The Mirror Cracked From Side To Side

By Grandmaster E, CC BY-SA 3.0,

It was a clear day like today.  A Tuesday in September.  Still warm enough, but with a chill in the air.

Before I walked the kids to school, I’d checked the internet and seen that a plane had hit the towers.  I didn’t think anything of it, because recently, a small plane had hit the Empire State Building.  I thought the same thing had happened again and remember a vague annoyance.  Was this going to be a thing, now?

I walked the kids to school five blocks away through the beautiful morning, thinking of the novel I was writing and of what I could do after, because I didn’t want to be stuck in literary fantasy forever.  My first book was a month from being on shelves.

I was in many ways an idiot, an internationalist Libertarian who believed frontiers were a construct. How this managed to coexist with my patriotic fervor for the US is a mystery.  I did mention I was stupid, as well as young, right?

Maybe not that young, because I was 38, but still young because the world was a marvelous place.  Sure, horrible things could happen, and we’d deal with them.  Sure, even then, the left was crazy (remember the hanging chads?) but they hadn’t completely departed reality, and I hoped with the gradual reality check of the internet over the MSM they’d integrate into reality.  I wasn’t certain, mind you. But I had hope. The world was a bright and hopeful place ahead, just like that crystalline September morning.

I’d give all I have and some besides to go back to those hours, to have the attacks never have happened, to have the towers never have come down.

I’m sure it would not be without issues.  Bush would probably have given a bad name to Republicans.  If he’d got his hands on social programs and got to play around with them unimpeded, who knows?

I’d still rather then than now, and the hysterical denial that has sent the left’s oikophobia into a spiral that has them now unable to accept anything but the dreams of their religion and its coming paradise.  That has the two halves of this country on a collision course.  That has the world on the brink of a long slope down, because whatever they think, if America falls, civilization will not long stand.

People have compared 9/11 to Pearl Harbor.  It is not.  It’s something far more terrible.  Terrorist attacks (undeclared war) against our military is terrible and I realize it traumatized a generation. But this was an attack on civilians: on people like you and me, living our daily lives and pursuing our happiness.  It killed children on the way to Disney  world, just like my kids who’d visited the year before.  It killed office workers, and writers, executives and cleaners and waiters.  People who, whatever their private failings, had no reason to expect to die by enemy action.

We’d been scheduled to be on vacation that week at the WTC Marriott (I think.  The one in the towers.) We were going to spend points from Dan’s traveling job and take the kids on a real vacation, not our pokey 3 days in Denver. But two weeks before Dan was called back to work for a project they needed him on.  (He could be on the bench for a month at a time back then, and having just finished a big project, expected at least that much.)

It struck at the heart of the city that for us born abroad and aspiring to come here WAS America.  (I still have a soft spot for NYC. The hardening of politics has made it so I wouldn’t consider living there now.)  It is the place immigrants came and made good.

Our last president was fond of saying we should get over it already.  Not two months after the accident someone no-longer-a-friend told me that more people are killed on the roads in America per year than were in the WTC, so what does it matter.

What it matters is that it showed the hostility in the world towards us, for nothing in particular that we’ve done except existing.  (Yes, I know, our involvement in the Middle East, blah, blah, blah.  Given the persistence of memory i the Middle East, as well our being mad at them for their involvement in Europe.  It’s an excuse, not an explanation.  We’d done nothing except keeping them from obliterating each other, and pouring rivers of money in aid to the region.  Yes, I know foreign aid is aggression, but you need to understand economics a lot better than most Middle Eastern people to get that.)  And that they could reach in, and kill innocent citizens.

By doing that they punched the mirror of our self-regard, our security and our certainty in ourselves.  And the world splintered.  And we fell through.

It split us as neatly as if those airliners had been flown through the center of our political landscape.

The same half of the country that was communist or at least socialist in the hopes they’d be eaten last is now hating their own country and insanely trying to claim the role of victims of our own culture as well as protectors for all the brownz people.  IOW running around like chickens with their heads cut off, hoping they’ll be eaten last.

The other half of the country has about fifteen years in gotten tired of it, and just wants a return to reason.  The other half also understands peace through superior firepower and thought the last administration conclusively proved there is no peace in bowing, apologizing, and handing out misspelled “reset” buttons.

Metaphorically speaking that window has broken and we were pushed out by the fire behind us.

As a nation, we’ve fallen from the towers, and are suspended mid air, knowing we won’t survive the impact.  Not as we are.

It was the day the universe changed, for a significant number of us.  Sure, I’d have shed the illusions of youth eventually.  But it wouldn’t happen for so many of us at once.

It won’t be forgotten, because we can’t forget.

The mirror shattered from side to side, and the shards flying from it, have cut our polity into new and strange shapes.

We can pray and hope and work to its not coming to blood, to its not coming to the end of our country as it is and more as it should be.

Sometimes miracles happen and something there is that protects drunkards, fools and the United States of America.

But it will be a miracle.  And looking back, it is at that inflection point that it broke, under the impact of an attack on civilians by men who thought they were pleasing a 7th century cult leader and his bloody god, who would, in turn, give their co-religionaries domain over the Earth.  It’s not politically correct, but one of the many fall outs of this is that many of us have have grown tired of political correctness.

Perhaps just in time.  If  a miracle occurs.



278 thoughts on “The Mirror Cracked From Side To Side

  1. Worked at the airport. Was also a pleasant day in New Orleans. For or something somewhere (I think Dallas) had some flights delayed so it was busy. Suddenly, there was no one around.
    It’s been Kabuki ever since.

  2. We had stopped watching television news some decades previously. Or, rather, we had never developed the habit. I was used to reading the Washington Post and the Washington Times and triangulating, and we had moved and I was finding it hard to deal with the fact that none of the local papers were Conservative (or very well written, for that matter). So I knew nothing until a friend called us and told us to turn on the News.

    My first thought was “I’ve been expecting this for twenty years.”

    In the years that followed, Liberal acquaintances would call the War on Terror “Bush’s war” and I would hold them up and say “No. Bush merely acknowledged a war that had been waged against us since the mid-1970’s. We have BEEN at war for twenty years, and arguably longer.”

    And they would babble about “American Imperialism”, and I would counter with “What has caused this war has been UN/Progressive/Liberal appeasement of fanatics. When Yasser Arafat first became prominent we should have looked at him and said to ourselves ‘Here’s a vicious little anti-semite who spent WWII kissing Nazi arse. We should shoot him.'”

    See, both my Parents were history teachers, and neither of them was Progressive/Liberal/Left. I’d grown up feeling that the Left’s warm and gushy feelings about assorted Third World post-colonial manifestations were largely bosh. I felt that it hadn’t taken all that many years of Post-Colonial genocide, kleptocracy, and famine as a tool of Statecraft to make Victorian Paternalistic Colonialism look awfully goddamned good.

    And I knew that Islam was in serious trouble. At the end of the Edwardian era, there had been a moderate streak in Islam that was moving into the 18th Century. Cautiously, like a child moving into a cold ocean for a swim, but trying it. But in the 20th Century we had punished moderate heads of Islamic states (like the Shah of Iran) and rewarded the ‘revolutionary’ nutcases. And that hadn’t worked out well at all.

    Bush, bless him, hoped (I think) to wage a limited War by limited means, and provide a couple of messy object lessons about how unpleasant life could get if you attacked Americans. The Liberals blunted that message by denying that WMDs were found in Iraq and generally acting as if Bush had sacked a Nunnery. And Bush compounded the problem by staying and ‘Nation Building’ instead of saying “We’re leaving. Don’t come to our negative attention again and we won’t be back’.


    1. My first thought was “I’ve been expecting this for twenty years.”

      Same here. The first words that came out of my mouth when I turned on the TV on 9/11 was “Well, they’ve finally done it.”

      1. Weirdly enough, my SECOND thought was “This is taking architectural criticism a little far…”. On of the blackly funny things about 9/11 is the way it has made the Towers into beloved icons….when they were frankly two of the ugliest buildings on the New York skyline.

        1. “Architectural Criticism,” huh? I love it. I hadn’t gotten into architecture yet myself, then, but I grew up in the South and was at a college in an antebellum neighborhood (in a Town-That-Sherman-Missed: yes, actual local point-of-pride) and agree about the NYC skyline. Chicago’s Sears Tower is still uglier, though.

          I was 19 and attending on an ROTC scholarship, IOT commission with the Army. I knew when I saw that both NYC and the Pentagon were burning that my part in the war was no longer IF but WHEN.

      2. I wasn’t that precient but when the second plane hit and they announced it on 1010 WINS (I lived in CT at the time) my first thought was “When did Bin Laden start buying Cessnas”. I was more right than I less and less right than I wish to this day.

        I was seperated from my first wife but her BIL was a NYC cop with the Towers on his beat. I kept calling her, but she didn’t wake up (at the time she worked nights) for the first hour. When I got through all I asked was “Are J and L okay?” When she didn’t process I finally said, “NYC is under attack. Turn on the TV.”

        Turns out J had broken her glasses and L stopped while driving them to the train station to get them fixed. He was late for work and as a result did not go into the Towers with the rest of his unit, but was mustered at the support location.

        The next time I saw them I told J I was never so happy someone broke their glasses. I know L. He would have been determined to be the last man out.

        A coworker wasn’t so lucky. His son worked above one of the plane impact points.

    2. I think Bush 2 made some terrible strategic errors. I can’t tell (and we’ll probably never know for sure, as those who know don’t talk, and those who talk are clearly self-serving), whether he really had no strategy, or whether he had one but lost his nerve in the face of bad press. I suspect the second.

      The lesson one *should* carry away is that if you plan a long war, you have to make that case to the public, to the Jacksonians of America, that the cause makes sense. What the Ivy League Republicans think of it doesn’t really matter, as they’ll veer with the wind, and what the Neo-Marxists think of it doesn’t matter, as they’re not pacifists, they’re just on the other side. But if you get the Jacksonians bought in, then we’re in it to win it — but they have to know what “it” is and agree the goal is worth the cost.

      We started a war without an OVERT strategic objective (I suspect we had one that was covert), and while you might manage a short war that way, in America, you’ll never manage a long one. And then, when with great cost in blood and treasure, we muddled through to a “good enough” victory, it was thrown away by the next administration.

      1. I think we have to separate the Afghanistan campaign from the Iraq campaign. Afghanistan was pretty clear. Kill Al Quaeda members, depose the Taliban.

        Iraq? There was a legitimate concern about Saddam Hussein giving Bin Laden a few barrels of nerve agent with instructions to send it to DC and NYC with his compliments, but there was also more than a whiff of “American von Schlieffen Plan”…that CENTCOM had only one war plan, and it was to take out Iraq. Sound strategy had been sacrificed to the Goldwater-Nichols “joint” folly.

        Now, Bush made two major strategic errors. The first was to forget the Three Year Limit. If you look at U.S. history, the public will support 36 months of serious combat. After that, they will demand to see either a victory within reach or a disengagement in progress…or they will sack the party in power. Which meant that ANY counterinsurgency campaign using significant numbers of American troops was doomed from the outset. We needed to go in, hit hard, and leave quickly. In Iraq, that would have meant NOT disbanding the Iraqi Army. Go in, win, set up an interim government, but keep the Iraqi Army as an organized entity. Retire the senior leadership with a nice pension, as was usual for a coup.

        The second problem was the failure to deal with the internal Quislings. Bush needed to have suspended Habeus Corpus and locked a few dozen disloyal reporters and a Congressman or two up for the duration of the war – following the examples of Lincoln, Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt. There are always going to be Disloyals attacking from within. Locking a bunch up instantly tells the rest that their choices are Loyal Opposition or Locked Up.

        1. The justification for invading Iraq was dead simple; since Saddam never came within shouting distance of meeting the terms of surrender of the First Gulf War, we were technically at war with him still. If we wanted later diplomacy to be taken seriously (which was now much more urgent) Saddam had to go.

          I think – I HOPE – Bush was aiming for a situation where Islamic countries would rein in their nutjobs to avoid being hammered. It’s called Gunboat Diplomacy, and unlike UN backed appeasement it has a history of working well enough to go on with.

          And it did work, to a degree. Q’daffy (I cannot be bothered to spell his name right) told us “I’m out of the WMD business. Here’s my stuff, leave me alone”. Whether he meant it is anyone’s guess.

          1. And now no leader will ever give up their trump card after Gadhafi was killed by the US later. No reason to trust. Same as all these executive agreements.

