9/11

September 11: Remembering Lives and Liberties Lost 15 Years Ago

Fifteen years later, we really do have "nothing to fear but fear itself"

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The terrorist hijackings of four airline flights and subsequent crashes into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania took place 15 years ago this weekend. We still mourn the nearly 3,000 Americans who were murdered then and share the sorrow of those who lost family and friends. Those attacks, however, changed our country in ways that have significantly undermined our cherished liberties.

The indignity of imposing TSA security theater at airports is the least of it. Security checkpoints are everywhere requiring citizens to show ID and undergo screenings by metal detectors in order to enter practically all public and many private buildings. But even worse are the secret erosions of our rights as citizens not to be surveilled by our government. We now know that the federal government is engaged in pervasive unconstitutional domestic spying on essentially all Americans.

The monetary costs of "Homeland Security" are estimated to run about $75 billion per year. The "black budget" of the federal government's "intelligence community" exceeds $52 billion annually. The percentage of it that is spent on spying on Americans is not clear, but is certainly billions, if not tens of billions.

Since the September 11 atrocities, 94 Americans have been killed in domestic attacks by violent jihadists, which are the kind of attacks against which our elaborate security apparatus purports to protect us. And doubtlessly, some of those efforts have been effective. For example, the conservative Heritage Foundation maintains a database that claims that there have been 89 jihadist plots in the U.S., including both successful and thwarted ones since 9/11. It should be noted that many of the plots in the Heritage database were instigated in "sting" operations by uncover law enforcement agents. In any case, the New America Foundation lists 10 in which people were killed.

To get some idea of the risks to American lives that have allegedly been fended off by surrendering our liberties and our tax dollars, let's do a few rough calculations. For a worst case scenario, let's assume that the 79 unsuccessful terrorist attacks had been instead as bad as the Orlando Florida massacre earlier this year, that is, 49 dead. If all those plots had succeeded that would mean 3,871 Americans would been killed by jihadists over the past 15 years. That would mean that your chance of being killed in a terrorist attack would be 1 in 83,182 during that time. While not directly comparable, that's in the same ballpark as your lifetime risk of dying in a shark attack or of a lightning strike.

To get a far more reasonable estimation, let's average the number of deaths per successful terrorist attack since 9/11. That would be about 9 deaths multiplied by 79 attacks yielding 711 deaths since 9/11. Your risk of dying of terrorism would therefore be 1 in 452,883 over the past 15 years. Another way to think about it is about 2.5 million Americans die annually which adds up to 37.5 million since 9/11, which means that actual jihadist attacks have accounted for only 0.00025 percent of deaths in the U.S. over the past 15 years.

Forgetting for the moment the costs to our liberties, let us calculate the cost per life saved by the vast amounts our government spends on anti-terror security. Researchers at Brown University estimate that Homeland Security expenditures have been $548 billion higher—this is not counting the $5 trillion in post-9/11 war expenditures—than the trajectory they were on prior to the 9/11 attacks. This means that homeland security spending has been about $142 million per death averted, assuming my high calculation of 3,871 possible terrorism deaths since 9/11. That rises to $771 million per life saved from terrorism using my lower figure of 711 deaths. The usual threshold for setting the benefits and costs of a safety regulation is about $10 million per life saved.

Setting aside mere tax dollars, the costs of 9/11 to our liberties are incalculable. Instead of calming and urging us to defend our values, our leaders opted to instill fear and ultimately have given the terrorists their greatest victory: The ongoing of corrosion of our individual freedoms and constitutional rights.

As we solemnly remember those who died 15 years ago of those despicable atrocities, let us renounce fear and vow to defend our liberties against all enemies foreign and domestic.

NEXT: Thoughts on the Third Circuit's decryption and self-incrimination oral argument

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  1. The memory-holing of pix and vid from that event by the media is truly frightening to behold. I mean, we’ll see what they do for their 15th anniversary presentations (if any), but I wonder how many pix we will see of the impacts and of the people jumping.

    1. The most horrifying video from 9/11 I remember– and have trouble getting out of my mind– was the one where the firefighters were in the atrium of one of the towers, and every few seconds you heard this *WHAM*.

      Someone on camera turned and said, “those are the impacts of people jumping out of the tower’.

      1. I had not seen this photo until recently. It purports to be an aerial shot, looking down at the plaza in front of one of the towers. I believe the red stains in the photo are remnants of those jumpers you mention.

        I’m still surprised we didn’t utterly obliterate Afghanistan and NorthWest Pakistan.

        1. Saudi Arabia and ex-pat House of Saud in Europe and U.S. In Pakistan any concentration of ISI. Afghani targets were relatively small, specific and associated with the first two.

          1. The problem with officially noticing that the Saudis are behind a lot of this crap is that if we fight them we WILL win, and then WE get to administer the Hadj. In the first place, that would kick up more Islamic idiocy than all the money the Saudis have could bring about. In the second place – even discounting the terrorism – I think I would rather try to rule a reconquered Irish Free State with a Protestant government.

            I think – I HOPE – that one reason Bush invaded Iraq (instead of simply dropping a large bomb on Saddam) was its value as a nice messy object lesson right next door to the Saudis.

      2. I was in Connecticut at the time. You could see the column of black smoke clear as day across Long Island Sound.

      3. Indeed.

        If it’s any consolation, (and granted, it’s not) most of those folks would have had cardiac arrest in mid-air and been dead before they hit the ground (yes, you can die of fright). The rest would have died near instantly up on impact. The most merciful would have been impact head first.

        1. I wanted to make fun of her “holy mofo” comment but the screaming a few minutes later is pretty chilling.

          1. I’m still debating whether I want (or even need) to click on that link.

            1. If you have to debate, Paul, I suggest you don’t. It’s easy to debate all these nebulous philosophical concepts, and for Ron to publish all these impressive and accurate calculations fifteen years after the fact, they however seem to melt away in an instant when the human factor, up close, personal, and real, is presented and inescapable.

              I’m pretty sure these people who leapt to their deaths were not contemplating philosophy of liberty and number crunching their statistical odds of survival.

            2. It’s not the screams of the departed, thank God. It’s the screaming of those genuinely surprised and terrified to witness the event. Which is awful enough for my ears.

              1. It’s not the screams of the departed, thank God.

                True. Some the people of who leapt are on video doing so; the screams of those witnessing the events occur both when they realise and view people are hurling themselves from the building, and when the second plane hits.

                1. I doubt every person leapt. No one, even after all the analysis and discussion and videos, seems to want to think about how many people were pushed out. Not even with malice aforethought of one person against another, but the sheer mass push from behind to get away from the fire and more likely the smoke, that those first to the windows would be eventually be shoved out by the press from behind. There’s plenty of videos of people voluntarily letting go to end it all, but one can only contemplate the alternative in some cases.

    2. Especially the Palestinians celebrating.

        1. Weren’t there Palestinians in Palestine cheering?

          1. http://www.snopes.com/rumors/cnn.asp


            Claim: CNN used old footage to fake images of ‘Palestinians dancing in the street’ after the terrorist attack on the USA.

            Status: False.

            Reuters, the international news agency whose camera crew shot the footage, issued the following statement:

            Reuters rejects as utterly baseless an allegation being circulated by e-mail and the Internet claiming that it circulated 10-year-old videotape to illustrate Palestinians celebrating in the wake of the September 11 tragedies in the United States.

            Reuters welcomes a statement by the Universidad Estatal de Campinas-Brasil (UNICAMP), one of whose students was the author of the original e-mail, setting the record straight.

            The videotape in question was shot in East Jerusalem by a Reuters camera crew on September 11 in the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the United States. The footage was broadcast by CNN and other subscribers to the Reuters video news service.

            CNN wasn’t the only news organization to report on the reaction of some Palestinians to the events of September 11, as other outlets such as Reuters and the Los Angeles Times carried the same story. Also, other news outlets … reported that journalists were threatened for capturing images of Palestinian celebrations, making real footage of the event harder to obtain

            1. The purpose of that badly cut-pasted excerpt was to say, “Yes, there were multiple examples of Palestinians cheering (in Gaza/West Bank)” – but that there have been rumors spread in the years since that those reports were faked. It is the latter claim that is false = the reports were real.

              As for “Arabs cheering in New Jersey”, i think that was entirely in the imagination of the Donald.

