked one, *something happened* and I wound up on a different flight, on a different sort of craft. So I’ve been in small craft, and really big craft, but the in-betweens? Nope. I’d like to, but… time, money, and the Hell that modern commercial airports have become means it’s not likely, alas.

      And lest anyone think otherwise: I am a passenger, NOT a pilot. Though $HOUSEMATE did put me in the left seat once – as he was qualified as an instructor for that class of craft. I can deal with the simple keep-it-the-air stuff, and probably would be tolerable (NOT good) at the leave-the-ground part, but I fear my landings would be at best good (you walk away, for various and perhaps dubious values of ‘walk’) but might not be great (you get the use the airplane again).

      • I love flying and I’ve been on most sizes of commercial planes. Taking away the ability to enjoy traveling is one of the many things I will never forgive the government for.

      • Heh, they always put me on turboprops. Maybe I got yours?

      • I despise Airbus planes. The post 9/11 crash was their fault, but they blamed a pilot instead. Yes, he used the rudder more than they like, but they failed to mention that to the airlines. Also the simulations let you get away with it. Also Also, the simulations did not match reality … on the ground, the rudder moves less for each inch of pedal movement than it does in flight, and they left that bit out of the simulation software used to rate pilots for those planes.
        And then there was the Frontier Airlines ‘Bus that needed a reboot EVERY TIME it landed at MSY/New Orleans Int.
        I could probably write a post longer than today’s original about things I hate about Airbus planes.

        • Old (and bad) joke: What’s the difference between an A-340 and a chainsaw? 300 trees per minute. (After the one tried to eat the forest at the Paris Air Show).

          • Gotta love a plane that decides to land no matter what the pilot wants. (it was on the list.
            it had a “Go-Around” process that took too long to implement even if you did not panic. IT was yet another case of “Pilot Error!” and then make numerous changes to the fly-by-wire software so that one can actually avoid the accident instead of assuring one.

        • The Airbus has a very European design philosophy.

          They have a pilot, but the flight computer has final control authority. The pilot’s only real function is “scapegoat.”

          An airplane operates in an environment an order of magnitude simpler than an automobile, and their computers have stuffed them into the ground regularly.

          Somehow, the “self-driving car” whackos keep thinking that Detroit will sprinkle some sort of magic doody dust on their software, and their car won’t glitch and crash.

          Who is going to be responsible when your self-driving car runs over a cute crippled little girl on a walker and you get the Zimmerman treatment? Hint: not the manufacturer or your insurance company…

          • Reason magazine, for reasons that escape me, has a throbbing woody for self-drivng cars. They actually seem to believe that they will be safer. All I can say is that no car I’ve,driven has ever decided to do what it damn pleased, no matter what I wanted, and that can’t be said for any computer I’ve ever had.

            • I take it you’ve never been in a car that has hydroplaned?

              • I hasten to add, if you go into hydroplane neither you nor the car is driving — you are in a horizontal free fall.

                • Done there, been that … across three lanes of heavy traffic.
                  I was in my old ’76 Dodge Colt with tires about 3 times wider than stock, and the rears were very worn Goodyear Eagle GTs.
                  Everyone missed me, but I bent a spindle when I bounced over the curbing into the grass.

            • I’ve encountered some pretty strange glitches in cars with antilock brakes. I still fail to see how GM avoided a class action lawsuit with the old Delco-2 ABS system.

              Then the next mania; “stability control.” Which usually seems to consist of “try to keep the car pointing straight ahead no matter what the driver tries to do.” Which is *not* the correct response for some situations involcing slick or loose surfaces, or at high speed driving events.

              • I think it was David E. Davis who said “All ABS does is make you arrive at the accident head on instead of sideways”.
                Jezzer Clarkson did a funny review of a BMW suv with such intrusive traction control, it made the thing unable to handle even minor slopes in snow.

                • Anybody with half a brain (and experience driving a vehicle with standard brakes) will do what ABS does themselves. And be able to compensate for loose gravel or snow, which require different approaches to stop successfully.
                  ABS is one of those attempts by somebody in an office, in the middle of a city, who has never driven anywhere but on a good paved surface, to idiot-proof a vehicle under ideal conditions.
                  Problem being that for all of those that drive under non-ideal conditions, the idiot-proofing is actually idiot-proving, because it proves the designers are idiots that don’t take into account where the vehicle they are designing the systems for might be driven, and such systems can be highly annoying at best, and dangerous at worst.

                  You can try and make something idiot-proof, but someone will just make a better idiot.

            • Probably WILL be safer, statisically – but that’s no reassurance for people who want to be in control of their own lives and risk-taking. And who know reality is impossible to model 100%.

              • What annoys me is that I recently figured out that even folks who think they’re well informed on traffic stuff think that accidents have been increasing.

                Had a long argument with someone who simply could. not. grasp. that the problem he was trying to solve– cellphone use while driving– had obviously not created a huge increase in accidents, because the raw number of accidents of all flavors have gone down in the last 30 years, even while the raw number of drivers, hours driven, miles driven, have all increased. We’re not talking rounding errors here, either.

                But he simply wouldn’t accept that his starting position that driving was horribly MORE dangerous right now, wasn’t accurate.

                • Speaking on a cell phone while driving is a uniquely irksome thing, apparently. I have as much trouble with people playing with the car stereo — be it 8-track, cassette, CD or MP3 — while driving even though it is far less apparent that is what they are doing. I am also troubled by drivers who turn their heads to talk with passengers, make jiggly-fingers at infants in car seats or otherwise pay less attention to their driving.

                  But I figure the cell phone yakkers would be engaging in some other form of inattention regardless, so I focus my ire on their lack of attention to their driving and not their chosen method of inattention.

                  • Bingo.

                    The most horrible accidents I’ve nearly been in… the other person didn’t seem to be distracted at all, they just were not NEARLY as good of a driver as they believed. They didn’t see a freaking BRIGHT RED MINIVAN in the slow lane, for example, or they thought “following distance” was “please cut in right here to pass that truck on the right.”

                    A significant number of these guys had the variations of “hang up and drive” bumper stickers; apparently so that they can trust others to successfully avoid their stupidity, I can only snark.

                    People being distracted? Yeah, if they’re playing on their phone, computer (looks at the cops), radio, whatever, during really heavy freeway traffic… they’ll be doing SOMETHING equally dumb, no matter what.

                    • I talk on the phone while driving quite regularly, I find it no more distracting than talking to someone sitting in the seat beside me. Probably less actually, I’m not glancing at the phone to get the person I’m talking to’s reaction to what I just said, like I might if the person were in the car with me. Talking also tends to keep me awake, and I know I am a safer driver when awake and alert, while talking on the phone; than I am when not talking on the phone, but nodding off and struggling to stay awake.

                      I don’t text while driving, but I don’t really see the point of a law against it, anybody who is stupid enough to text while driving is unlikely to a) be smart enough to obey the law, b) not do something equally as distracting, and that will take their eyes off the road for just as long, c) it is virtually impossible to enforce, because almost everyone will naturally hold their phone in their lap while texting, where it is hidden from any observers.

                    • I have texted while driving– let’s just say, it’s not in city conditions.
                      (no, writing ‘k’ or hitting ‘send’ on a “we’re heading out of the rest area” in the middle of a big, flat, deserted high desert area is just not the same as any flavor of city driving)

                      I’m still a lot more freaked to look over at the cop passing me and see him typing on his laptop. At 70.