            1. So, as I have suggested elsewhere, either Obumbles was formidably stupid, or he intended to screw things royally.

              I lean towards stupid, but what do I know?

              1. One of Obama’s overseas speeches critiquing Trump apparently included vices that were also Obama’s. With that, the explanations for his behavior that do not include evil no longer seem plausible to me.

          2. He did.

            Died after being raped with a bar of iron, too. Revolution. Thanks, Obama.

            Dictators took note of that…..and that the omnicidal maniacs were appeased.

            1. Was part of the surreality of the election. Both Obama and Clinton touted up the Libyan escapade and postured as if they wanted to go to war with Russia while the Reps were more hideabound.

      2. I really think that what Bush was looking to do was take down the Taliban government and Saddam’s government as a pair of object lessons. The Taliban because they appeared to have helped set up the 9/11 strike, amd Saddam basically because he had never met the terms of surrender, and we had to make it clear that that wasn’t remotely acceptable.

        What we should have done, once those goals were met, was LEAVE. Nation building wasn’t going to work, period. However, I doubt that just leaving would have been politically possible.

        Just as, at the end of WWII, we SHOULD have turned on Stalin, but that wasn’t politically possible either.

        Obumbles had about as much grasp of military possibilities as I have of quantum physics. So it’s hard to say whether he screwed up deliberately or through simple incompetence. See how he involved us fruitlessly in every piss-up going in the vicinity, I lean toward incompetence, but have no proof.

        1. You crack the Taliban over the head, then leave. Afghanistan is a lot like the Scottish Highlands in the 1600s and early 1700s – very clan oriented, loyalty to a central government is weak. Forget nation-building.

          Iraq? I think the Bush team thought in terms of France in 1944 – kick the Baathists out and let the “natural instinct for democracy” work a miracle. Except there IS no “natural instinct for democracy”. It’s a learned skill. The MacArthur method might have worked – hand them an interim constitution, get a government of locals with some legitimacy stood up, and back off.

          1. I think it’s more complicated than that with Iraq. Bush was basically a Fairly nice Rotary type. He lacked the balls to simply say “Iraq is a mess. It’s always been a mess. If it ever stops being a mess it will be because A) they figured it out on their own B) it split into smaller Nations with more cultural unity or C) somebody willing to really pile up skulls in the manner of the Mongols invaded and took over. We aren’t staying. If they bither us again, we’ll come back.”

            Maybe Trump has that kind of balls. I hope we don’t have to find out.

              1. That attitude right there is how Trump carried the election. It scares me at the same time as I agree with it. Looking back at history, leaders who came to power because they would by golly do something, right or wrong; have far more often than not been disasters rather than saviors. That scares me. On the other hand, those leaders Usually come to power because a)the people are fed up with leaders who do nothing but pander to their enemies/problems, and try and whitewash and sugar coat everything b)because doing nothing or “pussyfooting” is leading straight to a disaster, so it is better to roll the dice with a leader who at least has the spine to do Something, whether it is right or wrong, rather than stick with the spineless bastards who are garaunteed to send it all down the crapper.

        2. I figured it was incompetence and malice, with the saving grace that his incompetence blunted the malice a bit, so we survived.

        3. Turned on Stalin? Heck we built the Soviet Union and booted it into the 20th century during WW2. Even gave them the bomb.

        4. “I really think that what Bush was looking to do was…”

          That was Bush’s real problem. He really should have figured his stuff out, then clearly articulated to the people. So yea, he would have had to hire someone who could write a clear speech, then practice it so even HE couldn’t screw it up. We had valid reasons for Iraq part deaux. Afganistan? I’m not so convinced going into Afganistan is EVER a good idea.

          1. Well we certainly did a heck of a lot better in Afghanistan than the Russians did. Actually I think the theory and initial execution was workable. Not what I would have chosen if I was in charge, but then I would have been drawn and quartered as a genocidial, war mongering maniac by not only the appeasers in Washington, but the general public. The problem was that instead of being hard nosed and doing what might actually work, we first tried to appease the appeasers (which never works) then let the appeasers take control. The REOs in Afghanistan were absolutely ridiculous, we probably could have stuck to strict Geneva protocols (although the Convention actually says that you only follow the protocols if the other side does also, which they have never even gave a passing nod to) and won, with a higher cost than without following them, but won. Instead we gave people who if not outright traitors, at the very least were wholly incompetent about military matters, the mindset of both our enemies and the civilian population over there (often one and the same, just depending on who they percieved as stronger that day) and against the war from the outset; control. This was a recipe for disaster, and we should give full credit to our men in the military for minimizing that disaster.

            1. I know my brother’s units were having good success until some freaking moron came in and insisted that they all shave off the beards.

              Instantly took them from “recognizable military, treat with respect” to “WTF alien GET IT AWAY!”

              1. Friend of mine’s little brother was over there. In Iraq first, liked it, reupped and planned on making a career out of the Marines. Got sent to Afghanistan. First patrol they came under fire from an ambush, half the squad charged the ambush and managed to kill a couple of the ambushers. Who turned out to be from the local village they were in route to. Local village was “friendly” and the headman complained about the soldiers killing “innocent villagers”. The two men confirmed to have actually killed the attackers were sent back to the States in order to appease the “friendly” local leaders. I could go on and on with more examples, including the common one of guys being under fire but not being allowed to fire back until they had approval to do so from headquarters; which often took half an hour to an hour, if it came at all.
                Almost nobody I know who served in Afghanistan, including the above mentioned Marine, reupped. Including quite a few who were planning on being career military; after the clustermug that was Afghanistan, and especially the ridiculous REOs under Obama, they changed their minds.

                1. Yeah. Ugly held up from that stupid order.

                  He didn’t hold up being SEAL support after Obama got one of his best friends killed.

                  That bullshit of explaining exactly who and how they got Bin Ladin….

                  Ugly had to talk to his buddy’s fiance. And family. After he died.

                  Now he’s arguing with himself if he’ll stay past 20 at all.

                2. The two men confirmed to have actually killed the attackers were sent back to the States in order to appease the “friendly” local leaders.

                  It’s hard to get a more WRONG answer for the area than that. Don’t get me wrong, I was never there so I don’t have first-hand knowledge. I got out of Marines in ’95 so Afghanistan was not my war. However, I have talked to quite a few people who DO have first hand knowledge, and the very strong sense I’ve gotten is, in the ‘stan, YOU DON’T BACK DOWN! As soon as you do, you are considered WEAK, and therefore never taken seriously again.

                  Ambushed? Kill the f#kers. Village head man gets mad? Tell him, in no uncertain terms why his people are dead, and don’t take any crap about it. Of course, that only works if your chain of command is solid and backs you up, which it’s looking like is a thing of the past sadly.

          2. The theory going around at the time was that Bush intended to build up a working representative democracy as an example to the rest of the peoples of the region. Problem being that he couldn’t explain that without turning other heads of state in the area against us.

    3. After the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center we all should have been aware that there were organized groups of religious fanatics who had definitely declared war on us.  Not only that, but that they considered that our financial institutions were great targets for their purposes.  

      As they were not part of a direct nation state we had trouble dealing with them. So we got caught in the trap of treating them as if the groups were organized crime syndicates or gangs.  This was how the foiled 2006 plot to bomb the Hudson River Tunnel was treated.  Instead of engaging them on the battlefield, or treating them like infiltrators, we brought the power of the justice system against them.

      Our last President, and many like him, seem to think this is not just a good idea for those detained within our borders to be prosecuted as criminals in our court system, but also for those who are captured on the battlefield.  Is that a viable method of handling the situation? I don’t think so.

  3. On Sept 10th, I worked a late night shift at the local 7-11 so I got up late on the 11th.

    When I saw the news on my computer’s home page, I thought “computer hoax” but soon found out otherwise.

    I mainly remember the “run on gas” as people were “sure” that gas (for cars) would run out.

    1. I’d been laid off and was job searching, without much luck. (Silicon Valley was busy erasing the “Silicon” part of the name, and test engineering positions were getting tight.) Didn’t have anything on tap that day, so I booted the computer and went to the web comics. The first one I saw was User Friendly, and on a banner above the strip, he had something about the first plane. That got us both alert, and we turned on the TV just around the time of the second plane.

      My folks were in Virginia visiting my stepfather’s kids, and it took them several days to get a flight back to the Midwest.

      I got a consulting gig just after Thanksgiving, and we got the Phase I part of Security Theater on the trips to the client. At least then, German security was more-or-less competent, and could recognize a CPAP machine (with minor prompting) through an XRay image.

      1. I got laid off the Friday before. Plan was to take Monday off and call unemployment Tuesday.

        I did manage to call on Friday.

  4. When a friend called to tell me about it, I thought he was talking about the World Trade Center in Seattle, where there had been riots a year or two before. I had no idea there was more than one…

    And then the government’s response was some lackluster swats at the perps while turning the country into the next thing to a police state. Yee haw.

    When the Patriot Act sailed through friends called me up, panicked. I just laughed at them. “For years you’ve been rolling your eyes at me when I tried to tell you about this sort of thing, and blowing me off. And now your faced is being rubbed into it. It is *far* too late to do anything now, and all the Act did was collect all the pieces into one places and tie them together with a pretty ribbon.”

    The terrorists freakin’ *won*, persuading the Fed to do their job for them… Every time the Post Office won’t take your package without ID, they win. Every time you have to take your shoes off to get on an airplane, they win. And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg.

    The Deep State types probably wept with joy on 9/11.

    1. “The terrorists freakin’ *won*, persuading the Fed to do their job for them… Every time the Post Office won’t take your package without ID, they win. Every time you have to take your shoes off to get on an airplane, they win.”

      No, they didn’t. The goal of Osama bin Laden and co was not to make it inconvenient to send packages or to force Americans to walk around barefoot for a couple of minutes in the airports. Their goal was to kill as many of us as possible, have the rest of us walking around in constant fear, and eventually make America part of the world-wide caliphate.

      If the terrorists had won or even come close to it, we wouldn’t be complaining about taking off our shoes at the airport. We probably wouldn’t even notice the fact that we needed to take off our shoes, because we would be too scared to fly anywhere if it wasn’t absolutely necessary. We’d never want to go to Disneyland or the Super Bowl or any other big event for fear that it would be a target. Every time we saw a package on the porch, the feeling wouldn’t be, “Great, Amazon finally sent me those socks I’ve been waiting for” but, “Could this be a bomb?” And on today of all days, we’d be paralyzed, terrified of what al-Qaeda might do to top the previous 9/11.

      Instead, I forgot that it was 9/11 until I turned on the computer this morning. I was eagerly waiting for the Morning Jolt political column not because I wanted to read his take on the anniversary but because I wanted to read his take on the Monday Night Football game last night. I haven’t forgotten that there are Islamic nutters trying to kill us, but I certainly don’t wake up every morning worried about them.

      That’s not to say that I approve of everything that the Feds have done in response. Some ideas were clearly stupid from the start, some seemed like a good idea at the time but eventually went south, some would be fine except for our insistence that we couldn’t possibly pay more attention to young Islamic males, and that the al-Qaeda ideology appealed equally to everyone from Swedish grandmothers to Japanese schoolgirls. But just because we’ve got problems doesn’t mean that the terrorists won.

      1. Amen!

        The “Terrorists” only win when people surrender to “their beliefs”.

        My question to those who talk about “The Terrorists win/won because our actions to “prevent” further attacks” is “If we kill all of the group that the terrorists are “fighting for”, then how have the terrorists won?”

        Yes, I understand the dislike for the Patriot Act and the dislike of the “security theater” when we fly, but the Terrorists haven’t won because of them.

        The 9/11 Terrorists will only “win” when America goes completely Islamic and not before.

        This doesn’t mean that I don’t dislike some of the shit that the Feds have done.

        If you want to argue that the Feds should have “done things differently”, then I’ll listen but leave off the shit of “the terrorists have won”. 😡

          1. Bingo.

            The terrorists CANNOT win. They don’t have the power to take down the United States (the Eurozone may be another matter). What they CAN do is get us seriously angry. 9/11 was a wasp sting at most. I don’t know what it would take to get us as mad at the Islamofools as we were at the Japs after Pearl Harbor, and I hope I never find out.

            The Islamofools better hope THEY never find out, too.

            After 9/11 (as I believe I’ve mentioned before) well meaning twits would wring their hands at me about how we were “lashing out in unreasoning anger”. Pfui! Had we lashed out in unreasoning anger, Mecca would be a crater.