              1. The Donald may have been thinking of Ahab the Arab, Sheik of the Burning Sands.

              2. It was the Gaza/West Bank cheering I recall. I don’t think I heard about the New Jersey rumors until years later.

                1. Gaza…Jersey. Same thing.

                2. One picture that stuck with me – and which I can’t find again, dammit – was of some Islamic idiot who had celebrated by burning a United States flag … and who a playful wind had wrapped in the burning cloth. It is exhibit “A” in my argument that while banning flag burning is unconstitutional, we should require a fire permit on the simple grounds that a flag sized fire is dangerous.

                  Or it would be if I could find it again.

              3. No, there were some Arabs cheering in New Jersey, but small groups, not “thousands.”

      1. Thousands of them! In New Jersey! We all saw it!

    3. I could be wrong, but I feel like it’s a (perhaps misplaced) attempt to be respectful and non-sensational about it.

      You certainly saw plenty of it for the 5th and 10th anniversaries.

      And at some point you do need to put horrible events in the past. I’m not trying to tell anyone how long that has to be. And maybe given the state of things in the world it should be more in in the forefront of people’s minds. I dunno.

      1. I agree. I’m so tired of hearing about slavery.

    4. I’m making over $15k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. Read more on this web site… http://www.14earnpath.com

  2. There is no English word surveil. The verb form of surveillance is survey (pronounce the ll as if it were Spanish; it becomes obvious). Yes, a nit, but an irritating one. Please get it right.

    1. Somebody put this guy under surveil.

      1. I wouldn’t put up with this absue.

        1. That ship, Paul, sailed long ago for you.)

    2. I think surveil has a place in modern English. Survey suggests a broad perspective (surveying the lay of the land, surveying general opinion, survey courses, etc) while surveillance suggests a single target, be it person or building or entrance or whatever.

      Shit. Now survey sounds tinny.

      1. King of all I surveil?

        1. Mack: You end up as King of the Mud.

      2. “Surveil” has a much nicer woody sound to it.

        1. not woody, stiffy.

      3. Antelope.

    3. Seems to be in dictionaries. It’s apparently a back-formation from surveillance, so you kind of have a point. But it’s pretty common and has been for some time. Which makes it a word.

        1. First recorded use was in 1914 according to M-W.

          If we are going to remove all words that aren’t properly derived from Latin or Germanic roots, there is a lot of vocabulary we are going to have to lose.

          1. If it nukes “bae” from common usage, worth the effort.

            Of course “nuke” will be nuked, too.

            1. It’s the only way to be sure.

          2. Don’t feed the troll a 5 course dinner.

            1. Who’s the troll now?

    4. Also, surveillance was pronounced “Surveyance” for fucking ever, then suddenly people starting getting stupid and sounding it out or somesuch and saying “survey-lance”.

  3. It was to my understanding there would be no math…

    You can’t get too statistical with stuff like terrorism.

    3000 dead. An astounding figure really. RIP.

    1. We had it coming. Our imperialism is the only reason foreigners hate us.

      /Saddleback College professor

      1. Progressive College Professor, rope, tree. Some assembly required. Warning; complete assembly will slightly raise the overall IQ of the species.

        1. The good thing about rope as a resource is that it is re-usable and has a long service life.

  4. “…operations by uncover law enforcement agents.”

    I’m guessing….undercover?

  5. You really have to admire the terrorists — they won. Finding the weak point, and using the strengths of civilization against itself. Dollars (Euros, too, and any other currency you might care to mention), civil liberties, active incentives for more terrorists. Pretty much the perfect approach.

    1. Yep. It’s a nearly perfect form of warfare. It’s cheap. It can’t be defeated by conventional means without resorting to genocide. It’s effective, nearly always. And your enemy does it all to themselves.

      The only known defense is to not be a cowardly pussy.

      Well, off to my safe space…

      1. Save me a blue Otter Pop. BLUE!!!!

      2. It can’t be defeated by conventional means without resorting to genocide.

        I disagree. Many of the guerrilla movements of the 20th century were basically terrorist movements. A great many of them were defeated without genocide.

        1. How’s it working out so far? I think we’ve just about got em…if we can just hang in there for another 15 or 30 years…

          You create them faster than you can find and kill them.

          And I disagree. Guerrillas, though closer to terrorists than a conventional force, are/were not terrorists. Terrorists use fear as their primary weapon, targeting civilians primarily, where guerrillas, in general, use conventional weapons against military forces.

          1. Guerrillas? I thought we couldn’t talk about Harambe anymore.

            1. Fd’A meant these Gorillaz, who are an unrepentant menace, and clearly should be nuked from orbit. To be sure.

              1. My wife used to like that bullshit. “Dare”. So ugly they had to be cartooned.

                1. What’s wrong with the Gorillaz?! Of all the bullshit coming out of my youth, including fucking Limp Bizkit, Korn, ICP, and Fred Durst, Gorillaz is wholly tolerable. Melodic, even. Clint Eastwood? A classic.

            2. It’s friday, y’alls dicks better be double out today.

          2. “Terrorists use fear as their primary weapon”

            True dat. It’s right there in their name.

          3. You create them faster than you can find and kill them.

            If they can be “created”, they always were, they were just activated.

            Let’s be real, though. Actually effective measures won’t be used, because the occasional bombing, shooting, or knife attack is useful to our would-be betters.

          4. Guerrillas, though closer to terrorists than a conventional force, are/were not terrorists. Terrorists use fear as their primary weapon, targeting civilians primarily, where guerrillas, in general, use conventional weapons against military forces.

            Its a continuum of violence for political ends. I probably draw the line in a different place. Many “terrorist” organizations target cops and the military, as well as civilians, and many “guerrilla” organizations target civilians, as well as cops and the military. Guerrilla organizations operating in the countryside frequently used terror tactics to maintain control, etc.

            It used to be “common knowledge” that conventional forces couldn’t beat guerrillas, even though they often did. Like all internal/”civil” conflicts, its a nasty business all around, no question.

      3. It’s easily defended against, by ?conomic pressures and by citizens defending themselves and their property as needed. Fuck Donne and his stupid every human death diminishes me crap. Death is the ultimate end of existence. It is the inescapable conclusion and the final purpose of life. So that’s done, we can forget about it. It’s like that bullcrap about how a person should live every day like it’s his last. What balderdash! What humbug! Rather, I say, one should live every day like he will live forever. Always act on principle, with purpose and intention, and damn the consequences, especially if those consequences are how other people may react. It’s one of the great mindfucking myths, that we can somehow induce others to act how we want if only we go through the right propitiatory rites. It’s bull crap. Everyone else, just like ourselves, has free will and can do whatever is within his power to do, and there’s not dick we can do for it. And we don’t need to. All we got to worry about is how we handle ourselves and what we chuse to do with our own powers.

    2. Yes, it is. Right up to the moment that the United States decides collectively that we have had Enough. OF. This. Shit.

      Then the Islamic world will be in deep and unusually spicy kimchee. We did not, as some Liberal Idiots assured me throughout the Bush administration, “lash out in unreasoning anger”; Mecca does not glow in the dark. Yet.

      The Terrorists cannot destroy the United Staes. What they CAN do is push us into an Imperial posture. It wouldn’t be at all good for us in the long run (or even, probably, in the medium run) but it would be far worse for any place with a Muslim population.

      Islamic fundamentalists are suicidal in more ways than one.

      1. Of course they are! They hate this life on this Earth – else they wouldn’t be prostrating themselves five times a day as Muslims in the first place.

    1. Well said Frank. Empire of Japan? No problem. Third Reich? We can handle it. Russian Empire? It didn’t stand a chance. 19 guys with pocket knives? We’re toast. We’ve become a nation of crave cowards.
      BTW starting November I’ll be a Montana resident – goodbye Massholeistan. Last Best Place (I hope).

      1. It is.

        Where you gonna be? Might be time for another H&R Montana meetup.

        1. You’re goddamn right it’s the last best place! Reppin’ 406!
          And, yes, do tell–where abouts you moving to?

          1. Into the Unibomber’s old cabin.

            1. It’s not in MT anymore. I think it’s in DC.

                1. That explains Bernie’s run for President.

                  1. The unibomber is actually accomplished.

          2. Townsend – south of Helena, bottom of Canyon Ferry Lake. Long ago and far away I was stationed in Great Falls. We’ve felt it was home ever since.