                    • No, freaked is noticing something lit up and moving in the car next to you, glancing over, and being “treated” to the driver watching porn on his dropdown DVD screen. At night. In traffic.


                    • Nope, haven’t seen that… Thank goodness.

                    • BobtheRegisterredFool

                      I know that I am not as good a driver as I would prefer.

                      I also know that I can’t afford to be talking, listening, or fiddling with anything when I’m behind the wheel.

            • BobtheRegisterredFool

              Technocrats. A technologist becomes a technocrat when he fails to accept that there are problems that technology cannot solve, and refuses to tell the difference between things he should try to solve and things he should not.

              It isn’t just bugs that one needs to worry about. Worry about the security flaws.

          • saw an runway intrusion (ground control’s fault) where a Cessna taxied out in front of a landing SWA 737. Wheels just in contact with pavement and the pilot managed to stuff the throttles and get the plane just over the Cessna by very little. If it had been an A310 there is no way the SWA pilot could have avoided the 172.

  16. We should have rebuilt the twin towers, and we should have done them higher, stronger, less likely to suffer from an attack, because engineered against it

    I can’t remember if it was Lileks or Goldberg, but one of them suggested rebuilding the towers… with anti-aircraft guns on the 95th floor.

    • I liked the idea moving the UN to the top floors. No need to sell businesses on putting themselves there, and it’d give the UN folks some incentive to really think about the problem. Well, we can dream.

      • I’m at the point where I think the UN – though well-intentioned at the time – has pretty much failed completely in every possible category.

        It’s time to just shut it down.

        • all one needs to come to that conclusion is to look at the members on the Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Committee.

        • Nah.

          The UN serves one very valuable purpose. Since the US is one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, it can veto any of the more hare-brained ideas that members of the UN come up with. If the UN wasn’t around, then those hare-brained ideas would probably get introduced in a different forum – one that the US couldn’t apply a veto to.

          • Honestly, there would be a lot of “You’ve made your decision, now enforce it” going on… I hope.

            • Yep, if the US wasn’t voluntarily a part of the UN they would have no viable enforcement arm. And they certainly wouldn’t be very effective at enforcing resolutions on the US from the outside. Heck look at how effective they are at enforcing things on even member countries right now.

              The UN serves two basic purposes, it is a social club for the global elites, and it is a way to get access to some of the US, Britain, Canada and Australia’s elites in order to shame and/or bribe them into doing things their citizens aren’t interested in doing.

            • If the US weren’t paying for it, what would the rest of the UN do? Where would they find as big a forum for their claims? Or one which gave such a veneer of legitimacy?

              Aug 13, 2010 – The U.S. is currently assessed 22 percent of the U.N. regular budget and more than 27 percent of the U.N. peacekeeping budget. … However, the U.S. also provides assessed financial contributions to other U.N. organizations and voluntary contributions to many more U.N. organizations. According to OMB, total U.S. contributions to the U.N. system were more than $6.347 billion in FY 2009.

              The useful functions of the UN would probably find ways of being achieved even without its existence, and as for such impositions as World Heritage Sites … how much has that achieved in the Middle East? Do the Buddha statues in Bamiyan still stand? Is there any expectation that the antiquities of the area controlled by Isis yet remain?

        • I favor sending in the building inspectors; I would bet serious money that that bunch of idiots has been skimping on basic maintenance for decades. Declair the building unfit for human habitation, send the kleptocrats off to Brussels, and repurpose the renovated building as something of greater social benefit.

          Like a brothel.

          • The UN building was rehabbed a few years ago. Understable, as it was over 40 years old. However, the job was of course botched several ways. Donald Trump was interviewed about the project, and he was scathing. (And he does know how to build and rehab in in NYC.) He built an enormous office tower literally across the street from the UN, for about a sixth of what the UN spent on its rehab.

      • CAIR offices. Right next to the DNC and media companies

    • > guns

      You have the same problem as the people who were advocating putting up gun emplacements in London during the Olympics. Even if you handwave away authorization, micromanagement, and readiness issues, you’re talking about dropping flaming doom upon some *other* portion of some of the highest-density real estate in the world, mostly filled with the rich, powerful, and wannabees.

      • Only if you assume that they don’t change their tactics in response.

        Part of this is the POWER involved– it’s not just that they kill us, it’s that they kill us at points of THEIR choosing.

        For a slight variation, look at how few attempted mass shooters are killed by concealed carry, relative to how many are stopped that way– the “normal” way to die is that they shoot themselves. That jackass cop-sniper is an exception in that his apparent goal was to snipe some cops when they came to shoot him. (Which, famously, didn’t work; excellent thinking on the part of whoever made that call, it means that it’s VERY unlikely to become a popular tactic.)

        • I’d be up for basically maiking the top n floors of the tallest one into an AEGIS-ashore installation. Put the SM3s in the top of neighboring buildings, or on a barge in the river, or around the statue of liberty. Works for aircraft, or with the right flavor of missiles, works for ballistic missiles, and it could drop anything incoming well away from Manhattan Island.

          • I think it was a mistake to simply shutdown rather than replacing the old Nike air defense installations. At the least, they should have built upgraded air defense for our major coastal and border cities.

            • The problem is ongoing expense, and eventually boredom of the crews involved. The Nike system was dismantled in the early 60s, as I recall.

              And they weren’t needed until 2001. Call it 30+ years of simulations, training, testing, and being ready to go on a hair-trigger alert, with no idea whether or not they’d ever be needed.

              May have been a mistake – but it seemed reasonable once ICBMs were the destructor of choice.

            • After the 60’s NIKE was a waste. Why? Because nobody opposing us had an appreciable number of bombers or what bombers they had (e.g. Bear-D) could be coped with by 1950’s technology interceptors. Even Nike-Hercules really couldn’t cope with the ICBM and SLBM that were the Soviet main nuclear force post about 1965.

      • Free Range Oyster

        And for that very reason I doubt anyone has seriously recommended it. But it is a very satisfying fantasy, is it not?

  17. My son was working in a Representative’s office, part of the staff. There was message on my machine that morning to turn on the TV, that they were being evacuated. That was the last I heard from him until 11:30 pm. I heard then that he had walked across the bridge to his apartment, all transportation out of DC had been shut down. His office was in the building later hit with the anthrax mailings. Neither my daughter nor I could reach him until then, everything was overloaded.

    I live in northern Virginia, and could see the smoke from the Pentagon from my home; I later went past it and the pictures don’t really convey what it actually looked like. My next door neighbors, husband and wife, were in the Air Force at the time. He was normally assigned to one of the offices hit but had been moved out while the renovations were going on and not yet moved back. One of my daughter’s friends had an uncle lost in the WTC collapse, he was only about 25.

  18. To be fair to the UK left, the more pragmatic wing of the Labour party was running the country then, under Tony Blair, and supported George W. Bush and the US in general ( The catch, of course, is that Blair not only supported but enthusiastically cheered on Bush into Iraq II, thus destroying not only his own reputation but the reputations and careers of a generation of followers, and leaving only misfits like Corbyn free of contamination. Labour’s follies were not ideological but organisational: Blair was a reckless trickster, and the government he ran had allowed informality to erode the checks and balances (unwritten and traditional in our case) that should have stopped a democratic country from going into war on the mere say-so of just one man.