            If the US ecer gets seriously angry at Islam, there won’t be an awful lot left of the Islamic nations of the world, amd what IS left we will be occupying as conquorers. It won’t be good for us, and it will be worse,for them.

            They really need to have a long talk with the Japanese about how ugly life gets when American is pissed at you.

        1. Thank you… My response to the “terrorists won” is not printable. I was active duty that day. Final stage of training before hitting my first duty station.

      2. No, if the terrorists had won, we’d be forced to listen to some damn muezzin screaming over the loud speakers 5 times a day, and being herded into prayer groups to bow to Mecca on pain of being beaten to death. I got annoyed enough as it is being woke up on Sunday mornings by bonging the church bell; which they rarely do anymore.

        1. How long before wire-cutters (and strangely high-powered “audio” amps that feed into antennas rather than directly into speakers..) would “Assault Weapons” or some dreck?

        2. But the government and corps do their best to usher that in. Meanwhile the US supported every color revolution in the middle east except one. The one? Green revolution in Iran, the one that was not trying to establish an Islamic state.

          They created enough fear and admiration in the people that actually matter, DC denizens.

      3. “We’d never want to go to Disneyland or the Super Bowl or any other big event”

        A couple of years later, a couple of pranksters actually managed to prank the Super Bowl with almost no issues. It barely made a ripple—the broadcast cut away from it almost immediately and you had to be watching to catch it—but when I read the writeup a bit later, I recognized what had happened. They all but waltzed in and did their thing (which was clever; passing out “Prince Party Packs” that lit up and spelled out their group name instead of the Prince symbol), with no issues under the “strict security” of the Super Bowl.

        It’s theatre, not reality.

      4. If the terrorists had won, I would not have shelves of reference material about the, ah, *cough* historically problematic aspects of Islam, and two copies of the Koran (different translations.) Nor would I be teaching what I do, or selling books based on an earlier round of the Islam vs. Everyone fights.

    2. The Terrorists didn’t win. They punked out. They managed to give us a sharp stab, but they failed utterly on the follow through.

      All the things you pointed out as evidence that “the terrorists won” didn’t come from the terrorists, they came from officious bureaucratic a-holes in our own government taking advantage of a crisis to implement things they always wanted, but people wouldn’t have stood for.

      1. I remember hearing about how “professional” and “organized” al Queda was in the wake of 9/11.

        B.S., if al Queda had been that good, they’d have had follow on strikes prepped and waiting to go to take advantage of the post 9/11 chaos.

        1. And that’s more or less my point. 9/11was their best shot. So,eday, if they are REALLY unlucky they will get another good shot in, and we will turn the Arabian Penninsula into a wasteland. And whatever Muslims are left will weep,salt tears about the injustice of it all.


          See, Islam has ALWAYS had an opressively expansionist streak. During some periods, intelligent rule by strong central governments (Islamic or not) has kept that in check and what we call ‘terrorists’ were mostly bandits, living on the edges and a nuisance mostly to their por neighbors. 60+ years of bootless Progressive appeasement Diplomacy made rule by relatively enlightened (relative to the fanatics, if not to the West) lime the Shah impossible. So, what replaces them? Nuts like the bunch that took over Iran.

          If there was anyone left with the temperament for it, I would call for a return of Colonial Paternalism.

          Sadly, no government today would do it with the dedication and intelligence of the British in the Victorian Era.

          Sadly for the Islamotwits.

        2. Oh, we’ve explored down the road of, “If they were competent” here several times. Even reading the non-specific allusions that have been written in the comments at various times have gotten scary, simply because of the evident assurance in the people discussing them. No details needed, they were clear about how easy it would be to effectively shut down the country.

  5. Freshman in college on the west coast, and this by definition young and dumb. Woke up to the news on the radio, and while it was a beautiful sunny day in Portland, all I remember is going from news screen to news screen in a daze.

    Then they passed the Patriot Act, and I went from numb to p***ed. Some awakening to the realities of politics, eh?

    1. When they passed the Patriot Act a lot of my Liberal acquaintances freaked….and I pointed out that all it did was make it so that the government could treat people linked with terrorist groups (admittedly, a catagory that includes a lot of Liberals who had been playing Radical Chic games with the likes of Hamas) as badly as it already got to treat suspected drug dealers.

      After which they tended to walk away, muttering.

      I admit, the Patriot Act doesn’t give me warm and fuzzies. OTOH, if we allowed the State to do common sense profiling (lesse, 19 out of 19 terrorists in the 9/11 plot were young Islamic males. Let’s keep a eye on similar people) instead of getting our knickers in a twist over ‘racism’ (Islam is a race?), it would be superfluous.

      Lr, here’s an idea, if we had always treated the Nutcases like the vermin they are, we wouldn’t be having the trouble over here. We MIGHT be having the trouble in the streets of the Capitol of the Shah of Iran.

      Oh, well.

      And, BTW, all the dim bulbs who repeated the mantra “First Terrorist attack on American soil” need to write me a three page (typed, single spaced, 12pt) paper on previous terrorism. 1993 must be mentioned, and look up the words Molly Maguires while you’re at it.

      1. That’s interesting that it was the liberals you knew who freaked out about it. I did, and still do, consider myself conservative/libertarian (small l). It was the blatant unconstitutional nature of the bill that made me mad, and the obvious potential for abuse.

        But yeah, if we let law enforcement use statistics to inform their work in general, rather than assume profiling is automatically evil, maybe we’d all be better off?

        1. As a Libertarian (or Libertarian fellow traveller) I knew that 99% of what the bill did was already being done in the War On Drugs, with goddamned little real oversight and some awful consequences.

          I think the Liberals were freaking out, as I have suggested, because of the way a lot of them had spent the 1990’s playing footsie with groups like CAIR. They were afraid that Bush was going to throw them all in jail (because that’s what they would have done, in his position), and the idea that he might have bigger things on his mind than jailing a bunch of Campus Kooks would not have occurred to them, because it would have meant accepting that they weren’t really all that important.

            1. Bush was too much of a Nice Guy Mild Conservative Rotarian type. You know how you’ve been saying “Lefties, you hate Trump? Think about what we’ll elect if you get rid of him!”? Well, I’ve been saying that about Bush since about 2002. And I was right; they got Trump!

        2. Well, when they use profiling to make every conservative veteran play the enhanced search game, and let Muslim families waltz right through, I’d say that tells us exactly what their Patriot Act is doing.

          1. If they were actually interested in preventing terror they wouldn’t be doing what they are. Cair, Muslim Brotherhood and similar would have no input, visa would be enforced as would border, and see something, say something wouldn’t include the unwritten caveat “unless they are a minority”.

            It is a tool for control. They have protection. We do not and are not allowed to.

          2. Actually, that isn’t the Patriot Act. Reason Magazine wrote at the time that the Patriot Act was nothing new, just explicit approval to use it on terrorism. That didn’t make Reason ADMIRE the thing, mind. But it was the same song and dance that the Drug Warriors had been playing for thirty years.

            The problem is what eight years of Obamarama Ding Dong have done to distort things. Obumbes was A) Reflexively Anti-American and B) Dumb as a post where anything outside of Liberal rote was concerned.

          3. In June, 2002, we were waiting at DeGaulle airport to switch planes. (protip: The French concept of BLT sandwiches ain’t what this guy grew up with. I like my bacon actually cooked…) We noticed that the “random” searches tended to focus on 90 pound grandmother types rather than the usual perps. OTOH, I don’t think we had to go through shoe inspection outside the US.

              1. I will say thiis against profiling; if you concentrate on it too much you might miss some blond, blue eyed Amernican Farm Girl type who’s been brainwashed in an American University into thinking bombing a plane is an act of Social Justice. Or a member of a splinter group of the IRA who’s trading an attack on America for something his buddys want from Islamic Jihadis.

                But to nit do it at all? Progressives are amazingly stupid.

                1. Israel has proven that behavioral profiling is effective. It can also be done without consideration of race, sex, age, or weight, except as those categories affect the way it manifests. That is what we should be doing. Now, frankly, that would probably mean that I would get singled out, because my normal behavior looks kind of shifty, but if I knew that was the reason, I would accept it gracefully. This random bullshit is worthless.

                  1. Heck, I already get profiled– “harried looking woman dressed in baggy clothes with crying child trying to hurry” is a known shoplifting tactic. Especially when the kids are superficially different looking. (We have now four radically different hair colors– honey blonde, red(ish), dark brown and halfway to white blond.)

                    So I am prepared for it, keep my receipt in my hand, am polite, and generally try to make it easy for them. Including making obnoxiously loud comments when some pothead ahead of me hassles the kid doing loss prevention. (WHY is it always the guys who look like Central Casting shipped in a 20-something pothead loser? The last guy could’ve been at home in Seattle, including the watch cap– IN SUMMER IN EL PASO!)

                    1. I tend to look all around me, not because I’m hyper-vigilant, but because deep down, I’m afraid I’ll miss out on seeing something interesting (which, paradoxically, probably makes me miss more), so I’m sure that if someone was looking for a person who looked like he might be up to something, I’d probably fit that profile.

                      Of course, that’s balanced out by my tendency to be invisible to people, so I don’t know.

                    2. Last time I flew, it was home from DC after 21 days at Fort AP Hill, for BSA National Jamboree. When I handed over my bags to TSA the answer to the questions were appropriate, with the addition of where I’d just left … my bags were not opened (they were zip tied shut). Yes, I opened them outside when I go home, even my clean stuff stank.

                      I too am the one who normally tend to be invisible. Don’t fly enough to know if that holds regularly. But doubt that holds now. Now I have a SD. She’s small, cute, & adorable, but getting her through security is not something I’d look forward to. Plus I now have to get mouth torture devices through security (alternative to C-Pap machine).

                    3. A cousin. Anorexic, recovering, very 8 months pregnant (imagine a tall stick with arms, with a smallish beach ball under a jersey), was detained for suspected shop lifting; not gently either. She was only carrying a clutch (so no “bag” to hide things in), no coat, it was summer, just the big ball in front. Since she obviously wasn’t carrying anything, they wanted to search her. She had them call the police. After the police arrived, the officers took her statement & securities, & told the manager, we’ll file, but either way you are screwed (paraphrasing but then this was late ’70’s early 80’s) … yes, the store was sued & settled. Don’t remember the name of the store, wasn’t one we shopped anyway.

      2. Let’s keep a eye on similar people) instead of getting our knickers in a twist over ‘racism’ (Islam is a race?), it would be superfluous.

        I just had a flash on what they might mean– most of the American Muslims are black. Like Mohammad Ali. Or the Islamic group up in Washington that marches with the military on 9/11.

        So they’ve got that automatic connection, like how we tend to assume an American Jew has European roots.

        1. See, I never would have made that connection, because most of the Muslims in my town are university students from the Middle East, most of the blacks are university football players (which… has it’s own social pathologies), and the ones that aren’t football players are foreigners, again, here for university.

          1. My sample is likewise odd, but all the Muslims in old movies and cartoons that aren’t Aladdin types are black, especially the “foreign prince” types.

            I just need someone older than me to see if that scans, because I wasn’t alive in the 70s much less watching media!

              1. At the Ivory Corn Silo, (early 70s) muslims were scarcer than purple people. Blacks on the campus were athletes or Liberal Arts types, with a handful of Black Power folks hanging out on the quad. No obvious Muslim connections; never heard of Nation of Islam outside of Chicago at that time.

            1. The important thing might not be 70s stereotypes among whites. The important thing might have been the thinking of Black Democrats in 2001. Valerie Jarrett may have picked up Islam as a religion fitting her sense of racial identity politics. Is that how it happened with her? Was there a broader trend?

              Your argument makes a fair amount of sense if radical leftwing American Blacks often identified with Islam, thinking it was a good religion that wasn’t racist and white supremacist the way Christianity was*.

              *Yes, I know, this last bit is objectively untrue. I saw a man on twitter once, seemed to be able to talk on friendly terms with conservatives, had issues with Christianity on race. Apparently was not aware that the idea that all humans are people is not universal and naturally occurring. Did not understand the extent to which Christianity is responsible for promoting that idea.

              1. I wasn’t thinking stereotypes among whites, I was thinking stereotypes among liberals, especially the radical ones– the very sort that howl about Christianity being a “white” religion.