            1. Holy shit. This guy hacked your email, Frank.

            2. Good. That’s a good central location. We’ll do a meet in Helena when you get settled. I think CW is still down that way too.

            3. Is it true that they have a sports team there named the
              Helena Handbaskets?

      2. That seems like a pretty big move. I haven’t been to Montana myself, but when my brother got a wild hair and wanted away from the family he moved to Helena. Managed maybe six months before coming home in his sad Westfalia camper.

        1. It’s a dull town. Butte for excitement, Bozeman for glamor, Missoula for mountain hippies, and Billings for anal.

          1. Is Billings the gay capital of Montana, or is that where all the girls go when they’re bored of Butte?

            1. Insert Butte-sex joke here.

              1. And it’s free!
                There’s no Billings for Butte-sex.

        2. 30 years as a Masshole and I have zero feelings for the place. I show my colleagues here pictures of our new neighborhood (Belt and Big Horn Mts) and I get a polite “Oh, that’s nice” It’s clear it’s not really a complement. Can’t wait to cross the Mississippi one last time.
          Today in Mass it was a lovely 95 degrees with 98% humidity.

          1. Ew. Fucking ew. Albuquerque was its usual 90+ for an August afternoon, but single digit humidity makes it balmy. We’re no California but much more habitable than the east coast.

            I spent a week in New York a couple years ago. It was an experience. My favorite memory was hauling boxes from my friend’s apartment down to the Fedex store a couple blocks over. She’d just graduated NYU and was getting ready to move home to search for jobs. So I’m hauling boxes down the street and working up a sweat because it’s like swimming on land, and on the last return trip I crossed paths with some screaming indigent who, thankfully, took no notice of me. But I guess because I had soaked through my shirt so badly and had sweat streaming down my face and matted hair, a woman walking opposite me took one look and asked, “Is he screaming at YOU?”

            1. Ew is right. I’d just gotten back from MT getting Ms mikey settled in. 90 with maybe 20% – it was wonderful. Why do people live here (Mass)? Charge number I guess.

              1. I ask why anyone would want to live in MT.

                ?\_(?)_/?

                  1. Stop that, Riven! I am perilously close to feeling regret, over longing (to use PJ O’Rourke’s dividing line between old and not old)…

                    1. You can’t tell me to stop after I’ve had three dry Hendricks martinis!

                      Like you’d really want me to stop πŸ˜‰

                      Never had any complaints

                    2. You should tell him about that whoopsie. Or are you saving that for Penthouse letters?

      3. Witness protection program, eh?

        They always lie about the square footage.

      4. a nation of crave cowards

        As evidenced by the fact that an aluminum badge protects someone who molests a child in open view, from being set upon and beaten to death by a furious mob.

  6. I was a bit obsessive watching any news video of the Manhattan Raid.

    NBC’s Bryant Gumbel was a complete idiot during the attack, admonishing people who were being interviewed why they believe that it was a terrorist attack after the second plane struck to the point where one of the persons came close to calling Gumbel a dope.

    ABC’s Peter Jennings was complaining that the colleagues were saying the building collapsed after repeatedly watching video of the building collapsing.

    1. My wife called me and told me to turn on the television. A plane had crashed into one of the towers. I turned on the tv. I thought whoa, she didn’t mean a plane like a single engine, she meant a real fucking plane. I immediately knew it was terrorists. The only other scenario would be everyone in the cockpit dying from some accident. Unlikely. Those fuckers had tried to blow up the wtc once already. Of course it was terrori….shit the second plane hit.

      And yes, the buildings are going to colla….shit, there goes the first one.

      Thinking back on that day I seem to be getting nearly as angry about all of that as I am about the way we have handled things since. It is disgraceful.

      1. I didn’t believe “terrorism” until I saw the 2nd plane hit as I was about to enter my office. Then I didn’t believe “collapse” until I got home hours later and saw it on TV.

        1. My first impression as well. I was driving to work listening to the radio when the first tower was hit. I thought it must have been a horrible accident.

          Had gotten to work and was watching it unfold on the TV in the lunch room when the second plane hit.

          Interestingly, I was watching it in the company of a civil engineer, who not only predicted the buildings would collapse, he predicted how long it would take pretty close to the minute. So I’ve never been able to take the conspiracy theorists who claim that it would have been impossible for the buildings to have collapsed without being detonated with explosives seriously. Not only was it possible, anyone who actually knew wtf they were talking about knew it was inevitable.

          1. I had dropped out of college and was working at a grocery store. I had worked late the night before and gone to bed around 4AM CDT. One of my friends called me that morning to tell me a plane had crashed into the WTC. From what he had said I assumed that it was a small plane so I went back to sleep until shortly after noon. I turned on the TV and holy shit! The following Saturday I was helping a lady at the grocery store who explained that she had been camping and just gotten back into town. She was wondering if something big had happened because everyone was acting so weird and there were flags all over. I told her what happened and she was shocked. Now I assume that when she thinks of September 11, 2001, she thinks of the devastatingly good looking young grocery store employee who let her know all about it on September 15.

          2. My first impression as well. I was driving to work listening to the radio when the first tower was hit. I thought it must have been a horrible accident.

            This seemed to be the general consensus. You can go back and watch the live footage from that morning’s TV broadcasts. It was basically being reported as a crazy, crazy news event until the second plane hit. You hear producers and camera people and stuff gasp and cry in the background. And then everybody knew.

      2. I was walking through the living room and thought it was some kind of movie trailer. It took some time to realize “holy shit, not a movie”.

      3. My first thought, on seeing the towers burning on TV, was “I’ve been expecting this for twenty years”.

        I was amazed at the amount of ignorant drivel spouted in the following days;

        “The first terrorist attack on U.S. soil.”

        Even discounting the ’93 attempt on the WTC, look up “Black Hand”, “Molly McGuires”, and “Weather Underground”

        “The First Time the U.S. has been attacked…”

        Please go look up “Pearl Harbor”, you sub-literate terra-cotta toothed imbecile.

        Then, when Bush intimated we were going in to Iraq, they started talking ‘New Vietnam’ and ‘Quagmire’. Military resistance was over in, what, two weeks? Three? Ok, ‘nation building’ was a fuckup.

        And the Progressives STILL do not get it. This is what they support when they boycott Israel. This is what the PLO does. This is the face of Islam, until such time as civilized Muslims get their violent brethren on a f’ing LEASH. And if it allowed to go on too long, then the American people really WILL lose their temper and lash out. And, personally, I don’t think the world wanted to see that. Check with the Japanese about what happens when we snap.

    2. If your mother tells you she loves you, check it out.

    3. I heard about it [i]in German[/i]. Back in 2001, there were still a lot of international broadcasters on short-wave, and so at 9AM I tuned in to Deutsche Welle, which reported that a plane (they didn’t say what size) crashed into the World Trade Center. Since it was such a nice morning, I figured some light aircraft pilot must have had a heart attack, the poor guy. I turned on the TV, and that obviously wasn’t the case. πŸ™

      My ISP had a bunch of data nodes a quarter mile or so from the WTC, so I wound up without internet for three days, this being the era before smartphones.

    4. NBC’s Bryant Gumbel was a complete idiot during the attack, admonishing people who were being interviewed why they believe that it was a terrorist attack after the second plane struck to the point where one of the persons came close to calling Gumbel a dope..

      Here

      1. He doesn’t quite seem to ‘admonish’ the guy, so much as be so dumbstruck in the moment as to be unable to comprehend the significance of what he’s seeing.

    5. Gumbel and Jennings were idiots before the attack, during the attack, and after the attack. No surprise there.

  7. On the plus side, as much as there is one, the United States won’t go quite so ape as a result of the next massive attack. The country was naive before. Now everyone will be ready for the debate on what to do next with the benefit of recent history.

    1. The government will simply calmly take more liberties away.

      1. The government will simply calmly take more liberties away.

        What convinces me that that was the plan (not letting a crisis go to waste, and all that), is that the phrase “carpet-nuking” wasn’t invented and demonstrated on 9/12.

    2. the United States won’t go quite so ape as a result of the next massive attack.

      Really, Fist of Prediction? If how the USA lost its collective mind about Harambe, not to mention Cecil the Trophy Lion, I am not conviced the going-ape-shit will be less pronounced. Oh, and why are you so sure of a, “…next massive attack,” Fist of Surety?