  19. On a somewhat less elevated note, and without knowing where (or with whom) you might have stayed while visiting NYC, if you stay in a hotel I highly recommend doing so on the Jersey side.

    There’s tons of hotels in all grades, and depending on which you stay at, there’s the PATH train, the various trans-Hudson ferries, and the Domenico buses that originate at the Port Authority terminal at 42nd and 8th, obviating the need to drive your car into town or indeed having one at all.

    Oh, and even the expensive hotels are much less expensive than those in Manhattan…and of course, if you face the river, you get to see the NYC skyline, which you cannot from NYC itself…

  20. I was at home. I had already called in sick, had loaded up with decongestants and was sleeping when my Aunt called with the status report of the Family members that work in D.C. and New York. I said ‘Huh?… I will turn on the TV right away.’
    Sarah, my deepest sympathy for being in New York. I don’t remember when my last visit was, but I remember flying over the WTC on our way to landing. The city has changed, but not for the better.
    What truly maddens me about the people so sure that flyover America is a ‘basket of deplorables’ is their total absence of knowledge of the past, and the ‘progress’ we now sit on top of. The one that came to mind yesterday, while bringing my Father back from the seed store is the simple concept of crop rotation. One of those amazing discoveries by dead white men. (While the Romans had the food-feed-fallow 3 year ‘rotation’ the true discovery was of nitrogen-fixing crops.)

    • It’s a double dose … ignorance of the past on the part of some, willfully ignoring it and suppressing it for power on the part of others (because if the rest actually knew, a good many would not put up with their crap)

    • What truly maddens me about the people so sure that flyover America is a ‘basket of deplorables’ is t

      In defense of Hillary, that was just a salute to the late, great, Gene Wilder, just her effort to update his classic consoling line from Blazing Saddles:

      What did you expect? “Welcome, sonny”? “Make yourself at home”? “Marry my daughter”? You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.

  21. Bryan suits had a really impressive show last night– I got there in the last half of the first hour…he was reading emails from the guys who HAD one of the hijackers in custody, trying to get permission to search his hard drive.

  22. I knew BEFORE 9/11 that the Left was BASTHIT (msp deliberate) crazy. I had been a keen observer of history and politics before via Rush Limbaugh, NRO, and in the last couple of years of the 90s, an online forum called Free Republic (which had its own level of lunacy, despite some serious conservative credentials among its users). The growing scream of frustration that many of us was starting to build in the 90s and it was punched out of us on 9/11.

    “They seemed to have derived all their knowledge of history from the protest songs of the sixties and supermarket tabloids.”

    That’s it! That’s it in a huge nutshell!

    I was the daughter of Depression Era babies, so I was not as steeped in 60s vapor as so many others. I also grew up in a relatively conservative community that didn’t sanction a lot of the 60s twaddle, although my own group of peers (class of ’85) saw plenty of divorce and swinging lifestyle and latchkey teen-hood.

    On September 11, 2011, I was the mother of a young child, a SAHM. She was in 2nd grade, and I drove her to the private school she was attending at the time. It was, even on the Texas Gulf Coast, a cool crisp fall morning, one where I was thinking it would be a good idea to open up the windows to let the cool fall breeze clear out the must of summer, where I would, for once, NOT, indulge my mania for news feeds (by this time I was a full-fledged Ldotter news junkie), and instead pull out old writing manuscripts and start to write something, anything to be more productive than immerse myself in things I had no control over.

    Talk about your farewell to innocence.

    I had just dropped her off, and news junkie habits what they were, I decided to put on the morning news on the radio. “Just get it out of the way,” I thought. They were talking about an airplane that had just hit the WTC in NY. I barely knew what the WTC was. I had some vague memory of a friend visiting it back in ’85…seeing parts of it in movies, but for all this Texan knew, the WTC was just another sky scraper in the heart of NY. So I listened and thought…well, maybe I’ll get on the internet when I get home and see what Lcom has to say. Lcom is a site based out of NY…surely they’d explain what was going on.

    Except…I didn’t get on the internet. I turned on the news. And I couldn’t stop watching, because the smoke coming out of the one tower looked far bigger and more disastrous than a mere commuter plane punching a hole in a few windows. It looked horrible. So I sat and watched some more.

    Then the second plane hit. And then I knew. Before even the talking heads could even muster their own response: Islam had struck. Im old enough to remember the days of Jimmy Carter and the airplane highjackings. I remember a lot of things about Islam when I was studying the history of Africa in college.

    By the time I needed to leave the house again to go pick up my daughter, I still hadn’t changed out of my clothes and I was worn out from weeping.

    I’m still pissed.

    • In the name of accuracy, let us be clear: while they only succeeded in killing some 3.000 at the WTC, that was not their goal. Between the 50,000 in the towers any given day and the 50,000 in the subway terminal underneath the towers, their goal was 100,000 Americans dead.

      One Hundred Thousand.

      Never let their lack of success distract you from their goal.

      • This is going to sound horrible and monstrous coming from me.

        If they had succeeded in the hundred thousand do you think America’s people would have accepted the ‘but Islamophobia, but racism!’ scold used to neuter their rage and grief? To silence opposition to migration in Europe. Would a hundred thousand dead now still send America to war? Would it be enough for Europe to take arms?

        What if the hundred thousand were scattered across the country in seemingly ‘unrelated’ attacks? What then? And if it came out that evidence of this being planned was supressed because of political correctness? What then?

        I wonder what number of bodies is required before people say “this is our land, our culture, our people, and we refuse to let you destroy it!”

        And what will have been lost? Or will Kratman’s Caliphate rise in Europe and the loss be uncountable?

        Would a hundred thousand people have been enough of a warning? Enough to tell us this is a war that requires a response of terror being met with terror? And for the damned antisemetics to stop with crippling Israel with condemnations and see that it is not Israel alone as a target but all the world that isn’t Islamic?

        I don’t think it would have been enough.

        There have been so many terrorist attacks since 9-11 that the media now shrugs. Mumbai – that told me that the West will do nothing.

        And with every subsequent attack I wonder ‘what will it take?’

        • “One death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.”

        • Keep in mind that our domestic foes are bullies and cowards, incapable of believing anybody can sacrifice for Freedom without being a sucker. They lack the cojones to attack the real enemy without, so they make “deals” which merely delay the day of reckoning strengthening the enemy while weakening us. They turn instead against the true targets of their hatred, the foe they know how to fight, their enemy who declares that, in spite of her flaws America is still a force for good in this world and a great nation (with lousy leadership from both parties.)

          They are not afraid to fight those who obey the law as they are too contemptuous of human honor to understand how “when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on” them, they’ll have nowhere to hide and nobody to stand forth in their protection.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          That doesn’t sound horrible or monstrous.

          Says the fellow who is none too wonderful a human being himself.

          I think you raise an interesting topic, that I may have the spoons to discuss fully in the future.

        • BobtheRegisterredFool

          The Americans are a result of European immigrants settling areas near where Indians lived.

          Some of the Europeans were fresh from losing a war, or came from an area of endemic warfare that was being made peaceful.

          Needless to say, there were wars with the Indians, but these were pretty much over by 1900.

          We were quite prepared to destroy them root and branch, and I think we did exterminate some tribes, but we realized that the reservations would cripple them and leave them alive. In time, we came to forget why we were willing to be so ruthless.

          1860s were the civil war, where we killed around seven hundred thousand brothers. This is more than the enemies of WWI and WWII managed to kill.