                1. Obviously I’m not a Liberal. But I would tend to agree with you. Alas I come from the Northwest, same as you. I know I tended to view most Middle Easterners as “light skinned blacks” they looked more like mulattos (pretty sure that isn’t politically correct, but it is about the best description I can come up with) than a distinct race. Not only were most Muslims in America on TV (where you actually got a picture to visualize) black (Ali, Malcolm X, Farrakhan, fiction African Princes, etc.) but I had done enough reading to realize that large portions of Africa were primarily Muslim. Most Americans internalize African=black, they don’t think of lighter skinned North African/Middle Easterners or Boers, when somebody says African, they automatically picture one of those black natives on the cover of National Geographic.

        2. This isn’t it. Sargon traced the roots of this idea back to – SURPRISE! – a postmodernist who came up with a theory of how governments categorize people and called it “racialization”. Though I can’t seem to find the video now.

    2. I was in college too.

      Heard about the first on on the radio as I was driving to campus. They’d set up a big TV in the student union food court by the time I got there, and I think a bunch of classes got cancelled.

      And there was a rumor that some complete jackass had run across campus waving a Palestinian flag and screaming in triumph. Even now, I kind of hope he got quietly beaten up in a dark alley, but I doubt it. Even then we were way too well-mannered.

  6. It was a Tuesday morning, driving into work on Redstone Arsenal, listening to the local conservative talk radio station. Some idiot pilot had hit a skyscraper in NYC, well I knew that had happened before, back during WWII a small plane had grazed the Empire State building, so assuming no one was seriously hurt we’d be laughing about this for a week or so.
    Then the reports started giving more details, and the gate guards were actually making cars stop for a sticker and badge check instead of just waving us through.
    Got to my office where everyone was either walking the hallways or huddled around radios desperate for more information.
    Somewhere around lunch time the PA system announced that the whole arsenal was on lockdown and we were to head home and await further instructions. Only time I can ever recall being stopped for a sticker and badge check upon leaving the arsenal.
    Email and the internet were still in their infancy, social media was just a gleam in a few frat boys’ eyes. So we all stayed at home glued to the TV waiting for news.
    Eventually we were told to report late on Wednesday, a good thing as all entry gates were backed up for miles as each vehicle was stopped and every occupant made to display their ID. We all knew it was a changed world as there was an APC parked just past the gate with a 20mm cannon directed at the entry point. I’m reasonably sure a round was not chambered, but know from later discussions that the gun was manned and ammo close at hand.
    Sometime during that week the newspaper printed an American flag. I cut it out of the paper and tacked it to the wall above my office nameplate. It remained there until I retired ten years later.

  7. I was in Germany when this happened. I remember how the Germans rallied around the Americans and the bases there. It is a different world now and we have lost our naivety or at least I did.

      1. I will disagree with you on the wars. Bush didn’t fight too much. He didn’t fight enough. Partly because of the cement bucket called liberals around his ankles.
        The news reported in Europe are a left spin or our left-spun or wholly imaginary news. You — and the rest of Portugal — forget that at your own risk.

        1. Do they put something in the water in Europe? I read somewhere that Germans name Donald Trump as their biggest concern it just has me baffled.

          1. You know, some days, I really do wonder. And then I remember who runs the media over there: the governments, which are run by graduates of the political universities and their affiliates. I’m at the point where I’m starting to read more Polish and Austrian news just to get a more realistic viewpoint. Even then, the Austrian sources have to be sifted. (They are coming around, but slowly, so slowly.)

          2. Ah, but which Germans did they ask? A bunch of nice Social Liberals who support the EU and do their best to ignore the rise in rapes?

            The EU elites are finding their subjects increasingly restive.


            1. The problem with that is that if they manage to suppress it too long, until the subjects here get restive enough to fully revolt it might very easily go way too far into the other direction. Lots of the plebes are rediscovering tribalism, and lots never totally lost it in spite of concentrated efforts by the school systems and news media. It’s pretty deeply ingrained still. So totally foreign people, not just those idiots across the border who speak that stupid language, coming here and starting to claim territory and acting as if they owned the place is a rather bad irritant.

              So – good if it forces the elites to adjust their policies, but could be pretty damn bad too if they won’t, in time.

          3. Our newspapers and journalists are mostly probably left of Lenin. The modern version, dyed green. They think their job is to save the world and help usher in the utopia. And presumably be then hailed as kings or something.

        2. W’s problem was not war per se, but what others have already mentioned, nation building and PC war fighting.

  8. I was out milking my goats that morning. As I started in to the house with a full pail of milk, my husband (now ex) came out to meet me with the news of the first plane; at first, like Sarah, we thought it was another accidental crash. We didn’t have a TV, so got on the computer, and watched as the second plane crashed, then the third, then….Numb, in shock, horrified….I barely knew what the WTC was, since I’ve never spent time in NYC, but I did know someone who worked there (it turned out she’d taken that day off and wasn’t in the buildings).

    Like Allene, we were p****ed when they passed the Patriot Act, deeply skeptical at the military action Bush got us into in the Middle East. In the years since, I’ve been horrified and furious at the policies which have FAVORED Muslims immigrating into our country and have allowed Muslims into the highest reaches of our government. They openly brag that they are all about taking us over and we LET THEM!!!! The Deep State people who have enabled this need to be stood up against a wall and shot for treason.

    1. That gives them far more importance then they are entitled to have. They should be fired and blackballed for anything connected with the government, and NGOs that insist on hiring them should be informed that no government money or cooperation will be forthcoming until they are canned.

      Having to ask people “will you have fries with that?” would punish them FAR more than being shot.

    2. I didn’t hear about the definite news on the fourth plane. Yes, there were rumors about it — there were rumors about a lot of things — but I learned it was part when Jerry Pournelle posted something online from the father of one of the heroes.

  9. And that they could reach in, and kill innocent citizens. 

    It was argued that there was no such thing as innocent citizens.  That alone should have gone a long way indicate we should disregard the rest of their arguments altogether. 

    Sorry guilty-hand-wringers of the world, some cultures are simply better than others.  And one that does not recognize that there are in fact innocents is not on the list of better.  Not only that, but these terrorists are using our recognition of that fact there are innocents as a weapon against us, putting their own people in harms way as a shield.  Now they are true candidates for the title of The Deplorables.

    1. Yet those are the very people Hillary want’s to kiss up to (at least as long as they pay her.) Wait. Isn’t that the definition of a prostitute?

    2. On those few occasion when some fool tells me that no Culture is better than any other, I say “When one culture is debating the rightness of Gay Marriage and another is debating whether Gays should be burned alive, stoned, or thrown from towers, I know which is preferable.”

      Somehow, they don’t want to talk to me anymore after that.


  10. I woke up to the radio alarm, and the local news reporting an airliner had hit the WTC towers in NYC. Somehow, my very first thought was “Someone made a mistake. They just made a *serious* mistake”.

    No, not the news announcement. Somehow, immediately upon waking, I just *knew* this was an act of violence. Of war. I was immediately and massively angry. Enraged.

    I have no idea how, even to this day …but hearing the radio announcement … I knew.

    And almost as immediately, knew what was coming.

    “They” (I didn’t know who “they” were yet), had seriously underestimated America and Americans. And they’d regret it.

    Someone was going to pay dearly for their mistake.

    Looking back, I woke up to vengeance, I guess, thinking about my reaction and thoughts then, as I read what I’m writing this now, this morning.

    I woke up my wife and explained. Wide eyes. Tears.

    The world changed. The Pax Americana had been broken.

    Someone was going to regret this. Someone.

    It didn’t get any better as the day wore on.

    It got worse as the years went by. I came to loathe half of the brain-dead citizens of the country, holding them in utter contempt.

    I’ve learned to live with it.

    1. I was working retail, and most of my coworkers were still processing the incident later that day. I told one, “You know this means war, don’t you?” and she looked at me like I was crazy.

      I also told her that no terrorist group was going to claim they’d done it if they hadn’t. Remember back when terror groups would claim credit for things they hadn’t done? I knew right then that this was too big. NOBODY would want the fallout from it if they hadn’t planned it.

      (And hey, do you also remember when the IRA used to be doing small-scale terror attacks every few months? They’d tapered off before this century, but I don’t think there’s been a single one since 9/11. Small mercies.)

      1. I seem to remember reading something about how all of the donations to the IRA from the American Irish dried up after 9/11.

        Something about a sudden realization that they could be prosecuted for supporting terrorists, maybe.

        1. There may have been some fear of prosecution, but I suspect it was more the fact that for some inexplicable reason, Irish-Americans in New York no longer accepted the “terrorists are what the little army calls the big army” argument and didn’t think sending money to a group blowing up grandmothers in shopping malls was a good way to remember the old country.

          1. IIRC, the Irish terrorists was careful to contact the police and warn them about all bombings. The civilian casualties were from teh cops not letting word out..and they made a big public fit about that at one point, too.

            The point was to destroy stuff and be a pain in the tail, not get a body-count of innocents.

            Can’t remember if they targeted cops/military or not.

            Still terrorism, but different flavors, different goals.

            1. ETA, the Basque separatist group, were strong proponents of calling in warnings and targeting only police in uniform – not their families, not civilians. And apparently they were seriously p1ssed when the 3/3 attack happened in Spain. ETA hated the Spanish national government, but the Islamists were not playing by the rules.

              1. They were for years very much as Foxfier described, they did target cops and even politicians a few times, but these were/are considered legitimate targets by many people. (if you consider yourself in a war, albeit covert rather than open, then uniformed, armed government officials and policy makers on the other side are at least in the realm of arguably legitimate). Their money and support dried up when they became less “ethical” in their target choice.

                There is some argument that the British cops intentionally suppressed warnings by the IRA (and some conspiracists claim actually perpetuated some of the highest casualty attacks themselves to frame the IRA, although these conspiracists are generally regarded by all sane intellegent people as IRA propagandists, not anybody with more than a passing relationship with reality) because the only way to suppress support for them was to blacken their name with civilian casualties. I know of no proof for this, there is proof that the cops suppressed knowledge of coming attacks, they claim in an attempt to trap and capture IRA operatives, the IRA claims to cause civilian casualties and blacken their name.

                There is a clear correlation between the choice to hit less legitimate targets and the rapid drying up of monetary support. What exactly caused the change in target choice is debatable. Many claim that the IRA was already declining and fracturing of the IRA (particularly easy in a cellular structure or the necessarily loose control of any underground, grassroots organization, allowed the rise of some radicals who were less particular about target selection. Others claim it was radicals who weren’t really IRA, just claimed to be (a difficult claim to prove, since as far as I am aware there was no official membership list). Whatever the reason, the result was the practical end of the IRA as both a terrorist group and a political entity.

            2. I don’t know about bombings, but there were firearms attacks that definitely targeted people. I can’t remember the woman’s name, but a fairly well-known celebrity of some sort was attending a funeral when one of them went down.

  11. “I was in many ways an idiot, an internationalist Libertarian who believed frontiers were a construct. How this managed to coexist with my patriotic fervor for the US is a mystery.”

    Not really. I can certainly give an explanation (though not necessarily the correct one). You were a patriotic American born in Portugal. Generalizing from your own experience, it would be easy enough to imagine that there were patriotic Americans all over the globe with the misfortune to be born in the wrong country. Similarly, I’m sure you’d met plenty who were born in the USA who were anything but patriotic Americans. From that, I could see you figuring that who the “Americans” were had little correlation with those living in the territory between Canada and Mexico.

    “And looking back, it is at that inflection point that it broke,”

    It’s worth remembering that the fabled “unity” after the attacks lasted only a few months, and even before that, there were cracks. At my college, there were anti-American table tents appearing in the dining halls by the end of the week (the attacks were all our fault, we’re horrible, and besides what about the entirely hypothetical hate crimes against Muslims that this very real hate crime perpetrated by Muslims might trigger). There was Katha Pollit’s “the flag is about jingoism” column that same week. And of course there was Michael Moore’s infamous rant about how the terrorists killed people with politics like his rather than those nasty Bush supporters (something he took precisely the wrong lesson from; rather than recognizing that their problems with America weren’t his, he seemed to think he needed to be more anti-American so the terrorists would know the difference).

    1. (something he took precisely the wrong lesson from; rather than recognizing that their problems with America weren’t his, he seemed to think he needed to be more anti-American so the terrorists would know the difference).

      He is just still hoping to be eaten last.

  12. I interrupt this program to bring you this message:

    I have been thinking, ‘Why did I have to mention Hurricanes last Thursday?’

    To all of you in the predicted path of Hurricane Florence — please, if you have never been through one of these before, don’t underestimate what a hurricane can do. Take it seriously. Make preparations. Evacuate if asked to do so. Keep safe.