      1. I think the temp on your sarcometer might be running higher than 98.6

        1. No, I caught the full frontal assault from Fist of Sarcasm, Paul. The point about Harambe and Cecil still stands, though.

      2. So you’re a creationist then. You deny we descended from apes or the other way around I forget. But I won’t stand here in my chair and defend myself to a flat earther who’s probably also a truther too for all we know.

        1. You forgot to mention the Crab People, Fist of Arthropods. Only a Crab Bucket Libertarian would do such a thing.

          1. Where does lobster girl fit into all this?

            1. If I told her she had a great side boob I wonder if she would hold it against me.

              1. Since the Bellamy Brothers are indeed Crab People (pictured in their natural environment), I think she would be flattered and suggest just let drawn butter flow, like a mountain stream, Fist of Compliments.

                1. Just let your hate flow, Groovus.

                  (And late your hate grow, with the smallest of things.)

            1. Ken Kelly, the Frank Frazetta of his generation.

  8. In other news, US-trained sniper named new ISIS war minister

    ISIS has reportedly appointed a US-trained sniper to the position of minister of war as it steps up its campaign of terror.

    Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, who received specialist training in US when he headed Tajikistan’s police force, has been promoted to the group’s top field commander.

    By all accounts, the 41-year-old is an extremely dangerous man. His promotion prompted the US State Department to place a $3 million bounty on his head.

    Your tax dollars hard at work.

    1. Interesting fact: 80% of active military are support/RE, but 80% former military are snipers/special forces.

      It’s called the badass paradox.

      1. I used to have a boss that was a former Marine sniper. He was also several other things, I cant remember specifically, race car driver, submarine captain, astronaut…stuff like that. He made Hillary Clinton look like Veritas.

        He had opened his business with his inheritance. A week after I joined the company I knew it was going to tank. This rat got off that ship.

      2. REMF war stories just aren’t interesting.

        1. My dad was a airforce mechanic in Thailand during Vietnam. He’s got some crazy ass stories.

          More whores and opium tales and less secret squirrel mission stories though.

        2. Chipper-Shredder 2016|9.9.16 @ 8:20PM| block | mute | #

          REMF war stories just aren’t interesting.

          Actually, they can be.

          My dad did some office-duty/staff work in Vietnam. he had a few.

          Philip Caputo’s book “A Rumor of War” covers his deployment with the 9th Expeditionary Brigade – the first major unit deployed to Vietnam – the first bit of which is about being part of a rifle company positioned to guard the airport(?) if i remember correctly, which was pretty boring and uninformative…

          ….but the second bit is when he’s transferred and put in charge of a desk job, doing administrative work tabulating casualties, prepping bodies to be shipped back home, making coffee for the more senior officers… the latter half is actually far more interesting because he gets to see far more of the type of bureaucratic incompetence which would come to plague the war over the next decade,… the fudging of statistics, the terminology they kept changing to redefine the mission… etc. etc.

          it was actually the ‘rear echelon’ stuff that made the book genuinely insightful. the chapters where he’s in the bush probably aren’t much different than anyone else’s experience – they go on patrols, sometimes nothing happens, sometimes something happens, someone almost always does something wrong, everyone has the shits, etc.

      3. I got broken and fat in the army. My shooting skills got terrible from all the great ‘training’ we got from the hood to NCO promotion program. Next time I hope we just nuke Mecca and destroy every copy of the Koran while letting the Shia and Sunnis cut each others heads off.

    2. Hey, we trained him in sniping, not war ministering. So there’s that going for us.

    3. So is he worse than, or not as bad as, Adam Lanza?

    4. It seems that a “terrorist career” doesn’t include a retirement plan. Well, maybe in the Blade Runner sense.

      1. 72 virgins ain’t a plan? A great plan.

    5. Colonel Gulmurod Khalimov, who received specialist training in US when he headed Tajikistan’s police force,

      Yet more proof that there’s no such thing as a -stani that can be trusted.

      This is why the “train ’em up to beat the bad guys themselves” approach was stupid. This is a religion and people that cannot be trusted, ever.

  9. I was in homeroom after the first plane hit. Our teacher wheeled in one of those (now) old CRTs and we watched the building burn. I can’t remember whether we saw the second plane hit, or if we saw them collapse. The visual is so ubiquitous now I can’t recall whether I saw it all live. All I remember is the huge tower burning. It was the first I’d heard of the World Trade Center. During passing period I went to my mom’s classroom (she taught English there) and told her what I’d seen. She wasn’t big on interrupting class for anything, even homeroom, so she’d missed it all. I remember her grimacing and saying, “Oh, so it’s terrorism.”

    1. Somewhat OT: on threats of nuclear retaliation in recent history

      Responding to an Iraqi threat to “burn half of Israel” with chemical weapons, in July 1990 Israeli Science Minister Yuval Neeman, whose responsibilities include the Israeli nuclear and missile programs, stated that Israel would retaliate in kind if struck by Iraqi chemical weapons. “In my opinion, we have an excellent response, and that is to threaten Hussein with the same merchandise.”(7) Eliyahu Ben Elissar, chair of the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, warned that “Iraq, after the first use of a missile, won’t be the same Iraq any more.”(8)

      Responding to an Iraqi threat in early December 1990 to make Tel Aviv the first target if war came, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzak Shamir stated that Iraq “will be harmed in a most serious way” in response, noting that “whoever will dare to attack us will be attacked seven times more.”(9)

      1. In a 15 January 1991 interview with ABC’s Chris Wallace, General Avihu Ben-Nun, Commander of the Israeli Air Force, included the following exchange:

        Ben-Nun: “Would they really decide to send a non-conventional missile on the population of Israel? My own opinion is that that’s very unlikely.”

        Wallace: “Because?”

        Ben-Nun: “Even if Saddam Hussein is crazy, he’s still not going to commit suicide.”

        Wallace: “And would it be suicide if he were to use chemical weapons against Israel?”

        Ben-Nun: “He should think that he’s going to commit suicide, I believe.”

        Wallace: “There has been talk that if he uses chemical weapons he might face nuclear counter-response.”

        Ben-Nun: “Maybe.”

        Wallace: “Maybe?”

        Ben-Nun: “Maybe that’s what he should think about.”(10)

        After the war, Ben-Nun concluded that “the fact that he didn’t launch chemical weapons against us was only because he feared our retaliatory response.”(11)

        1. The threat of Israeli retaliation was not the only deterrent to Saddam’s use of chemical-armed rockets. On 14 August 1991, Defense Secretary Cheney stated that “[i]t should be clear to Saddam Hussein that we have a wide range of military capabilities that will let us respond with overwhelming force and extract a very high price should he be foolish enough to use chemical weapons on United States forces.”(12) The American government reportedly used third-party channels to privately warn Iraq that “in the event of a first use of a weapon of mass destruction by Iraq, the United States reserved the right to use any form of retaliation (presumably up to and including nuclear weapons).”(13)

          1. I really have no idea what to make of post-Cold War American foreign policy. My memory of history starts in 2001, and I was a foolish progressive then with no idea of the overall conceit of American affairs.

            But it seems to my (still) untutored brain, we have a serious disconnect between the threat of nuclear annihilation (however attenuated over the decades by our familiarity with it) and its usefulness as a threat to those who mean us harm. It seems like the whole nuclear deterrence thing is quickly becoming a joke.

            1. we have a serious disconnect between the threat of nuclear annihilation (however attenuated over the decades by our familiarity with it) and its usefulness as a threat to those who mean us harm

              There are only 2 situations that I can think of where nuclear annihilation makes any “sense”

              1) A WWII style total war
              2) a guerilla war being waged by a cult-like group unaffiliated with a nation-state

              1. Actually, there is a third option. Current treaties bind countries on the use of WMDs, The so called NBCs for nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons. Any country escalating the issue into WMD usage can expect a proportionate response.

                But since there are multiple treaties not to use biological or chemical warfare, anybody openly using biological or chemical weapons can expect a nuclear response, since most first world nations are not allowed to use chemical or biological weapons, but they are allowed to stockpile nukes.

    2. The visual is so ubiquitous now I can’t recall whether I saw it all live

      that’s my thing. I don’t remember what I saw live and what I saw in the endless replay.

      Fun fact: The perpetual news ticker on all the CNNs and what not started with 911.