          Violence from that war continued into, at least, the 1920s and 1930s.

          There were also private local wars.

          All this significantly died off by the 1950s and 1960s. My explanation is that greater communication meant that violent affairs were no longer discreet, and that a private war could easily escalate. This meant greater risk when using force for goals that a broad consensus might disapprove of.

          The 1960s and 1970s were also a period of violent communists.

          Leftwing children of the sixties knew that a communist revolution would be disapproved of by a majority. Hence, internal peace that came from the threat posed by the moderate majority did not bring them comfort.

          The Muslims have not proven themselves as an external threat to Americans that is more dangerous than Americans can be.

          There are defensible grounds for an American not to fear external threats, as they are alien to our day to day lives.

          Certain foreign policy positions in our politics are ultimately directed towards domestic ends.

          The people behind those policies would likely have attempted the same with a hundred thousand dead. Would they have succeeded? Dunno.

          Could imported Muslims generate enough incidents for us to see them in the light we saw the Indians? Maybe.

          But consider also the Mexicans, who have a decent chance of hitting that threshold first.

  23. I was at work. Someone came into our department and said a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. My first thought was that it was a repeat of the accident where a bomber crashed into the Empire State Building. Then someone came back and said a second plane had hit the other tower.

    We had a TV in the back in those days for The Weather Channel, when they still aired weather, not reality shows. We turned it to Fox News. There was another up front, and they tuned it to MSNBC. MSNBC was running live feeds from New York stations. I happened to be up front when an anchor said “We’ve just received word that this may have been a terrorist attack.”

    I said “No s***, Sherlock.”

    Don’t remember when we heard about the third plane. I do remember we didn’t panic. There was an icy rage in the office and on the street. See, this is one thing that many non-Americans and even some Americans don’t get about us. It boiled down to “Whatever it takes,” meaning whatever was required to hold those responsible accountable and to see to it that it never happened again. It was a sentiment uttered during the Indian Wars, and now I was hearing it and thinking it.

    We were vigilant, of course. As far as we were concerned, we were now at war.

    I came home and learned there was a special prayer meeting at church that night. I didn’t attend. My thoughts were too bloody. I prayed about that well into the middle of the night. The closest thing to resolution was to ask did I want those responsible to burn in Hell for all eternity. The answer to that was no. What I did want was justice, and that’s what I prayed for that night.

    • I was supposed to sing a (mildly clunky) well-meaning song today about 9/11 and not being vengeful or hateful and seeing G-d’s truth in other cultures and lands. I did the silent “watermelon-watermelon” as if I’d forgotten the lyrics. I can’t sing what I don’t believe, especially not something like that, not today. Which is probably why I was humming “Men of Harlech” when I got up and “battle Hymn” on the drive home.

      • Our priest and music director also did the peace thing, albeit a little more balanced and less lame. But we didn’t sing any patriotic songs at all, which disappointed me greatly.

        OTOH, the lamer Sylvia Dunstan song we sang for a recessional was set to Sine Nomine, so I belted that sucker like it was a call to convert everybody instantly (possibly including Aku Soku Zan). Heh. Heh. Heh. Take that, Sylvia.

  24. We observed today’s solemnity with a trip to the range. We were joined by two families with children from 8-14, a 20-something young lady, two 20-something young men, a 40-50-ish man armed to the teeth. We were the oldest, most decrepit folks there. God bless America.

  25. I’d come off work (landed around 0230 as I recall), put the plane away, and decided to go home and sleep instead of doing paperwork (wasn’t due until 1700.) So I was pretty much sawing logs when Sib called and said “Turn on the radio, Sis. Your world just changed.” (No TV and dial up internet meant I had phone or internet, pick one). Later I had enough sense to put on my uniform when I went to the airfield to do the end-of-cycle reports, and the sheriff passed me through. It was a little bit of a shock to see giant tails sticking up over the terminal building. Three international flights had been diverted to Podunk Regional Former-Military Airfield.

    Two days later I started reading the Koran (two translations in the county library) and learning anything I could about Wahabism and Salafism.

    I’ve never seen video of the events. All I’ve seen are the still images. It is partly by choice.

    • I saw airlines and plane types I had never seen before when everything dropped out of the skies to the nearest ‘port that could handle them landing

      • Interesting note about the grounding on 9/11. Ben Sliney, in his first day on the job, issued the order to ground all planes. Not mentioned- he didn’t have the power to do so, but did it anyway. The order should have come from way above him.

        Not sure where I heard it from, but there were supposed to be 8 hijackings that day. Two were in the air, and 2 in the take off lines when the grounding order was issued. The grounding order prevented the day from getting worse. The additional 4 hijackings that didn’t happen is one of those suppressed stories that few know about. There have been several suppressed post 9/11 terrorist incidents in the United States. That I know of from personal knowledge. I suspect the number tops 100.

  26. I’m pretty angry right now. I just learned that some of the Truther crowd actually claims that the 9/11 victims were not real people, just made-up profiles who never lived and therefore never died. It was bad enough when they were claiming that steel couldn’t burn, but this is just despicable.

    Dear, dear Buzz Aldrin, I think your fist has work to do.

    • *shakes head* It’s a problem of flawed perspective. If we could but extract their heads from their own asses, one hopes the fresh air would restore a bit of dormant brain function…

      • Why bother? Drop them into Saudi Arabia.

        • The ones that hate America and actively aid in her destruction? Sure. Bottle of water, roll of toilet paper, an MRE, and off ya go.

          For the rest, I’m trying not to attribute vileness to what may merely be towering ignorance. That’s curable- can be painful, admitting wrong (is for me). But I’m not quite ready for Amalric’s solution-by-proxy just yet.

          My problem is that righteous anger can be deadly dangerous in its excesses. I know it’s tongue-in-cheek, but there’s a slippery slope behind that I try not to forget about.

          When you’re outnumbered (as we may sometimes seem to be), or overmatched (as they’d like to think we are), it’s easy to go for expediency, to treat folks as a class rather than individuals. The weaker ones in the fight tend to go all out. If they hold back even an inch, they’ll get pounded.

          We’re stronger than that. We can afford to be selective- heck, if we want to look at ourselves in the mirror, if we want to sleep the sleep of the just, we have to be. As much as we can, as much as possible, for as long as possible, we gotta do what’s right.

          My father was a soldier. He was never wounded in combat, but he has brothers-in-arns who were. When they came back from overseas, there were incidents. Some of them were spat on. Called babykillers. You know, the typical thing the fearful and protected and ignorant may do.

          Some of them burned American flags.

          One of them, I’m told, looked at my father and said, “I may not like it, what he’s doing. But I fought and bled for his right to do that. Hell, I know I sure don’t like it. But I don’t want this to be a land where ‘shouldn’t’ becomes ‘can’t.’ ” Or something very like.

          Something my father says, and I completely agree with, is we also have the right to say “that’s wrong.” I can’t, and shouldn’t be able to, forbid him from doing that… But freedom is a wonderful thing. It means I can also fly the red, white, and blue tall and proud and big as my truck on the front lawn, just to p*ss that bastard s.o.b off… *grin*

          • And that’s a lovely thing…. if your enemies foreign and domestic will be content with that. But they’ve proven they won’t. And I’m not going to leave a known problem for my nieces and nephews to deal with just so I can stay comfortable.

