Going Home


When I was a little kid, in the North of Portugal, in 5th and 6th grade, I had the option of taking a crowded bus home or walking a couple of miles through a path, next to a ravine, by the side of the train line.

Being me, of course, if it was at all warm, I took that — not particularly safe — path and I had the habit of singing Take Me Home Mountain Roads at the top of my voice.

Which, you know, was the expression of a feeling that I wasn’t actually at home, that my home was elsewhere, even if the image of a little girl in Portugal singing a song about West Virginia while walking alone by the side of a train line is pretty funny.

September 11 this year, I found myself describing that morning: how beautiful it was (as this fall is getting) crisp, sunny, clear.  I lived in the tiny mountain town of Manitou Springs, in a pink house, at the top of a hill.  The boys’ school was four blocks away, up and down a mountain road.  In Winter walking that road was painful no matter how much you covered up (and driving when it was icy was also dangerous) but in Fall it was a gorgeous walk.  We petted friendly dogs on the way out and talked about everything. Marshall was in Kindergarten and Robert in third grade.

Because kindergarten started twenty minutes after the rest of the school, I took a paperback in my jeans pocket (I was reading my way back through my pulp collection, at the time) to read after Robert went in, while I waited for the kindergarten kids to go in.

I then walked back, thinking of the book I was working on — Any Man So Daring, back then — and the weekly short story — my writers’ group wrote a short story a week, as part of our discipline.

And on that golden, beautiful morning, it occurred to me we were living through the best years of our lives.  We were finally making enough. We loved our house on a hill, with a little terrace on top of the garage (very Mediterranean) where we wrote when the weather was warm.

Dan worked a traveling job, which meant he was at home “on the bench” about half the year and had time to write. We’d both started being reliably published.

We had a writers’ group which had become friends. Which meant that we had a meeting at our house on Saturdays.  It started at 3 pm, and sometimes we kicked everyone out by 10 pm.

Amid those writers’ group friends there was a family with kids the age of ours. After dropping kids at school, I’d start coffee and the mother of the family — then my best friend — would call me, or I would call her.  We’d talk to each other while making beds and starting laundry. It was in a way our “morning meeting.”  We told each other what we’d be writing (she was writing her third book, also) which served for accountability.

So I got home, hung up my keys, and started making coffee.  And before the first drop went into the carafe the phone rang and I thought “Becky is early.”

I grabbed the phone, ready to make a joke. And she screamed/cried in my ear “Turn on the TV, turn on the TV.”

We didn’t have a TV. Or rather we did, but we didn’t have cable. And reception sucked. Lots of snow. So this was a bizarre request. But I went and turned it on.

And I never went home again.


In the next week, amid anger and fear (for Dan who was in DC and had to figure out how to make it home) something changed in me. I couldn’t go back there.  Reading the stuff I wrote before that, is like reading an alien. There are perfectly functional short stories I’ll never publish because they give entirely the wrong thought/feeling about the world.

I was so traumatized that for the first time in my life, all my thoughts/daydreams before going in bed the stories I tell myself to go to sleep to, were of being someone else, someone completely different, another person altogether, not me.

I was someone completely different by the end of that year.  And from there, I went somewhere else again.

I was 37. My life inflects at that point. It bends almost to breaking.  To use a Pratchetterian idiom, it’s a different leg of the trousers of time.

Where I am, what I do, who I am: none of that would be true without that day in September.

Tom Kendall to an extent, and a lot of you in the comments, said “Nothing changed. 9/11 just exposed the rifts.”

And you’re not wrong, those who say that.  The left was what it always has been. Or at least what it had been since long before I was born.

Robert A. Heinlein said they were infiltrated by communists back before WWII. They have/had perhaps unnoticed to themselves, or at least to large numbers of their supporter, become oikophobes who hate America and disdain the Constitution and our form of government.

But we could ignore it. We could pretend they were mostly misguided, and they would come to sanity.  And they — because they always suppressed dissent — could tell themselves, as they still try to do, that everyone agreed with them.  The weeks after of flying flags and “bless America” were terrifying to them. These “educated” people who surrounded them couldn’t possibly believe America was that great, right?

You see, the left, steeped in “international socialism” (Which was always Russian nationalism, but American leftists in particular tried to ignore that. Even if after the cold war they went around muttering that the good guys had lost.) equated and equates nationalism with fascism. Perhaps because they don’t allow their mental universe to conceive of a world that is not socialist/collectivist. (And national socialism is indeed fascism. But thank heavens, the rest of us are aware of forms of government that aren’t socialist.)

I was a Libertarian (actually had volunteered with the party a few times. One of my son’s earliest memories is passing out Libertarian flyers at the state fair.) But I was an international libertarian, and I believed — I’d persuaded myself to believe — that every culture in the world would convert — PEACEFULLY — to liberty.
What on Earth was wrong with me?
I don’t know.  I wanted to believe.

Like that golden September morning, I was seeing everything bathed in a beautiful light. Which then crashed, in fire and horror.

But it was more of a crash for the left.  It was the first — perhaps — of a series of shocks, the latest being November 2016, in which they realized the world was not what they thought it was. By having educated people and their friends suddenly come out as people who valued the US they suffered a bad shock (both times). They thought we were all agreed!

As always, with the left, the response to these shocks is to become more adamant, more dictatorial, less tolerant of contrary opinions expressed.

And the rest of us…

How different would life be now, if that golden bubble hadn’t popped? Well, I’d probably never have come out politically. I’d probably be a literary fantasy writer to this day, writing “difficult” historical fantasies for a small, devoted fandom (before 9/11 90% of my fan letters were from college professors.)  There are reasons for that. I’m not going to go into them.  Our financial situation would be far less precarious — I also can’t explain that, because it goes into Dan’s job and our investments at the time — and therefore the kids would have had opportunities they don’t.

It is possible I would by now be teaching in college (again.)

Those are minor things.

As a minor side step on this — perhaps because I’ve been reading a lot of Pride and Prejudice variations (i.e. plot variations) — this morning I was reading about the WTC jumpers.  And I had a horrible and horribly plausible side-flash.  For reasons that, again, I’m not going to go into, it was all too plausible we’d be at the hotel in WTC that day, with the two kids, on a sightseeing trip.  Was it possible we’d have gone to the Windows on the World for breakfast?  Sure it was.

And what do you do in that situation?  I had a flash of us grabbing the kids, and holding together and jumping.  And telling the kids we’d fall into eternity.

So, the side-spur world we’re on, this leg of the pants of time, is not the worst it could be. Not even close.  On a personal level, and perhaps on a collective one, it could be much, much worse.

Where would that world without 9/11 have gone?

Who knows? Maybe like the cold war our cultural cold war would have resolved without a fight, without blood, without the map going all arrowy and red. Maybe. That hope is certainly in line with the old me.

Or maybe, as Tom says, we would have walked, blindfolded, into the place like where Germany is, where we’d be making concessions to the invaders and the enemies within, and not even aware of it.

I was also talking to a friend yesterday who said that he didn’t feel much about 9/11 anymore, because we’d ended that war, and the war we were on now was not that.

Um… Except the cold civil war we are in now was made much harsher, much more obvious, and opened up hot spots then.  And that is still escalating.

Is it better than sleep walking into tyranny. Sure. Of course it is.

But the time we’re in — seemingly suspended — is the time before the map goes all arrowy and red.  We’re in the “causes leading up to.”  And it’s my strong gut feeling that in the next five years those arrows and splotches will come. And that what emerges at the end is something completely different. So different from now we wouldn’t even recognize it.

Nothing we can do about it.  Except feel a certain nostalgia for the blind — but happy — fools in that September morning long ago.

And hold in our hearts the Constitution, the words of the founders, and our love of the US.  Because only those will take us through the mess ahead, and hopefully to greater freedom beyond. Maybe even a revival of our constitutional republic.

And if not, we’ll carry our flag, our Constitution, our beliefs in human liberty in our hearts.  Until they can be true in the world again.

Until we can be home again.

Oh maid most dear, I am not here
I have no place apart —
No dwelling more, in sea or shore
But only in thy heart. [Jean Ingelow]

248 thoughts on “Going Home

  1. Reality mugs the left frequently, and they consistently refuse to learn from it. I read one of Milady’s links last night on Insty about Powers’ son asking about her regaling the Russians about invading Ukraine “Did it work, Mommy?”
    No, it certainly didn’t work. She realized her grand rhetoric, did nothing to solve the situation. Yet she doesn’t seem to have taken all the right lessons, but she did realize talking about all “the right things” does little if the opponent just ignores you.

    For many on the right, 9/11 was reality mugging them too. More seem to have taken the lesson well.

  2. Yes. I remember the day. I was working at a small state university in central PA. When the magnitude of what was happening became clear we canceled classes of course, but what was the most pressing thing on all our minds was, “I have to do something!” We knew we couldn’t get to NYC in time to make any difference, but we had to do something. We searched the local area and found that the Red Cross was having a blood drive that morning. Although it eventually turned out that extra blood supplies weren’t urgently needed, we commandeered local buses and drove faculty, staff, and students to the blood drive.

    But as you say, the world changed that day. After just a few weeks it became clear that those on the left truly were TWANLOC, Those Who Are No Longer Our Countrymen. The masks slipped, and we finally understood that we didn’t have mere differences of opinion with them about how to implement our fundamental beliefs about our country, but that they held fundamentalist religious beliefs that are pure anathema to the American credo that the rest of us hold dear.

    1. That are, in many ways, anathema to everyone living the way they wish, no matter where in the world they are.

      Case in point, the people freaking out about how people still sell live chickens in open markets in the world. Western vegans going over to other countries and invading farms.

  3. Ended that war? The Afghans still live, and are not ruled by a stable regime that knows better than to tolerate attacks on us.

    Of course, I do sometimes play on team “Guys, the terms ending WWII are not in force, so we are still at war with Germany”.

    1. At that point, you have to start wondering if any war is truly over.

      I’m an oddity. As a teenager living through “the End of History”, I knew that was bunk. 9/11 was a huge shock, sure. But it wasn’t a worldview-changing event for me, because I’ve been cynical for a long time. (And an optimist. Yes, cynical optimism is a thing. “Horrible things happen but the good still shines through.”)

      1. I’d probably need study to come up with any wars I was confident were definitively over.

        And everyone remembers my proposals for world peace through mass graves, right? Well, strictly speaking, quite a lot of the bodies would be left exposed.

          1. As soon as one war ends, another begins …

            “If we take the widest and wisest view of a Cause, there is no such thing as a Lost Cause, because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause. We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that it will triumph.”
            —T.S. Eliot

      2. I was a little shocked, as one is when a loud firework one expects goes off.

        But I knew something like the 9/11 attacks was coming. I had known it for years. The Islamic Radicals who pulled it off, and people like them, had been getting the soft-paid hands in velvet gloves (as opposed to Iron Hands in same) treatment for decades. They thought they could attack us with impunity.

        They still think so.

        At the time, I know about the 1993 bombing. I. Wasn’t. Surprised.

        I think that the theory that the Left is driven by a desperate need to hold opinions that run counter to those held by the Unwashed has a good deal to it. While there is a core of Marxist Twits in the Left, that vast majority simply hold to Teh Narrative because in their eyes it makes them different, and therefore better, than the Great Mass. I think this has motivated a segment of Society at least as far back as I am familiar with social history. I think it motivated the Guillotine Bait at Versailles. I think it motivated the Prince Regent’s circle in Regency England. I think it motivated vapid Intellectual idiots like Rousseau and Thoreau.

        (I love PJ O’Rourke’s summation of Thoreau’s sojourn at Walden as ‘spend two years being full of shit’)

        On top of this poisonous conceit we have the little fools who have taken up protest as a hobby, the academic capture of many occupations that are simply not the business of an academic degree (Masters in Puppetry, anyone?), and a Political Party that rules mainly through fraud.

        We are overdue for a correction. I believe one is happening now. If we are VERY lucky, we may get mostly through it before the Islamic Squirrel Food manages a really serious attack on the US. If we aren’t lucky, then the attack will catch us in the middle of sorting ourselves out and we will react the way any family would react if attacked in the middle of a family argument; we will turn all the developed hostility in the attackers and obliterate them.

        The Arabian Peninsula is going to look peculiar from orbit when it’s one large sheet of fused quartz.