      1. I thought CNN Headline News had it before.

      2. that’s my thing. I don’t remember what I saw live and what I saw in the endless replay.

        Consider yourself lucky you’re not old enough to remember the Kennedy assassination.

        1. I remember 1963 well enough.

          It was the Iran hostage crisis that really launched the 24-hour news coverage industry. But imagine if that happened with Obama as Prez. The MSM would tire of the story after a week or so and find Harambes to exploit. They are so jaded, so biased.

    3. We weren’t allowed to watch it unfold at our school. The principal made the decision to black the school out and not let us watch. The other junior high in our district did get to watch. We were taking standardized tests at the time, so it was really awkward to sit there silently and do the test when we knew that there was something historic going on that we weren’t allowed to see.

      1. Pfft, just pull it up on youtube when you…

        oh, wait. Shit, were we young then or are we getting old now?

        1. I can’t believe it has been 15 years. I really can’t believe that I’m still in fucking school! December 17th can’t come soon enough!

          I laugh thinking about those classrooms. We had CRTs mounted in the corners of the classrooms, and they were networked together so that they would automatically turn on when we would watch “Channel One News” (with a young Maria Menuenos (sp?)) each day.

          1. Oh my God yeah, wow. I remember trying to sleep through that crap.

            The high school I went to didn’t have the mounted CRTs though, they were on dollies with all the video equipment strung up on a platform underneath.

            Although I did watch some educational film in biology on a LaserDisc in 6th grade, but that’s the only time I’ve ever seen on in the wild.

            1. I was in school on that day too.

              Teaching.

              1. Thank God all those high school students are graduating into college where they can finally teach too.

                1. Do you also go to Oncology wards to remind people they have cancer?

                  I come here to escape

                2. Do you also go to Oncology wards to remind people they have cancer?

                  I come here to escape

              2. I just realized that on 9/11/01 I’d been at my ER for about 14 years.
                Last fall, about 14 years later, I gave notice and moved to my current employment after 28 years in one site.
                Strangely enough, the WTC event ended up being the fulcrum of my time at that job.
                Not sure it means anything, but it’s definitely different from having been in school at the time.
                It’s not so much fun to realize how quickly you get older, and how major events can just be ticks along a timeline.

        1. It is interesting to think of how many grown people’s entire adult-ish memory is post 911.

          1. My first formed memory of politics is some kerfuffle about some women by the names of Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky and some blue dress with a stain. That and the president not knowing what the definition of “is” is.

            1. Good god. I remember Nixon announcing his resignation and then hopping on Air Force Two and buzzing away. My father turned off the TV and said “Well, goodbye Tricky Dick”. My brother and I thought that was hilarious.

              1. I remember Nixon announcing his resignation and then hopping on Air Force Two and buzzing away.

                You seem so much younger in my mind’s eye, Suthen. I guess it’s influenced by early episodes of, “Swamp People.” I didn’t realise you’re so….wizened.

                1. I bought a bottle of vodka the other day and the clerk asked to see my ID. I jokingly said to her “you are just hitting on me, aren’t you?”

                  She laughed, then did a double take at the ID and at me.

                  Her – “Wow, you really don’t look your age. How do you look so young.”

                  Me – “Clean living.”

                  I think she was insulted. As the joke went whooshing over her head she handed me the bagged bottle of vodka.

              2. I remember when Reagan was shot. When Mom told Dad about it, Dad asked, “What’s the punchline?”

            2. My earliest memory of a world event was news coverage of Princess Diana’s funeral.

              1. Mine are probably the moon landings and footage from Vietnam.

            3. I vaguely remember the Iranian hostage crisis.

              1. My first memory is Pokemon Go.

                1. My first memory is William Shatner fighting the Gorn.

                  1. First political memory – the 1960 election.

          2. Zeb, you and I are the same age, so yes, I hate them too.

          3. Huh, I never thought of it like that before but I had been 18 for just a couple of weeks

    4. I was in homeroom after the first plane hit.

      Get off my lawn!

  10. NYT, July 5 2016: Muslims Stung by Indifference to Their Losses

    That was the headline for the city edition. Online and elsewhere, the headline was “After Attacks on Muslims, Many Ask: Where is the Outpouring?”

    1. Dog bites man.

      Your religion has as a central tenet the extermination or subjugation of all outsiders, and you expect us to feel sorry for you when some among your number stick you into that category?

      Sorry, all out of fucks to give.

      1. Muslims Stung by Indifference to Their Losses

        Of course, the “humiliation” of this will serve as an excuse for more attacks.

  11. Well, so much for using this thread for Late Night Links.

    RIP

  12. Tom Ridge, that sh**stain former Pa. Gov., was on NBC Nightly News earlier saying to Lester Holt that Americans won because the terrorists weren’t able to make us give up our liberties.

    1. To be fair, we didn’t give up *all* of them.

      I read somewhere that bin Laden expected retaliatory massacres of Muslims by angry Americans. This would have let him rally the entire Muslim world against America (with bin Laden as the leader).

      Instead, if anything we really bent over backwards to be extra-nice to American Muslims and their self-anointed leaders, even those who may not necessarily have deserved it.

      The US Supreme Court upheld the right of a jihadi-style convict to wear a beard in prison.

      So bin Laden (and now ISIS) were reduced to saying that pro-American Muslims aren’t *real* Muslims. And the agitators looking for “Islamophobia” really have to work overtime and lie even harder than usual.

      It was over a decade after the attacks before a major American political figure proposed restricting Muslim immigration – temporarily – and now he’s backed off.

      So without endorsing Ridge, maybe he was alluding to something like this?

      1. And many of the civil-liberties restrictions after 9/11 were built on drug-war precedents.

      2. We’ve actually gained liberties. Somebody born equipped with dick can put on a wig and a sun dress and watch your daughter in the women’s rest room. Some of the people are free to use the force of the government to compel others to make floral bouquets, take photographs or bake cakes against their will. Women are finally free to make false accusations of rape, ruin the lives of innocent men and get away with it. Government officials are free to abuse the trust and privileges of their offices. Our President is free to govern with a phone and a pen.

        It’s damn near libertopia these days.

        1. We are free to buy health insurance or pay a Penaltax. So two choices – before we only had one!

      1. That would be funnier if cops were appropriating people’s homes for surveillance of neighbors in the war on drugs.

        1. There was a case like that in, I think, Las Vegas.

          After searching, I see it was actually in Henderson. Close enough.

        2. I meant to say ‘were not appropriating’.

          1. Well excuuuuuuuuuse me!

  13. I was driving through the whole thing, listening on the radio.

    At first, I assumed the first plane was civil aviation of some kind, no big deal. Then the second plane, two airliners, both towers on fire . . . I knew it was an attack.

    When I heard the towers collapsed, I never imagined they would pancake into their own footprints. My mental image was they fell over sideways, and I assumed the death toll would be in the six figures.

    I do recall that AQ adn OBL were identified that day as the culprit.

    1. I was driving through the whole thing, listening on the radio.

      I was at the hospital, knee deep in residency. Watched it in real time. Hospital went on instant alert, since The Murrah Building Bombing occurred less than six years before The WTC attack (April 19, 1995 – I happened to be in OKC when it that happened. And no, I am not John Doe #2.).

      It should also be noted Timothy McVeigh was executed just a few months prior to Sept. 11, 2001.

    2. I do recall that AQ adn OBL were identified that day as the culprit.

      I’ve always found that to be a bit suspicious. What was the evidence for that conclusion? I don’t recall that it was ever stated (although my memory may be faulty on that point). It was simply announced that OBL was the culprit, and it was taken at face by the public.

      1. When we heard about the second plane hit (my wife’s mother, who lives in the Upper East Side, called us up in CA and woke us up, it was a little after 6am for us) we turned on the TV. I told my wife at that time that I bet that Osama bin Ladin had something to do with it.

        I’m forgetting a bit about what my knowledge base was back then, but the fact that I even knew his name at the time, and that he was a likely culprit, meant he was already pretty well known as an international terrorist. It’s not like they had some patsy the government conveniently set up that day.

  14. I was in fourth grade getting ready for school. I was sitting in the living room watching the new coverage live while my mom was getting my other siblings ready. She didn’t seem to mind that I was watching.