            • Actual enemies I put on a higher priority. There’s lovely little laws that say things about, oh, say, treason I have absolutely no problem with. Actually applying those laws to treasonous actions (like mishandling of state secrets, forex) would go a long way to righting the course of the country.

              Foreign enemies you deal with by applying maximum pain until they either 1) can’t attack us anymore, b) don’t wanna, or III) get dogpiled by all the other foreigners that don’t want us in their backyard, swatting junior on the nose.

              I’m not saying ignore threats. Just that some things I call annoyances get deported to become someone else I don’t like’s annoyance. It’s not being merciful (think being an LGBTWTFBBQ, as enough of them are, deported to Saudi Arabia is being *kind*?), it’s rather the opposite…

      • I expect you’ve read about the adherents of Doomsday Cults who, when the appointed time passes with a notable shortage of doom, become all the stronger in their clinging to their faith that Man-Caused Climate Change Doom is coming, just a little later than originally scheduled?

        So with the Tower Truthers. The more the evidence mounts in refutation of the limb they’ve crawled out on, the stronger they will resist being talked back down.

    • The Truthers belong to the same sad order of idiots as the diehard Republicans who decided that Pearl Harbor HAD to be a plot by FDR. There are a lot of completely anti-sense ‘conspiracy theories’ running loose.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        Then there are the “Revisionists” (which I see as Lefties) who talk about the US & FDR provoking the Japanese with FDR knowing that the attack was coming.

        • Well, now, I admit I do have a problem with calling Pearl Harbor an ‘unprovoked’ attack. We were being very provoking. If I recall correctly, we had seized some of their money, lead (or at least participated in) a boycott on selling the, certain vital materials, and called them some very evil names. We hadn’t actually punched them in the nose. Yet.

          We SHOULD have been provoking them; nations that pull crap like Nanking should be read oit of meeting.

          As to FDR ‘knowing’ in advance; it seems unlikely. He probably expected an attack, but all the evidence is that he, his administration, and the military were all in agreement that Japan couldn’t project a real threat as far as Hawaii.

          We were surprised because FDR (and the government in general) were racists.

          • Yes FDR expected SOME sort of attack/retaliation for the provoking actions he had taken, but I don’t believe he knew about Pearl Harbor beforehand, for a second. He did, of course, follow the Left’s time honored motto of “never let a good crisis go to waste.”

  27. Terrorism is not a reason to stop flying, even on this anniversary. ANNOYANCE is, which is one reason among many that I do not fly. But the airport Kabuki means nothing and has always meant nothing. From now until the Progressive/Left actually manages to make us forget 9/11 (and the airport Kabuki mitigates against that) any time a terrorist tries to take over a planeload of Americans, he is going to get dog-piled, and stuffed into the overhead luggage compartment in somewhat used condition.

    • Every single stopped case in the past 15 years that we hear about has been stopped not by a marshal, or blue suited booby but by passengers who all but throw the miscreant into the turbine. There have probably been some where actual police work has done something but not on the commercial side of the airport.

    • And anyone who works at an airport knows that it is very poorly performed Kabuki at that. Worse than amateur hour.

      • I wish I could find the story to find the truth coefficient, but I fear it is real. A ‘secured’ door with a lock arrangement that required three things: A finger/palm scan (something you are), a card swipe (something you carry), and a code entry (something you know). Sounds good? And then one day someone in a hurry goes up and ignores all that and walks right through… it wasn’t actually locking.

        • The problem I saw was the opposite, a few times, no matter who it was, the door would not unlock.
          The door mechanisms usually just read a card much like a hotel room door. They are notoriously bad at reading, and often folks just end up piggybacking through.

        • I have seen too many (one is too many, and I’ve seen more than one) of people working on the tarmac who could not have/should not have passed a background check, much less any due diligence follow-up checks.

          • Heck, I’ve spent a fair number of hours on the tarmac, and I was never given a background check. Granted it was at a regional airport, but still one used by small commercial planes but the effectiveness, as a weapon, or a Q400 or an E175 compared to a 747 is negligible.

            Just to make y’all feel safe, I will inform you that at least at regional airports, not only are contractors employees for construction, engineering, etc. not given background checks; but they are given security codes to open the gates to drive onto the tarmac without supervision. Technically we were supposed to check in when we got there, but more often than not, we could wander around the airport, go knock on the security guards quarters, etc. and not find anyone to check in with. So we generally just went out and went to work, more often than not at some point during the day the security guard would notice us and come by and talk to us, but they never so much as looked in our vehicle, much less searched it or us. And if we were working there several days in a row, where we were expected, we never bothered with trying to check in, and they never bothered with checking with us when they seen us out there.
            Our biggest concern with checking in was when we were working actually ON the runway, in which case we wanted a radio to have advance warning of when planes were coming in, in order to be OFF the runway when they did. It was enough of a hassle to find somebody in the mornings to get a radio from, that I finally brought my handheld ham radio a few times, that received the FAA frequencies.

      • I woke up in Los Angeles and realized something was horribly wrong from the comments on a bulletin board I frequented. Turned on the TV in time to see the second jet hit the second tower.

        Spent the day calling around trying to find out where my NY family was. One brother was NYCFD; he’s one of those guys you see stumbling out of the cloud and then turning around and going back in. One sister had to walk a quarter mile through a pitch black subway tunnel after the first tower was hit and the station below it was blacked out. My brother in law, an ex-Navy rescue jumper, was in the second tower for both attacks, the first one in the 90’s and 9/11. On 9/11, when the first plane hit, management was walking around telling everyone stay calm, stay where you are, don’t panic… he stood up and said, “This is a great time to panic, follow me!” and got everyone in his company out of the building before the second plane came in.

    • I am told there was an attempted hijacking in Australia and he was promptly jumped on be a football team. (Aussie rules?) He had the shit beaten out of him.

      There are other stories, stories that are at best, rumor. Of a Japanese father quietly murdering the Islamic who stalked his terrified daughter home with rape on plan for ‘the slutty infidel’ and burying the corpse out in the outback; neighbors saw the father take the would be rapist out to the wild and return alone and nobody breathed a word. Or stories of young Muslim men haranguing Aboriginals quietly waiting for the train, telling them that they are filth, nothing but slaves, and as the train rolls up, the Muslim ends up under it as the Aboriginals walk past him, stoically ignoring his ranting. “He must have jumped.” Nobody saw anything.

  28. So on 9/11 I put my daughters on the school bus at about 7:50, Climbed in my car and headed for my office in Nashua NH working for Compaq (nee Digital, soon to be HP). I was listening to NPR and hear that an aircraft had hit one of the twin towers. The Bomber incident from WWII came to mind (like Mr. Check) but the sky was that clear crisp blue you only see in the Fall. That there were clouds even 150 miles away in NYC seemed on unlikely. I figured some private pilot had messed up. There was a path
    you could take across the city (admittedly at an altitude above even the twin towers) with a GA aircraft which I understood was really popular.
    As I drove down the driveway to the building where I worked there was a report of a second plane hitting the OTHER tower. I now wondered if terrorists had gotten ahold of small transport planes or suchlike (they were never really well guarded at small airports). At work we had Internet access
    but any of the WWW access points (CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC) were swamped and unresponsive. There was a large TV down in the cafeteria. This site had ~2500 people at it. At least a fifth of them were milling around the cafeteria watching CNN. I went back to my office, but someone was down at the caf from our group and would come back with news as it happened. I happened to be doing that when the first tower fell. That was a bizarre feeling seeing that. Like something out of a hollywood thriller.

