Foreign Policy

9/11: What Happened Next?


For the record, my article's invocation of Bugs Bunny came before, not after, South Park's invocation of Bugs Bunny.

A few days after the September 11 attacks, I published an article on this website called "What Happens Next?" It's one of the few times that something I wrote really took off in the vast outside world: It was linked in all kinds of unexpected places, and the feedback I got ranged from a schoolteacher in the Midwest who wanted my permission to make copies for her students (yes, people used to ask permission for that sort of thing) to a guy in New York who wanted me to be a part of some post-9/11 art project (I declined). And then we all forgot about it: another transient essay on the Internet.

So here it is again, 10 years later, when we actually know what did happen next. Was the piece prescient or pathetic? The comment thread is open for debate.


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  1. The Caesar option it is. What a shame.

    1. As I sat on the couch watching the second tower fall, I thought to myself “This is how America comes to an end. We defeated the Soviets, and now we will become them.”

      I wasn’t reading Reason at that time. I wouldn’t find them for a couple of years. I’m sorry that I didn’t see this article at that time.

      1. We’ve become the Soviets. Sheesh.

        1. In Soviet Russia, Empire builds you!

          1. Although you are unaware of it, you librtoids have a very Soviet-like mentality. You have that same fanatical attachment to your ideological worldview. It really comes out in Reason’s Friday funnies, which invariably makes fun only of official enemies.

            1. But we are aware of it! And we don’t care.
              We’re like that.
              Yeah, we are.

            2. But without reason’s friday funnies we wolud never have a somalia-like paradise!

            3. Yes, only Soviets and libertarians are devoted to their worldview. Liberals and conservatives switch sides all the time!

              1. Not devotion, moron, fanatical attachment. You’re a lot more like relgious zealots than political activists and just as stupid evidently.

                1. There is no fucking difference you retarded little moron. Liberals are fanatically devoted to liberalism. Conservatives are fanatically devoted to conservatism. At least libertarianism is based on logic and principles, instead of a random conglomeration of policy positions and emotional attachments. Now fuck off you insignificant little fuck.

                  1. You really think they’re random conglomerations? Or do they have their own logic that we can’t see?

                  2. no ideology is just devoted to “logic and principles” and yet ideologues ALWAYS think theirs is.

                    i’m a libertarian because it makes the most sense to me. but the idea that other ideologies can be facilely dismissed this way is ludicrous. in that way, you ARE like other ideologues.

            4. Yeah, we’re kind of fanatical about not coercing people and aggressing against them.

              Our bad for not being more flexible and for not occasionally endorsing reprehensible actions.

            5. get down now to the polls and cast a write-in vote for your favorite Jeb Bush. Or go kiss your favorite Stalinist cunt Janet Napolitano. Or do nothing….

        2. At least the Soviets didn’t grope your nuts before they would let you get on an airplane.

          1. Obama’s Stalinist Security Minister Janet is planning screening/grope-search stations at bus stations and highway rest stops….good grief!

          2. Or shoot up your house and pets when they wanted to arrest you on bullshit charges.

      2. America is not, and will never be the new Soviet Union. The USSR failed because it was based on atheism. Last time I checked, the USA was not atheistic! Now, show some respect for the heroes who died on 9/11, and remember them tomorrow.

        1. What if I remember them today, and respect them tomorrow?

          Is that okay?

        2. a) USSR wasn’t atheist, it was Greek/Russian/Eastern Orthodox. That’s 50 year old propaganda; now I’m mostly just embarrassed for you
          b) Every country’s government in the history of everything–ever–that has toppled has had religion.
          c) The people who perpetrated 9/11 had religion.
          d) Knowing that our rights are being violated daily by a Big Brother that went to church will really help us sleep at night.

          1. a) One could say the Soviet doctrine exalted the state above all, but interesting point
            b) true
            c) true
            d) true

          2. Yeah, Lenin and Stalin were all about enforcing religious mandates. Derp.

            (Not to say that the old “USSR proves atheism is EEEVUL” chestnut isn’t idiotic, but seriously: you don’t beat derp by going derper.

          3. b) does Juche count as a religion? Also, imperial Japan?

            I’m not being a dick, but I think you are claiming a causal relationship in many instances where only a coincidental one exists.

            1. does Juche count as a religion?

              It’s pretty close. That people would rather starve than accept the truth takes a lot of faith.

            2. Well, Imperial Japan had State Shinto.

        3. Right a belief in some mystical “god” is the difference? C’mon, start thinking a little more. They were about as atheist as Republicans are fiscal conservatives.

          1. “These are not the atheists you’re looking for…”

  2. (un)Reason Magazine has been sucking up to the Muslims since I can remember. They still are.

    We cannot legalize the drugs you ask for as it has clearly rotted the minds of you Rhoemites. We cannot have people’s minds destroyed as Jesse Walker and the rest of the losertarians minds are destroyed.

    That Walker or any other idiot here smears Israel is no suprise. Hit and Run smeared Michelle Malkin as the murderer of some seditious dyke who comitted suicide so why should Israel be spared? No reason for me to be suprised at your smears or Walker’s stupid advice.

    Hey! Let’s do the Bugs Bunny option. Afterall, Don Feder pointed out that only cartoon characters would vote for the Libertarian Party so (un)”Reason” magazine should go with my favorite rabbit.

    I have to warn you guys though that Bugs did a patriotic ditty during World War II: HERE, but because Bugs Bunny — a cartoon character — would probably vote Libertarian, I guess you guys can forgive him.

    “There’s no need to fear. Underzog is here.”

    1. You still learnin’ to play the piano, fatty?

      1. C’mon, cap – don’t encourage the idiots.

        1. Oh man, me and ol’ UZ are buddies from way back. He knows I’m just joshn’ him.

          1. I’m not, of course.

          2. Taking my name in vain again I see.

            I will count myself fortunate that I’ve never encountered the foolish and unpleasant mr nderzog before.

            1. I don’t even mind Underzog. He’s so predictable that he’s easy to tune out.

              1. Plus, he only make 2 or 3 posts every few months, receives his thrashing, and then slips gently into the night.

                1. You guys are right. As far as trolls go, Underzog is both 1) more amusing and 2) far more tolerable, if only because he doesn’t show up in every post.