    Then I saw the South Tower collapse on live TV. I wasn’t all that disturbed by it since I didn’t really grasp what that meant. At school they had us make patriotic flags out of red white and blue construction paper and before being sent home was told to just watch the news and ask our parents questions.

    1. Hey, look at THIS yute.

      *elbows Playa*

      1. I’m 24. Not sure if that makes me the youngest regular or not.

        1. If not, one of. I’m turning 30 soon, Derp’s around there, sounds like Zeb is only a year younger.

          1. Zeb is a fucking adult, just like me.

              1. God damnit, not Grand Moff either. Whoever I was addressing up above. I’m drinking, okay? Lay off.

            1. Zeb is a fucking old man, just like me.

              Fixed that for you.

              1. Jesus wept.

                I am 50…fit as a Warty, Jr., but still…older than a whole shiteload of ye.

                1. My dad’s several years older than you, but if it makes any difference he routinely makes fun of my sex life, so there’s that. Yute is wasted on the dumb.

                2. Just had my 69th birthday, so I can tell that wet-behind-the-ears Schweizer to get off my lawn.

                3. 34 as of last Friday.

                  1. Oh! Happy shut your face!

                    37 as of last Tuesday.

                    But I’ve been around the block. A lot. The same block.

                    1. Jesus, you’re my brothers age. You made it sound like you’re ancient. I babysit my brother’s first on the regular. My nephew’s a toddler, not even year. He’s a delight. You think you’re old? Tell it to my bro. He’s a delighted dad.

                    2. Me? I usually get accused of being a frat boy.

                      3 boys. 8, 5, and barely 2. My wife loves the fart contests, and no, I don’t usually win.

                    3. My buddy’s my age, a little under 30, just knocked up his wife with #4. Can’t imagine. You people are saints on earth making up for the lazy unproductive bums like me. God bless you all. Keep it up.

                    4. I’m just trying to give back to the community. By draining the local school district.

                    5. No. You’re a good person bringing up good people.

                      My friend, he’s a genuine saint on earth. Best guy I know, greatest friend I could hope for. He stays at home with the kids, his wife is a pharmacist who makes the money. They’re struggling to sell a house so they can live closer to her work and send their first to a better school, and by proxy get the rest of the kids enrolled. They’re genuinely good people. He simultaneously makes me regret not having kids and makes me glad because I haven’t met a woman as excellent as his wife. These are incomparably good people. I’m happy to know them, and happier that they’re bringing up children in their image. That’s our future. Your kids are too. Good people.

                    6. I share a birthday with Donald Trump and Che Guevara. I think I understand any tragedies better than all of you. Also Harriet Beacher Stowe and Boy George. And most importantly, Diablo Cody.

                    7. And me. And you forgot Steffi Graf, Burl Ives, and Poodles Hanneford.

  15. The thing is, some day we may have a much nastier attack, with higher casualties.

    Warfare is a very common thing in our fallen world, and even hits this country has hardly been immune, though what with short memories, it may seem that way.

  16. And of course shortly after the attacks there were the guys being interviewed on the news saying we needed to remove the shackles which had been put on the government in the 1970s, and the guy referred to the Church Committee – an obvious reference – as “a certain Senator” leading hearings which hamstrung US intelligence etc.

    Then the big-shot, highly-paid anchorperson said “what Senator are you referring to” and “if you don’t tell me I’ll have to get our archivist to look it up.”

    WTF, it’s like not recognizing a reference to “a certain President who led the Union during the Civil War.”

    It was a sign that the media wasn’t going to be doing a lot of watch-dogging as they rolled back our civil liberties.

    1. I was equally horrified by the spectacle of congress standing on the steps of the capitol with their hands on their hearts and singing the national anthem.

      As I was staring at that I said out loud, unconsciously, “Oh my God. We are fucked.”

      Three co-workers, genuinely perplexed, wanted to know what the hell I meant. I just gave them a blank stare. They got pretty pushy when I refused to answer. When I finally answered “They are about to shred the constitution, you idiot. Stop cheering them on.” they pshawed me and hand waived it away.

      1. I thought they sang, “God Bless America”. A truly awful song.

        1. Oh, maybe so. My memory isnt that good anymore.

      2. And those same people probably STILL don’t realize that that’s EXACTLY what they did.

        1. Herd animals Frank. Herd animals. I spent one summer in college helping one of my bio profs excavate a riverbank at the foot of a cliff. There were hundreds of buffalo skeletons right at the foot of the cliff. Most of the bones had scratches on them from flint knives.

  17. My memory isnt that good anymore.

    Clean living, you say? *grins*

  18. At the time I was in brokerage and we just concluded a meeting and set to go make some trades. Then it all became surreal. I saw it on my TV and couldn’t make much sense of what I was seeing; it seemed like out of focus in my mind. I walked into my associates office and pointed to his TV. He was distracted staring at his computer screen and when he turned his head his face locked on what he was seeing. ‘What the fuck am I looking at?’ is what he said. We just sat and watched in stunned silence and then horror. Sadly, some asshole broker stuck his head in and asked us what we were looking at. After we told him he said, ‘Fucken Americans. I don’t care. I’m going golfing’. ‘Can this day get anymore retarded?’ I asked my partner. ‘I actually liked that guy’ he said. Lost on that jerkoff was American stocks it what made him filthy rich. Loser.

    My cousin, for the record, was in Building Seven but got out just in time. Friends and family we have there all had someone or someone they knew lose their lives.

    1. Nobody wants your Canadian phony stock.

      1. /Kicks maple leaves. Walks away.

      2. Rufus hasn’t realized that Nortel went bankrupt seven years ago.

        1. Oh, I realize it. I have a story with that one and it involves me losing money. First and last time. I’m still pissed about it.

          1. My mom used to get free Nortel stock from her job. She didn’t sell at the right time.

            1. There was no ‘right time’ the way things were being reported if memory serves me correct. Roth delivered the bad news after the close the very day I bought and planned to day trade immediately. I never had a chance the next day. Dead.

              I just don’t remember the details.

  19. A little over 13 years ago, my niece hatched a son and called my brother – her favorite uncle – to tell him the news and ask when he was going to come see the baby. My brother told her it’d be a few days since he had a cold of some sort and he didn’t want to risk making the baby sick. So he told her he was going to take a slug of Nyquil and go to bed and he’d come see her and the baby in a few days when he felt better. That was the last anyone ever talked to him, sometime in the middle of the night his heart just stopped and he woke up dead the next morning.

    It was a good funeral – we played some of his favorite music (he had terrible taste in music) and we put together a slide show of pictures and little clips from some home movies we had and everybody was invited to say a few words, whatever they felt needed saying. We laughed and we cried and we all felt that as bad as it felt losing him, it only felt so bad because we knew for the time we had him it was a good thing.

    And I walked out of the funeral home and I was stunned for a moment – it was a bright, sunny afternoon and there were all these normal people in all their normal cars going about their normal lives and I felt this….rage….at how fucked up it was that there was this huge hole that had been ripped in my world and yet here were all these people who had no idea, no concern, no awareness. It felt so unfair that the world couldn’t stop for just a moment just to acknowledge.

    1. I started kicking the side of the building – and I seem to have the distinct impression I was somewhat incoherently reciting every curse word I knew – with the tears of sorrow and anger and frustration running down my face. And I looked over and there’s this couple standing there with their arms around each other with the tears in their eyes and this look of horror on their face as they’re looking at this crazy guy – and I realize I have no idea who these people are, they’re from the funeral next door. And it hits me that hell, I had no idea and no concern that these people just had a hole ripped in their world, too – and every damn day there were people dealing with holes and I’d never given a thought about them, either.

      And then I started laughing because it hit me that the funeral home guys had had to come into the room where we were celebrating my brother’s life and turn down the music a little – these poor grieving bastards probably couldn’t figure out why there was so much laughing coming from next door, and who the fuck plays ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” at a goddamn funeral? And everything was okay again because I knew if my brother’s life and death meant anything it all it meant you gotta learn to laugh and dance and have a good time even if – especially if – there ain’t nothing to laugh and dance and have a good time about because the world’s a fucked-up place and you’re better off just enjoying the ride rather than trying to make sense of it.