        I don’t WANT to be responsible for Mecca. I don’t especially want to live in a country that has gone full-on Imperial. I don’t want to live in a country that has decided that political cockroaches like Beto and AOC should be imprisoned.

        Laughed at, yes.

        But that is where we may well be going. And there will be SOME compensations. Seeing Granny Hillary put in prison for selling something to the people who attacked us (not because she’s pro-Islam, but because she has the ethics of a Port Said pimp) is going to be priceless.

        1. Pity (but not much) the Poor Bastards that take a fractious bunch of Americans and cause them to go into (relatively) sudden Magnetic Alignment. If they (the Poor Bastards) are very, very lucky, the results will be short. But short or long, there will come anew quotations attributed (rightly or wrongly) to Admiral Yamamoto. It will also be a very good time to switch off the TV and refrain from loading web images.

          1. It’s too bad that a meeting between the Jihadis and some Japanese war historians can’t be arranged in, say, Hiroshima. The Japanese could lay out for the Jihadis just how unpleasant life can get when you have angered the United States.

            The camel pesterers probably wouldn’t listen, though.

            1. I do recall that during the build-up to Gulf War – One, Khaddafi was trying to explain to Saddam that he needed, very badly, to NOT DO THAT. As we know… history happened the way history happened.

            2. Of course not, because they have the examples of Korea, Vietnam, and even Gulf War 1 to tell the Japanese “Either you were wimps then, or the Americans are wimps now, because they’ll never finish the job that way.”

          2. With the current divisions, I’m not sure what it would take, or if even possible. I see a higher likelihood of a leftist, fascist regime using the attack to blame “right wing imperialists” and cleansing the interior. With the scapegoats destroyed, the death spiral will only further tighten.

            1. With the current divisions?

              “We attacked America to prove that White Supremacists cannot disrespect the dispossessed of the world. They have stolen our resources and polluted our lands and it is time those White Supremacists lose their privilege!”

              1. Maybe I was just more naive, maybe just too young but I figured something like further 9-11s would galvanize action more than just sending US soldiers to serve as targets in those war zones. Today I expect 70% of country to support attackers if they hurt their real enemies, either red or blue regions. I know I’ve stopped donating to disasters in enemy territory.

                1. Dude. 70% of the country will NOT support attackers. Seriously. Do you even remember 2000?
                  Sure, the hard case left will, but they’re NOT 70% of the country.
                  Take no counsel of your fears, much less give them the prime seat at the table.

                  1. So you won’t have 30% of pop at least just shrug if San Francisco or DC hit? Already expect the hard and semi hard left will rejoice if Jesusland is hit.

                    And 2000 showed the damage sore loser campaigns can create. And 2001 had nominal unity until it came time to try and do a rcca (riot cause and corrective action) of the failures at which point it turned to a whitewash. And once it was figured that the military could be held hostage for funds it was game on.

                    1. No, you don’t.
                      People already largely hated NYC. BUT IT’S OURS and they can’t attack it.
                      You’re truly truly truly off kilter, and it’s weird you don’t notice it.

                    2. The underlying principle is: “I am allowed to punch my sibling, but you better keep your dukes to yourself.”

                      I will concede that one of my criticisms of our family members of the Leftward suasion is encapsulated by Michael Moore’s plaint about the terrorists attacking parts of the United States which voted against Bush. (Precise quote apparently memory-holed, as my brief effort to [search-engine] it proved fruitless. Well, not exactly fruitless: it turned up plenty of rotten fruit in the form of Moore quotes, but not the one I pursued.)

                    3. Maybe just function of the politically bipolar environment I find myself in. Just see and hear calls for violence against the ‘other’ daily, supported by the powerful. All the glee over past few weeks that Mar-a-lago was in crosshairs of tornado, calls for battery against persons not of the same political gestalt, etc. People get a charity thrown out of a partnership because it supports LE canines because they were used for crowd control against leftist protesters while if the roles had been reversed the amount donated would have doubled.

                      Meanwhile not even a year ago my father (one of the two other non-left family members I have) still thought it was all just gonna blow over. Now at best he’s ambivalent when I note that it’s gonna get ‘sporty’ at best.

                      Over last 6 years or so been just seeing greater and greater fractures across my life from this and taking the short lived unity regarding actually stopping the next 9/11 I just cannot muster up any optimism that future unity anything but platitudes. It’s just TWANLOC writ large.

                    4. If he’s off-kilter, the actual history is off kilter too. Because that’s pretty much what happened, especially that last.

                    5. No, Steve. Unless you have amnesia of the time around the attack. Yes, later they allowed themselves to think it was all the fault of those right wing people. BUT NOT THEN. And we certainly weren’t happy a blue area was hit. Were you?

                    6. No, I remember it quite well. Of course, I moved in a different environment than you did. For example, I got to actually sit in a building with armed troops outside it while they checked all of us for anthrax exposure after some Fifth columnist decided that sending envelopes full of white powder was a good idea.

        2. I think the 9/11 response by the left is half alienation from society, caused by socialist identification, and half feeling about racial politics what we now see developing more obviously.

          1. It seemed to me at the time that the primary response from the Left was along the lines of “What did you* do to piss those people off?”

            *you being conservatives. They never gave serious consideration to punishing our attackers; that was simply something required to appease the great unwashed mass of Americans.

            As I said the other day, the response essentially came down to one of two questions:

            1. Why do they hate us?

            2. Why don’t they fear us?

            Which question you considered reveals which American faction you clung to.

            1. I think both questions are important.

              > 1. Why do they hate us?

              Because we’re not like them. We don’t believe the same things they do. Even worse, we’re not suffering and miserable for not believing what they do. They are ‘the chosen people’ and we are the richest, most powerful nation on Earth. Intolerable!

              They won’t stop hating us, no matter how nice we are to them.

              > 2. Why don’t they fear us?

              Because we haven’t ‘done unto them’ as they did unto us. We’re oh-so-careful to avoid atrocities, which are the only thing the hard-line jihadis understand. I’m not in favor of atrocities, but we need to kill those that have made themselves our enemies. It’s becoming politically incorrect to even do that.

              And, we’re infiltrated with LibProgs that keep trying to appease those that will never be appeased. 0bama spent eight years appeasing them, proving to them that we are weak. Turning the other cheek is the wrong tactic when the enemy just keeps punching you.

              The scariest parts of Tom Kratman’s ‘Caliphate’ are coming true as we watch. We can only hope enough people get a clue in time to keep the US free.
              Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do learn from history are doomed to watch everybody else repeat it.

            2. I remember asking both. The first answer has several parts, but is easy to find once you wake up to asking it. The second has only one answer “we taught them not to” but of all the whys and hows I’m still.looking.

            3. The first question is valid, but only if you are willing to call that reason wrong. The actual result that we hot by asking it was to pay danegeld and tug our forelocks toward the attackers. To try and acquiesce to them.

          2. I remember some VERY Lefty person telling me that by invading Afghanistan and Iraq we were “Lashing out in unreasoning anger.”

            I pointed out t o him that this was ballocks, which confused him. I said that if we had lashed out in ‘unreasoning anger’, Mecca would be radioactive.


            1. and Baghdad, and Tehran, and Tripoli, and Kabaul, with a message to the rest of the world” “NOW do we have your freakin’ attention?”

              1. I’ve always thought the perfect reaction to 9/11 would have been the following;

                Bush ‘requests’ to speak to the UN, and ‘Invites’ all major international newsfeeds to attend. When the times comes for his scheduled speech, be stands in from of a screen on which are displayed (and labeled) views of Bagdad and Kabul. Bus produces a silk top hat, and shows that it is full of slips of paper. He pulls out four slips, reading out the name of some majority Islamic city. Views of each city appear the screen. Bush speaks to his lapel, “Go!”

                Minutes pass. Then, one by one, the cities on the screen are obliterated by nuclear fire.

                Bush grips the podium. “Gentlemen and ladies – and I use the terms loosely – you have sat too long for any good you have been doing. Indeed for any good you have ever done. The United States is sick to the teeth of you. Pack your bags; you have a week to get yourselves outside on US borders. As for the Racial Islamic vermin who attacked us on September 11th, I believe I have made my point. There’s more where that came from. Starting with the NEXT round, Mecca’s name goes in the hat.

                Now, I have things to do. “

        3. the academic capture of many occupations that are simply not the business of an academic degree

          How Federal Money Has Messed Up Higher Education
          Under the Constitution, the federal government’s responsibility for and authority to fund higher education is non-existent. Unfortunately, politicians long ago decided that putting the government into higher ed would be a good idea. It’s so lovely to be able to say, “I am pro-education. Just look how I have voted for bills that help students.”


          … With the passage of the 1965 Higher Education Act, the camel got its head and shoulders inside the tent. Enormous changes ensued.

          Among those changes was a manic, costly pursuit of federal dollars for research: “All this extra money for institutions of higher ed,” Staddon writes, “has been accompanied by entrepreneurial expansion beyond the traditional core. In addition to a Biology Department, there must be a School of Environmental Science; in addition to departments of Economics, Political Economy and Sociology, a Business School and a School of Government; not to mention programs, schools, and institutes of media and communication ‘science.’”


          1. There’s another aspect to it. The groves of academe have always been a handy place to stash the ‘intellectuals’ you need to have coming up with the high-sounding justifications you want for what you were planning to do anyway. As such, Universities have had a tendency to be stuffed to the gills with Advanced Thinkers for one Orthodoxy or another.

            Thus; in the late 18th century, the British Universities required students to profess the Anglican Orthodoxy, and the staff were the kind of second-raters you might expect. So, a large proportion of the scientific and engineering advances of the day came from dissenters like Joseph Priestly, who were unable to attend University.

            After WWII, the GI Bill, and other Social forces caused a high percentage of the population to attend College. Their children, the ‘Boomers’, attended in larger numbers still. This gave the Universities yet another reason to greatly expand, and they did. This, in turn, provided large numbers of niches in which Advanced Thinkers could be stashed. Nice, not too demanding sinecures for proponents of the Progressive Orthodoxy that had already been taking over the Universities.

            When the Baby Boom passed, the number of students started to drop, and rather than contract, the Universities worked to gather students who were interested in training not normally associated with Higher Education. Music programs in Jazz, and later in Pop and Rock (and eventually Rap and so on). Courses in Hotel Management. And so on, and on. And so we end up with the poor shmoo at the Occupy protests who owed $30k on a Masters degree in Puppetry. He was a victim of the social programming of decades, which told him that no matter what he wanted to do, he needed to get a college degree in it.

            It simply never occurred to him to, say, hitchhike to Los Angeles and get any job he could at Jim Henson Studios, and edge his way in.

            I coined the term ‘academic capture’ to describe this process by which the Universities have absorbed many arts and crafts that have little to do with scholarship. At least I think I did. If somebody has run into it elsewhere I would appreciate knowing.

            1. large numbers of niches in which Advanced Thinkers could be stashed.

              From America’s greatest libertarian movie!

            2. And of course having the government pass regulations requiring certification to perform those jobs, which could only be gotten by taking said classes, gaining said degrees, as prerequisites to taking the exams just so you could pay the annual license fees just so you could cut someone’s hair didn’t help matters any.

              1. No, although the vast majority of occupational licensing involves specialized Trade Schools rather than the University system.

                It’s all stuff that neither the Universities, nor (for that matter) the government has any real business messing with.

                Early examples of academic capture, though not driven by the passing of the Baby Boom, are Education and Journalism. Educational Theory, of course, was largely driven (into the ground) by Progressive buttinskiism. The idea that Journalism required a degree was greeted with scorn by Mencken, who just started hanging around the News Room. And, certainly, the level of writing has dropped precipitously since the days when the likes of Damon Runyon were Reporters.

                1. Collegewise it’s not the government licensing but the disparate impact testing arguments combined with the abject failure of primary schooling. Want to have a test making sure people can read write and add? Better not result in any discrepancies that activist bureaucrats don’t like.

                  1. I hear rumblings that MIGHT indicate some changes in the offing. The recurring attacks by the Usual Suspects on ‘for profit’ colleges strike me as an attempt to distract from something. There have been other things, but my head is full of fuzz today.

                    1. Until it’s not profitable for the group superiority complexes to make these disparate impact arguments and win a degree will remain a culling factor. Never mind those that benefit from the status quo will fight improvement left and right.