                  1. Slappy’s like that too. He posts something idiotic, takes his beating like a troll, and then leaves for a few months.

                    Everybody’s happy.

                    1. Hey! What the…oh, never mind.

    2. WTF is a rhoemite and what are you on about?

      1. Dude, it’s part of his schtick. Whether you laugh or get annoyed, you’ve got to give him that phrase.

      2. It’s a gay Nazi.


        Art’s right, it’s part of undie’s gimmick to call people that.

        I imagine undie is all riled up about the Israeli embassy being trashed in Cairo this week or Turkey’s announcement of escorting another flotilla to Gaza. May be one of the few times I agree with him, the former was an ugly, thuggish scene with nothing but bad portents for the region and the later is a stupid idea at best.

        1. Although though I can’t quite comprehend how that corresponds to Reason’s editorial take(s) on foreign policy, dammit, the term works for Underzog.

          1. He’s a troll – it’s irrelevant if the content he’s complaining about exists or not. If Michael Young were still writing here, Zoggy would say Reason was anti-Semetic b/c the column wasn’t enough in favor of Israel.

        2. Well, both were in response to Israel attacking and killing Egyptian and Turkish citizens/soldiers…

          1. It’s not that simple; the Egyptians were killed in a gunfight between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen, the latter seemed to have started it. It appears the IDF used excessive force which resulted in the deaths of several turkish citizens in the Gaza flotilla, but they were trying to breach an embargo which the UN in its recent report found to be proper and the flotilla members were weilding steel pipes as weapons (though the same report noted some were shot in the back).

      1. I like what he has to say about (ex-)Papist Libertarians like me:

        The Catholic church has a lot of pederasty and the Libertarians, of which you proudly call yourself, are the party of child molestation; therefore, … the children in the Catholic Church and of Libertarain party members should wear reverse chastity belts to cover their backside so that those Christians and Libertarians cannot sodomize them. … It certainly makes more sense, at least, for a particular denomination of Christians and Libertarians to spare their male children the evils of pederasty comitted by them by giving those children reverse chastitty belts to protect them from the child molestation of the Libertarians and the Catholic priests.

        1. I’m confused. Is a Catholic libertarian a pederast*2, or pederast^2?

          1. I’m pretty sure it’s a log function.

            1. e^(pederast)?


    3. a fanatic muslim lunatic homosexual. or not, who cares. did he break your heart?

    4. Shouldn’t that be, “schmear” Israel?

  3. And nothing else happened? Oh, wait, that wasn’t an option.

    Pretty damned prescient and well-put, Mr. Walker. Good stuff, indeed! Now, on to ignore all the NINEONEONEZOMGTEHTOWERZTHEYHATEUSFOROURFREEEEEEEDUMZ this weekend.

    One can only hope that this navel gazing will subside as the years pass.

    1. C’mon Al, we must celebrate how fucking great we are, we must march for the state, ARMY-ARMY-TROOPS, three four! We showed them turrists what we were made of! Dangit!!

      They hate us for our freedom, so let’s get rid of that nasty business. They hate us for our meddling foreign affairs, so let’s avenge their $50k demo with a trillion dollar navy seal revenge boner.

      If we bankrupt ourselves into a nation of sniveling state-dependent sycophants that’ll show them there towel headed bastards, or whatever.

      10 years later and all I can think about is the fact that we got caught with our pants down, responded predictably, and celebrate our mediocrity as virtue.

      But, goddamn it I wouldn’t live anywhere else with anybody else. Now put regular teevee back on, I’m sick of this boohoo bullshit.

      1. unfortunately …. this.

  4. Prescient. ‘Twas an excellent article.

  5. The taking away freedom thing seems to be working so far. Do you really want the brown people to hate you? Submit, comply, obey. Can’t we all just get along?

      1. The more I listen to the new Opeth, the more I agree with you. It’s especially disappointing since I liked that first single.

        1. This.

          It’s unimaginative and sounds like some euro-prog fairy got fucking lost and decided to walk around in circles. Track 3 is good. The rest are utterly forgettable.

          That said, a bunch of new albums should be coming out fairly soon. Meshuggah is due late this year or early next year. Gojira (they fucking rule IF you can drown out the French Leftist Environazi lyrics). Lamb of God. Megadeth. Steven Wilson (for the not metal in me – the two singles that have been released are really fucking good).

  6. I too remember this article.

    I think we got something etween Ceasar and Bugs. After all, we really only took down Saddam and the Taliban (which wasn’t much of a government anyway).

    In the end, we didn’t have to take over the whole middle east. The influence of Bin Laden waned on it’s own, and when we finally killed him, he was already a has been.

  7. I would have been ok with the Strangelove option sans the nukes. That is, go in and break Afghanistan, repeatedly if necessary, and leave them to either die or figure out that they need to get rid of the Taliban and the terrorists. Rinse and repeat as needed. Same with Iraq. Break it good, chase Saddam down into his monkey hole. Leave them to sort it out or not. Rinse and repeat as needed.

    I’d have called this the Bash the Taillights option.

    1. I still think that would have been the wrong option. Well, correct option, wrong countries. Iran was and is the keystone.

      We could have busted them up but good, and left a note:

      “You have 30 days to bring us the heads of Bin Laden and his top Lt’s in a duffel bag. Otherwise, we’ll be back for round 2.”

      1. Well, it is and was the only non-nuclear option with Iran unless we want 50K of our soldiers to die and put Europe at real risk of missile strikes. Iran isn’t a Division 3 school.

    2. So what you’re saying is that civilians can legitimately be killed en masse in the hopes they’ll get the message and change their government.

      You better not be shedding no crocodile tears on 9/11 then. Good for the goose is good for the gander. (Of course I don’t think it’s good for either one — innocent human lives are not message fodder)

      1. Not what I was saying. Demolish their government buildings, pummel their military, sink their most beautiful bridges, and crater their cultural landmarks. In other words, do things that Krugman would claim would boost their economies. But, no, don’t bomb non-involved civilians en masse.