      1. I say all that to say this: Yeah, it’s a damn shame the towers got smacked and they fell down and 3500 people died – but I didn’t know any of ’em so what do I care? Hell, there’s probably been 3500 people somewhere in the world who’ve died just in the last hour or so and I don’t give a rat’s ass about any of them, either. 9/11 didn’t change everything. It didn’t change anything. Gutenberg inventing the printing press, Edison inventing the light bulb, Ray Kroc inventing the fast-food hamburger – those things changed the world. A bomb attack that killed a bunch of people, though? Happens all the time.

        1. Our parents and grandparents had Pearl Harbor – that was a bomb attack, too. Did they have weep-a-thon candlelight vigil memorials for that shit? No, they shrugged their shoulders and they rolled up their sleeves and they said, “Welp, guess it’s time to go kill a bunch of Japs.” And that’s what they did, they went and killed a bunch of Japs. Including dropping an atomic bomb on a city full of innocent men, women, and children and frying a big ol’ heap of ’em deader than shit, because that’s what needed to be done. And a few days later they did it again, because that needed to be done also. And when they were done killing Japs, they came home and invented cheese-whiz and the frozen TV dinner and the Naugahyde sofa because that’s what you do when you get done killing all the Japs that need killing. And not a damn one of them ever thought of inventing a goddamn magnetic ribbon you could stick on your car to show the world you had deep feelings about Pearl Harbor because nobody thought that shit needed doing.

          So my point is, well, I’ve kinda forgotten what my point was and I’m not entirely sure I had one. Just, Jesus Christ, shut the hell up with all the mawping about 9/11 and go do whatever you gotta do to fix whatever the problem is and be done with it and let’s move on with our lives, already. Some of us got stuff we wanna get done before we’re dead.

          1. That is a pretty good post Jerry.

            *Interesting note – what you describe in your first post is closely akin to what many combat vets experience.

            1. I just avoid Taps like plutonium.

              1. A month or so ago I got up in the middle of the night to sit in my indoor garage and smoke. The wife doesnt like me smoking in the house-proper. I am sitting there quietly and the house is still.

                I notice a mouse darting across the floor. I put out a sticky trap with a dob of peanut butter on it.

                The next morning I notice the mouse is glued to the trap.

                I took the goddamned mouse down to the bayou and used a stick to carefully extract it from the glue and let it run off into the woods. A goddamned mouse.

            1. They may have lost the war, but they remained unchallenged on the gunka front.

          2. Well done there Jerry. Well done. Thanks.

        2. It wasn’t just the 3500 people dying. It was the 15+ year war that proceeded it and the destruction and waste it brought. I cared that my countrymen and women died in a horrible attack even though I didn’t know them. It was an attack on the western world and our values.

    2. Good post. BE THE FAVORITE UNCLE NEXT TIME.

  20. September 11, 2001: the barbarians rebelled against civilization. They killed a few thousand civilized people, destroyed a couple token landmarks, and were crushed in the aftermath. They put the civilized world on notice about the barbarity of their primitive culture. They demonstrated the unfitness of their culture for the civilizing touch of humanity, and engendered a war of annihilation from which their like will never recover. The message to their ideological descendants reads clear as day: you are suffered to exist only by dint of our better judgement, but nothing else. Now you are on notice.

    1. The message to their ideological descendants reads clear as day: you are suffered to exist only by dint of our better judgement, but nothing else. Now you are on notice.

      Except that that didn’t happen. Instead, there was the act of trying to nation-build a la Japan, without the necessary first step of utterly eliminating the system that engendered the attack. The Japanese feared further bombings, the Islamics figure they can simply last until the west gets tired and accepts attacks as the new normal. And they have been proven right. Western governments were attacked by Islamics, but are Islamics feeling the hear? No, it’s just an excuse to turn the ratchet on each countries’ own citizens.

  21. We should have went into Afghanistan and rounded up all the AL Qaeda soldiers we could find. Then, dug a big hole and executed them into said hole. Finally, we should have dumped pig inards and carcasses on top of them. That should have stopped some potential terrorists. Probably could have got public opinion on your side for this in the weeks following 9/11.

    1. Look at what the Romans did with the 6000 remaining slaves who rebelled with Spartacus. All crucified along the Appian Way. No more rebellions after that.

      1. Actually that had way less to do with Crassus’ little Fury Road and had a lot to do with the early incompetence of the Romans in combating the initial rebellions. There were other slave rebellions after, even ones lead by gladiators, but they ended rather early. The difference in the Third Servile War was that they caught inexperienced legions off-guard and managed to get a bunch of decent equipment from early victories. Standing armies became a lot more common and well-trained during the early empire.

        It’s not like say, the Romans rather enthusiastic response to the Jewish rebellion in Judaea prevented other rebellions from spring up from time to time.

        1. Yeh, I shoulda specified no more slave revolts on the Spartacus scale. Still, it’s been asserted Fury Road (lol) nonetheless had an impact.

          1. I mean, dude amassed 100 000 men and even won some battles.

            1. Spartacus is a huge mystery character in history too. Plutarch claims he was a Thracian, others say he was a foreign deserter who fought in a Roman auxiliary legion. He’s basically like Hannibal where the lies of Roman propagandists became the historical truth, and we really can’t confirm anything about him. Still, Spartacus had a massive advantage with the fact that the majority of Rome’s battle hardened legions were out east fighting Mithridates.

              1. Well, as you know, on the balance, Roman history has large parts of mystery. From its origins to the early Italian tribes they conquered like the Etruscans.

        2. Also I should mention that there were a bunch of other factors that pushed Rome away from the slave economy after the Third Servile War. Foreign slaves became less common after Augustus stabilized the border, no more selling tens of thousands of the people you just fought. Legally the status of slaves shifted with time as well. In Caesar’s Rome a slave was property that could be killed. Two hundred years later there was lex that required the selling of mistreated slaves if proven in a court.

          1. Augustus’s reign is one of the most interesting studies in Western political history.

            1. The most interesting part in the context of today is how Augustus deliberately maintained the illusion of Senatorial power and Republican legitimacy despite the fact that he was now effectively an Emperor as Princeps Senatus. It’s almost like that’s relevant to the perception of modern politicians somehow.

              1. His mastery made the Senate submissive to the Emperor.

                But he did much more than that as you know.

                1. At least Augustus was extremely competent and was able to fairly accurately diagnose the late republic’s institutional problems. And he succeeded largely on his own merit and skill, or at least his ability to use other people’s merit and skill successfully. Yeah, Daddy Caesar helped him out with a cash infusion, but he crawled to the top of that pile of Roman power-hungry bastards using every clever and dirty trick he could.

                  And in the long run his administration absolutely was about improving Roman bureaucracy and infrastructure to support the empire they had carved out. Legally the court and provincial reforms were absolutely vital for long term stability (in the same way that cutting the empire in half later was also vital). Augustus never comes off like a guy who was in it solely for himself (but there’s always the potential of this being Roman propaganda leaking through).

                  Compare that to the people who can kill the republic today and be cheered for it and be depressed.

                  1. He wasn’t greedy but was vain. Don’t forget the army came under his full control too!

                    You a Roman history professor or something?

                    Augustus’ balancing of illusions and reality makes Obama look like a little gold fish.

                    1. Well the army thing basically had to happen. Pre-Marian reforms the army was made up of middle class farmers that supplied their own gear, Marius allowed the poorer classes to form legions and have their equipment paid for by the state. Problem was that those classes weren’t really getting a pension or anything after twenty five years of service, so generals start promising land, which has to be passed by law in the Senate. Soldiers become more loyal to their general than the Senate. Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Caesar, Antony and Augustus all abused this. So the army being put under one grand authority figure was likely inevitable.

                      No I originally wanted to teach, when I graduated teaching jobs were extremely hard to get (still are), so I said screw it to teacher’s college, joined the military and never went back. Now I mainly work in base archives and records.

                    2. What can libertarians take away from Augustus’ reign?

                      If such a question can be asked.

                    3. Write your constitution down. Rome’s constitution was uncodified and flexible if an individual or group had the authoritas to change it, as Sulla and Augustus did.

                      Pre-industrial societies are even harder to manage top-down than current ones because of technological limitations on things like travel time, infrastructure, etc. Augustus had to basically micromanage entire provinces throughout his career. Augustus was competent, wealthy and powerful enough to succeed mostly, but later emperors lacked either one or all three of these and suffered. The Roman authorities’ inability to respond to crisis after crisis all over the empire lead to the change of capital and later the division of the empire into West and East. Local autonomy and decentralization has its benefits.