                      The purpose of college for all isn’t education but indoctrination. And it’s worked very well for the statists.

            3. My undergraduate school was taken out by the ITT shakedown back in the Dear Reader era (we were bought out my senior year and they were dumping money into our programs (2&4 year STEM), improving them). The big argument against the for profits was that they were overpromising and falsely advertising. How is that different than what any ‘respectable’ college does.

              One gives money to the right politicians and has similar agenda, other is less so.

          2. I think a case can be made that the rot set in earlier than that. The GI Bill pumped a lot of Federal dollars into colleges. Who were quite happy to take the Federal money and pass out diplomas in worthless subjects.

            I’m reminded of Heinlein’s “Expanded Universe.” He saw the problem…35 years ago.

        4. cpschofield you said of Mrs Clinton “not because she’s pro-Islam, but because she has the ethics of a Port Said pimp”. I wish to state that I am highly offend for Pimps (Port Said or otherwise). They provide a service and provide value for money (or so it is said). Mr’s Clinton has never provided anything of value to anyone else (I’m sure Mr. Clinton is well aware of this). The pimps only intend to enslave perhaps a double handful of people, Mrs. Clinton’s aims are rather larger on the order of 300 million .

          1. Billy boy got one good service out of Hillary, he’s never gone to court for rape or sexual abuse.

          2. Nonsense. Granny Maojackets von Pantsuit has provided lots of value for money…just never to the citizenry for whom she was ostensibly working. We haven’t been allowed to PROVE it, possibly because the Bureau of Prisons has enough toxic inmates to deal with….

            1. Ah I misstated, I meant to say good value for money. Uranium One for a few millions was a rip off as Obama would have found a way to let its sale go through anyhow so wasted expenditure. It was also given in expectation that she would have more flexibility (cough) in the future.

              As for your point Mr Houst I suspect Billy Boy would rather have spent 20 years in the penitentiary rather than 20 minutes with his spouse. But we all make our choices and as the saying goes “The coward dies a thousand deaths (and gets pottery chucked at him) the brave man only one”. I may have added a bit there. I think W. Clinton’s punishment would amuse a more humane Mikado.

        5. In defense of puppetry, I will say that there is a (limited) market for experts in the same. *thinks of a local master responsible for most of the theatrical puppetry in the area* *also remembers The Dark Crystal*

          But yeah. General college degree? Not necessary.

          1. Probably the best defense there would an education requirement. All lawyers, judges and bureaucrats have to take Statistics 101. And get disbarred, impeached, or fired if they demonstrate they forget/are ignoring it.

          2. keep in mind that the grad degree level puppetry stuff in L.A, is taught by current and former Henson people and the BFA and MFA level is where they find their people.

          1. Yes, but I only read it once. I consider his depiction of the Transnationalists in his other works to be spot on, though at this point I have hopes that they will be told to peddle their papers elsewhere.

        6. That “vast majority” that holds to the narrative are what Lenin called useful idiots.
          As far as the Jihadists being at war with us, they have been at war with Western Civilization and by extension the USA, for well over a millennia (and indeed likely all of continental Europe may have been conquered had Charles Martel not been victorious in battle against such an invasion over 1000 years ago). It is a classic clash of civilizations.

          1. Regrettably there seems no insufficiency of idiots, although the count is not yet complete as to how many are useful.

        7. Parties that rule by fraud. One uses fraud to maintain power in many cases, often obvious and blatant to the point of being a joke. The other makes promises that it has no intent to keep and will often do exact opposite of what they said they would. TSA and all its minions are, in some respects, even more impositions than the ACA was/is. Meanwhile we are treated to soft pedaling and ignoring the best ways to prevent a recurrence, namely having a border and recognizing that there are those that would do us harm and that perhaps they should be treated like reds were in 50s. It’s obvious that the fascists recognize the latter works, hence the unpersoning becoming widespread. And the DC Generals do as well, burning insurgent candidates sometimes justifiably sometimes not. But Islamic supremacy and toxicity became off limits and was imported by the millions.

          1. We have been afflicted with several cycles of Republican politicians who were either Progressives themselves or were scared of what others might think or say. Yes, we could have armed all pilots on domestic flights, but that would have set the gun-grabbers howling, and the Republicans in Congress would have scurried to ‘safety’ like surprised mice.


            We have gradually been losing the timorous and the RINOs, and Trump has been proving that the Progressives can’t have it all their own way.

            The political process is SLOW, unless you have a dictatorship (and then it tends to go to hell in a handbasket rather quickly). It took more than a Century for the Progressives to bring things this far. And, though the reaction started a while back, I don’t really expect the journey away from Progressivism to be any faster.

            1. The majority of the hijackers were visa overstays. And people did see something and stay something but it was ignored.

              After nearly 3000 deaths the government did even less to control its guests and now if you see and say against a protected class you are the one in trouble regardless of how valid. But they made sure to piss all over the bill of rights, as regards to their own subjects at least.

        8. I do believe that you are correct in your assessment that we are in the middle of a correction…one that has been coming for some 106 years after our society was infected with the disease of socialism (progressivism as it was called back then)….And if we are lucky it will not result in the collapse of our nation as a whole. We may get by with an unstable political system (as if ours is stable now) and wobbly economy until sanity is restored…But there will be a distinct danger of being attacked by those who think they can be the decisive tipping factor while we’re trying to get back on our feet completely….Woe be unto them. A few others have made the mistake of believing the weak, effeminate, corrupt Americans will crumble into defeat easily….perhaps we might…If that were the case then we don’t deserve to exist in this form anymore…That being said, I don’t want to go the way of Tom Kratman’s “Caliphate” either. And I do prefer the outcome where the combined will of a very pissed off United States decides to take the matter and end it (at least for the next 100 years or so). And if this requires turning our military into glass blowers, so be it….My only real concern though will be this……..what next.

      3. At that point, you have to start wondering if any war is truly over.

        A war is over, I would say, when the reasons for it to begin are no longer present. For instance, there’s no official peace treaty between Russia and Japan since the start of WWII, but I’ve yet to see hostility between them, either in the political or the societal level. Both nations seem to shrug it off rather amicably.

        But a war between terrorism and civilization – I don’t think any treaty is worth the paper it’s written on. You can’t negotiate with people who don’t believe in negotiations. You can’t reach an agreement with people who don’t believe in observing agreements. You can’t have peace with people who can’t exist in peace altogether.

        Because, really, that’s pretty much the problem. Terrorists don’t come from downtrodden or disenfranchised families, impoverished workers or farmers, never mind victims of foreign imperialism. As it turns out, they’re generally picked up from colleges, radicalized with delusions of superiority over those not of their faith (or political views, in the case of commie revolutionaries), and sent off to fight for the sake of fighting, with no actual end or purpose. To them, signing and respecting a peace treaty would be not only an admission of failure, but a destruction of their very identity. Who would they be, if not warriors of the faith or fighters for the revolution? What normal life can they lead, other than as thugs for two-bit drug lord wannabes?

        That is why terrorists fight – not to achieve anything with the fight, but to get off on it, a mixture of adrenaline junkies and frenzied fanatics. And that is why they cannot exist in any civilization, for civilization itself is their enemy. Nor, ironically, can they exist without civilization; as otherwise they’d again be forced to wake up from the high, like a parasite who’s accidentally managed to kill its host, and now is forced to survive on its own.

        But civilization can exist without them. Civilization doesn’t need terrorism. Nor does it need enemies, often though it may face them in necessity. And while tragedies like 9/11 are a dark reminder of both internal divisions and vulnerabilities to outside influence, the reasons it was ever allowed to happen can be remedied, so it never happens again. We can’t have peace with terrorists. But we can have it without them.

        1. Civilization is manufactured anew every generation. There is a defect rate. Human variation, the limits of what society can bring to bear in terms of control and change, nature, nurture, the precise cause doesn’t matter.

          Criminals are one obvious defective state. Kept in check various ways, etc.

          Some fraction of these terrorist institutions don’t care about the larger abstractions, just care for the opportunity to hurt other people, and be tolerated by enough to keep on doing it.

        2. Terrorists don’t come from downtrodden or disenfranchised families, impoverished workers or farmers, never mind victims of foreign imperialism.

          This, even more than the economic wrack & wruin, may be the chief danger from Marxism: that it blinds us to the real reasons by proffering plausible yet invalid reasons for such acts.

          1. It (leftist totalitarianism) serves to provide the opportunity for the unscrupulous and sociopathic to act on their urges just the same as terror does.

          1. I am not sure I can agree, as the proposition has never been tested. Whenever Civilization has occurred it has had enemies, external and internal.

            Certainly, whenever Civilization convinces itself it has no enemies it has decayed, but we’ve a “chicken/egg” argument inherent there.

          2. Nah. It needs to strive, but not necessarily against enemies. The problem is, even if you have a frontier, you can’t force anyone to that, and internal civilization striving is harder to push for. (Especially since, unlike war, it can’t be coordinated without producing ugliness.)

            1. Pretty much. A civilization can develop with little to no enemies proper, and instead be tested by natural forces and disasters – obstacles that can present a physical threat, but lack a moral component to speak of. Meanwhile, there are plenty of feuding warlords and stagnant tribes with no shortage of enemies, without ever advancing, even in terms of warfare.

              For that matter, terrorism in particular desperately needs this moral component. Terrorists need villains, in order to feel like heroes, even as their actual operations generally involve suicide attacks on innocents. And also because they lack the coordination and vision to act against said natural forces. They can destroy, but can’t build on their own.

      4. The Korean conflict is still going on. Seriously. 60 days non-consecutive service or 30 days consecutive service in the military in South Korea makes you eligible for both the Korean War Memorial and the VFW.

        We stopped fighting the European Cold War, to be replaced by a Sitzkrieg between us (and maybe NATO, though that is questionable) and Russia.

        And we’ve definitely been in a Cold War against Communist China since Korea.

        And then there’s the Middle East, militant islamists, which we as a nation have been fighting since even before the War with the Barbary Pirates.

        1. Korean Defense is how I qualified for the VFW. While nothing actually popped while I was there (mid 80’s), it wasn’t that long after regular infiltration attacks and the DMZ Tree incident. And a lot of stuff happened in the DMZ that was never officially acknowledged. There were several duty shifts that I was waiting for that one more step that was going to kick things off.

    2. I think a rather credible case could be made that war is the natural state of mankind. Social justice idiots often wax poetic about the wonderful peaceful existence of our ancient primitive ancestors. Having a passing knowledge of our own Amerindian cultures I can only point out that when they were not busy scratching out a living as hunter gatherers they occupied their time with raids against opposing tribes to gain status through counting coup, seizing loot, and collecting women and slaves. And of course on the dark continent for centuries a living could be made by capturing folks from the next tribe over and selling them to Arab slavers.
      So it would seem that peaceful co-existence is much of an aberration due in the main from the shear abundance of resources brought about by modern technology. It is certainly not a condition at all natural to human existence and not a state one would expect to fall into in times of stress.

      1. “Scratching out a living as hunter gatherers” leaves a lot of Bad Things that can happen before you reap what you’ve sown; “raids against opposing tribes” is like playing the lottery, bringing instant rewards when successful.

        1. My archeology teacher specialized in Indians, and loved to point out that the advent of three sisters agriculture with corn et al led to lots of bloody fighting over bottomland and other desirable fields.

      2. Will and Ariel Durant figured that in 5,300 years of recorded history, there had been 283 years of peace.

        1. Shades of David Gerrold’s A Matter For Men, in which the protagonist’s father explains why he had a bolthole prepared for his family to ride out a major disaster (which in the book’s case turned out to be a depopulating plague that was the first wave of an alien eco-invasion): “No matter where or when you look in human history, Jim, it’s really, really hard to find seventy peaceful years in a row anywhere.”

      3. Jerry Pournelle wrote (I believe in one of his There Will Be War books) to the effect that Peace was the theoretical state of affairs that some postulate exists simply because there have been periods of time where there was not war.

        I have found that when someone states that there isn’t any war being fought right now they tend to be ignorant about affairs outside of their own little provincial area.