        Then just leave it the frack alone. No occupation, no regime change, no nation building.

        1. So that bit about “leaving them to die” was just a figure of speech.

          1. Not sure who you’re quoting. I’m pretty sure I wrote: “and leave them to either die or figure out that they need to get rid of the Taliban and the terrorists”.

  8. Was the piece prescient or pathetic?

    Well, the piece was kind of like predicting the stock market. You had all the options on the table. But in any case our response has been pathetic in so many ways.

    But in retrospect we should say that we now know, a rich democracy couldn’t possibly have chosen a rational course. Because democracy turns politics into a 24/7 spectator sport.

    If our leaders are inflicted with the Do-Something disease, it’s because in a democracy they can’t be anything else.

    1. Constitutional republic.

      1. Mercifully. It’s hard to imagine how we wouldn’t have voted ourselves out of every right under the sun given the option right after 9/11.

  9. The problem was that any reaction sans pacifism or walling our borders meant acting on foreign soil. And not on foreign soil we own, like Canada or Germany, either. The bad kind of foreign soil. No, none of America’s options were good options.

    1. Yeah. I mean, most reasonable options involved boots on ground in Afghanistan one way or the other. An boots on ground in Afghanistan never implies any sort of ideal situation.

      What I sometimes wonder is if the situation may have been better now in Afghanistan if we hadn’t diverted troops and resources to Iraq.

      1. “What I sometimes wonder is if the situation may have been better now in Afghanistan if we hadn’t diverted troops and resources to Iraq.”


        1. Yeah, I think this gets overlooked. A massive troop buildup in a nation full of people that actually wanted us there (until we started destroying their fields) could have actually created some stability in he region. Instead, Bush the Lesser had to go after Saddam for dubious reasons* and destroy any goodwill we had started to build with the people of that region.**

          *There were WMD’s in Iraq, but they had no way of using them against us. The dubious reason was to fight Al Qaeda, which wasn’t there until we went in.

          **The people gave up on liberty and went back to cowering in the presence of the Taliban once we abandoned them.

          1. “There were WMD’s in Iraq”

            If Bush had explained that by WMD he meant the things we found, like mustard gas, and not the things they suggested we would find, like nukes, I think there would have been much less support for the war…

            1. And 300 tons of yellowcake, which had been there from before 1991, but still problematic.

              1. “accounted for by the UN”

          2. thank god, there’s someone that admits there were WMDs in Iraq! Seriously, why do people buy the line that there weren’t. (You can still say it was wrong to go in)

            1. Iran-Iraq War era rusted shells full of mustard gas are barely weapons of destruction, let alone mass destruction.

              1. Tell that to all the Kurds that have dead family in mass graves.

      2. I’m not convinced that it would have mattered.

        Those people have been in wars for longer than any of us know. They staved of the Soviets who surely had a much less rigid set of ROE than we do over there.

        I don’t know the answer, but military action was destined to create more military action ad infinitum. They WANTED us to attack because they knew they could do exactly as they’ve done. Stave off the military long enough to create a faux victory. We won’t rid Afghanistan of stone aged fools and religious zealots, and thinking that we can via the military is no better than thinking we can stop head injuries via mandating Thudgard.

        1. Yeah, there is no better in Afghanistan. Soviet brutality was ineffective. What could the United States have done? Overwhelming military presence? I don’t see anything America would try working, outside maybe just letting time catch tribal Afghans up with the modern world.

          1. See, I think in Afghanistan, brutality is the way you win. The only people to hold that area for more than 100 years were the freaking Mongols.

            And their conquest of the area was incredibly brutal. I’m talking pyramid of heads brutal.


            1. Wow. That was an incredibly well written Wikipedia page. No sarcasm – if that was done by one person, they should seriously consider writing a book.

        2. Factor in the cost of maintaining any kind of force necessary to fight in Afghanistan for any kind of long term presence and you start to get an idea of how difficult an undertaking it would be. Afghanistan is the very definition of “not many good options”.

          1. It’s biggest ally is its geography. It’s brutal.

      3. I doubt it. Afghanistan’s both a hornets’ nest and a hellhole, where restructuring it with a sustainable democracy is a multi-generation project full of violence. Right after WW2, we had the benefit of occupying well-educated, wealth-producing, contrite countries with a history of democracy.

        We should have gone after punishing the Taliban and people for supporting the Taliban, then left well enough alone.

    2. “And not on foreign soil we own, like Canada or Germany, either. The bad kind of foreign soil.”

      This reminded me of that line from Moe on Simpsons:

      Well, I’m better than dirt! Well… most kinds of dirt. I mean, not that fancy store-bought dirt. That stuff’s loaded with nutrients. I… I can’t compete with that stuff.

    3. Dude — we would have been 10x better off if we had just strengthened the cockpit doors, disallowed box cutters as carry-on items, and forgotten about 9/11 and gone about our business.

      I don’t think anyone can seriously dispute that at this point.

      1. I’d say we’d be better off if instead of #2, we give everyone on board a Taser and all forms of knives, ninja throwing stars, etc. are allowed. Hijackers wouldn’t make it past the “hu” in “Allah hu Akbar!”

      2. No box cutters? Why don’t you just hand the terrorists their 1st place trophy right now?

  10. A game I play, since I read too much history, is to ask how historians and popular culture will look at these events.

    The fall of the towers, since there is so many pictures and other media, will be iconic. Iconic of what will change. Like the crash of Hindenburg to a Manatee?
    Our decade plus war will probably characterized as a just smashing of vengeance of anonymous arab countries whose names will be confused and conflated with later nations. I’m just not sure if they will pin it all on one Emperor [Clinton the Deviant, George II the Stupid, Barack the Kenyen] or just forget them all.

    1. My guess is it’ll be listed as one of the (many) things that accelerated of the fall of the US as the sole, dominant world power — not a footnote but not a full chapter either. In a few hundred years it probably won’t be discussed as much as the Battle of Austerlitz or the Wright Brothers.