        1. The question is how fast the storm will move once it has started to impact land. Presently it looks like it will slow down or stall, That means a prolonged deluge, with all the lovely things which that entails. (As well, we have been advised to prepare for sustained tropical force winds in the upper Piedmont, and for prolonged power outages.)

          For those with a memory the authorities are referring back to Hurricane Hazel of 1954, which in one devastating storm ended one of the worst droughts in the area on record.

  13. One thing that became clear soon after 9/11 was that there are a substantial number of Americans who either don’t like our country and its citizens very much, or are incredibly naive, or both.

    Within days of the collapse of the Towers, it started. “Progressive” demonstrators brought out the stilt-walkers, the Uncle Sam constumes, and the giant puppets of George Bush. They carried signs accusing America of planning “genocide” against the people of Afghanistan.

    Professors and journalists preached about the sins of Western civilization, asserting that we had brought it all on ourselves. A well-known writer wrote of her unease when her daughter chose to buy and display an American flag. Some universities banned the display of American flags in dormitories, claiming that such display was “provocative.”

    Opinions such as these quickly metastacized to the point at which they are no longer irrelevant to mainstream politics. Former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, along with other leading Democrats, attended a special screening of Michael Moore’s movie Farenheit 9/11. Moore is well-known for his outrageous statements about the country in which he lives–things he is credibly reported to have said include: “(Americans) are possibly the dumbest people on the planet . . . in thrall to conniving, thieving smug [pieces of the human anatomy],” (in an interview with the British newspaper The Mirror) and “That’s why we’re smiling all the time. You can see us coming down the street. You know, `Hey! Hi! How’s it going?’ We’ve got that big [expletive] grin on our face all the time because our brains aren’t loaded down” (to a crowd in Munich) and “You’re stuck with being connected to this country of mine, which is known for bringing sadness and misery to places around the globe.” (to a crowd in Cambridge, England.) And about the terrorists killing Americans and Iraqis on a daily basis in Iraq, Moore had this to say: “The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not `insurgents’ or `terrorists’ or `The Enemy.’ They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow — and they will win.”

    This is the individual who shared Jimmy Carter’s box at a Democratic National Convention, and who continues to be very popular in “progressive” circles.

    Imagine if a former President, in the midst of World War II, had embraced a man who spoke to foreign audiences about the stupidity of the American people and referred to our German and Japanese enemies as “heroes.” Imagine also that such attitudes had been openly embraced by a large part of the Republican Party leadership and by many well-known writers and entertainers. Could Franklin Roosevelt have led the nation to victory under such circumstances?

    And continuously, there has been the steady drip-drip-drip of moral equivalence. In September 2003, Howard Dean, who became Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, stated that the US should not “take sides” in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Actually, the refusal to draw a bright line against Palestinian terrorism is a major factor that enabled 9/11 and other terrorist atrocities.

    Susan Turnbull, Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee, referred to the killing of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi as murder. Follow this link and you can hear it for yourself. Yes, she corrected herself and changed it to the “bombing” of Zarqawi. However: As far as I can tell, Turnbull is a native speaker of the English language. And I don’t think any native English speaker would use the term “murdered” unless they disapproved of what had been done. Certainly, few Americans during WWII would have referred to the “murder” of Admiral Yamamoto (whose plane was shot down after his movement plans became known via communications intercepts) or the “murder” of German war criminals who were executed after the war.

    Many individuals, particularly among religious leaders, showed a stunning naivete. A blogger quoted from a homily at a church in her neighborhood: “What if, instead of bombing Afghanistan, we had dropped food, medicine and education?”

    How could anyone with an IQ above refrigerator-temperature level even think such a thing, let alone say it? But these attitudes are now quite common.

    1. We tried food, education and medicine in that region. They even made a movie about it. Blackhawk Down.

      1. The family went to see Black Hawk Down in the theaters.  By the time we left I was in pain. I had been gripping the arms and pressing back of my seat that hard the whole time.  I also was ANGRY.  Expletive deleted stupid rules of engagement.  It was criminal, just criminal.

        1. I had an uncle there, I don’t know exactly what his experiences that day were; but he was SF so I’m pretty sure he didn’t spend the time sitting on his duff. I think of him whenever Blackhawk Down! comes up

  14. The day the earth stood still, in front of a television, all over the world. Well, in some places they were dancing with glee.
    No, Sarah, this will not end peacefully. Half are iron, half soft clay, cohesion is no longer possible. As Steve Stills sang at the beginning of this mess, “There’s battle lines being drawn…”

    1. What’s that sound? It’s the unmistakable sound of a Remington 870 12 ga. pump cycling a round of 00 into the chamber. Don’t Tread On Me.

      1. Funny, I could have sworn it was that metallic whisper of the closing of the bolt on a round of 6.5 Creedmoor, audible only to the shooter who is a thousand yards away from his intended target. Who will never hear it as at that range the bullet is still traveling faster than the sound wave of the shot.

        1. Okay, you take the ones at distance, I’ll keep the rest off your back while you’re doing it.

            1. When the ammo bag full of shotgun shells goes empty, and the action clacks open on an empty magazine, then I’ll drop the gun, go old school, and out sweeps the rapier.

              Going down to Rosendale N.Y. this weekend to play with the epeeists at the Widow Jane Mine. Have to stay in practice, don’t you know. 😉

  15. Definitely think it was a critical point. The country showed they didn’t have the will to retaliate with full force. Plus it sent the anti Bush forces hard over into supporting anyone but Bush while holding on to fig leaf of ‘it was just OBL’. So instead of focusing on the general cultural rot through the mideast the country’s leadership just ignored anything but him. Part of why Muslim Brotherhood got intertwined in the USG and why ISIS exploded and was ignored.

    Sadly the laziness of the Republicans as well as the propaganda machines made it so that any derogatory words toward the attackers and their faith were the only definition of evil. And it let the masks fall so that instead of hoisting fig leafs to securing the nation the rulers simply admitted their contempt for the subhumans that didn’t live in the big blue hives. It’s fueled the Balkanization of the populace and growth of the unaccountable police state that is necessary to rule over one. And it is probably more than enough to secure them power, even if they order genocide.

  16. I was at work, that morning – I had the classical music station on in the car on my morning commute, and when I opened the office, my first duty was to call all the people with appointments for the day and confirm … and the first client I called was practically having hysterics when she picked up the phone. The Towers were on fire, people were jumping, it was horrible…
    That’s when I turned on the radio, finally — in time to hear the NPR announcers talking about the first tower collapsing. To the internet, then; I was fond of Slate and Salon, then, as they hadn’t gone all around the bend. A couple of posters at Slate were within eye-sight of the Towers and they had put up pictures taken from their windows.
    The company owner couldn’t quite get his head around what a huge thing it was, at first; didn’t grasp why all his consultations were cancelled for that day. The office building where we worked looked out to the south, across one of the approach paths to San Antonio International Air port. It was the usual thing, to see the jets sliding past, like beads on a string – but that day, the sky was empty.
    There was a bank on the ground floor – they brought out a big TV on a rolling stand, and it was tuned to the news for all the rest of the day.
    People were in shock; everyone was very quiet. I went out to a grocery store on my lunch break to get some stuff – they had the radio on in the store, and everyone was listening to it with half an ear.
    My daughter and I were not so shocked, really – we had lived with terrorism for quite a while, in Greece, and then in Spain. There were certain things that we had just internalized; in fact, my daughter’s first coherent memory is of standing on the steps of the Athens apartment building that we lived in, watching me kneel down and check the underside of my car for explosives.
    9-11 was horrific … but it was not so much of a surprise to us.

    1. On my drive to work I had to switch from WINS everyday to Boston University’s station (lived in central CT, worked in Providence, RI). On the Boston University radio station the woman who had the shift knew she had a job in such a crisis, but was at a loss. She read news as she could get it to load on her computer and in between would just play something she thought appropriate.

      I know she wasn’t a firefighter or a cop. She was just a young woman, possibly as young as 18. Still, she had an intrinsic sense of duty as someone with microphone and did her duty to the best of her ability. I don’t care if her life was not at risk, she will remain one my 9/11 heroes for rising to what the moment needed from her.

      1. Song comes to mind– Cowboy Logic.

        If it’s a job, do it, put your back in to it.
        Cause a little bit of dirt’s gonna wash off in the rain
        If it’s a horse, ride it, if it hurts, hide it
        Dust yourself off and get back on again

  17. Today Bernie Sanders posted on Facebook about 9/11. To quote, “And today we must commit to end terrorist violence and the conditions that give rise to it: corruption, authoritarianism, inequality and ethnic and religious hatred.”

    Is everyone else as pissed off about this statement as I am?

    1. End authoritarianism? I’m all for that. Sure, let’s do it. We can start by eliminating communism and socialism.

      No I am not pissed. I am saddened. Saddened that such statements are not recognized by more people as the obviously utter tripe that they are.

    2. In my mind such talk always begs the question made famous by the songwriter Heather Alexander:
      How many of them can we make die?

          1. My ringtone is Soldiers of the Wasteland by Dragonforce, because it starts out loud and is hard to miss. March of Cambreadth starts out quiet and by the time I hear it the call is going to voicemail. So it is my text notification tone instead. 😉

        1. Axes flash, broadsword swing,
          Shining armour’s piercing ring
          Horses run with polished shield,
          Fight Those Bastards till They Yield
          Midnight mare and blood red roan,
          Fight to Keep this Land Your Own
          Sound the horn and call the cry,
          How Many of Them Can We Make Die!

          March of Cambreadth – Heather Alexander

      1. So after taking his advice and doing it domestically, how do wedeal with the issue of a one-party state after all the Dem politicos and most of the Rep ones are dead?

        1. Libertarians are like Protestants. They divide into factions at the drop of a hat in the absence of outside pressure (that damned individualism thing) so we’ll be a multiple party state within 72 hours.

  18. Just a few of my memories of the day.

    Seventeen years ago it started out as a pretty typical Tuesday morning for our household. 

    I had gotten up and done my morning routine.  This included checking The Weather Chanel as I brushed my teeth and hair.  Over a view of The World Trade Towers taken from across the Hudson River in New Jersey. The forecasters were talking about what a perfect September day it was going to be in NYC.  I recall reflecting that, while architecturally I found the towers themselves dull, unremarkable tall boxes, that skyline made for an impressive view. 

    The Spouse was home that day, but he had some errands to run.  He went out early.  I saw him off, saying hello to the neighbor.  She told me it was her husband’s fiftieth birthday and they had big plans for the night.  I went back into the house and settled in to work on some important study project I was doing at the time.  (Try as I might I no longer remember just what it was I was working on now.)

    A little while later The Spouse came back in the house shouting to me to turn on the TV and then left again.  I turned on the TV.  The day slowly turned upside down.

    A plane had crashed into the North Tower of World Trade Center.  Over shots of the smoking tower, at first the news was a discussion of previous plane accidents, postulations as to how it might have occurred this time.  As time wore on you could tell that there was something more not being said.  And the second plane hove into view, smashing into the South Tower producing that great fireball.  There was no more talk of accidents.

    The Spouse next returned from the rest of his errands as the third plane hit the Pentagon.

    We spent most of the day online, I in chats with friends in the New York area.  One was a friend whose husband worked for the New York Fire Department.  He had left that morning for his shift on one of the FDNY boats in the harbor.  She did not know at the time that his boat was among the very first of the first responders to arrive on scene.  Another friend had no idea where her son was. She had put him on the train in New Jersey headed to the World Trade Center station for his first day of art school in NYC.  All the while the TV was on in the background. Neither I or The Spouse could bring ourselves to turn it off. 

    At one point I had a discussion with the mail man when he came to deliver our mail.  He was trying to pick up news as he drove his route.  People came out of the houses, using the mail delivery as an excuse to do so.  We all talked.  We could recite various facts and describe images we had seen, which we all did.  Everyone was still trying to absorb what was happening.  There was an eerie surreal quality to much of it, a string of vignettes, connected and unconnected, urgent and detached at the same time.