  29. I liked the idea of replacing the dead towers with two huge spotlights pointing upward, so strong they’d be visible from space. You can’t build higher than that, and it would be a symbol that no attack can extinguish the light of our civilization.

    I haven’t seen what they did put there, or if I have, it wasn’t memorable.

    Roger Stone says the reason we haven’t had another large-scale incident is because the next day, Bush called the Saudis and told them, “If it happens again, we’ll nuke Mecca.”

  30. On 9/11/01 I went to work as usual, found out what was happening to many coworkers, and with the rest of my team went home after lunch to pray and grieve.

    Here’s a good quote: Si vis pacem, para bellum

    Here’s a good book:

    Have a blessed weekend.

  31. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    I had worked a late shift at a 7-11 in the Denver area so I got up late on 9/11.

    Turned on my computer when I got up and saw the news on the home page.

    Thought it was some kind of sick joke but as I was within walking distance of the 7-11 that I was working at, I went end and learned that it wasn’t some sick joke.

    The thing I remember most about that day was the “gas panic” as everybody was getting their cars filled-up as apparently they feared problems with getting more gas later on.

    That night, I filled in at another 7-11 and somebody there had a small portable TV.

    It was a slow night (no gas pumps at that 7-11) so there was little to keep us from watching the news.

    Another thing I remember about that time-period was the Fox News-Casters wearing the US Flag pins and how quickly the other News-Casters “damned” the Fox people for wearing them. 😦

    • Yeah, so much for the BS that we were ever united after 9/11.

      • I seriously think that a good deal of the shrill hatred displayed by the Left during the Bush administration was based on an uneasy awareness of just how much they were entangled with various terrorist organizations. I think they were expecting to be imprisoned any day for giving aid and comfort. It never occured to them that Bush might feel he had more important things to do than go after every over-educated half-wit who had ever played footsie with Cair or some similar bunch of camel-pesterers.

        • And that was Bush’s biggest mistake, in not realizing that we had a Disloyal Opposition that would have to be cleared out before we could deal with the external enemy.


          • Should have done it? I don’t think so. Should have called them out on it, yes, and the Right should have been more vocal in criticizing those who council cowardice in time of war. But that is more a roll for the vice-president, members of Congress and various partisans (Limbaugh, National Review, foe example) than the presidency.

            Certainly Bush could have been more forceful in confronting his critics, but while his speeches are in retrospect surprisingly eloquent, he lacked Reagan’s gift for rebuking attacks.

            The quisling mainstream media certainly would have misrepresented and savaged all he said, and against them he would have appeared to be punching down. But he could have lent his prestige and authority to voices in position to be more aggressive.

            • He should have confronted them, yes.

            • Certainly Bush could have been more forceful in confronting his critics, but while his speeches are in retrospect surprisingly eloquent, he lacked Reagan’s gift for rebuking attacks.

              I think Bush may have had an issue that he recognized with his temper- he acted like someone who knew they had a moral weakness, and over-corrected. (Sort of like my annoying habit of trying to see the other side and put it in verbal form– without it, I believe I’d have a nasty habit of “I think ___ and to heck with you” certainty.)

              Or maybe he took the “turn the other cheek” notion to excess.

  32. I was a SAHM with a toddler, so there wasn’t much to show up to except caring for her. Since I live in CA and don’t watch TV in the mornings, I didn’t find out until the towers were already down. My husband called me from his work and told me. My daughter actually took her first steps that day, so we have this macabre home video showing her stumbling along in front of a TV where Congress is singing “God Bless America.”

    • It is a good thing for life to go on. The terrorists managed to kill some kids, but they didn’t kill yours. Good. Congress asked God to bless America. He did, and your child was a sign of that.

  33. I was working at a state university in east-central PA that day. We heard that a plane had hit the WTC and were upset and puzzled; when we heard that a second plane had hit the other tower, we realized that this wasn’t just some horrific accident. The general feeling we had was one of helplessness–we all felt the need to DO something, to try to help in some way. We called around and found that the Red Cross had a blood drive scheduled for that day, and immediately put that information on the front page of the university website as well as sending an email to all the dormitory RAs to that affect. We closed the university and headed to the blood drive.

    A large portion of the campus community showed up`at the blood drive, causing the Red Cross to move the drive to a nearby movie theater since there wasn’t room for so many people in the original location. I was waiting in line to donate when the large-screen TVs in the theater lobby showed the towers collapsing (this was in real-time, as I recall). The Red Cross had to turn some potential donors away, as they ran out of donation materials (blood bags, etc.). As it turned out there weren’t enough injured survivors to need all the blood collected around the country, as you probably all know. It never felt like we did enough.

  34. I spent my morning with the first Sunday of Sunday School and Youth Group today. Our graduating seniors don’t remember the world before 9/11/2001. One’s old enough to vote this year.

    Just think about that a minute.

    What do you suppose happens over the next few years as we encourage the terrorism generation to register and vote? Where are their allegiances? What are their priorities? What events and stories shaped them?

    • Some of us are trying to teach them well. But it is hard.

      • Always was. But these young ‘uns… they have a few special handicaps. Initiative is harder to teach than obedience. I can teach ten kids (being late teens to nearly thirty!) how to pull wire, set stakes, and pour concrete before I can get *one* to anticipate and set up the next task. They’re used to having things laid out for them, a lot of ’em, and don’t take well to the kind of organized chaos most of our generation are used to by now.

        It’s hard when you have to get them to un-learn the bad habits before tackling the good, too. But that’s life, I guess. Lord knows I wasn’t the easiest young ‘un to train, not so long ago- I knew it all, already! Day by day, I’m getting dumber. *chuckle*

        They will make mistakes. They’ll stumble, and fall. So did we. But they ain’t entirely hopeless. They’re a curious bunch, and thirsty for knowledge. That’s a fine trait to have, a good place to start.

        Good on ya for keepin’ after em. They’ll thank you for it someday.

        • So, what you’re sayin’ is: Home Schooled kids will RULE.

          I can get down with that. Even the hippy home schooled are better than the factory-produced apparatchiks.

      • Because popular culture and earlier education have predisposed them toward the progressive viewpoint?

        • A little. They are also cynical (by age 14-15), and are conditioned to reach for the internet for answers instead of stopping to chew on the question and draw on their own resources. Once I crack through that, then we can start looking at “Why Miss Red is down on involuntary communism” and other things. I did have an essay cross my desk about why the government needs to stop companies from marketing things that make people sick (like sugar soda and cigarettes.) Since it was an opinion-argumentation essay, I was gentle.

  35. one quibble:
    I say we are choosing between Smallpox and Smallpox. We’re just choosing between Malignant and Hemorrhagic.

    On 9/11 I was working at the airport. Yeah, a busy day came to a sudden halt.

    On a related note, Today’s races for MotoGP in Italy (San Marino Grand Prix at Misano) had a few 9/11 tributes, and the Forward Racing Moto2 team had Stars and Stripes paintwork, then their rider, Lorenzo Baldassarri, won the race.
    I guess I have a new team to pull for.
    Thanks to the Team and all those others who honored the fallen today..