  11. One of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes has sent letters to about 2,800 descendants of slaves once owned by its members, revoking their citizenship and cutting their medical care, food stipends, low-income homeowners’ assistance and other services.…..l?hpid=z10

    1. An all-around mindbender, really.

    2. There is an ugly history there. The tribes owned slaves and sided with the South. At the end of the war, the feds then paid them back and made them take their slaves in as part of their tribe. That has been a festering sore literally for about a hundred and fifty years. Who gets on the rolls is as about an ugly of an issue among Indians as there is.

      1. In[DIA]ns rule!! We no had slaves. We gambol on prairies unfettered by white man. We would never take another man as slave. Some book by some idiot say so.

      2. The Cherokee tribe never owned slaves; it simply allowed its members the *freedom to choose* to own slaves:

        “The tribe never owned black slaves, but some individual members did. They were freed after the Civil War, in which the tribe allied with the Confederacy. An 1866 treaty between the tribe and the federal government gave the freedmen and their descendants ‘all the rights of native Cherokees.'”

        Notice that the U.S. government is today accusing the *Cherokee nation* of violating a treaty. How times change . . .

        1. In what may be a real historic first, they are. And yes while the “tribe” as a government entity didn’t own slaves, they allowed slavery to be legal and sided with the losing side of the war.

          1. “sided with the losing side of the war”

            Their *real* crime!

            1. Institutional racism ok by you?

              1. Children,

                The civil war was about racism.
                That is all you will be asked on your history test.

          2. Indian tribes generally weren’t huge fans of the federal government.

            1. Now it seems they’re tripping over their own feet on the way to suck that Federal cock so they won’t lose their HUD funding.

              How that gravy train changes minds.

        2. The Cherokee tribe never owned slaves; it simply allowed its members the *freedom to choose* to own slaves

          Just like the slave states.

    3. Tribal leaders who backed the amendment, including then-Principal Chief Chad Smith, said the vote was about the fundamental right of every government to determine its citizens, not about racial exclusion. …

      “Cherokees say this: We don’t care what you look like, as long as you’ve got Cherokee blood.

      Excellent trolling. A+, Cherokee Nation.

  12. if you were to ask most people, they’d now blame the fall of American manufacturing on our workers…This argument is sorely misguided because it serves to exculpate diseased, greedy, and incompetent American managers and executives…That scapegoating serves to shift focus from the top of the food chain at a time when executives have managed to greatly widen the gap between their pay and that of the folks reporting to them.

    Let me give you an all too typical example of how American management has contributed to the demise of our industrial competitiveness……

    1. Of course US management is at least partially to blame. The question is what do you do about it?

      1. Exactly. The idea that top-down solutions from government entities will be better is risible. If they think a few diktats can cure pointy hairism, they need to read a good history of the industrialization of the USSR.

        Also, if the ‘bring-back-factory-jerbz’ crowd really wanted to, maybe they could take a look at some of the 160,000 pages of Federal regulation. Cut that down to a book the size of, say, Atlas Shrugged, and maybe some of those jobs would come back.

        1. If management is to blame, then perhaps we need new management and new companies. That whole creative destruction thing.

      2. “The question is what do you do about it?”

        Some of my liberal friends would say that since the foolish decisions of management can wreck companies resulting in destroying communities and workforces that the former should have more restrictions on their ability to make such decisions without consulting or having the approval of those stakeholders…But I don’t buy that.

        I would suggest that we could change corporate law and SEC regulations to empower shareholders vis a vis management and make it easier to hold management accountable for such foolish decisions.

        1. What would your liberal friends say about unions destroying a company (see auto industry)? Surely there were other problems with government motors, but try and claim that the unions and their government cronies didn’t play a major role in their companies turning to shit is pure folly.

          1. ” say about unions destroying a company (see auto industry)?”

            Like the heavily unionized German automakers?

            Look, unions, like management or heck even outside contrators, can push for deals which end up killing the goose. Unions are singled out by the right for GOP shilling purposes. That’s the point.

              1. Er, the article I posted was about how people should not unilaterally blame unions for the decline of manufacturing when management deserves a fair share of that. Hell, even John agreed. But you wanted to go off on an anti-union rant and then accuse me of trying to distract from the original issue?

                Also, you should be aware that there is a “future” tense now in writing.

                1. Apparently you missed when I wrote “Surely there were other problems with government motors [than the unions]”, to which you replied “But ze Deutche autos!! Derp” And where is this “rant” I went on?

                  Good try though. Thanks for playing.

            1. My very subjective view is that the unions in our automobile sector are much more flexible, non-ideological and realistic about the state of the economy than US unions.

              And we mostly produce non-crappy cars. 😉

    2. Meh. Had we not outsourced we would have mechanized and instead of blaming Mexicans and Chinese we would be blaming robots. And the Mexicans and Chinese would be poorer for it.

    3. We are still the largest manufacturer in the world, we just don’t need lots of manual labor to do it.

    4. Blame? Why blame anyone? Times goddamn change, and liberals are becoming as bad as conservatives with their pathological nostalgia.

      Yes the 50’s were fucking great; every union workin’ man had a new chevy to go along with his track home, the nuclear family was still intact, and the racism, the horrible horrible racism was fucking awesome! Hell, you could get a job at the mill with nary a high school education.

      Worker drones FTW!

      1. Indeed, the era when white union workers had great paychecks and cushy benefits was the era when black non-unionized workers were excluded by systemiatic discrimination. Of which closed shops were a major component.

        1. And yet blacks are disproportionately members of unions today or why the AFL-CIO strongly supported the Civil Rights Act while libertarian heroes like Goldwater waxed on about the need to oppose it for the sake of “liberty.”

          Nice try.

          1. Might have something to do with the fact that there are few jobs in the inner city other than government ones, which are disproportionately unionized.

            1. Disproportionately represented in private sector unions too, so again, nice try.

              Look, blacks are not fools. Whatever happened in the deep past among liberal groups and institutions when the chips were down in recent times, during the civil rights movement of the 1960’s, left wing institutions and groups chose, at great political cost, to go on their side; conservative and libertarian institutions went the other way waxing on about extremism for the liberty to discriminate being no vice…

              1. That must be why blacks vote 90%+ for the party that kills school vouchers wherever they pop their heads up and supports easy eminent domain in poor neighborhoods.