  19. So I walked my girls (a 4th grader and a kindergartner) over to the bus and waited for it with them. Walked the 5 minutes back to the house and headed north to Nashua NH. Clicked on WBUR local NPR station. As climbed onto the highway they announced a plain had hit one of the WTC towers. Like others I remembered that aircraft had hit the Empire state in the past. Then I looked at the sky, absolute blue like a fall day can be not even a wisp of cloud. I figured NYC weather to be similar and that seemed odd. In the old days there was a VFR corridor across NYC that small planes (mostly tourists) could take. I thought, “Huh maybe some beginner got distracted, or maybe the pilot had a medical emergency”. About 9AM (or a little after?) I’m reaching the Digital Equipment Corporation (well COMPAQ) site at Spitbrook Road. As I drive in NPR reports a SECOND aircraft has struck the towers. At that point I was pretty sure it was terrorism. I figured some folks had stolen a couple small aircraft at local airports. Not like there’s a hell of a lot of security at a local airport, and even small commercial craft are (or were) routinely accessible. Waited about 5 minutes with the radio but nothing new (And WBUR had moved on for the moment and was running the BBC). Walked in to work. Co workers had heard about the first plane. They were trying to use the internet to get news but even by then things were getting slow. One guy wandered to the cafeteria (not far from our offices). TVS were on on local news. He came back and reported the Pentagon had been hit. We sort of cycled from our desks to the Caf on and off. I happened to be down there when the first tower went down. Several people went pale, and even a few were crying.
    Trust me NOTHING got done that day 3500 people milling about stunned.

    This falls into the category of signal events in my life.
    Moon Landing, Nixon resignation, Challenger, Start of the first gulf war, and 9/11, But 9/11 probably had the most impact on my worldview. I was a fiscally conservative liberal democrat with Libertarian tendencies. Clinton antics (particular not resigning once caught in perjury) had started my divorce from the Democrats, but their response to 9/11 (especially the “its our fault”) Made it clear that they had long since ceased to be serious in foreign policy.

    1. Your girls are about the age of my boys, then. Robert was in fourth grade and Marsh was in first grade (just entered) though I persistently remember him as being in kindergarten.
      I think it’s because for whatever reason his class started late that day. And usually that was KG. I sat outside his classroom reading a Keith Laumer (old) paperback (no longer remember the name, but can almost see the cover, one of those horrible 70s covers) until he went in half an hour after Robert then walked home.
      I don’t remember if I had had no coffee before taking them in (possible. I sleep badly when Dan isn’t home and might have slept late) or if I was getting my second cup when my then best friend and writing buddy Rebecca Lickiss called screaming “turn on the TV.”
      An hour later I was in the kitchen making doughnuts and crying. (No, I have no clue why I make doughnuts when distressed. Just that I do.)

      1. Yes, it would have been odd for Marshall to be in kindergarten the same year my younger son was. I think my older son was in third grade (he’d have been eight at the time).

  20. The memories of 9/11 that I will never shake off are the international coverage in the days after with a de facto Muslim street party celebrating the blow struck against the Great Satan, and the way our gutless media collectively decided rather quickly to censor any further videos of the plane strikes because it would be too inflamatory and disturbing to the public.
    In counterpoint I also remember all those brave souls who simply rushed to the action and did everything in their power, far too often at the cost of their own lives, to aid and comfort those victims of those truly cowardly attacks.

    1. What sticks in my head is the Queen of England’s musical gesture.

      And wasn’t there a batch of Canadians, at a hockey meet of all things, who sang our anthem a cappella?

      That is class.

      I always knew we had enemies. I was touched at how many friends we have.

      1. The small city I was then living in ended up hosting several hundred Canadians when the FAA forced all planes to land ASAP. They had to use a ladder fire-truck to get the people off the planes (Rural Air Carrier airports are not set up for 737-height doors.)

    2. I remember a picture, since hard to locate, of some fool who, while burning an American flag, got wrapped in it. Couldn’t find any story about him, but I expect he was very badly burned and maybe killed.


    1. As long as we’re doing musical tributes:

      Fish may have gotten the details wrong, but the feeling is right. I can’t listen to the song more than about once a year, but I have to listen to it that once.

      1. I’d never heard that one before. Thanks for posting it.

        Though I do have a slight artistic criticism: rather than the Lord’s Prayer, I think they should have recited the 23rd Psalm during the interlude. That, after all, was what Todd Beamer asked the operator to say with him right before he said, “Let’s roll!”

        1. They prayed both.

          Probably went with the Lord’s Prayer because it is what He said to pray when folks would be watching, and it also scans better.

          1. You’ve never heard people politely arguing over coffee and punch about debts/debtors vs. trespasses/those who trespass vs. sins/sinners. Ah, community fellowship events *wry, fond smile*

            1. I can believe it, but we are talking humanly possible avoidance of trouble here, not perfection!

              We even get sharp elbows over using the familiar form in prayers. (Thee, thy, etc)

    2. Also, because I’m tired of crying, and because we need to remember to “put a boot in [their] a$$” because “it’s the American way”:

      1. It was brought home to me shortly after Toby released this and the elites ranted at great length as to what a crude uneducated redneck he was for the language he used that quite simply they did not live in the same universe that I and those I cared about did.
        Funny, sometimes I feel that same way when they go on and on about Trump.
        Crude, uncultured, can sometimes be an asshole, absolutely, but those are my kind of people, not you smarmy elitist leeches and liars.

        1. I was absolutely not surprised he played at the inauguration. Between that and Hope on the Rocks (couple on album) could have been a theme song

        2. That day was such a shock that some of the leftists even came to their senses. Neil Young produced a excellent song and video.  (You got to turn down on evil when its coming after you.  You gotta face it down and when it tries to hide you gotta go in after it and never be denied.)

          Sadly for many it was only a temporary state.

          The Youngest Brother-in-law was working as an air traffic controller on Long Island seventeen years ago.  (He had that Tuesday off.)  This man, a dedicated left winger, was furious to the bone.  He was out for bear and wanted swift vengeance on those who had done this.  How could someone do this?  Eventually this initial impulse faded and he took the we-brought-it-upon-ourselves line hook and sinker. 

        3. …what a crude uneducated redneck he was for the language he used…

          And then you listen to the language that most of them use, and you see that even this was projection.

    3. I still have a hard time with Alan Jackson’s “Where were you (when the world stopped turning?)” especially in September.

      OTOH, I start remembering Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red White and Blue”.

  21. I’ve updated the post at my place with some “learn about jihad and Islam” book titles, including the two brand new ones by Raymond Ibrahim and Peter Townsend (_Sword and Scimitar_, and _The Mecca Mystery_ respectively.)

  22. I still feel they have never told the truth of who did it and why nor were the reprisals anything but taking advantage of a crisis that is now standard political procedure. Basically I don’t think the government gives a damn what happens to 3,000 of us and if somebody takes out 3 million with a nuke they will care more about the economic damage than 3 million peasants who are just faceless spear carriers in their drama. Then they lied about the dust and crap just like everything else so now more thousands of little people are sick who were stupid enough to believe official lies. That all politicians are really good at, lying.

  23. Seventeen years ago today, when the news of 9/11 hit, I was sitting in this same building as now, but in a different room. Three of the same people who were there then are in this room now. The internet was intermittently overwhelmed, so sometimes we watched events on a TV on a cart that somebody had rolled in from somewhere; reception was poor, but enough for us to follow what was happening. The engineering IT manager, a civil engineer in his earlier years, explained what was happening, and what was likely to happen as the fires continued to rage. It was not a good day.

  24. I was at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, about 70 miles SE of Washington. Heard the report of the first WTC hit, started checking Drudge Report for updates. Like a lot of people, I figured it was like the B-25 hitting the Empire State Building.

    Then the second airplane hit. Once is an accident, twice is enemy action. We didn’t have a TV set in the office, so I went home to get one. Turned on the news at home just in time to see the first WTC building come down. Grabbed the set, headed back.

    Never made it, they closed the base.

    The frustrating part was that I’d spent five years working on what had been the DARPA Global Hawk UAV program. And on 12 Sep 2001, they got THE phone call. No more test program, it’s time to go to war. And they made their names to shine…but left me behind. (I got a full measure of redemption much later, but that is a different story)

  25. My son worked for a representative then in the Longworth building. I had a garbled message on my machine that morning that they were being evacuated, I didn’t hear from him again until 11:30 pm. I live in northern Virginia and could see the smoke from the Pentagon. We drove by it a week later, and photographs simply do not convey the extent of the devastation. My next door neighbor was very lucky; he was Air Force with an office in the section hit but but that was the section being renovated at the time and he hadn’t been moved back yet.

  26. I’ll add that one thing the history programs don’t really capture is the chaos of that day. We knew the rats were in the system, but not how many or where. Three hijacked airplanes? Four? Ten? Targeting what cities? What buildings? And were there follow-up attacks planned not involving airplanes? Nobody really knew.

    1. A large part of the effect of that day was that, ‘Nobody really knew.’

      After the Pentagon was hit I think there was an overwhelming feeling of ‘What next?’ Not a question of if, but what and when. It took a while for that to wear off.

  27. There’s a lot that I remember from that day (a post in itself), but late that evening, as I was online, I remember reading a comment from a message board I was on that was one heck of a gut punch. (I copied it, but that was several computers and crashes ago.) It was from someone who had returned from a trip a day or two earlier than planned, and it ended with: “I have the ticket in my hand. I have the ticket in my hand.” Very sobering.

  28. Having said all this, I don’t think the 11 Sep 01 attacks were the shattering point. I think it goes to the 2000 Presidential election, and the failure of Al Gore and the Propaganda Press to steal it…by the thinnest of margins. The Left went into full temper-tantrum mode, and never stopped.

    And Trump enraged them even more. Bush the Younger could be steamrollered by the Buckleyite pearl-clutchers. Trump did NOT give a damn.

  29. The other half of the country has about fifteen years in gotten tired of it, and just wants a return to reason.

    We can pray and hope and work to its not coming to blood, to its not coming to the end of our country as it is and more as it should be.

    I know I have argued here that no one with a clue wants violence. That the cost of a openly violent sorting out of all this is huge and a price we don’t want to pay.

    That said, I’m starting to ask, “When does tolerating the kind of behavior we have to deal with from the Left start being a price higher than that of violent resolution?”

    Do I want violent resolution? Do I want civil war? No. The best case, absolute best case bar none is a Pinochet type right wing dictator (which Trump is not as all those leftist idiots screaming “tyrant” would learn) who held a going out of business sale after a decade or so. The more likely best case, and still a best case, is a Franco who holds on for life, especially after Pinochet’s arrest in London.

    Even that beast case ends one of the longest violence free transitions of power and the longest purely electoral one.

    However, the left is one election away from impeaching Trump. Given how little the GOP loves them I can see them gathering the votes IF they have a Senate majority already to convict.

    Then bare the door, Sally, because the electoral part of that transition record is gone. Everyone who voted for Trump half suspecting their vote didn’t matter will have their faces rubbed in it not mattering. And don’t give me “but, mu midterms.” I’m talking about people who, foolishly, think voting for President is all that matters. The irony of those people exercising their wraith on leftists who promoted that view my whole life isn’t lost on me, but I don’t want it.

    Say we dodge that bullet, however, all it does is setup continual dodging until they regain their wits. Insane leftists winning an election will mean a crack-down on their enemies (and no quotes, we are their enemies in their mind) which will lead to violence.

    So, our non-violent path is to make sure we never slip up and lose and election until they gain their senses. Anyone want to bet on how long that takes?

    Yeah, it’s gonna take a miracle.

    1. Not sure there would be a rising up. All it will take is for someone to perjure themselves and accuse Trump of some crime or falsified evidence. You’ll have a bunch of Reps who shrug and say they have to follow the law. May never come out, at least in the false reality we are fed that it was all lies. Of course Pence will be either cowed or be the next target of the stasi state. And vote wise folks will just accept that the government has no interest in helping and just start looting the treasury. United States was already well on the way to its suicide before I could walk.

      First person that fights back will be executed by the not so secret police.

        1. Eh, you’ll have scattered resistance. After the first home of a resistor has a hellfire or JDAM pop in I doubt there will be much more interest. There will be no resistance when they order a B52 to flatten an unruly neighborhood. And highly doubt anything combined or organized above neighborhood level. Any comm tool will be restricted and monitored. Special police will be running the same stings they do for terrorists. States that didn’t play ball would be financially attacked and no government funds provided, something every state is now dependent on.

          Plus, most of the population doesn’t care. They just want a nice comfortable life. If that means they have to rat on neighbors or even execute them themselves they will. But just reversion to the human standard.

          1. No, if those kinds of tactics come out, it will be a bloodbath, with retired military training anyone who wants to learn in guerilla warfare and improvised munitions. Nowhere would be safe for anyone who could be identified as being related to such actions.