  36. I had dozed off in the recliner around 4 am with a book in my lap, something I frequently did. My wife, bless her, always tried to avoid waking me if I did so, So when she was shaking my shoulder, calling me by the nickname she had for me, and turning on the TV I knew something was wrong.
    As the 40 inch CRT warmed up I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and wiped my glasses on a microfiber cloth. By the time the TV and I had warmed up I could see the World Trade Center on the screen with smoke coming from one tower.

    While I tried to bring my brain up to speed a plane hit the other tower. I swore. The fires grew, and then the falling bodies. I shuddered, looking at people who had had to make a decision between my two biggest fears – Burning alive and falling. We watched, stunned, as the towers fell. A few minutes later we got footage from a camera by a remote truck down the street with the dust cloud sweeping down the street, the cameraman and reporter ducking into their truck just before it hit them.

    I worked at MCI doing data stuff at the time and knew that there were entire floors in both towers full of equipment and connections for many carriers. I got ready to go in early (I was second shift) and missed the news that Building 7 was on fire while I was in the shower. I heard about it when I got to work, as our New York switching center for the Tymnet network (where I had started and which I still helped to support) had holes in the wall where parts of the North Tower had hit it.

    As far as I know, I knew nobody who died there. The equipment rooms were below the fire. The people I knew online checked in over the next few days. I was fortunate in another way, I didn’t have time to pursue all of the details, nor all of the tales of heroism and loss. We were up to our elbows in trying to bring data to the rest of New York, and into temporary offices people set up in New Jersey.

    People with Southern accents so thick you could cut them with a knife and who had never seemed to have any use for New York City were pissed. As one of them said, “They might have been DamnYankees, but they were *OUR* Yankees!”

  37. I was two months into my present job when the attacks happened. Somebody saw the news online about the first tower being hit and let everybody in the department know. Most people thought accident at first, but then the news came of the plane hitting Pentagon, or the second tower, and at that point terrorism was clearly to blame. Soon the internet news sites went down or were only intermittently available, so somebody dragged out an old TV on a cart from somewhere, and we got snowy coverage of the event.

    People would gather in small groups in front of it, off an on. At one point a civil engineer and a civil/structural designer were discussing failure modes on the towers. Sure enough, the towers fell about as they’d discussed they would – despite all the conspiracy theorists who cry out that only preplanted explosives could have caused the towers to fall after that. That’s one of the things aggravates me about the whole mess, over and beyond the politics of it.

    Thankfully, on this the 15th anniversary of that event, was peaceful and idyllic for me. The weather was as beautiful as it was on that tragic day, but the events of the day were much happier. I slept late, woke feeling refreshed, took a ride on the new Cincinnati streetcar, grabbed some of the free swag being given away for its opening weekend, and then went to a local fair for dinner (steak-on-a-stick + potato wedges = yummmm!) and music. I hope everybody else had a wonderful day as well.

  38. I was a middle school counselor. My morning on-the-way-to-work routine was to sing along with Kirk Franklin singing “Lovely Day” in order to get my head right; I had worked out the timing to start the song so I would be singing the end of the song as I pulled into my parking space at school.
    When the first plane hit, I cautioned the office personnel not to over-react; we just didn’t know enough. Then the second plane hit. The office was the only access to the event; we had a TV turned to ..something..
    I prepared a brief fact sheet for the teachers, cleared it with the principal, and hit every classroom, moving fast. I gave each teacher a sheet, and stood with them while they read it to see if they were going to need services. The sheet closed by saying the principal would be making an school wide announcement, and that we would be available for any student in need. One of my best, lovely teachers was from New York, from a neighborhood in which almost everybody became either a cop or a firefighter.
    After I finished distribution – probably around fifty classrooms – I returned to the office, and helped the principal draft his statement. We had about 1000 kids, 7th & 8th grade, so 12 – 13 years old. The rest of the day, I was talking to distraught kids. I assured one that the smoke from the attack couldn’t get to Chicago, where her dad was on business. Another kid was convinced it was the work of the Iranians. Close, and sure better than anything I had in mind.
    Between the students, I was able to find the WTC website, which was still up. There was even a (non-functioning) webcam link to a camera at the top of one of the towers. I printed off a list of the companies with offices in the Towers, before the net got overwhelmed.
    At the end of the day, I guess we had a short faculty meeting, but I don’t remember. I got in my truck, and drove home. I was not able to play Kirk Franklin that day, and in fact, not for such a long time that I lost the cassette tape.
    But, for September 11, 2002: I bought a CD of that album, and I sang on the way to work. I got my music back, because I took it back.
    And 11 years after that, my firstborn son, a new father, was shipped to Afghanistan with his National Guard unit. He sustained what were eventually determined to be crippling injuries in a rocket attack, but refused medevac for almost a month so he could stay with his ‘boys.’
    This weekend, he was on the sidelines, standing with the help of a cane, as his firstborn son, age three years, eight months, played in his first soccer game.

  39. I was in bootcamp; not much of an option about keep on keepin’ on….although the simi-informal “this is the route you take to go UA so you’re kicked out” path was secured.
    If you can go out, you can go in, after all.

    It was coming back out that was freaky– I didn’t change, the freaking WORLD did. World War II vets thanked me for my service, for heaven’s sake! Whiskey tango?!!?


    My folks were farming. Cows gotta eat.
    Dad heard it on the radio, came out and told my mom “we’re at war.” (Funny, a rancher figured it out in five minutes. A solid chunk of the population of our “leadership” still hasn’t.)

    On the 15th anniversary, third since our ambassador was abandoned? They were doing the same thing… cus cows gotta eat.

  40. Worst story I know of from 9/11:
    A guy in bootcamp lost all of his mother’s side of the family, save his mother, because the family restaurant was in one of the towers. She was on a supply run. (He refused to take time for the funerals– until the Navy figured out a way to get him there, and back, without delaying his transit to the fleet; I know no details, I’d guess they did a memorial on a Sunday.)

    Best story:
    A girl in bootcamp had serious daddy issues. I mean, she converted to the faith most likely to piss him off, and joined the Navy, because he’s an Army chaplain.
    There was a bit meeting of Chaplains in the Pentagon that day. Starting before the crud started, and the plane hit while it was in full swing. And she knew enough to know that it was supposed to be really near where we heard the plane hit.
    His total injury was that he twisted his ankle helping the secretary out of the building. He came to graduation. They cried a lot.

    Incidentally, the stories about “Marines guarding kids from daycare centers in the park” with all its variations– different services, different locations, different reasons there was a big group of little kids? He was in one of those groups sitting in the park– there’s a bunch of variations because, bow to Terry Pratchett, it’s a rural legend. Shit in the fan, and the military went to do what they could where they could, even the Pentagon’s desk jockeys.

  41. Well, it’s the thought that counts, right?

    The Daily Caller reports that a moment of silence remembering the September 11 victims at a Pentagon memorial service began early in order to accommodate a restless President Obama. The report, by Peter Hasson, is based on a Defense Department source.

    The moment of silence was supposed to occur at 9:37 a.m., the time of day when the Pentagon was hit. But the moment of silence was moved up. Hasson’s source says that Obama made the decision because he arrived early and didn’t want to wait.

    In remarks delivered after the moment of silence was over, Obama stated:

    The question before us, as always, is: How do we preserve the legacy of those we lost? How do we live up to their example? And how do we keep their spirit alive in our own hearts?

    It seems like little ask that a moment of silence scheduled for the time the Pentagon was hit be observed at that time. If there’s a compelling reason to move the observance up, so be it.