                  1. All romances consist of three characters … For the sake of argument they may be called St. George and the Dragon and the Princess. In every romance there must be the twin elements of loving and fighting. In every romance there must be the three characters: there must be the Princess, who is a thing to be loved; there must be the Dragon, who is a thing to be fought; and there must be St. George, who is a thing that both loves and fights. There have been many symptoms of cynicism and decay in our modern civilization. But of all the signs of modern feebleness, of lack of grasp on morals as they actually must be, there has been none quite so silly or so dangerous as this: that the philosophers of today have started to divide loving from fighting and to put them into opposite camps. [But] the two things imply each other; they implied each other in the old romance and in the old religion, which were the two permanent things of humanity. You cannot love a thing without wanting to fight for it. You cannot fight without something to fight for. To love a thing without wishing to fight for it is not love at all; it is lust. It may be an airy, philosophical, and disinterested lust… but it is lust, because it is wholly self-indulgent and invites no attack. On the other hand, fighting for a thing without loving it is not even fighting; it can only be called a kind of horse-play that is occasionally fatal

                    G. K. Chesterton.

                    And for them, it’s not even fatal occasionally.

    3. Ended that war? The Afghans still live, and are not ruled by a stable regime that knows better than to tolerate attacks on us.

      The other leg in the multi-legged-pants-of-time where that war “ended” is the leg where there’s a certain online of what used to be a country paved in green glass just north of Pakistan.

  4. When Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. wrote “Take Me Home Mountain Roads” he was just driving through West Virginia. When he wrote “Colorado Rocky Mountain High” he was living in Colorado.

    Are there, in Colorado, any institutions of public education named for that song? Hopefully not a Middle School? (Asking for a friend.)

    One thing seems sure: John was not a Florida man.

    1. There is in fact a Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins. I used to drive by it on my way to work. Unknown if they use Mr. Denver’s tune as a theme song and/or if anyone there has seen it raining fire in the sky.

    2. He didn’t even write it — not alone, anyway. He was playing regular gigs at The Cellar in DC when he added it to his repertoire. It was written by a couple also playing there names of Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert with contributions from Denver.

      This past spring, I made a trip — a pilgrimage of sort — to Harper’s Ferry. On the way, my wife an I drove across West Virginia through the mountains. The gorge Harper’s Ferry sits in is, indeed, almost heaven. The song Country Roads isn’t meant to be exclusively about WVa, but it does portray the state well.

      1. Yeah, but the state of West Byrdginia grabbed ahold of it like a drowning man seizing a inflatable sex doll.

        Having grown up there and sung the state’s previous official anthem I well understand their reasoning.

        Oh the West Virginia hills
        How majestic and how grand
        With their summits bathed in glory
        Like our Prince Immanuel’s Land
        Is it any wonder then that my heart with rapture thrills
        As I stand once more with loved ones
        On those West Virginia hills

        Oh the hills, beautiful hills
        How I love those West Virginia hills
        If o’er sea or land I roam still I’ll think of happy home
        And my friends among the West Virginia hills

        Now imagine it sung with all the skill and enthusiasm of 20 – 30 third-graders.

  5. I don’t remember feeling the world had changed. I was 21, engaged to my now husband, I’d just lived through yet another End of the World, which we were well aware had fizzled due only to massive work: Dad and Mom’s home computer believed it was the eighties, though, being at college, I had a new enough machine mine could handle four digits.
    I’d binge reread all of Tom Clancy over New Years Eve 2000. Of course someone flew planes into a building, he just picked the wrong terrorists. In March 2001 Dad had quadruple bypass surgery.

    But I was, maybe, born cynical. Raised among LDS, when having a year of food stored was the norm, and when my friend and I cooked dinner we did it from food storage. Dad had his first heart attack in January of 1986. Many things in my childhood were hedges against Dad dropping dead of another. Certainly I was born in the wrong century, and my parents humored me in learning all those pioneer techniques. Give me a herd of angora rabbits and I can, eventually, give you a sweater, using only skills I’d learned before twelve.
    Rambling through memory lane, though, I vividly remember the fall of the Berlin Wall, Ruby Ridge, the fall of the Soviet Union, Waco, OTC, the Lewinsky/Clinton Affair, the Unabomber, the WTC bombing, the Japanese subway attacks . . . (Timeline doubtful.)

    My uncle, the relative from my mom’s family I was closet to, was stationed in West Germany. (I have his last gift to his great nephews now, my aunt brought them by ahead of certain WA law changes, and you can guess what a career AF man might leave to a pack of boys. They came with all supplies.)

    So it made sense that terrorists would escalate. I remember thinking “They may say they’re soldiers, but real soldiers don’t target civilians. They’re just scum.” I would have happily responded with the Bomb. I thought, and still think, that flying a plane into an office building is pretty close to a WMD. Close enough to count, and we should have treated them as if it were. Gas is bugs is nukes, as someone else put it lately. Would not dropping one nuke have cost fewer lives than this interminable war on method? How many civilians have died as collateral damage? More than would have died if we’d dropped on Kabul, I bet.

    1. I believe that the real issue preventing a nuke strike was choosing a clear target. Still, there for a few weeks we were a curly red hair away from presenting our Israeli friends with a very nice green glass roller skating rink just next door to them. Just remember to wear your lead lined boxers while skating.
      What is surprising to me is that we have not experienced an attack of equal or greater devastation since 9/11. Opportunities abound as many of us here are aware, yet invariably what we see are fairly inept attacks by poorly equipped radicalized idiots. I suspect it’s a combination of inept low talent jihadis along with some most excellent work from our LEO anti terrorist teams.

      1. It really makes you wonder if there’s something to the conspiracy theories that the U.S. government, or some part thereof, was complicit in ALLOWING the bombings to occur. Did we stomp on the cockroaches hard enough that they’ve been discouraged for all these years, or is someone pulling strings saying, “Not yet”?

        1. Kinda agree.

          Recently, I revisited my belief that 9/11 was Taliban tolerated Al Queda, and not Bush or a false flag, etc. The FBI conclusion is a lot more suspect given what I’ve since learned about the FBI’s apparent institutional culture. Issues. The FBI would not do that sort of thing for Bush. Furthermore, why would even a fanatically pro Democrat FBI go to such trouble to lie to mostly Republicans that way?

          The war in Afghanistan stands, because the *blank* admitted it. Even if they were lying, they had to be made an example.

          The war against Iraq stands. The gentleman was defying us, and again needed to be made an example.

          1. I’d quibble a bit with that. Sure, the FBI has major corruption issues. I still can’t see them knowingly allowing an attack to go through that would kill thousands.
            I can see them ignoring reports that disagree with their priors, being extremely complacent that no one would ever try something like that, and/or even burying important warnings because they didn’t want to cooperate with the Bush White House. Still not quite the same as an actual false flag operation though.

            1. False flag has too many moving parts for even FBI grade idiots to think they could pin on someone else.

              I could see organizational screw ups hiding information that could have stopped a terrorist act that causes that many deaths.

              1. Hanlon’s Razor seems to rule here “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”. There seems to be stupidity a plenty in the FBI. Texting to your (illicit) mistress about how you have a plan to deal with the election. All on a phone OWNED by the government. The only thing saving them was said government was even more more incompetent than they were. It’s a wonder that anything ever works at all in government.

                1. Depends on definition of works. The actual purpose of the. Current government, extracting as much money from its host and pocketing it and making life hard for proles it works very well.

                  It just doesnt work for the proles but works great for the ruling class

              2. Except that’s exactly what happened in Garland TX. FBI agent is in the car trailing the shooters to the parking lot and didn’t do anything to stop it even though he knew exactly what was going on. All they have to do is let them in the country to get on the planes.

            2. The FBI has been doing its best to overthrown a lawfully elected government. I’d say we’re way past “major corruption issues” and into “open treasonous behavior.”

              1. Which is why I now lean toward stupidity plus malice. Some bright boys thinking we need a controlled burn, a “managed” Oklahoma City event. And the less bright boys missing or obfuscating due to bureaucratic turf fights any real understanding of what was going on. Anywhere. A bit like how Climate Change works.

                If you really want cynicism, consider that the Left is allowed it’s craziest worst actors such as Code Pink and the Truthers, because they’re useful to keep conservatives committed to useful parallel paths. We’re not that kind of crazy, after all.

                The internet was the big destabilized though. I’m not sure that the two-pronged attack of deliberately sowing chaos and Stalinist control of its infrastructure will be enough for the oligarchs to prevail. God Willing it won’t.

            3. “I still can’t see them knowingly allowing an attack to go through that would kill thousands.”
              I can. Very easily. Large numbers of agents and managers with political agendas as we’ve seen with the bogus Trump investigation. The willingness to commit atrocities such as Ruby Ridge and Waco. Personal experience with Law Enforcement sending the U.S. Marshalls to interview me for a post that didn’t meet the criteria of a threat, but was very anti-Administration. And of course my wife’s uncle being murdered by Whitey Bulger allegedly protected by a rogue agent while the entire Boston FBI office covered it up for a decade.

              Given a choice between the FBI, or the Mafia, I’d seriously consider siding with the Mafia. At least you KNOW they’re in it for their own self interests. The Feds? Nobody knows.

              1. You have a chance at making the mafia’s self interest mostly align with yours, plus you have some leverage. Fibbies you hot neither.

        2. No conspiracy, just garden-variety incompetence. The absence of a second attack is, I suspect, largely a result of our taking the fight to them Over There…and it’s much easier for a would-be jihadi to get to Over There than to come Over Here.

          1. There’s no way a vast government conspiracy on our side to make (or let) the attack happen, and the planning and execution level was undisputably AQ as directed by OBL, but the things that keep coming up where the FBI et alia hurriedly shuttled foreigners offshore and stopped any looks-deeper towards the involvement of the House of Saud is real stuff.

            My heartfelt wish is that the recent management changes in at the House of Saud are actually the result of our side’s deep black payback for the prior management’s involvement in 9/11.

      2. My theories:
        1) They’re terrorists, not guerrillas. We remain extremely vulnerable to bad actors being able to blow up bridges or dams or disrupt the electrical or communication systems. But they don’t actually want to do that so much as they want to be seen destroying symbols of American power, and those have become much more hardened.
        I have a friend in Baltimore who lived two blocks away from the riots a few years ago. He and his neighbors were terrified that the mobs would attack their houses, which were both vulnerable and full of stuff worth stealing. The rioters were more interested in trashing malls and street fronts, because that’s where the news cameras were.
        2) Flight 93 showed that once Americans knew that planes were being used as guided missiles, they would never again be effective at destroying a high profile target. Yes, jihadis are suicidal, but they still want to accomplish their goal. There isn’t glory in crashing in a farming field, so one of the best tools to take down a high profile target was rendered ineffective less than two hours after it debuted.
        3) The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. For better or worse, they became places where if you wanted to kill Americans, they kindly came to you instead of needing to go to them. Also, while we still have an enormous lone wolf/ known wolf problem, we have managed to kill the terrorists competent enough to coordinate large and impressive attacks.
        4) From what I’ve heard, Al Queda had a guideline of never following up an attack with a weaker attack. Frankly, how do you top 9/11? And even if you imagine a target, how do you then figure out how to destroy it with the changes put in place after 9/11?

          1. This. A large population of military-age-males that was revved up by AQ’s success on 9/11, with all the organizational and financial resources intact, and no local outlet for their enthusiasms, was a very dangerous prospect.

            When there are crusader infidels in the neighborhood that you can go try and kill, there’s less impetus to organize very long journeys to kill them at home.

            1. Right, This is the Puppeteers technique with the Kzinti. But we haven’t got 2-300 years to get enough generations of jihadis to breed the aggression out (or at least down…)

        1. Ms Schley I believe your point 1 is the nub of the matter. In 2001 I figured 9/11 was the start. Any decent guerilla that understood us would have followed up with terror attacks in period at or near Black Friday. Picture fifty Jihadis with simple weapons or perhaps improvised suicide vests in malls on Black Friday. Today more is online, but then the malls were full. It might not have killed as many as 9/11 but it would have stopped people from shopping. A week or two of hesitation and an already shaky economy would have gone off the deep end. But they didn’t. Not because they couldn’t but because it doesn’t fit their insane eschatological world view. On top of that they understand their enemy even less than the liberals understand ours.

          1. Maybe. I thought the airliner attack was a mistake in any event.

            Consider: If I’m a jihadi, what are my objectives? Get the US out of the Middle East? Start a fight? Make a name for myself? In ALL of those cases, the more people I kill, the more likely it is that the retaliation goes high-order.