            1. Meh, given the extent of the segregation between the rulers and ruled in the US your danger will be borne mainly by low level functionaries. The ones actually giving orders would be safely ensconced and protected.

              And after the first time a bomb or gunman kills people that can be made up as civvies the populace will support restrictions on travel. Possibly even warrantless search. Maybe an order of magnitude from Northern Ireland but been withstood before even without the thought control of media.

                  1. Plus, he’s assuming that the military will blindly follow orders. Most of the military is closer to us than they are to the idiots giving the orders.

              1. With respect aacid14, what region do you live in? The practical issues here are huge – the sheer number of random people who could decide to go “hunting” alone makes this problematic, not to mention that megadeaths among the rulers’ main support base can be caused by *very* few people, which even in a Soviet level surveillance society would be able to work unnoticed.

                1. What’s also being left out of this equation is the fact that the urban centers which represent the elites power base have about three days supply of food; and that food is coming out of the areas where the opposition to those elites live.

                  Mass starvation isn’t pretty, nor are the public health problems which follow in its wake.

                2. Central in the one state with 0 obama counties but have spent in north and southeast including time in and out of the cities. The random people would be a percentage of the opposition in these states and cities. When that percentage is 30-40% of population and much of that population is of the bow tie clique or those with too much to lose and that pool is cut further. Competence will further shrink the pool. Add in that bank and credit card info will be able to further highlight likely actors (have you never used a card or check to pay for range time, ammo, memberships, etc) and that random population is probably sub 1%

                  Yes, revolt is a nonzero chance but typically totalitarians and autocrats exit office feet first in pomp and circumstance.

                  1. have you never used a card or check to pay for range time, ammo, memberships, etc

                    Most of the rural folks I know haven’t.

                    The seriously dangerous guys I KNOW haven’t.

                    Hell, I’ve only bought ammo at a place that only sells gun stuff once in my life– and that was only possible after moving up to the Seattle area, and having a concealed carry weapon isn’t exactly a good filter.

                    1. “Most of the rural folks I know haven’t.
                      The seriously dangerous guys I KNOW haven’t.”

                      Don’t fall into the above category, nor does anyone I know. But FWIW, I have never, to my knowledge fired purchased ammunition; it is all self loaded. I can guarantee most the ammunition we currently have (& we have for “normal people” a lot*) was loaded over 30 years ago before dad’s stroke. Mom ended up giving away his equipment (couldn’t sell it) & left over powder. But did not give away any of the already loaded ammunition. Never been to a range.

                      * Range/Hunting shooting – last a long time. Oh S*** the world has gone nuts – not that much.

                    2. I honestly have a hard time bringing myself to PAY to shoot in a rather cruddy setup.

                      I know it’s good if that’s all you’ve got, but…dang.

                    3. aacid, just how many cops at all levels do you think there are? Not to mention jail cells / places to keep people? Unless they can arrest ALL the Deplorables at once, it’s not going to be a secret.

              2. Trust me on security– it is really not that effective.

                Most of what makes the US so safe is that any one of us could be armed.

                Start working against that, and the only folks that will be armed are the enemy. (From either side you’re looking at it.)

            2. Hell, there are multiple radio shows which advise on tactics to be used against corrupt military authority. Dark Secret Place all but gives out homework on “how to defend your place when the cops are worthless” and “here are the weaknesses of the National Guard.”

          2. The pilot of said plane would be more likely to turn around and bomb the order originator. Less likely that his family be killed in reprisal.

            1. All depends. Probably would have some of the heartland bases deserted but put their assets on the coast. Already proven that they protect those who strike the subhumans. And after the first few bureaucratic errors that destroy resistors, which side will be more immediate? The one calling for gulags or the one wanting to be left alone.

              1. You are forgetting just how vulnerable their strongholds actually are. You don’t need a mass uprising to kill off most of their supporters. A dozen or so guys could probably take out NYC.

                And how does one locate the “resistance” when it is mostly unknowns who decide to go hunting?

          3. Assuming they did manage to get someone dumb enough to level a neighborhood– it wouldn’t happen a second time.

            Not unless they started recruiting celibate orphans to fly the planes.

          4. What was the failure mode of the Soviet Union? Information corruption causes confusion, confusion and fear causes reflexive ‘Sir, yes, sir’ while secretly not giving a fuck, secretly not giving a fuck means quality control is shit, and the apparatus of state terror gets subtly brittle. Then preference cascade, as unavoidable chaotic shifts reveal that even the apparatus of state terror is lazy, stupid, and doesn’t give a fuck.

            We wouldn’t have gotten Trump if the information corruption issues weren’t having an effect on people. We can fairly strongly infer that people are lying about the southern border security situation, so we are paranoid, and nervous.

            One of the fundamental problems with leftists, lawyers, and judges in this country is magical thinking assuming things like law are a constant. The United States is a bunch of peoples who don’t necessarily like each other much. It’s law and government are effectively a negotiated compromise with shared buy in. Lawless bullshit compromises that, and moves towards the situation where one can’t get parts because the supplier’s workers are killing each other on the shop floor. Okay, that is an extreme case that probably won’t be reachable.

            It doesn’t matter that the once and future empress is inviolate on her throne in her bunker. If her apparatus of state terror relies on threat of bombings to obtain spares to keep the bombers in the air, it will sooner or later fail. Because we haven’t yet been able to automate every task involved, and we may never have an adequate substitute for labor that isn’t done at gun point.

  30. It was a typical workday. Back then I was working security, it was the only job that I could obtain at that time to feed my family after being honorably discharged from the army a few years prior back in 1999…

    I had it in my mind to go reenlist again after the anger of the first plane… when the second plane hit, the anger swelled higher… at the Pentagon attack…I had abandoned my security post and was driving to the army recruiter to jump in again, I gave the recruiter my name rank and social…I was ready to execute commands! Unfortunately, they wouldn’t let me rejoin because of an injury I had suffered before my discharge…. there was a higher outside force in the sky keeping me from getting back into the army… now I’m just a wandering soul still trying to find myself. 😁

  31. On 9/11 I learned of the quote from Admiral Halsey on the Enterprise‘s return to Pearl Harbor on the evening December 7th, “When this war is over, the Japanese language will only be spoken in Hell.”

    Turns out Halsey was wrong, but really only because of the atomic bomb, and with the quislings sapping our morale here it doesn’t apply to the War on Terror (yet).

  32. I was cleaning and doing chores around the apartment when my mom called. She told me to turn on the TV because the towers had fallen. I turned on the TV, watched for a while, then went downstairs to wake my roommate who worked late shift. Told her what happened. I went back upstairs. A while later, she came up. She thought I was joking but then she turned on her TV downstairs. I had to go to campus for class later on that afternoon. Every lounge and reception area had a TV out and on and everyone moved slower, stopping in front of the next TV in their path to check for updates.

  33. Before I was medically retired from the army back in ’75, I was part of several planning sessions on “future war”. We discussed at length the use of airliners/airplanes as guided bombs but dismissed it since there was no way to get the crew out and insure you hit your target. We dismissed the history of the Kamikaze since such religious fanaticism didn’t exist in our day! Sometimes not even recent history can overcome our normalcy bias. Our real issue now seems to be an unwillingness to recognize that World War 1 began in 609 AD and it was Islam vs. the world. Having forced myself to read an English translation of the Koran it is time for us to recognize the truth. Not only has WW1 continued to this day, the only “holy” course for a “good” muslim is to attempt to kill me. I have stubbornly refuse to convert in spite of many opportunities. That marks me as an enemy to be killed. I can NOT understand how our liberal elites can think that they will be able to negotiate a deal with someone who’s greatest wish in life is to die while murdering them.
    A military truth is that you can not win a war that you do not know you are fighting. I had hoped that 11 Sept 2001 would finally wake up the west. Instead we still think we need to apologize for drawing cartoons of the pedophile (Aisha’s consummated their marriage at the age of 9, Mulaykah’s age was about 13, most were in their early to mid teens) Muhammed or for winning the battle of Lapanto in 1571!
    Barring Divine intervention, we are doomed. Fortunately I am old enough I will probably already be dead. Unfortunately, my children and grandchildren will be forced to live through it. God help us all.

      1. More like self justifying the evil the writer wants to commit.

        Open discussion of re-education camps and that the idea of the gulag as punishment was all the CIA.

        Hell, the gulag predates the Soviets, they just “perfected” it.

        And, so course, the same people claim conservatives want to put them in camps. That is where they project.

    1. To the University’s credit, they shut that thing down and disowned those kids as soon as they saw what was going on. Public statement and all. The group that tweeted all this out has gone private now, of course.

      I’m also thrilled to see that they’re getting it from all sides of the internet instead of just being swept under the rug.

  34. Tuesday, September 11 was going to be a busy day. I’d scheduled three varsity away games on the same day for the first time. They were all local. My clock radio came on, and the news was talking about a plane hitting the World Trade Center, which sounded like the accident back during WW II. Then they said the second plane hit, and I knew it wasn’t an accident. I got down to the gym as soon as I could, turned on the TV in the student center, and called the schools we were scheduled to play. Only got through to one of them, and they didn’t see a reason to cancel. I suggested traffic was going to get really bad but at that point they were figuring they were outside the Beltway so it wouldn’t be that bad.
    Then the Pentagon was hit, and the towers came down. Talked to the second school and cancelled. One of our coaches called and asked if we’d cancelled yet. Told him what the other school had said. He said he was looking out his office window at the Pentagon, and it was on fire, and to call back and cancel it ourselves. Then I finally got through to the third school, and their athletic director said all in one breath, “The state police just gave us thirty minutes to clear the campus. I’ll call when I can to reschedule.”
    Like someone said up-thread, there was a lot of uncertainty. Some planes hadn’t checked in yet. It took a while before we heard about Flight 93. We did hear that a squadron commander had gotten airborne out of Andrews AFB, but didn’t know until later that there hadn’t been time to load missiles. They knew Flight 93 had been hijacked, and he told his wingman he’d hit the cockpit. She answered that she’d hit the tail. And there were false alarms everywhere, rumors of bombs in dumpsters, shooters in downtown in DC, etc. Classes got cancelled at some point, and people made their way to chapel. Some students left campus to donate blood. I don’t remember if it was that day or later, but people started passing around a volleyball team picture. They’d had a game in Boston the previous weekend and had stopped in NYC to sightsee a bit. The picture was taken in front of the World Trade Center on 9/9.
    Two days later, the athletic director and I went to a regional meeting in DuBois, central Pennsylvania. There were flags *everywhere*. That was true in the DC area, too, but central Pennsylvania just felt different.
    We rescheduled the games. The day we played the third school—the community college that had been given half an hour to empty campus—was the day airplanes started flying again. One took off from BWI and flew over the game. Twenty-two soccer players and three referees stopped what they were doing and watched the plane while a live soccer ball rolled down the field.
    Weeks later, there were press stories about how it was going to be really difficult to seize Mazar-i-Shariff, the first big town in Afghanistan because the Taliban had blown up General Dostum’s tanks a couple years before. Within forty-eight hours, US and Northern Alliance forces had taken the city and pictures of operators on horseback were everywhere.

    1. “he told his wingman he’d hit the cockpit. She answered that she’d hit the tail.”

      This has never failed to send a shudder down my spine for two reasons.

      First, admiration that that decision could be made. I still cannot listen to amazing grace, especially on bagpipes to this day. Not sure I ever will. And this before the first LODD that I personally knew.

      Second, just how badly we failed them that that decision had to be made. Especially when you realize that if they had been forced to at best they, at worst their families would be vilified for it by a not insignificant population.

      1. Second, just how badly we failed them that that decision had to be made. Especially when you realize that if they had been forced to at best they, at worst their families would be vilified for it by a not insignificant population.

        That scares me, too.

        I’m glad that, in addition to saving whatever the target of that last plane was, the folks on that flight also protected our military.

        That would’ve been a weakness that would be hard to defend against.


        It’s strange– as horrific as 9/11 was, it’s as if something was slapping away the blows. Not enough to actually prevent harm, dire harm– but with slight changes it could’ve been so much worse.

        They could’ve hit the towers a bit later in the day, when there were far more people. They could’ve hit the Pentagon in a spot that wasn’t mostly being renovated. They could’ve taken the 4th plane into either the White House, or the parks which were full of evacuees from the buildings in Washington. (I remember that the “urban legend” about Marines guarding the daycare kids has a wide range of details because it happened all over the place.)