                I’m not saying blacks are fools, but the Dems definitely know how to push their buttons. There’s a similar dynamic with us pro-lifers, who vote GOP by similar margins and get similar results.

                1. The only reason why blacks vote near completely democrat is because they have convinced the black population that if they don’t, they’re a Lawn Jockey.

                  See Thomas, Clarence. He’s not viewed by either liberals or the black community as a very smart man who has risen to the very top of his profession; he’s an Uncle Tom who’s left the plantation.

                  1. Thomas is disliked by blacks because they see his positions as harmful to blacks as a whole, period.

                    1. Ah yes. And what exactly would be best for “blacks?”

                2. “That must be why blacks vote 90%+ for the party that kills school vouchers wherever they pop their heads up and supports easy eminent domain in poor neighborhoods.”

                  Maybe they aren’t convinced school vouchers and no eminent domain will be the best thing for blacks? Many think school vouchers will just help the middle class drop struggling schools leaving the poor and often black students behind. And eminent domain, while subject to abuse for sure can be argued to deal with urban blight that impacts many blacks.

                  More likely is they simply overlook that kind of thing because Dems are better on many other issues that impact them.

              2. Disproportionately represented in private sector unions too, so again, nice try.

                Sort of like Native Americans are disproportionately represented among Arctic Ocean surfers.

          2. Goldwater only opposed the parts that related to forcing private business to serve everyone.

            If blacks are disproportionately unionized today, it’s likely because unions have otherwise declined, pricing themselves out of the market and destroying the industries they work in, so they are now marginalized economically, and dominated by workers who are relatively less skilled and less able to move to more productive parts of the economy.

            In other words, the whites have fled again, and left the union shops as black ghettos.

            1. “Goldwater only opposed the parts that related to forcing private business to serve everyone.”

              Yeah, but given that relatively few blacks owned businesses and in our society most day-to-day services are performed by business you might see how many blacks then were not sympathetic to that view. Remember the whole Woolworth’s counter thing (note: that was Woolworth’s company policy,not evil government laws).

    5. The fall of American manufacturing output is greatly exaggerated. Manufacturing output has doubled in real terms in the last 40 years, while total manufacturing jobs is down roughly 40%. Sounds like a significant improvement in efficiency to me. You can blame that on management if you want. They were, after all, the ones who decided to implement information technology, new machinery, and improved supply chain management systems which improved efficiency.

      1. See, that is the problem. In the progressive mind, efficiency is a job-destroying evil manifestation of soul-sucking capitalism.

        What matters to them is how many jobs are “produced”, not how much product gets produced, or whether the product has any realation to anything people actually want. The ideal situation for them is for people to be employed producing something nobody actually needs, with minimal efficiency. That way the jobs don’t take work away from anyone else.

        1. Seems I remember a noted economist, favored by the left, once advocated the government paying people to dig holes and fill them back in. Nothing is produced but jobs.

          What was that guy’s name? Jeeze, you hardly hear of his discredited theories any more, except in more radical circles.

          1. I’ve not read much Keynes. Did he actually advocate digging holes and filling them as a strategy to grow the economy? I always understood things like the CCC (which wasn’t quite that) to be more like a temporary relief program, like unemployment but requiring people to do something for the check…

            1. Here’s a refutation of the ‘hole digging’ thing where they quote Keynes saying exactly that. I’m not smart enough to see the refutation though.

              1. Having people dig and fill holes is an absurd idea for economic growth. I can understand it as a relief measure or even a hair-brained redistribution-during-tough-times measure, but as an overall economic policy: nuts.

              2. The refutation would be that it’s paid for out of savings.

                This can be done for awhile, and it even increases the demand for awhile while those people have jobs, but whenever the savings runs out, the people are jobless, and the demand will drop again.

                Getting people jobs by wasting savings is not as useful as finding real ways to get them back to work.

        2. “In the progressive mind, efficiency is a job-destroying evil manifestation of soul-sucking capitalism.”

          Actually many classic progressives based their politics on the foundation of economic efficiency; in their opinion we would become so efficient people would create much more wealth working much fewer hours; work hours per week would keep declining while standard of living increased. Progressivism was based largely on this very possibility.

          Some of you guys use progressivism as an all-purpose bogeyman that allows you to have your cake and eat it too…

          1. You can wax on about classic progressivism ithe past tense. The relation today’s progressives have with those guys is at least as shallow as the relation with classic conservatives and the neo-con assholes that have control of the right.

            1. I hope you remember that on the next thread when modern progressives are tarred with the sins of Woodrow Wilson or modern Dems with those of Martin van buren or whatever…

          2. And two posts down you’re saying things like: “They just don’t understand that human welfare has to be sacrificed to the gods of abstract economic efficiency…”

            Geez, MNG, listen to yourself.

            The thing is that economic efficiency cannot possibly be anything but good. In what universe is producing less stuff with the csame amount of capital and labor ever going to be a net positive for humanity.

            I think your real problem is that instead of everyone’s work hours being gradually reduced, you have a smaller number of people being employed doing the same work hours.

            That’s more efficient too,m since you don’t have to train as many workers, and don’t have as much managerial overhead.

            The real issue is that the economy has not figured out where else to employ those people. We have free labor and don’t know what to do with that. But the solution isn’t to just keep those people employed by manufacturing things less efficiently. It is to allow the market to allocate resources towards employing those people in some other occupation.

            Which might be … the horrors … service jobs.

            1. “The thing is that economic efficiency cannot possibly be anything but good.”

              This is an easy one: Child labor.

              There are certainly some situations where employing 10 year olds would make sense in terms of pure economic efficiency. But thank god most normal human beings ethical good sense doesn’t let mere economic efficiency trump everything else.

              1. “This is an easy one: Child labor.”

                This is an easy one: So what?
                What’s so bad about a kid earning a buck, or god forbid, learning some valuable skills at an early age?
                If anything, the idea that a human being cannot compete in the labor force until some arbitrary age is utter horseshit. The result is a bunch of self-entitled, public-educated drones with no marketable skill set bitching about having to make minimum wage in order to land a job at a grocery store. If a 12 year old wants to sack groceries after school or in the summer, so fucking what? What’s the harm in that? Most places allow the children of business-owning parents to allow them to work, so why not allow other kids earn a goddamn paycheck and learn the value of a dollar.