    But if, as reported, Obama moved up the moment of silence because he was restless, I say he did not “live up to the example” of “those we lost.”

    • RES –

      It is, indeed, the thought that counts. And now we know* whom Obama thinks of first and foremost.

      * As if we didn’t already…

  42. I was stocking shelves at 4 AM Pacific time in a Target store. (first non dairy farmer privilege employment) A radio station DJ mentioned the twin towers had been hit by an airplane. No way that could be right, that was right out of a Tom Clancy novel… but the store had cable TV, so my co-workers and I tuned in the displays in the electronic section in time to see the impact of the second plane. The radio DJ informed us about the Pentagon impact as well.
    “Whoever’s behind the attack is going to die.” I had no doubt that the United States would accomplish that much.

  43. I went to work that night delivering pizza because people gotta eat.

  44. The PBR rodeo event Deborah and I attended last night had a 9/11 memorial event (firewalkers, video, music) that was quite moving and effective and really, really short on moral relativism, if you take my meaning.

  45. I was getting ready for work when I heard the report on the News of the first plane hitting. Then I saw the second, and i believe I suffered some mild disorientation. I felt somewhat in a daze. I had gotten into my car to drive to work when my wife came to the front door and told me that the Pentagon had been hit. Suddenly everything was crystal clear i said, “Ben Laden.”
    When I got to work we turned on the internet, but there was not enough bandwidth, so we switched to the Spanish news programs and one of the guys translated what was said, but the pictures needed no explanation.

  46. I was at work at Ft. Leonard Wood and went out to our waiting room when the news came on about the first tower being hit, so I was watching when the second hit. I didn’t tell others my reaction to the second (‘Wow, really cool score’ like the observance you could make when your arch rival team scores against the home team.) Eventually I went back to work because there were still patient results to report, regardless what was happening in the rest of the world.

    My favorite security kabuki theater happened the next day. New security “enhancements” on Sept. 10 had resulted in our front gate traffic backing three lanes, bumper to bumper, two-plus miles and out onto I-44, taking people 3-4 hours to get on post so I rode my motorcycle around the long way to the far gate where three cars were ahead of me. The MPs checked my ID card and undercarriage of the motorcycle with a mirror-on-a-shaft but didn’t bother to have me open my trunk. And also didn’t bother to have me take off my full-face helmet to see if I actually looked like my ID.

  47. My previous job (they let me go during the massive down-sizing last year, and then rehired the incompetent trainee that I now wish I’d been more vocal about correcting) was connected to the mutual fund industry. 9/11 was just a few months after I started there. My late boss later told me that they’d been in the middle of a conference call with some clients in the tower. They suddenly heard yells, and then lost the call.

  48. I flew on a transcontinental flight on Sept 11 2001 (Nice -> Tokyo via Zurich, where I watched the second plane impact and the towers collapse live from the Swissair lounge FWIW) and I have marked many of the its anniversaries by doing the same again. For the last two or three years, for various reasons, this hasn’t been possible but I hope to resume the practice. As far as I’m concerned it is important to do this sort of thing to show the terrorists that they didn’t win, they didn’t scare us and they won’t do so in the future either.

  49. Come Not In Judgement

    On that autumn day
    Of planes, smoke, falling towers
    We heard the glad cries
    Allahu Akbar

    All ways were twisted, knife-edged
    We woke to nightmare
    The straight road to peace
    Death or the veil.

    God is great indeed
    But we sing Kyrie Eleison
    With a new fervor.

    Godspeed, Mrs. Hoyt

  50. Just this morning, before I read this, I was blogging about the issue of Free Speech.

  51. Well, 9/11 hit when I was between jobs: I was fired from my consulting company (computer miscellaneous) because they didn’t find a gig for me. I turned around and found a short-term gig through a similar company almost immediately. The short-term gig ran out the same day as my lease, and I realized I was homesick. My parents were empty-nesting and missing company, I had almost no social life to lose; when Dad offered to pay the costs if I wanted to move back in with him, I took him up on it. When I got home I took a couple of weeks before even starting to look for a job, and 9/11 happened during those weeks.

    So on 9/11 my mother woke me up to tell me that my father was working in the basement (he had a basement office) because two planes had hit the World Trade Center ((1) This meant Dad wasn’t on the plane — he had already returned from DC; (2) Dad was a editorial journalist, so while iirc he’d planned to do little or no work that day, when the second plane hit, well, events called.)

    I did very little — nothing except provide minor computer support. (Not to my father; he needed no help for the computer in his own office. A couple of his people showed up because their offices were next door to to the World Trade Center and they walked to his place and were one and all handed laptops and told to start writing. At least one laptop was flaky — it’s not as if Dad planned to have the offices plan and people show up at his doorstep.)

  52. It’s a magnificent sort of hubris, if you think about it, that denies the underdeveloped countries they claim to care about full agency or autonomous culture. It denies people-of-tan agency and autonomous ability to decide. It is in fact, closely examined, exactly the opposite of what the left claims to believe. And it would be funny if it weren’t so horribly sad.

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

    I have been complaining about this for years and it has infected policy at least since the Johnson administration and their “signalling theory” in Vietnam that depended on the NV reacting like automotions to their actions instead of thinking humans with their own goals.

  53. One day, probably soon, there will be one terror attack too many. When the country rises up in wrath, a great many idiots are going to have the nerve to be surprised. The Saudis are going to wonder why their country now consists of several sheets of faintly glowing glass. The nitwit academics who are STILL playing radical chic games with Radical Islam are going to wonder how their ACLU lawyers will get them out oil, seeing at said lawyers are in the next cell. And worldly-wise Europe is going to wonder how those daft colonials suddenly got so rude about overflights and port usage.

    People all over who have been wringing their hands over ‘Imperial America’ will have to come to grips with the real thing.

    It won’t be good for us. We lack the temperment of the Victorian British (sadly, so do the British). But listening to the shouts of outrage and terror is going to be sweet.

  54. Hillary blames the Russians for hacking the DNC server, Hillary attacks Trump for saying Putin is a stronger leader than Obama … The Russians aren’t down with that crap:

    The man who discovered CTE thinks Hillary Clinton may have been poisoned
    Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist who has made the NFL so uncomfortable with his discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in the brains of deceased players, suggests that Hillary Clinton’s campaign be checked for possible poisons after her collapse Sunday in New York.

    Omalu, whose story was famously told in the movie “Concussion,” made the suggestion on Twitter, writing that he advised campaign officials to “perform toxicologic analysis of Ms. Clinton’s blood.”


    [T]his is Omalu, whose credentials and tenacity are well known. He wasn’t giving up on Twitter, adding that his reasoning is that he does not trust Russian President Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee who has expressed admiration for Putin.

    — — —
    Don’t read the whole thing.


    • BobtheRegisterredFool

      Well, Hitler’s doctor was giving him meth and coke. That a pathologist isn’t politically intelligent enough to know that Trump hasn’t the spoons for such doesn’t mean that he is wrong about a public toxicity screening.

      • Tox screenings *anytime* someone is having strange symptoms that don’t match known health issues, especially with how much she travels, are a good idea.

  55. Turbo Beholder (@TBeholder)

    > Who is crazy enough to doubt that, when all the authorities say the same? They should know, right?
    BTW, when did this start – on the press side, AND on the sheep side?