            No. I get two dozen fanatics who are NOT necessarily suicidal. Have them drive trucks…towing a trailer bomb. Jettison the trailer bombs on various bridges at 0400. You could snarl urban traffic for YEARS…with minimal loss of life.

            1. A mistake? Are you kidding? It was a great recruiting video.

              It was a mistake for them to imagine the US has a glass jaw and would be taken out by a single blow. They’re lucky the passengers on Flight 93 saved them from decapitating America’s political class, but then they believe what they see on American TV.

              1. OBL said that his strategic goal for 9/11 was to goad the US into wars that would lead to US national bankruptcy.

                Much of the world has no idea of the scale of the US economy, and OBL was under the impression that running a couple of small scale regional guerrilla wars would cost too much to sustain.

                If he were serious about bankrupting the US he would have set up a secretly-foreign-funded PAC to funnel money to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

        2. There isn’t glory in crashing in a farming field…

          Or in getting the crap beaten out of you by passengers and dying (then and there or in prison) without even taking the airliner down.

          The 9/11 tactics became obsolete when Flight 93 impacted.

          Prior to this, standard airline procedure was to cooperate with the Hijackers, get the plane on the ground as soon as possible and then let the the Negotiators/SWAT/HRT/SAS etc sort it out.

          After 9/11 no one was going to cooperate or let hijackers near the cockpit. Any attempt to do anything similar was to end the same way (ask Richard Reid).

          Which is why the TSA’s obsession with pocket knives etc. is so irritating to me. Typical leftist thinking: concentrate on the object, not the person as a threat.

            1. First time hit moderation. This time with modified link

              To quote the NYT: “..since airplanes took aim and brought down the World Trade Center”.
              www dot powerlineblog dot com/archives/2019/09/the-ny-times-never-disappoints.php

              Words fail me, at least ones I’m willing to post.

      3. I think that we haven’t has an equal or greater attack for several reasons;

        1) President Bush, whatever else one may think of him, chose two splendid object lessons in Afghanistan and Iraq. Afghanistan had hosted Al Q’eda (or however it’s being spelled now), and Saddam had never met the terms of surrender from the First Gulf War. Further, Saddam had an army that was said to be the fourth largest in the world, and of a type much admired by local potentates.

        We wrecked that army in a matter of weeks, with an initial force of, what, 100,000?

        Now, messing about with ‘Nation Building’ and the idiocy of the American Progressive Left has muddled those object lessons. But I expect that to local heads of State, they sill have some force. Piss off the US enough and your government is for the chop.

        2) While I think that after wrecking the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq, we should have said, “Keep your Jihadists the hell out of our country, or we’ll be back, and LEFT, staying has given the Jihadists a battlefield closer to home. And, importantly, not on US soil.

        3) We have been involved in a number of anti-radical-Islam actions since, which must play merry hell with the organization necessary to strike at the US. I beg leave to doubt that Obungles little forays accomplished much else, though.

        I think that, eventually, we WILL see another major attack. I half expect it to be in a city like Detroit or Chicago where local authorities are overmatched. I don’t think a nuke is likely, though I could be wrong. A big explosion from conventional means, or a dust initiation or fuel-air seems like the Jihadis would get more bang for less risk of exposure. I don’t know when it will come, though.

        1. 1) President Bush, whatever else one may think of him, chose two splendid object lessons in Afghanistan and Iraq.

          On that point Muammar Gaddafi agreed with you, which is why Obama & Clinton had to make an example of hum, ensuring Kim (pick a Kim, any Kim) nor Iran’s mullahs will repeat that error.

          1. BTW – George W Bush’s biggest failure as a leader was his entirely unjustified belief that America’s Left was not anti-American and could be trusted with his back toward them.

            All other of his failures follow from that.

            1. Or it could be he simply accepted his part in the play. Had he clamped down of the Left THEN, he would have created sympathy for them. Enough, and Granny Maojackets might have followed Obumbles, and the Left might be riding high instead of scrambling fo some kind of legitimacy.

            2. W just needed a short war. Sticking around to “fix” things was the error, not the invasion. Pick a strongman Iraqi general that would stay bought to replace Saddam, rotate the mass of US troops home in while leaving a couple USAF/SOF/log sites in 2005 or so, plus units to rearm and retrain the “New Model Iraqi Army, same as the old army with better uniforms”, and “Barack who?” would have never had a chance.

              1. We had two models for Reconstruction. Guess which one he chose.

                Also of note: despite the media blitz against him, and his family, including his daughters, and the claims made about him and why he led the country into war by the Clinton Crime League, one can find photos of him and his wife jollying up to members of same.

                1. It has been my experience that Republicans suffer from the “Nothing personal, it’s just business” response to Demoslandering. That is part of what frustrates the conservative base and underlies the Left’s dismay at Trump’s refusal to turn the other cheek.

                  Remember those stories about Reagan and Tip O’Neill battling through the day and swapping jokes over drinks of an evening.

                  Above is a good example of the “comity” that used to prevail in DC, depicted in the movie Washington Story, 1952. In the preceding scene committee chairman Van Johnson has been worked over with a parliamentary bat by ranking minority member Louis Calhern during a hearing; new to DC “ace” reporter Patricia Neal is expecting to see post-hearing fireworks in the halls of Congress and instead learns that there’s more of pro wrestling to their performances.

                  1. Note: this GOP adherence to Marquess of Queensberry Rules while the Dems engage in gutter fighting tactics is one of the primary flaws in current American politics and a reason GOP weakness over the years. Newt Gingrich’s refusal to abide by those rules and Mitch M’Connell’s rejection* of them are a big part of the Left’s vitriol toward them. While there are serious flaws in their leadership, we ought not lightly dismiss their rejection of the role written for them by the Washington Post and NY Times.

                    *See: judicial confirmations

                    1. Newt Gingrich’s refusal to abide by those rules and Mitch M’Connell’s rejection* of them are a big part of the Left’s vitriol toward them.

                      I’m not sure about that – I think the vitriol is purely “You cretins refuse to lose! Don’t you idiots realize we have the INEVITABLE ARROW OF HISTORY on our side?”

                      The Ds just love affable losers like Mitt Romney and John McCain and Bob Dole – they all got invited to the good soirees after their losing campaigns. But when W won, he became Literally Hitler, and with very few exceptions he’s been socially persona non grata since.

                      Only very recently has the traditional “respected elder statesman” rehabilitation started for W, and that only to use as a cudgel against DJT. And he’ll only really be fully rehabbed once he dies.

                      So basically losers or dead are their empirically preferred opponents.

              2. We didn’t even need to pick a replacement. Indeed, doing so would have arguably been a mistake. We should have wrecked the place and LEFT, saying “Don’t bother us again, or we’ll be back.”

                But that was probably politically impossible. It might be possible now, though.

                Gunboat Diplomacy; It’s amoral, it’s messy, and it almost always works.

                1. I personally think “Well run client kingdom” is preferable to a failed state in an age of easy global transportation, just as a matter of international hygiene.

                  If Jimmeh had been of a similar mind we’d have avoided all the casualties of our endless war with the Mullahs these many decades: There was nothing wrong with installing a new Shah, and one with a debt to us for backing up the transfer of power would have been just dandy.

    2. There was this weird period of fairly recent history between the fall of the USSR and the fall of twin tower where, while many things were amiss and needed work… there was at least the shadow of an idea that it could be made to work. And the band played on…

    3. I’d binge reread all of Tom Clancy over New Years Eve 2000. Of course someone flew planes into a building, he just picked the wrong terrorists.

      And yet, Clancy stated he couldn’t understand why 4 people would be willing to fly a plane into a building.

  6. About the ending of wars, is even the Trojan War really over? Greece vs. Turkey, Europe vs. Asia, and all that. I think, if the H. neanderthalensis and the H. sapiens ever had a warlike existence, then that war is finally over–one side being extinct, except for their lingering genes.

    1. And yet….we in this blog, and others have more than our share of Neanderthalensis genes. So do most serious researchers, etc.
      Is that war over? Or as it morphed into “Those geeks need to be taught a lesson?”
      And in the internet age, the geeks often get (the geek) girls, so there will be greater concentrations ahead.
      Interesting times.

      1. Oh joy. A definitive genetic test showing how much Neanderthal each of us has, and then we can discriminate against the >10% faction.

            1. Last time I took the MMPI test I scored a 19 out of 20 on the Introversion side of the Introversion/Extroversion axis and dead center on the aggression axis.

              Comes of perceiving what the question is actually digging for and making one’s answers consistent, either all one way or balancing each answer against a prior answer for that axis.

              1. It has long amused me how obvious the “we’re not obvious” questions were and how very easily the tests could be thus gamed. They expect this works.. at all? Ox figure it out!

                1. Early versions of the MMPI were pretty coarse. One I took boiled down to riffs on three themes:

                  * “How often do you fantasize about the genitals of people of your own sex?”

                  * “If nobody sees you steal something, is it okay?”

                  * “How often does God speak to you personally?”

                  …spread out over something like 500 questions.

                  It was pretty obvious the test designer(s) were looking for some specific traits…

            1. Either way, that might be problematic.
              Department of Natural Resources
              Do Not Resuscitate

              Dialed Number Recorder has issues at well.

              …of course, if you manage to filter the nonsense out of what many post, perhaps you ARE…

              Digital Noise Reduction

              and though outdated, it is still good advice indeed to

              Drink No Radithor.

          1. So you and Hyawatha Warren are the only two I’ve ever heard of who’ve failed a DNA test.

            Have you considered a career in politics?

  7. When you see the pictures of those people jumping from the tower, don’t you wish, for just once, that even one of them learned how to truly fly? Guess we’ll still have to settle for mundane miracles, or make our own.

    1. Yes. Either learned to fly as they fell. Or, for the ones missing, maybe found a bolt hole to a parallel reality or another planet or ??? Leaving behind a few scraps of DNA …

  8. “Was it possible we’d have gone to the Windows on the World for breakfast? Sure it was.”

    We were just getting up when the first plane hit (Pacific Time). Needless to say, I was late for work …

    But the “what if’s”. Noted yesterday that our son was with scouting pre national jamboree excursion that include NYC in August. Not only that the scouting national jamboree temporarily builds the 2nd largest city in W. Virginia every 4 years, that is 50,000 to 60,000, scouts, and scouting volunteers, not counting daily visitors, 99% of which is gathered into the arena on one night … where the BSA president gives a speech in person. (Don’t remember why President Bush canceled the in person and instead it was live videoed from the White House.) … What if they’d been ready in August?

    Fort AP Hill has fewer defenses than the White House. President Bush was expected until the day of speech (knew before gathering in the arena that it was going to be videoed day of, but not until then). OTOH even if targeting President Bush’s known location wasn’t a priority, getting stuck at Fort AP Hill, in August, for an extra 5 or more days … uh, no (yes, humidity got to me hard. Not used to breathing water with my air. PNW born. It is a dry heat. When high humidity we call it rain … well it can have high humidity, when it is 65 and feels like 78 …)

    Then too. For two or three days after national jamboree, there are planes full of scouts returning home, not charters; from DC. Local council contingent had 76 spread over 3 flights. It took my travel agent 3 days to get me a flight home from DC, and I was traveling alone.

    1. My folks were visiting $STEPFATHER’s daughters in VA and MD. It took them an additional week to get home.

      I was laid off and job-searching. Every company that was feeling pressed by the burst dot-com bubble now had an extra excuse/reason to stop hiring. Barring a few RF semiconductor manufacturers, that’s about when the silicon finished exiting the Silicon Valley.

      I was conservative, but sort of apolitical. When you are completely outnumbered in a blue area, and TPTB don’t hesitate to throw their weight around (a bit less obvious than the Chicago Machine, but they got the same results), it was hard to fight. So, 9/11 was the beginning of the end for our tenure in California. Still have the Blue-state blues, but we try, sometimes we win.

      1. My father was in Colorado, but he had a rental car. Free to return on Friday, just after the airports reopened — he drove back instead. Left late morning Friday, arrived back — early afternoon? Sunday. Definitely in the middle of the day.

        I had just been laid off and had taken Monday off to mope. I barely managed to call unemployment by Friday.