      2. “Manufacturing output has doubled in real terms in the last 40 years, while total manufacturing jobs is down roughly 40%.”

        Well, of course what concerns people who are concerned about the decline of manufacturing is the latter state, not the former.

        The owner of a factory could mechanize it putting 100 well paid workers out of business and we are supposed to jump up and go “woo-hoo, economic efficiency increased!!!”

        Economic efficiency is a means to an end, not an end itself.

        1. You do realize that factories don’t automate themselves, right?

          Why is it so much better to have 100 well paid worker drones than 50 well paid engineers? Why the obsession with overpaying people whose only skill seems to be an immunity to monotony?

          Besides, if labor wasn’t priced artificially high, then automation wouldn’t be economically as favorable. A union can price their workers out of the market.

        2. Yeah, and the end is producing stuff that human beings desire.

          Not making human beings do work.

        3. The owner of a factory could mechanize it putting 100 well paid workers out of business and we are supposed to jump up and go “woo-hoo, economic efficiency increased!!!”

          The seen and unseen.

          This was explained 160 years ago and yet bears constant repetition.

    6. Progressives: Building a bridge to the 1950s. Move forward everyone!

      1. “Progress” doesn’t apply to evil capitalist pig-dogs apparently.

    7. I’ve never understood why this should be concerning. Does this represent a military problem? Clearly, it does not: we have a much more powerful military both absolutely and relative to our peers than we did from post WWII-80s.

      Does it present an economic problem? Again, not really: the US has a vibrant manufacturing sector — it has merely shifted from labor to capital inputs, and for good reason.

      What is behind this, besides nostalgia for a past which, really, wasn’t *that* great?

      1. In 1900, agriculture provided 40% of jobs in this country, and now provides less than 1%.

        Wow! We must have hardly any agriculture in this country.

      2. It’s simple. Progressives (or whatever) like manufcaturing jobs because they were relatively well paying, union jobs for non-high skill workers. They like the idea of well paid workers working with dignity and autonomy. They don’t think that the loss of those types of jobs has been made up for by the growth of non-unionized, lower paying service jobs.

        Crazy bunch. They just don’t understand that human welfare has to be sacrificed to the gods of abstract economic efficiency…

        1. I disagree, MiNGe. I think progressives like manufacturing jobs because they tend to overpay for the actual work performed, they provide security for those that are easily replaceable, they reduce the strength of wealthy owners in running their own companies and they allow unions to suck a % out of these people’s pay for the security listed above.

          All that said, I have no problem with unions in the private sector. As long as they allow for people to work without joining, they are a-ok with me.

        2. The time when such jobs could pay for themselves in a competitive market is over. It’s much cheaper to either hire a foreigner, or to get capital to substitute for labor. That being the case: why manufacturing? I’m no progressive, but if your logic is simply that you desire higher-paying jobs for non-skilled labor, why not offer subsidies to businesses who will hire service workers at above $[“Dignity”Wage]/hr?

          1. I imagine it’s just an empirical thing Trouser, a guess that it’s very unlikely to get such from the service industry like it once was gotten from manufacturing…

            I personally think its silly to be attached to manufacturing itself rather than good, diginified jobs wherever they may come from.

            1. It’s no less naive than restoring manufacturing to its former glory (see Michigan).

        3. It’s strange that MNG’s polishing of the halo of progressivism never includes the people who got the shit end of the stick.

          In the 1950s, people in China, India, Korea, Japan, and much of Europe even were tapdancing along the boundary of starvation. Most of those late lamented “jobs that won’t come back” have gone towards allowing people in those countries to not live on dirt floors and eat more than 1000 calories a day.

          But go ahead and boo-hoo about ex-factory workers in the US having to eat Hamburger Helper a couple of days a week as a result of this development.

          1. Of Good grief, Tulpa wants to wag his finger at progressives for not being sufficiently moved at the plight of foriegn workers, which, of course, has always been such a concern of the paleo crowd he runs with. I mean, surely Tulpa supports the Libya conflict or any other one which could better the lives of foriegn people at the small cost of American blood and soil then, right? Surely….

            Like every other political group I can think of liberals sometimes think more of the welfare of their fellow citizens than non-citizens. Guilty as charged dude. We also think more highly of our family members than non-family members.

            1. So, we’re supposed to be more excited by the prospect of “helping” foreigners by making bombs and dropping them on them than by foreigners helping themselves by doing work producing stuff we want for less than other Americans.

              Which of these, objectively is the better deal for us?

              1. Of course it can be argued as an empirical matter that the same trade that helps foriegners helps us ultimately, but that wasn’t what Tulpa seemed to be getting at. Methinks he was trying to be cute vis-a-vis “why won’t these liberals think of the poor foriegners who need those former labor jobs?” And that’s funny coming from a guy who wouldn’t support ten US cents to make their lives better by, say, protecting them from wholesale slaughter or tyranny…

            2. I don’t run with paleo crowds, though the fact that I get pigeonholed as a conservative by liberals and a liberal by conservatives must mean I’m doing something right.

              In any case, not only is the jury still out on whether the Libya conflict is going to turn out well for Libyans, but I’m totally consistent in being skeptical of coercive measures employed to “help people”.

              Nothing wrong with being more concerned for your family and community than outsiders, but when that “concern” leads to coercing one group of innocent people in a way that snatches opportunity from yet another group of innocent people, it’s misplaced.

              1. What you see as “coercing one group of innocent people in a way that snatches opportunity from yet another group of innocent people” is seen as many as playing easily exploitable groups against each other to get the best deal for the exploiter. To try to protect one of these groups more because they are your countrymen is no more wrong or irrational than prefering people who share some of your DNA or live in your ‘community’ more than others.