                      If you’re a republic that massively expands its territorial and economic control, expect things like traditions, political systems and demographics to change by the nature of their incentives. If money is pouring in, corruption will be common and populism will thrive. If a republican system fails to control your territorial gains, something will come to replace it. Empires are naturally multicultural because prosperity attracts everyone.

                      If you want a Pax Romana of moderate non-intervention in a pre-industrial society, stop expanding, fortify your borders and surround yourself with client states. Other problems may come up down the road.

                    4. If you want a Pax Romana of moderate non-intervention in any pre-industrial society, stop expanding, fortify your borders and surround yourself with client states.

                      Indeed.

      2. I don’t know what y’all are talking about. There is too much oil to get and too much plywood to sell to the reconstruction efforts. How are you going to make your cronies rich if you don’t sell biofuel made from subsidized corn to the navy?

        There is a reason we won two world wars in 4 years each and yet we cant keep a lid on a couple of third world backwater shitholes and it aint their combat prowess, believe me.

        1. The unfortunate truth right here.

        2. Did we end up getting any Iraqi oil? I know the contractors were killing it on the rebuild effort.

          1. Not a drop. The Chinese got the rights to the Iraqi oil fields. Lot of good id did them as the infrastructure there is crap and needs hundreds of billions to get up to snuff.

        3. Make America Great Again, or whatever.

      3. Look at what the cartels do down south (Pablo Escobar is so hot right now). We should be treating these groups like the Latin cartels. Which is scare the shit out of them and kill theit “followers”. Nothing else works.

  22. Yeah, I’m too fucked up for full commenting but yeah Osama won with the first restrictions of our freedoms immediately after the bombings. Unfortunately he continues to win day in and day out due to the fact that the leos of this country are traitors.

    1. Fucked up? Let’s talk about your daughter’s wedding dress.

  23. I want to thank Mr. Bailey for pointing out something that will be lost on most this weekend.

    Right after 9/11, I believe he posted a piece about how unlikely a lot of the feared attacks were. The whole nuclear, chemical, biological theme many talking heads put forth. Despite all the horror scenarios people come up with, none of them have come to fruition. I always hear about how devastating a “dirty bomb” would be, but everything I’ve read says the damage would be far less than what it is hyped up to be. I wouldn’t mind seeing an updated version on the science of “weapons of mass destruction”.

    But the terror warriors have a perfect argument every time. If you point out that very little has happened in 15 years, they say it shows our efforts are working. And every time there is an attack, they say it shows what would happen if we let down our guard. Meanwhile we sink deeper in debt and watch freedom erode away.

    Makes one wonder who really won.

    1. There’s a lot to that, but one of things that has gone down the memory hole is the concurrent anthrax attack (which I don’t recall has ever been solved). That fed a lot of the fear of bio attacks. I vaguely recall seeing a straight epidemiological study of a smallpox attack that started, I believe with three or four terrorists who infected a couple of dozen each, maybe (memory is foggy on details), and it was a holocaust because the health care system would collapse very quickly unless we made a response we were completely unequipped to make.

      1. So instead of a small pox attack to collapse the US health care system we get Obamacare.

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  28. Yet another hopelessly misinformed 9/11 article by a er…”libertarian”, complete [as usual] with a 100% fake picture to head it [ i.e. a suitably dramatic looking still frame taken from a 100% fraudulent, supposedly “live” 9/11 plane crash video] . πŸ™‚

    Despite the fact that I expect 99% to 100% of readers here will violently disagree with most of my 4 “crazy ” assertions, here they all are [start foaming at the mouth now, guys and girls]:

    1]9/11 Was A 100% ” Inside Job” :

    9/11 was an inside job, a “psyop” carried out by the US DoD and associated, with the full complicity of the US MSM [ CBS,CNN,ABC,NBC, Fox] , either because the MSM was “steamrollered” into compliance with the military, or because the MSM is wholly owned/operated subsidiary of the US military.

    2] “A Never Ending War For Never Ending Peace”

    The primary goal of the 9/11 psyop was to create a brand new, post collapse of the USSR, guaranteed, ever reliable, forever faceless enemy for the US military state to play with, “for ever and ever, amen”.

    [continued in subsequent post] ……

  29. …In other words, the goal was to create a worldwide faceless enemy [“terrorism”], in a “never ending war for never ending peace”, which would therefore ensure the future “jobs” and positions of 100’s of 1000’s of military personnel who were otherwise going to be out of their “jobs” [basically the military is a gigantic welfare system where the beneficiaries get to wear uniforms, medals and guns etc. ]

    [b]100% Faked “Live” 9/11 TV Footage” [/b]

    3] To that end [see 2 above], the US MSM broadcast 100% faked “live” footage on the morning of 9/11.

    That is, all of the alleged live footage [ planes hitting buildings, buildings collapsing , plus the human”tower jumpers”etc. etc.] were in fact faked, prefabricated, made -on- computer sequences concocted months, possibly years before 9/11, and then broadcast as being “live” footage on 9/11, by the MSM.

    [b]Close To 3,000 Fake 9/11 Victims:[/b]

    4] Most, possibly all of the close to 3,000 alleged victims of the events of 9/11, as listed on the various memorial sites, never even existed in the real world. They are/were fake personalities with faked personal histories and bios, and with faked portraits composed via Photoshop and other image compositing software [e.g. “face morphing” software].

    And so it goes ……

    Happy anniversary πŸ™‚
    Regards, onebornfree.

  30. Whoops, I forgot to include any information links to my assertions:

    My quote :” the US MSM broadcast 100% faked “live” footage on the morning of 9/11.”

    See: http://www.septemberclues.info…..gery.shtml

    My quote: “Most, possibly all of the close to 3,000 alleged victims of the events of 9/11, as listed on the various memorial sites, never even existed in the real world. ”

    See: http://www.septemberclues.info/vicsims.shtml

    Regards, onebornfreeatyahoo

    1. You useless bag of shit, go peddle your conspiracy crap somewhere else. I have friends and shipmates that died at the Pentagon that day. So don’t even try to tell me that these people never existed. Crawl back under your fucking rock and stay there.

      1. Although the most detailed to date research on the alleged 9/11 victims:

        http://www.septemberclues.info/vicsims.shtml

        leads to a tentative conclusion that very few persons, or possibly none, died on 9/11, as most appear to be fake persons who never ever existed in the real world, its possible that some did really exist and die.

        Personally speaking, as the Pentagon , the DoD and associated were the heart and soul of the 9/11 scam, I’d be more than happy if a few real persons at the Pentagon actually did die. It warm the cockles of my heart.

        Unfortunately for me, the evidence seems to point in the other direction. Why don,t you list those you personally knew in the flesh [ i.e had met in real life] here, sailorboy?

        Love and kisses, your “useless bag of shit” πŸ™‚

  31. I’ve been a libertarian since I was 16, and that was 1962, probably before most of the commenters were born. The shit I read on the comment section is unfuckingbelievable! You lot call yourselves libertarians?? We are supposed to be unlocked minds, capable of critical thinking, yet the comments here are like from the ladies’ home and garden!! WTF! The twin towers were a false flag event, the planes didn’t knock them down any more than you could fire a grapefruit from a cannon at an oak tree and turn it into sawdust. it is a physical impossibility!
    Watch Alex Jones and you will learn what a real libertarian is!

  32. kleptowit said :”I’ve been a libertarian since I was 16, and that was 1962, probably before most of the commenters were born. The shit I read on the comment section is unfuckingbelievable! You lot call yourselves libertarians?? ”

    Although I disagree with your recommendation of the obnoxious loudmouth Jones, the rest of your comments are correct. I think its time you faced the fact that the libertarian “movement” was long ago co-opted and is now just another facet of the Republicrat party scam. As was the Tea Party co-opted, early on. And Reason magazine itself has deteriorated from being a readable, interesting, thought provoking mag. [20 25 years ago], to being a hopelessly corrupt mouthpiece for the status quo it pretends to expose. Bailey’s current 9/11 article [and others like it over the years], plus the 100’s of moronic “rah! rah! brainless comments they routinely provoke should be more than enough of a clue and a good reason for you to move on and completely disassociate from todays er.. “libertarianism”. Good riddance- It’s nothing but a bad joke πŸ™‚

    Regards, onebornfreeatyahoo

    it

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