    2. Because it would be highly embarrassing for serious terrorists to be defeated by a bunch of uniformed teenage boys.

      1. Not wishing ill on any scouts, but wouldn’t that have been hilarious? “Terrorist jihadis train/rehearse for months for big show. Boy Scouts aren’t having any of it.” The only thing worse (in both senses) would be… Girl Scouts.

  9. I remember the day as well, in my office in Greenwich, CT. A little later after watching the Towers collapse in real time on TV, we went to Greenwich Point where we could see the Twin Towers on a clear day (which it was before the smoke) and saw (and smelled 30+ miles away) the smoke where the Twin Towers had been. I lost friends and acquaintances that day. I was (almost) always on the right to one degree or another, but things snapped for me on 9/11. No quarter for Islamists, or the enemies of liberty.

    I have one small quibble with your post: international socialism wasn’t always about Russian nationalism. Before WWI, neither the First International (International Workmen’s Association) 1864-1876 nor the Second International (1889-1916) were not about Russian nationalism. The congruence of international socialism with Russian nationalism really began in 1919 with the Third International (Comintern).

    1. All right. But in my experience — circa 1970 to present — those who call themselves “anti-nationalist” are in fact Russian nationalist. Some of them don’t know it.
      I wasn’t alive in 1864 and honestly, at this point? I don’t trust any documents that I can get hold of.
      BUT of course, before Russia became socialist they wouldn’t be “RUSSIAN” nationalists. I understand Marx was a British nationalist, though.

      1. My understanding was that Marx was a misanthrope, basically unable to get along with anybody.

        Mencken could get along with nearly anyone, he just disliked groups. Marx quarreled with everybody.

        Or so I have gathered….

  10. In the next week, amid anger and fear (for Dan who was in DC and had to figure out how to make it home) something changed in me.

    I’ve argued this before, I will say it until my dying day or until somebody writes it: I cannot understand how it is that nobody has written a story, a novel, a play, a movie about all those stranded far from home, trying to return. It’s so bloody simple that even a caveman could write it (but not a wallaby; wallabies don’t tell tales).

    Set it at the Seattle – or LA or Denver or Atlanta or any airport outside of New York. A flight to New York (or DC or, really, anywhere) has been grounded and people desperate to get home end up renting a car (SUV. Minivan. Whatever) to drive to their destination. Put four, five, six strangers in a vehicle travelling hundreds of miles, all worried about what they will find at the destination? Arguing over Who did it and why, what we should do in response and why, arguing over who’s lost the most, and why.

    Any author incapable of writing that story ought turn in his (her, xir) shingle. All it really requires is the ability to eschew making stereotypes of the riders, avoid using them as sock-puppets for lecturing the audience (so, now WokeWriters need apply.)

    Hell, you could even engage in some macabre humour by having them adopt as their travel song the Theme From Gilligan’s Island … or even Green Acres.

      1. I’m not persuaded that is an argument against telling that story. A small group of people forced into close proximity by an unimaginably traumatic event, forced to argue their philosophies of what happened and what it means?

        Imagine Heinlein telling of an enemy strike destroying Luna City and people struggling across Luna’s surface to discover what remains, if that’s your preference.

        The story is never about What Happened, it is always about How We Respond to it.

      1. Do you think the telling of such a story can be overdone?

        It matters less how it is told than that it _is_ told.

      1. Hmm. Where have I seen “Wagon Train to the Stars” pitched before?….. hmmm

        My mind seems to be playing a Trek on me.

  11. [W]e could ignore it. We could pretend they were mostly misguided, and they would come to sanity.

    That’s the cry of every abused spouse or child, once eyes have been opened to the fact that what is happening Is. Not. Right.

    And isn’t the Left largely behaving like an abuser who’s victim is no longer following the script?

    I usually disdain “vest pocket psychology” but sometimes it shines a light on the darkness.

    1. Our Beloved [spit] Governor, AKA Despicable Kate Brown, seems to be discovering that the victims have tools that are steadily being turned into weapons. Her enablers in the MSM are now in the “How dare they?” phase.

      Popcorn and torches on order. Already have the pitchforks.

      1. I recall a bit from Hee-Haw of all places. It went something like this:

        “I’m all for beating the swords into ploughshares.”
        “You are?!”
        “When a man’s hit with a ploughshare, he’s hit!”

      2. Okay. What have I missed now? Am I going to have to pay attention to local news? Dang it. What has gotten her tidy whites in a knot now? Links?

        1. This got a brief mention on national news, as well as the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy news feeds. Not sure where I picked it up (my news sources don’t get Pulitzers, but they get the news…) Still, the majors found it.

          The Oregon Public Records Advocate (apparently reporting to the gov’s office, though the enabling bill was vague on that point (way to go folks!)) quit, claiming she was being pressured by Kate’s General Counsel to a) make Kate look as good as possible and b) not let the public know she was doing that.

          AP picked it up: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/oregon-public-records-advocate-quits-citing-interference/ar-AAH2RgY

          One bit that I can’t find while precaffeinated is that the OPA’s resignation meeting had an open records activist (legally) listening in on the conversation via cell phone. Sounds like the pressure was pretty obvious.

          Can’t find that one, but more meat in an interview on OR public radio:
          www dot opb dot org/radio/programs/thinkoutloud/segment/ginger-mccall-oregon-public-records-advocate-resigning/

          Sounds like the then-GC (now appointed as a judge, thanks Kate) insisted that the advocate reported to the GC, *not* what the R’s in the legislature think the bill said, and not what the advocate was told when she was recruited.

          I’m not seeing any current stories on the two recall petitions for Kate; MSM did a fair amount of “it’s hopeless” and “oh, those cute republicans”, though one early story mentioned that the petitions were getting signed “in droves”. One other story said “even if she’d recalled, we’ll still have a Democrat in the office”. We’ll see how the effort goes. Petitions are due 10/14.

          Not as closely related, Terry Bean’s (major fundraiser and gay advocate) ex-boyfriend was convicted of sexual abuse of a 15 year old boy. Bean’s goes on trial (same charges, same incident) in a couple months. Yeeech!

          1. I don’t care if a person is wired or plumbed for “pitch”, “catch”, or “Calvinball”. Leave the kids out of it. Period.

            1. While I am disgusted, I don’t think 15yo males count as ‘kids’. I remember being 15; it’s a wonder nobody drowned me.

              OTOH, perhaps the creeps should be charged with bestiality.

              1. No. He needs to convicted and punished. Letting any group play the [victim / special status]] card to get away with minor crimes is bad enough. Letting them pass on a crime that is also a huge taboo (for men. Ah, the patriarchy! So omnipotent!) guarantees that in a few generations, tops, everyone will see [Group] and think “Pedo”.

                Only those part of whatever ruling oligarchy is in place (and not always them] will survive the backlash.

  12. the left … equated and equates nationalism with fascism.

    In all honesty, they equate everything that balks their desires with fascism. Hold them accountable for their actions, such as spending their evenings drinking instead of studying? Fascist! Insist they should pay (with their own money!) for what they want? Fascist! Send them to bed early? Fascist!

    Tell them unicorn farts are not a reliable basis for powering a First World electrical grid, or that printing an infinite amount of money won’t let them finance their dream castles in the sky?


    We are talking about the Toddler Eternal, endlessly playing their “trump” cards: Racist, Sexist, Fascist.

    1. Hey, one of the local power companies (Xcel Energy) has announced “Zero Carbon Electricity by 2050”, but don’t seem to be interested in building any new nuclear plants. I wonder if they spoke to any actual engineers before committing themselves to that?

      1. No. Their local spokesman is a wonderful person, a real mensch, and I don’t have the heart to ask him. I suspect the coal and gas stations will stay on-line, and the wind will slowly fizzle out.

      2. “So we’ve instructed our lobbyists to push a bill re-designating coal as ‘carbon-free’…”

        If a word is inconvenient, the Left simply re-defines it.

      3. “We have committed to giving zero-carbon electricity on a time frame such that, we’re almost certain everyone will have forgotten this ad by the time the date rolls around.”

    2. I picture a cartoon:

      A toddler (are the big-boy diapers Dem. blue or CCCP red?), “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!”

      An adult: “NO!”

      CommuToddler: “FASCIST!”

      Now.. choose your ending… does li’l Bratunist win and get it, as the adult(s) suffer the ills of communism…. or does the adult administer (horrors!) corporal enlightenment?

    3. “Peace” is “the absence of opposition to Worldwide Socialism”.

      War is always the fault of Fascists. Socialists want only Peace.

      Thus, opposing Socialism is fascist.

  13. It is possible I would by now be teaching in college (again.)

    I trust that every night, when you go to your knees in prayer, you thank Him from whom all Blessings flow for preserving you from that particular blessing. Because the trend which has produced our contemporary crisis in higher education was already airborne back then.

    Cans’t imagine Our Sarah’s response to the first student demanding a Safe Space because Campus Poopyheads had invited Heather MacDonald or Milo Yiannopoulos to speak?

  14. telling the kids we’d fall into eternity.

    Yeah, I don’t see Robert or even Marshall, at that age, buying that. I can just hear the argument all the way down …

  15. Ahh, yes. For me, it wasn’t the towers, it was the Pentagon which sent a chill through me. So many people forget the Pentagon being hit, and if you’ve been in DC, you know how close that was to the complete hub of the country.

    The nail in the coffin for me was Katrina. Realizing the government saw civilians as annoyances and stupid was a wake up call. Heck, were I lived there wasn’t an evacuation, but we left anyway. We didn’t flood, house was fine with just a fence knocked over, but because of the rioting nearby we were told by “force of arms” we could not return. For a month we weren’t allowed in because of the rioting.

    Think on that. It happened here in the USA.

    They got away with it. Door to door gun confiscation. Dragging people out of their houses to be thrown on buses to other parts of the country without their consent, and no way back except their own funding. Some of them had their beloved pets ripped from their arms and thrown outside the bus before they left. Some I knew had to escape the camp at night. Truthfully, they had to HIDE in the back of emergency vehicle and that was only because the driver happened to be related to one of the group.

    It happened here. And my leftest friends thought it was good! I have never been the same since then.

    1. > So many people forget the Pentagon being hit,

      About ten minutes after the New York hits, the local radio was “All 9/11, All the Time.” Every freaking station. At 15 minutes, it was “we’re so sorry, what did we do to anger you so much, and how can we make amends?” And it was all New York; it was more than a month before I heard one word about the Pentagon or Flight 93.

      Congress reacted by punishing *us* with the Patriot Act while pumping more money into our enemies than we spent on the Marshall Plan.

      Our primary enemies weren’t in the Middle East, they were in the District of Columbia.

      1. The attack on the Pentagon *should* have made it more than clear that this was more than terrorism, but a complete act of war. But you are right, instead the civilians were punished and treated like terrorists!

        1. Terrorism IS an act of War. This is something I have been trying to pound into my Lefty relatives forever. If YOU attack ME, you don’t get to whine if I kick you teeth in.

          “Oh, but we must UNDERSTAND!”

          No, not really. If they want to play by genteel rules, great. Then I will take some trouble to understand their concerns. If they want to play be schoolyard rules? Leave ‘em bleeding in the dirt and take their women.

          You’ve pretty much GOT to be an improvement.

          1. I agree with you. The Left doesn’t play by school yard rules. In their mind the evil people deserve to be robbed, beaten, and killed. Of course *they* are never the evil people.

    2. Katrina:

      “The cops won’t enforce a ban or confiscation.”

      Please explain “won’t”?

      I was -shocked-. I expected at least -one- refusenik cop screaming about it (on Fox at least). Nope. I expected at least -one- “Molon Labe” type resistance (shown on Fox at least). Nope.

      -Bad- precedent. The Crocodile was fed, and a bunch of others went “…yeah….”. If the anti-free seem insanely driven to try again, -that- is why.

      -They got away with it.- “Butthead” is -counting- on a repeat. So are his co-conspirators.

      1. ^^THIS!! And I know they didn’t go into the bad areas or even marginal asking for guns. But the middle class and upper just handed them over.