                But again, the real lol is to see someone who is such an isolationist as yourself in most areas suddenly act aggrieved because when we try to protect our countrymen from exploitation people in other nation’s don’t get the crumbs that were being tossed around. You don’t believe in a drop of American blood or dollars to be used to better the situation of thousands of foriegners, but by God you won’t have us depriving them of their sweatshops to better American’s standards of living!


        4. Progressives (or whatever) like manufcaturing jobs because they were relatively well paying, union jobs for non-high skill workers. They like the idea of well paid workers working with dignity and autonomy.

          Then they are historically ignorant idiots. The overwhelming number of manufacturing jobs were not high paid nor did assembly line work provide human dignity or autonomy to the workers.

          1. True, the memory there is selective. When I think about mfg. jobs on the East Coast in the 20th C., I think garments (including shoes), cigarets, and furniture — not much known for high pay, even for relatively skilled work. In certain parts of the country, however, there were more mfg. jobs that fit the description of high pay relative to the skill. Partly it was the particular industry, partly geographic concentration.

        5. The “or whatever” include some hard-“right” people like a friend of mine who like domestic mfg., especially heavy industry (hmm…think Stalinism), for other reasons entirely or mostly.

          My friend is also very nostalgic for the time around when he was born, the 1950s. I think basically this is all of a piece; whatever the USA had at that time was good, because at least some of it was very good. Mfg., especially of large solid goods, is a synechdoche for that past.

  13. It was the Monica Lewinsky scandal that caused 9-11. Clinton was actively trying to disrupt A-Q / kill Bin-Laden but calls of “wag the dog! wag the dog!” in the aftermath of blowjobgate ended the effort. It was also why the US never took any leadership when the Russians called re assistance or default.

    1. We wanted hummers, not Hummers!

    2. You mean, bombing those tents in Afghanistan and that pharmaceutical plant in Sudan the day the Starr report came out was totally a coincidence?

  14. “9/11: What Happened Next?”
    What happened over the next ten years was this country squandered at least 1 billion dollars per person killed on 9/11. The terrorists have to be laughing. We are kicking our own ass by running ourselves into bankruptcy.

      1. Yes, and it’s working!

  15. Very good essay.

  16. Jesse, well you’re 16.67% prescient. But you did forget the most effective part of the Caesar method. Develop you’re own cities, not help them build theirs. Move in settlers from the homeland as bureacrats, not train pathetic tribal warlords, and require (or allow) the legionnaires to take wives and produce offspring. Heck we could have already had a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade of half american, half warlord children learning about George Washington, Honest Abe and Uncle Ronnie instead of building afghan schools which will be destroyed the minute we leave. Once all the mining companies set up shop to extract everything they find, we would have had to annex northern Pakistan for a route to the sea for export to the homeland of such raw minerals or refined products. I guess it would be called the Empire Plan instead of the half ass American Plan we have now. Go big or go home Yankee.

    1. Americans aren’t half as smart as the Romans were. But Americans are really good at feeling morally superior, in spite of their ineptitude.

    2. I think it helps if you build the Colossus first and then Copernicus’ Observatory. The resulting increase in trade will allow you to advance your knowledge and make future scientific discoveries as well as help pay for infrastructure like Temples, Marketplaces, Libraries and Aqueducts.

      1. All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

        1. The PEACE!

  17. Your day would not be complete without a lame Statue of Liberty cartoon.

    1. Dammit Brooks, you gonna help me clean this vomit out of my keyboard?

      I thought not.

    2. That’s puerile enough to gag a maggot.

    3. It looks like year eight she’s having a smoke. May be chronic.

    4. Is there any American symbol that the editorial trolls don’t feel the need to go full Steve Smith on?

    5. 9/11 made the Statue of Liberty squat down and crap?

    6. They hate us for our crappy editorial cartoons.

      1. The terrorists want to inflict payne on us, bok we won’t let ’em!

        1. Yeah, like any Friday Funnies was worse than what you did there.

          1. That was homage.

            1. I will brook no unanswered attacks on the national treasure that is Friday Funnies. That is my promise to all of you. And by promise, I do mean threat.

              1. While I respect your position, I would readily trade 20 Friday Funnies for one Peter Bagge story.

    7. “Joe Heller”


      1. Looks like you found yer real dad.

        1. Wow Joseph Heller’s work has really gone downhill since Catch, hasn’t it?

          1. I liked Closing Time even though everybody else hated it.

            But this cartoon is shit, he may be dead but that’s no excuse for that crap.

              1. So that dude in the last pane is about to be decapitated? In his own back yard?

                Huh. Makes you think. I guess there really is no safe form of energy production.

                1. Should’ve shown a pile of dead birds next to the windmill(preferably labeled ‘dead birds’).

    8. The statue of liberty getting stoned the year that Obama was elected is a nice touch.

  18. Someone dug up Jay Carney, then of Time, waxing philosophical about the greater significance of Mike Huckabee’s thinking that Lincoln founded the Republican Party. BWAAAAA


    Why does everyone forget John Freemont? Yeah, he was a terrible general in the civil war. But the man was known as “The Pathfinder” for a reason.

    1. A buncha people founded the Republican Party. William H. Seward was the party’s big shot until Lincoln got elected.

      “Our great Republican Party, with its glorious founders like William Seward and Thurlow Weed!” (another guy you don’t hear much about anymore)

  19. Bin Laden is laughing, wherever he is. He got *exactly* what he wanted–a weakened and bankrupted America bogged down in endless wars and hated by he whole world while its rivals get stronger and stronger instead of wasting money on useless Buck Rogers superweapons and endless wars.

    1. nah the bankrupted thing woulda happend without him, fractional reserve banking and all. He just got to claim the credit.

      1. Please name one modern-day economy that does not have some form of fractional reserve banking. Well, besides Somalia. Thanks!

        Now that I think about it, the USSR didn’t have fractional reserve banking. Must have been why they were such a stunning ecpnomic powerhouse.

        1. please name one modern-day economy that isn’t collapsing!

          1. Yeah, and let you define what “collapsing” is? I think you should answer my question first.

          2. And how come the USSR didn’t outstrip us all if fractional reserve banking is to claim? The Eastern Bloc certainly didn’t have that (or banking of any kind!)

            1. stupid assertions don’t deserve responses.