        The last plane could’ve been taken out by our own military, and the crazies latched on to that– and started targeting military families.

        It’s hard to be brave when you know if word ever got out, your family would pay for it.

  35. On the morning of 9/11, I heard two of my classmates talking about terrorists and towers as I was passing by them on my way to homeroom. I thought they were talking about a show or a movie until I walked into the classroom and saw the TV. The second tower collapsed a few minutes later. What I will never forget is that the black students CHEERED while it fell because they thought that we were all a bunch of awful racists and deserved to die (I attended an inner city high school). Meanwhile, my extremely liberal teachers played nice that day but spent the rest of my high school tenure trying (and failing) to convince me that America was nothing to be proud of.

    My Dad was deployed out to the Middle East within the week. I was already used to long deployments, but this was the first time (for me) that there was a clear threat.

  36. On that day, I was working at my (current) job, trying to get back into the tech industry, and getting dressed to go into work. I had the TV on and the news was blaring that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I think for most of us at that time, we shared the same thought, “Jesus Christ, how could a pilot HIT the WTC?”

    And, I was sitting on my bed, pulling on my underwear, when the second plane hit.

    It wasn’t an accident. It wasn’t a pilot having a momentary lapse of stupid. It was a plane hitting a large building square-on. A second plane hitting the WTC deliberately.

    I actually went into work, for exactly 15 minutes, in SF. They closed the office and I went home, and…I went up to where my parents had moved, after Dad had retired from the PD and started working for the State of California.

    And, I baked cookies for hours.

    (Baking was how I dealt with stress. Seriously.)

    After that, I went home and went back to work on 9/12. The world had a massive seismic shift and it seemed like things should have caused the world to change. But, nothing really did.

    Not then, at least.

    After that…I got to watch as everyone in the San Francisco Bay Area steadily started to lose their minds. People that I thought were sane, rational people that had working brains turned into dogmatic Marxists so slowly it was like watching an odd version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” I saw the communities that were welcoming (sometimes too welcoming *cough* Breengate *cough*) and actually giving places for the people that were different, odd, and strange become dogmatic Maoists that any deviation from the hate of anyone that was white, male, and heterosexual (and not rich and willing to share and/or cute and/or able to handle the Marxist cant enough to impress girls) was punished by every exclusionary behavior that they would scream about if it was done to them.

    I realized that I wasn’t ever going to find anything in any of the “alternate” communities beyond a shallow friendship because I wasn’t a sociopath, wasn’t a con artist, and wasn’t the local bicycle. But, I couldn’t leave…

    Where would I go? My family was here. My few friends were here. And, God help me, outside of the things I despised, I loved the Bay Area. I loved the weather. I loved San Francisco in itself, and was here when it actually was pretty awesome. There were odd and quirky places if you knew where to look, and I loved those.

    Except…all the things that I loved are going away. Most of the comic book stores are gone. Most of the game stores are gone. Most of the interesting places to eat are gone. Most of the odd and quirky places are gone. I couldn’t afford a cardboard box anywhere south of Healsberg these days. SF has become a filthy third-world city and nobody seems to care (or, perhaps, nobody important seems to care). With the exception of FanimeCon and DunDraCon, I wouldn’t go anywhere near any of the other conventions. The job that, while the pay sucked, it gave me health care and I could with a bit of effort get eight hours pay from a 8am-noon schedule, has become a slog that requires me to get up at 4am to make it into work, and not get home until 6:30/7pm on average days. Bad days, sometimes 7:30-8pm. The pay sucks even worse in comparison to the area, and the health care has gone down in quality.

    Don’t even ask about the dating situation. I’m pretty much an incel at this point.

    Probably the only good thing?

    I am motivated to my tonsils to write, because I want to get out of this place. Even if it’s only in my imagination.

    1. Start looking out of CA. You can always fly to visit the family. GET OUT NOW. If it turns ugly we don’t want you there. I already have friends hostage to fortune in other big cities.
      Get out.
      Come up to CO. A non-brain-dead Californian would be welcome for a change.

        1. That will help. But truly. Other places pay real salaries and you can get places to live. If it all goes t*ts up in November, do you want to be there?
          I mean, I’m in Denver, but our neighborhood has a plan if riots break out and a way to block the road so no one can get at us except on foot. (And at least two marines and a policeman.)

          1. There’s a reason why I keep a crash bag handy, the truck always has a full tank of gas, and I have paper maps in vehicle proper.

            And it isn’t just that we’re living in earthquake country.

        1. Boulder is extreme leftwing for Colorado. My CO info is years out of date, but I think it is still a better place than the Bay area.

      1. Look up the cost-of-living calculators. Seriously. And start looking for jobs in Colorado. (I have a lot of friends in the Denver area. I’m near my hometown, which is still California, but the advantages to it are not as good as they used to be and we plan to exit eventually. And it’s NOT anything like the big two city-sprawls in the state.)

    2. I am motivated to my tonsils to write, because I want to get out of this place. Even if it’s only in my imagination.

      Besides family, what kind of obligations/ties do you have there? Pets?

      Because even with cruddy savings, you can start applying for jobs elsewhere, and move. That’s what my husband did, even though we owned a house, had four kids with one on the way and we didn’t have anybody in Texas, much less El Paso. (I don’t suggest it if you can’t pass as Mexican, but I’m probably defensive of my kids.)

      For an example of the cost difference, there are one-bedroom apartments in walking distance of the university down town which are $595, all utilities included.

          1. Chiming in with Fox regarding El Paso: my mortgage, with property tax for 3 bedrooms and two full baths is $650 a month. Apartments are more expensive than houses per month due to property tax and no income tax, but you’ll still be miles ahead if you do insist on a flat. Food costs are low enough that half of Juarez gets their groceries here. Wages aren’t much for unskilled labor, but if you have skills Western Refining is always hiring and the oilfields in Odessa and Midland are begging for workers and generally run 2 or 3 weeks out 1 or two at home, which makes a reasonable commute. Most of Texas is like that, although you might want to think twice about Austin as it’s desperate to be part of California.
            Food for thought, anyway.

    3. I’m told that Intel is hiring in Albuquerque just now. There are a few tech jobs here with the national labs and stuff. There is also (and this will probably change as the economy improves) three bedroom houses with a bath and a half and a yard and one car garage for less than $200K less than 30 minutes from Intel. Some little houses with only one bath for even less.

  37. I’m not entirely sure I remember 9/11. I was 9, so I was certainly old enough, but my memory is abysmal.The only thing I think I remember was seeing everyone crowded around a small t.v to watch. I thought it was just an action movie of some sort, and didn’t understand why everyone was freaking out so badly. However this memory includes a t.v from my home that we didn’t own yet being watched at the home of a family friend, so it’s probably a fake memory stitched together from stories.

    1. My children were young, the oldest a bit younger than you. I found out on the internet. I certainly didn’t turn the television on. My kids didn’t need to be frightened by what they couldn’t understand. (I had nightmares from a news bit I’d seen when I was four.) So I don’t have any memories of the day, really.

      Afterward someone in the homeschool usenet group I was on talked about how disturbed they were that their child was building block towers and flying planes into them and knocking them over. I told him that kids aren’t thinking of it like we do, and by building the towers and crashing them they were putting themselves in control of a world they had no control over, that it was almost certainly healthy and they should stop worrying about it.

      1. I was with my in-laws while my husband was staying on friends’ couches in another state while looking for work, and I was working that day at a store that didn’t even have a radio. So we were going off what customers were reporting. I got home and my MiL was fairly traumatized, so I told her to go in the other room so I could watch some news.

        And after several times when she was drawn back in by the sound, I looked around until I found a news station reporting in Spanish, just so that she wouldn’t be further disturbed. One of the things I remember is that they reported the tonnage of steel and the number of windows used in the construction. Another is that the news in a foreign language is a heck of a lot easier to understand than the soap operas.

  38. So, I had stayed up to the wee hour chasing some deadline of another, and my roommate and his wife had gone to work. My roommate left the TV on VERY LOUD and I stormed out there to Have Words with someone…

    in time to see the first tower fall.

  39. May God forgive me, but when I first heard that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York, I laughed. Like many other people, I just assumed it was a small plane; after all another small plane had hit the Empire State Building not too long before. I had never been to New York City, but I had grown up on stories of how ugly the World Trade Center buildings were and how much they detracted from New York’s skyline, so I said jauntily to myself, “Gee, if New York’s really lucky, the plane will have knocked them down!”

    A few minutes later, I saw other headlines, realized the plane had done exactly that, and stopped laughing. Then the second plane hit, and I said, “Twice is enemy action. Who’re we at war with?” Being the daughter of an English teacher, I briefly and reflexively corrected that to “With whom are we at war?” and then remembered what Churchill had said about the preposition “with” (“We do not fight with the Germans. We are either for them or against them.”)

    When I found out against whom we would be fighting, I wasn’t surprised; I had watched every single broadcast of Ted Koppel’s “America Held Hostage” (which, for those too young to remember, was a daily news update on the hostage situation in Iran back in 1979-80, when personnel at our embassy were held hostage by radical Islamic revolutionaries.).

    We didn’t have television, so I stayed glued to the Net, mostly Usenet. I remember I first heard of (the Icelandic poem) the Havamal that day; after Flight 93 went down someone posted the stanza beginning “Deyr fe; deyja fraendur….” (“Cattle die; kinsmen die; / I myself shall die likewise. / One thing I know that never dies; / The fame of great men’s deeds.”) For my part, somewhere in the evening of that day I posted lines from Christopher Fry’s “The Lady’s Not For Burning,” “Twilight, double, treble, in and out. / When I try to find my way I bark my brain / On shadows sharp as rocks where days ago / Was a wild soft world, rustling a bit / With rats, perhaps, but possible, possible, not this, this where I’m lost…..” It was a strange evening.

    Sometime late that night, when everyone was exhausted, punch-drunk and silly, one of the Usenet groups I was reading started planning a civil war. IIRC, that started when people started working out just how an armed citizenry might go about repelling an Islamic invasion of the U.S., and someone else pointed out all the gun-control laws we’d be breaking to take our weapons into D.C. and other cities to defend them, and then somebody suggested invading California, just to avoid having enemies at our backs, and a native Californian began posting to “helpfully” propose an attack route through the heart of the Mojave and a flanking attack through Death Valley. I remember I laughed at all that, too.

    It’s 17 years later, and I’ve stopped laughing.

  40. Coming to this way late, but this is just crying out to be shared:

    I’ve been watching it in small bits and pieces all week.

    1. A chilling comment from below the video, by one “Josh”:
      I was a freshman in high school and i’ll never forget this. I was in history class my teacher Mr. Hunt was beginning the days class and the Vice Principal came to the door and called the teacher outside. We all heard him break down in tears and run down the hall. We had no idea what was going on. About 15 minutes later the principal came over the loud speaker to say “Good morning students…I regret to inform you all that our country is being attacked; two planes have deliberately been crashed into both WTC towers in NYC. I feel as though this is a pinnacle moment in all our lives and as young adults you should be able to see it. I’m requesting to turn on all classroom tv’s, all classes will resume as scheduled. May god bless us all”. The TV is turned on to show the horror unfolding. We find out that our history teachers son was on the 84th floor on WTC 2. RIP William C. Hunt.

        1. One of the editors, at the time a friend, I’d just talked to at WC had a nephew at windows of the world on top of one of the towers.
          She was in a newsgroup I belonged to. It was… bad to read even at a remove.

          1. I had a panic attack at the time because my son was part of a group tour that went to the top of the Empire State Building, only weeks before. The only reason they didn’t have lunch at the top of WTC was because they couldn’t get reservations for that big of a group (32 Scouts – 12 to 18, & adult leaders). They’d been home for weeks, didn’t matter. Something happened somewhere my 12 year-old had just been at, without us. Not to mention a matter of timing as the groups flew out on planes out of DC.

            The ones who lost anyone. Those who did not stand a chance. Those who chose to jump rather than … I just can’t imagine, for them or their surviving relatives.

            1. I only recently saw the videos of some of the folks falling– none of landing, though I’ve heard of videos of that, from folks who saw it. (One of the radio stations in the Seattle area had a couple of folks there; they brought back the video, but obviously didn’t broadcast it.)

              So many of the folks were using skydiving moves. I didn’t see the guy who did a perfect swandive, but read of it.

              That is an amazing level of “it will not make it worse” and never giving up. Full on Roman spit-in-fate’s-eye level.

              Makes me want to bawl and also makes me admire them.

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