  16. We’re in the ’causes leading up to.’

    A fair reading of history suggests “causes leading up to” do not always go over the brink. Had James Buchanan not been so feckless we might have avoided the War of Southern Secession. Had the French not been so, so French on that day in 1936 when Hitler’s three divisions marched into the Rhineland …

    Had NY Giant Fred Merkle touched second in the bottom of the ninth in that fateful game against Chicago’s Cubs in 1908 …

    Had Ogodei Khan’s death not initiated a succession struggle fracturing Genghis’ empire and halting their invasion of Europe, or had three years of unusually cold, wet weather (1238 – 41) rendered Hungary’s plains a morass delaying and diverting the Mongol horde …

    Had the Spartans not taken that camping trip to the hot springs at Thermopylae …

    Had Noah said, “Get yourself another boat boy, I’m no damned carpenter” …

    Geeze, why am I now imagining a gorgeous woman, travelling through time, sleeping with the Great Men of History and giving them the clap?

    For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been.” – John Greenleaf Whittier

    1. For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been.” – John Greenleaf Whittier

      That CAN be turned around. Ponder Kokura and August 6 and 9, 1945.

    2. , why am I now imagining a gorgeous woman, travelling through time, sleeping with the Great Men of History and giving them the clap?

      If you haven’t read John C. Wright’s City Beyond Time, you should go download a sample. I think you’d really enjoy it.

  17. 9/11 left me with the feeling that something I had always relied on as a solid rock had crumbled away into sand leaving me floundering.

    I’ve had that feeling a few other times. At this point, it reminds of the scriptures that say put your trust in God and nothing else.

  18. I’m an outlier, but…my father was Naval intelligence. I grew up on military bases around the world. In ’85 our high school – at SHAPE, NATO command – was briefed by an SAS detachment (!) about the liklihood of a terrorist attack on the school. Bomb threats were not uncommon; the Red Army Factions planted bombs and the PLO hijacked planes.
    But 9/11 was still a shock, because of how it changed the people around me. Co-workers and others who hadn’t understand the reality of the world. Some learned. Many of all persuasions saw and chose to yank the covers back over their heads.
    To me the amazing thing is that this naked hostility could only come in an environment so utterly safe and coddled that generations could grow up believing the delusion that everyone is the same at heart, regardless of their culture or learning. That open borders means that everyone who walks in will sit down and toe your party line. That there aren’t really any monsters.
    But there are.

    1. Oh, please, I grew up with communist terrorism in Europe. I remember Black September.
      It still wasn’t the same. It was the golden summer of history after the fall of the Sov Union, which had allowed me to dream. Hence…

  19. I had lived in Germany a decade before 9/11. I had been used to checkpoints, fences/walls, security and even checking our vehicle for possible tampering. When I saw the towers fall, I was so afraid that was coming here. That some how they had invaded our country and were now able to cause the havoc and damage which caused us to live behind guard shacks and barbed wire.

    I don’t think I really noticed the liberals being anti-American until another 3-5 years later. When Obama was elected president and many friends (outside Chicago and Illinois) wondered how he managed to get elected. It was then I realized the Democratic Party was completely corrupt and had bought off Clinton so they could get “their boy” in. There were a few more signposts (completely eliminating God, absolutely no pro-life platform) but that was a significant signpost for me.

    1. I had noticed, but I was hoping they’d come to reason before things came to this…
      BTW I realized the PTSD…. had hold of me, when the towers fell, and next thing you know I’m in the expedition, headed back from the grocery store, and it’s PACKED with groceries.
      I think we finally finished the last of non-perishable stuff last year.

      1. Part of the failure to notice was the Gaslight Media providing Close Air Support for Anti-American activists.

        The Stalinist ancestry of ANSWER and CODE Pink was never reported in the coverage of their protests.

        I make reference to those groups’s origins in a post currently in WP Delay, but those interested can read about them at David Horowitz’s inestimable http://archive.discoverthenetworks.org/group.asp

    2. During Gulf War 1, you could count on a band of 200-400 to throw protests; they’d crawl out from under their rocks in Berkeley and Oakland and generate trouble in Frisco. (Dammit, it no longer warrants the formal name). On occasion, they’d take vehicles and block the Bay Bridge, so the worker bees who were commuting from the East Bay to SF and the northern Peninsula couldn’t make it into work. (No real reason for it; just sticking it to The Man.)

      After 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan, the lefties kept a pretty low profile. I suspect that if they had tried the bridge-block maneuver, some of the protestors might have left the bridge in unexpected and fatal ways. (How many gainers can one do from the Bay Bridge High Dive?)

      Of course, blocking the bridge because Orange Man Bad is back in vogue.

      1. Anyone able to recall when Code Pink appeared? They were clearly a group embraced by the Left and the Gaslight Media (BIRM), one only the naive and inattentive could buy as a genuine independent grass roots voice.

        A.N.S.W.E.R. was a puppet of the International Communist movement and immediately pivoted into opposition to reprisal against those supporting the terrorists. It was an offshoot of the usual coterie of AntiAmerican-Capitalist activists who had been in the process of mounting an Anti-Bush/Cheney rally and quickly reconfigured in the guise of an antiwar coalition.

        ANSWER characterizes itself as anti-imperialist, and its steering committee consists of socialists, communists, civil rights advocates, and left-wing or progressive organizations from the Muslim, Arab, Palestinian, Filipino, Haitian, and Latin American communities. Many of ANSWER’s lead organizers had ties to the International Action Center and Workers World Party at the time of ANSWER’s founding.

        According to David Horowitz’s “Discover the Networks” {many embedded links] the origins of A.N.S.W.E.R. were:

        Early Years & Key Leaders
        The ANSWER Coalition—a.k.a. International ANSWER—draws its name from the acronym for “Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.” It was established on September 14, 2001—three days after al Qaeda’s terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Prior to 9/11, ANSWER’s leading founders—Richard Becker, Sara Flounders, and Elias Rashmawi—were already planning to stage a late-September protest against “the Bush administration’s reactionary foreign and domestic policy and the IMF and World Bank.” But in light of 9/11, they quickly adapted their focus to the circumstances and organized ANSWER as an “anti-racist, anti-war, peace and justice group.”

        As ANSWER became a leading organizer of post-9/11 demonstrations against the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, it formed loose coalitions with other likeminded entities such as Not In Our Name, Palestine Solidarity campus groups, and United For Peace and Justice.

        ANSWER held its initial mass rallies on September 29, 2001, in Washington, DC and San Francisco—drawing 25,000 and 15,000 participants, respectively—to protest the Bush administration’s impending invasion of Afghanistan, whose Taliban regime had aided and abetted the al Qaeda terrorist network responsible for 9/11.

        Run by Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center—an organization staffed in large part by members of the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP)—the fledgling ANSWER depicted the United States as a racist, imperialist, sexist, militaristic nation guilty of unspeakable crimes against humanity.

        The libertarian author Stephen Suleyman Schwartz in 2002 described ANSWER an “ultra-Stalinist network” whose members served as “active propaganda agents for Serbia, Iraq, and North Korea, as well as Cuba, countries they repeatedly visit and acclaim.”

        In ANSWER’s early years, its policies and activities were dictated by a steering committee that included such groups as the Alliance for Just and Lasting Peace in the Philippines; Bayan–USA/International; the Free Palestine Alliance; the Haiti Support Network; the International Action Center; the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizing/Pastors for Peace; the Kensington Welfare Rights Union; the Korea Truth Commission; the Mexico Solidarity Network; the Middle East Children’s Alliance; the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. & Canada; the Nicaragua Network; the Partnership for Civil Justice Legal Defense and Education Fund; and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

        Moreover, ANSWER identified a number of additional organizations as key members of its Coalition. Among these were Al-Awda, the Green Party USA, the International Family and Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal, the National Council of Arab Americans, the National Lawyer’s Guild, the New Communist Party of the Netherlands, Not In Our Name, and United For Peace and Justice. Other key allies of ANSWER included the president of AFSCME Local 1702, the vice president of the Baltimore branch of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, and the president of the World Union of Freethinkers (a militant atheist organization).


        The ability of this organization to present itself as a genuine political movement discredits any claims of Media and politicians to be honest actors on the public stage.

        And to answer my initial question, Discover the Networks reports that Code Pink:

        When Code Pink: Women for Peace was launched on November 17, 2002, the organization described itself as a “grassroots peace and social justice movement” whose mission was “to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education and other life-affirming activities.” The Capital Research Center writes that “Code Pink is the business name for a nonprofit called Environmentalism through Inspiration and Non-Violent Action.” The name “Code Pink” was selected to parody the Bush administration’s color-coded security alerts regarding terrorist threats—alerts that Code Pink said “were based on fear and were used to justify violence.” By contrast, the “Code Pink alerts”—signifying “the color of the roses … the color of the dawn of a new era when cooperation and negotiation prevail over force”—warned that the Bush administration posed “extreme danger to all the values of nurturing, caring, and compassion that women and loving men have held.” Proclaiming that “women have been the guardians of life … because the men have busied themselves making war,” Code Pink called on “women around the world to rise up and oppose the war in Iraq … to be outrageous for peace.”

        Code Pink was founded principally by a small group of radical activists: Jodie Evans, Medea Benjamin, Diane Wilson, Gael Murphy, and a Wiccan spiritualist calling herself Starhawk. (Approximately 100 additional female activists also participated in getting the organization off the ground.) Evans was, and remains, the nominal leader of the group. According to John J. Tierney, Professor of International Relations at the Institute for World Politics, Code Pink members “subscribe in varying degrees to strands of Marxist, neo-Marxist, and progressive left-wing thought, and their ideas belong to a long and complex history of radical politics going back to the early Bolsheviks.” The group views America as a nation awash in “racism” and “sexism”—a society whose political and economic systems, by their very nature, breed war, poverty, and injustice.

        Code Pink strove, from its earliest days, to portray itself as a politically nonpartisan organization composed not of seasoned activists, but of ordinary, peace-loving women with no political ax to grind. In truth, however, the group’s founders and leading members had long histories of radical left-wing and pro-socialist activism. For example, a number of Code Pink’s prominent figures were previously, in the 1980s, ardent supporters of the Communist Sandinista regime of Nicaragua. Indeed, both Medea Benjamin and Code Pink organizer Kirsten Moller worked in the Eighties with the Institute for Food and Development Policy, which aided the Sandinistas. Similarly, Code Pink spokeswoman Sand Brim—who told reporters in January 2003 that she was merely an average woman who opposed war—had likewise tried to help Central American Communists during the Eighties. As executive director of the organization Medical Aid, Brim in 1985 flew an American neurosurgeon to San Salvador to operate on the battle-injured hand of Nidia Diaz, commander of the Marxist Revolutionary Party responsible for the murders of four U.S. Marines and nine civilians.

        Other early Code Pink members had helped organize anti-free-trade protests around the world during the 1990s, targeting large corporations with high-profile campaigns and multi-million-dollar lawsuits. Still others were cutting their radical teeth in the fields of environmentalism and eco-terrorism during the Nineties. Code Pink co-founder Jodie Evans, for one, sat on the Rainforest Action Network’s board of directors.

        From its inception, Code Pink’s has used street theater as a major means of disseminating its message.

  20. The morning of 11 Sep 2001, I was at work at Naval Air Station Patuxent River. More-or-less a stash job, I’d been displaced on the Global Hawk UAV team when the USAF took it all over, and the Navy’s efforts hadn’t started. We got word of the first airplane hitting the WTC, figured that it was a general aviation aircraft…a bit of news, but a B-25 had been plowed into the Empire State Building in the early 1950s.

    Then the second airplane hit. And the Pentagon. Once is an accident, twice is enemy action. And we had exactly ONE television in the office. I had a portable at home, went to get it and bring it in. Turned on the home set just in time to see the first collapse. Headed back in…and God forgive me, whistling. Because the long, bland, soul-eating ’90s were over. We had a war to fight.

    The World Trade Center gets the attention, but the Pentagon deserves more than it gets. Damaged, burning…but they shut the fire doors, fought her like a great warship. Hurt, but with plenty of fight left. And there was a lot of fighting. Sorting out the chaos was a challenge – I’ve never seen a documentary that really captured the chaos of that day. We knew that the hostiles were inside the fence, but their numbers and objectives were unknown.

    Over the next few days, we got things sorted out. I tried to get on the Global Hawk deployment team – no soap. Worse, they went out and made their names to SHINE. (I got a crack at another program…which I won’t mention because if I did, I might as well sign my full name)

    Now, as to the civil issues….I guess I’ve always known that there were quislings in our midst. Traitors who would sell the country out for their demofascist fantasy in a heartbeat. Fools who would drink the foul poison if the label on the bottle was right. And both eager to see me in a gulag or a grave.