              1. fuck it:

                Here’s an analogous statement: If we just killed seniors when they reached 65, we wouldn’t need social security.

                1. That’s an entirely correct statement. So what?

                  1. a statement can be completely correct and simultaneously completely vacuous of meaning to the relevant issues.

              2. And it’s not an assertion. It’s fact. The only countries (except failed states which don’t have governments of any kind) that did not have fractional reserve banking in the last century were…(wait for it)…COMMUNIST STATES!

                Ron Paul ’12: He’ll give us the same banking policy as the USSR!

                1. The islamic system doesn’t permit loans of any kind, (although the way they get around it is just papering over the idea of the loan) but you can have loan-based economics without the state creating a mandatory fractional system.

                  You can have a full-reserve system. Yo u can also have a fractional system where the risk of default is accepted by the person holding the deposits, instead of a central authority.

                  just because everyone does ti doesn’t mean it’s good, or moral.

                  1. Modern Islamic states are either (1) PetroDollar States, or (2) have failing, basket case economies.

                    1. islamic banking is just papering over the idea of loans, and in practice they are doing fractional banking, anyway.

                2. The islamic system doesn’t permit loans of any kind, (although the way they get around it is just papering over the idea of the loan) but you can have loan-based economics without the state creating a mandatory fractional system.

                  You can have a full-reserve system. Yo u can also have a fractional system where the risk of default is accepted by the person holding the deposits, instead of a central authority.

                  just because everyone does ti doesn’t mean it’s good, or moral.

  20. Enough with the 9/11 sobfest, it’s my girlfriend’s birthday tonight and I am getting royally fucked up.


    Anyone else ever seen this? It is pretty much the gold mine of concert bootlegs.

    1. Some live Thin Lizzy will greatly improve today, yes. Good find.

      1. something we can agree on. love thin lizzy

  22. So remember, folks, when you vote Ron Paul, you’re voting or (bum bum buuuuuuum) C O M M U N I S M !!!!!!

    1. That’s why I’m voting for him — he promises the least freedom of all other candidates by far.

      1. Fuckin’ reds and their goddamn laissez-faire bullshit!

  23. There WAS a period in which the entire western world was prohibited from banking , though. It was called the “Dark Ages”.

    1. It looks like White Indian is taking a new class this semester on communist monetary policy that has influenced him almost as greatly as his anthropology class last semester…

      1. I thought something similar but refrained from commenting for fear of awakening the great chief troll.

        1. Ph’nglui mglw’nafh White Indian R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn

  24. So, are trigger warnings the greatest proof that Feministing is entirely based on emoting in the face of problems?

    Cuz I always love the “Warning: This post may be triggering to…”

    It would trigger WHAT? Someone was mean on the internet, so you curl up in to a ball and cry?


      this story is awesome. in the whole sputtering outrage story and comments, NONE of them even consider the fact that the comedian might have MADE THE FUCKING THING UP.

      making shit up and/or stealing from other comedians (iow it didn’t happen to them obviously) is part and parcel of comedy.

      the story MAY be true. it also may be false and/or completely embellished

      the women can be “outraged’ at the story, but to assume it HAPPENED shows how fucking naive they are. whenEver a rape story fits their metanarrative (see: Duke “Rape” case), they never even consider it MIGHT be a lie.

      jesus christ, they are fucking stupid over there

  25. This is like the worst chat room ever.

    1. a/s/l?

    2. How ya doin’?

  26. Chomsky: 9/11 – was there an alternative?…..42191.html

    1. I would certainly not deny that our foreign policy set up the conditions in which terrorism could emerge. We fucked over lots of people over the last 60-100 years.

      Chomsky’s argument, however, is that we may have well financed and trained al Qaeda and dared them to do it.

      It’s a ridiculous attempt to take blame away from people who actually did things as if individuals don’t have any control over their actions.

  27. Does everyone realize it was nine-ten-eleven today?

  28. And nothing else happened…

    I am ashamed nobody else jumped on this earlier!

  29. I’m not surprised that the truth is being supressed by this magazine.

    1. As you can tell by the often-adolescent tone of the forums, this magazine and its affiliated site suppress very little in the way of information, useless or no.

      With that recognized, feel free to post your antisemitic conspiracy drivel with the comfortable certainty that no Jew, Freemason, or Illuminatus will delete it.

      1. Thank you for your permission to reveal the truth.

  30. NY Times’ commissioned image for 9/11 is actually very effective.

    1. I agree. That’s a gorgeous photo illustration.

      1. typical

  31. Since we’re recalling our initial perspectives immediately after 9/11, I thought I’d offer a link to my column, written the day after the attack:

    Back to sanity…the only course
    EnterStageRight by William Westmiller – September 11, 2001

    “It is essential that we avoid any new restrictions on our liberties, the primary power that makes our success possible. We cannot abandon our basic principles in pursuit of safety. We will lose both and our enemies will have won.”…..01wtc4.htm

  32. Gosh it was nice to see Notre Dame lose again. Yet ANOTHER disappointing year for them…All those years of preferential treatment and exclusive tv contracts, they’ve earned their decades of decline in the cosmic karma game.

    1. I bask in the schadenfreude as well. It’s a shame Michigan had to win, but when they do I’m glad it’s over Notre Dame.

  33. Obama: “We refuse to live in fear.” Except of course when Republicans are trying to take away our Medicare, Social Security, unemployment insurance, debt ceiling increase, railroad lines and air traffic controllers.

    1. The word “terrorist” is thrown around a lot these days, but I think it’s safe to say without hint of hyperbole that the Tea Party is the worst terrorist organization in history of the universe.

      1. I like how you didn’t use hyperbole.

        … Hobbit

  34. Nice Post. Thank you for sharing, Like your articles.

  35. I sure wish I knew where to buy some nice fashion jewelry. I am even willing to pay retail.

    1. Ha ha ha ha ha

  36. Give it another 10 yrs. (for a total of 20) before things go back to normal? Or is it going to need a total of ~50 like the Cold War?

  37. Unbelievably accurate assessment of what would follow this world changing catastrophe. Bravo to the author!

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