    What bothered me was that Bush the Younger failed to treat this AS a war. A war gets declared. And then wartime rules apply…censorship of the propaganda press, preventive detention of loud-mouthed disloyals. Lincoln took the most disloyal member of Congress in the Civil War and had him physically ejected from the United States. After watching the disloyal Dems’ antics, I understand it a lot more than I did.

    But the fact that there ARE quislings? Not a surprise. The neo-Communists are more brazen now…but I think they have made a critical mistake in assuming that the Right will always play Good Little Loser. We do set store by legitimacy of action, though. We need a strong leader (Lincolnesque, not Trumpian) to pull the trigger.

    Should we have nuked Kabul? Kandahar? Arguably. Part of the problem was that we were reliant on Saudi oil – which took Saudi Arabia off the potential target list. Nevertheless, obliterating Tora Bora would have been a good example.

      1. I would not go that far. But Heinlein once wrote that Americans had a problem comprehending evil. Naughty, they got…but not evil. Evil is not to be compromised with. It is to be destroyed.

      2. Bush is almost certainly much too far to the left. Lacking in fight with regard to the Democrats.

        The pattern is wrong for the Clintons to have gotten to him. Three patterns. a) The level of distraught of the staffers. If Bush was even 10% of the Clinton animal Gore was, he would have retained some of the Clinton admin sorts, and the despair would have been more muted. Bush had a maybe familial sense of ownership of the Republican party, and brought in Republican staffers. b) He pushed a foreign policy different from what the Clintons would have done, even if his domestic pushing of it was perhaps a little weak. c) The Clintons were probably behind the Democrat push against him during mid to late administration. That’s not the handling they use for patsies.

        Now, is he to the left? Probably. Do his religious convictions pull him a bit too far in that direction. I think it likely, but that is me. Where some of my differences with you are concerned, the objective conclusion is that I am rebellious, and cannot bring myself to accept correct teachings on the sanctity of human life*. Is he pulled in alignment against Trump because Trump also has influence within the Republican Party? Yes. Weak on security with regard to Mexico? Absolutely. Wrt China and Russia? Maybe. (Though, on China, McConnell’s wife’s family business is a large shipping firm that uses ships made by the PRC.) Establishment Republicans can be plenty bad on their own without Clinton, Epstein, or the foreign powers.

        *Yeah, that is my issues with drug users. Maybe it isn’t my single craziest trait, but it is surely competitive. I’ve had many experiences where I know an opinion is the crazy talking, but I cannot simply change it. Sometimes I improve my overall level of sanity, especially when recovering from being particularly ill, and find that now I can change such an opinion. Best as I can tell, if I ever get sane enough to change “if it were me, I would rather be burned alive”, it will be a very long time away. That I am more extreme on drug users does not necessarily make me the purer right winger; I may simply be in the grip of technocratic madness, objectively pro Left.

      3. At the time, it would have been risible.

        As time has passed and more information has come to light, it’s more a matter of quibbling over terminology.

        “No matter who you voted for, the Government got back in.”

    1. I thought at the time that Bush made a mistake when he got up and spoke to us without asking us to make any sacrifices. In those first few weeks he could have asked the US population for nearly anything to fight the terrorists and didn’t. It seemed the embodiment of the whole bloodless conflict that kept getting proposed over and over again. It was evident in the Clinton administration following Mogadishu and not wanting to send ground troops into the former Yugoslavia. And it continued in the W administration, even though he did send ground forces into Afghanistan and Iraq.

    2. “Part of the problem was that we were reliant on Saudi oil – which took Saudi Arabia off the potential target list.”

      Well …. Now we are oil independent … Saudi’s should be going “Oh $h*&”.

      Israel still is there. This is the regions current saving grace. Israel dies … all bets are off.

      1. Note that with the new king and MbS (crown prince, I think) in power, a lot of the problems from/in Saudi Arabia are either resolved, in custody, or are “I was told there’d be 72 virgins.”

        1. Proving that the heirs are smarter than their elderly relatives. Rather than suddenly going “Oh $%^&.” They said “Not stupid. This stops here and now.” Then followed through. I suspect they’d reach further if they could. Heck they may still.

    3. Until they get bitten, the assumption that they will be unopposed will stand. The last 3 years have been the closest to that in my life and it only emboldens.

  21. The song is always the one I think of when I think of “Going Home.” Mostly because it’s one of the songs that showed Mark Knopfler at his height, when the music “industry” was actually competent. No lyrics, just that guitar for the right period of time…

    I’ve said it before-there’s an America I want to go back to, one I believed in and love. It was one where a “Regan Democrat” was still considered a Democrat, just not happy with the current crop of Democrats. Where you still have mystery and wonder if you looked in places like San Francisco and LA and New York. Might not want to live there…but the wonder was there. There are stories from the ’90s that I wish I could live in-the days when there was actually interesting things. The stories were still interesting, the books were still readable, and the games were still playable.

    It’s been eighteen years after 9/11. The goal of being “woke” has killed franchises that have always been evergreen. Tell me this, would we have even had the first season of the “Doctor Who” reboot the way it is, if it was made now? Would “The Last Jedi” have been laughed out of the script pitch meeting if it was proposed in 2005 or 2006? And Rian Johnson wouldn’t have been blackballed by the money people if he had made the script he wanted? Let’s not talk about “Ghostbusters” (2016)…

    Less than ten years ago, I bet, that if Beto O’Rourke had walked onto a national stage and said “we’re going to take away your guns!”, his political career would be over. Democrats would be trying to distance themselves so hard that the hole in the desert that would be the grave of his political career would be half-way to China.

    There’s an event that I liked going to up around Healdsburg here in California…but, last year, the political subtext of “we’re the resistance against the evil Trump regime and all the straight white incel males that want to rape all of us!” makes me want to start raping women because at least I’ll have a straight flush…

    (No, I wouldn’t. Except for two women that are regularly there. Personal issues. Lovely fantasies, but no thank you-I wouldn’t stick anything in those holes. Safer and probably fewer teeth in a Daemonette than them….)

    The worse part is this-we’re hearing all of this because the “creative” class has a lock on the major media sources.

    What is percolating on the other side right now-hidden out of sight and not being talked about in public? At what point do we start living in some of the worst John Ringo novels? Or the worst Tom Kratman novels?

    I don’t want to fight this war that we’re being driven towards. Any of our enemies think that they will like the America that results from the end of this war are delusional at best.

    And, I hate the people that because they want to chase the dream of utopia or the dream of power, because they’re dragging all of us along with them.

  22. To me it feels like the cold civil war is getting closer, faster, to being a bloody civil war. I would like to say we could put it off indefinitely, but I see supposedly conservative politicians all to ready to embrace clearly unconstitutional premises like “Red Flag Laws” and “weapons bans” with open arms.

    And as much as I would like to say that law enforcement officers would refuse to enforce such things, I’ve seen first hand too many of them latch onto those concepts as well, for the good of society. In fact, at this very moment there is discussion within my department over what the patrol officers, sergeants, and dispatchers see as a violation of someone’s 4th Amendment rights while the department’s administration/leadership champion those violations.

    Too many in our country have lost sight of what this country is founded on, and what it should stand for. I’m not sure enough people can be reasoned with to get back to our principles. And I fear that when hostilities eventually break free and the shackles come off our responses we’ll lose what little is left of our founding.

    I would like to say that should the current administration win next November hostilities would be put off for at least another four years. But, I don’t have faith that Trump won’t turn squishy, as he seems to be doing at the moment. Should the Democrats win next year, especially if they win the Presidency and both houses of Congress, I see things getting unnecessarily bloody much sooner. Had Hillary won in ’16, we’d likely already be there.

    1. The police enforced the Katrina Confiscation in New Orleans in 2005. Granted, many tasked with the grab were imported from elsewhere.

      -none- balked. -none-. There may have been passive “see nothing resistance, but not a single cop said ” F this S” and went on-air to say “no way”.

      No one fought. No ” Molen Labe”. -none-

      The crocodile was fed. Its friends said ” … yeah …”. They have a template, a believe in success, and now seek to implement.

      “Red flag” is the 1st key. That is the “suspend habeas corpus” / “suspend due process” moment.

      “Universal background check” is the second key. It explicitly requires name, make, model, and serial number, repeals the prohibition on a gun database, and mandates retention in a database.

      They get both of those keys turned, and confiscation is on like Donkey Kong.

      And because some folks were restrained in 2005, the antis won’t believe the bloodbath scenario is anything but talk.

      Not looking good.

      The idiotic rantings of Robert Francis O’Roark may actually prevent a civil fratricide by getting out the Liberty vote.

      1. People turned over their guns, but did they turn in all their guns or just the ones remaining after a surprising number of tragic boating accidents?

        We will never know, will we?

        1. Considering some of the expensive weapons confiscated went mysteriously missing, some did all. I, also, know they only did this in upper middle class and richer neighborhoods.

          1. Because confiscating from the looting class is dangerous. Upper middle class citizens are nice and docile and they can get their jackboots fantasies on safely.

      2. It horrified me, when that happened. And there was no complaints! And did they go after the gangs which was the reason they said they had to do the confiscation? Of course not! Instead they disarmed people and left them prey for the gangs.

      3. Delay a civil massacre maybe, not prevent. It’s the same issue as the self destructive 9-11 response. Make a lot of noise, but with the other hand support and import the very demographic that committed the atrocity while punishing the putative citizens of the US. Eventually they will get their wish and slam their boot on people’s face once more and the best outcome will be multiple wacos/ruby ridges

  23. Maybe it’s because I’m older — not ancient (I think), but just another ten years or so up on you, Sarah, that 9/11 wasn’t the day that I lost my illusions.

    I was ten years old when JFK was shot. Those of us “of a certain age” frequently recall this as the first moment of history captured in a sort of amber for us to take out and look at again from time to time. That is, in the same way that others may have focused their first “collective” memory (I passionately hate that word “collective”, but I can’t think of a more appropriate one for this phenomenon) on the first Moon landing, the Challenger disaster or some other event, positive or negative, in which such a great number of contemporaries recall every detail of the time when they first heard of the breathtaking, world-changing news.

    For me and my classmates it was Mr. Howland’s fifth grade class in Holden, Massachusetts, and an announcement over the PA on that sleepy Friday afternoon (in those days the PA system was almost never used, and absolutely never in the afternoon), which seemed to chloroform the whole room, and then the whole school, the town. I was so caught up in my own reaction to the event that I barely recall others’ reactions. I may be imagining this at such a remove, but I seem to recall my parents being in a funk for that whole weekend. And that in itself was odd, because they never supported Kennedy.

    My family was never particularly “strongly political”, but when the adults got together with other adults they would talk politics in relatively genteel and quiet terms: no hyper-partisanship, but a lot of head-shaking and “what they really oughta do” discussion of practical politics and law. I was invited to listen if I wouldn’t interrupt, so I recall a lot of that kind of talk. My folks were Republicans; I knew that without any sense of what it meant, though I did know that even as Massachusetts natives they had voted against JFK, and still generally opposed him. (They had not opposed him during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which I recall only vaguely: not so interesting for me, unless I had understood the import of naval blockade, which I didn’t at the time. So it wasn’t a blanket condemnation, just simple disagreement.)

    They didn’t “hate” him or consider him the antichrist, just “too wrong on too many issues”, and they disagreed, firmly but pleasantly, politely. Now, recalling the pall that assassination put on them, on all of us — of a man they had always disagreed with, and whom they never wanted in that position! — disabused me of a lot of “hate” for people whose opinions are different from my own.

    But it also woke me up to the fact that not everyone learned the kind of forbearance that I learned at my parents’ knees, and to keep that in mind always.

    1. Well, Oswald was a communist agent. You can’t really have forbearance on your way to building the great communist future, you know? Or something.
      No, it had nothing to do with conservatives. That was a media hoax.

  24. I was working from home (a computer nerd, even then) and one of my toes was slowly rotting away. I was on a lot of pain meds.
    My first take was that it was probably the Chinese (a la Sixth Column).
    I went to the hospital later that week and had the bad toe cut off.

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