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Brief Comments on the Boston Bombing

2013 April 16
by Ian Welsh

“Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”

- Unknown

That’s most of the necessary commentary, as Boston has already said they’ll be doing random backpack checks (unconstitutional on the face) tomorrow.

I will notice also, that this sort of thing happens all the time in Iraq, because of America and Americans, and essentially no one in the West gives two good God-damns about that.

Finally, I will note that the response to this, as the quote indicates, will be to increase the police state.  In context, your lords and masters (and they consider themselves both, and by your actions and lack of them you confirm they are right) believe that new technologies have made the police state cheaper, and thus affordable.  The alternative to a police state is to take care of people: widespread affluence and liberty.  But the lessons of the late 19th and early 20th century, that technology makes individuals and small groups deadly, and that in modern life  you cannot remove the precursor chemicals from everyone’s hands, have been forgotten, because those who lived through that period are dead, and their children are past their years in power.

And so we walk the road again.  Rather than take care of everyone, we will surveil everyone, and use every attack as an excuse to crack down further.

And the elites are wrong about the cost of the police state, this time, too, because the real cost is in societal stasis, in loss of creativity and actual productive change.  Police states become stagnant, and eventually they crack, because no one believes in them.

83 Responses
  1. April 16, 2013

    A lesson of today, which will be entirely missed by everyone, is that taking off our shoes in airports, and all of the indignity that goes along with that, is an exercise in futility. Safety is an illusion.

    The quote should read, “Any society that would give up any liberty to gain a little security is just plain stupid, because it gives up something precious in a vain effort to obtain something which does not exist.”

  2. Celsius 233 permalink
    April 16, 2013

    A taste of Iraq in America; they live with it every day and have for more than a decade.
    This shouldn’t surprised anyone; long over due IMO.
    Blow-back is hell and inevitable.
    Ian, I agree with all that you post.
    There is a price to be payed for our behavior and it shouldn’t be a police state, but that’s what we have.
    This kind of goes back to responsibility; maybe we should accept some, no?

  3. Oaktown Girl permalink
    April 16, 2013

    Almost no one in this country wants to hear that. I stuck my toe in that water earlier today, didn’t go well. I should have known better, but the memory of the aftermath of 9/11 and how horrifically it was exploited by the powers in this country is just to vivid in my mind.

    When is it not “too soon”? A day? A week? A month? Well while we’re busy bowing our heads and being silent out of “respect” for the victims and their families, the forces that keep the global violence and oppression going for fun and profit are laughing their asses off at this latest windfall.

  4. Ian Welsh permalink*
    April 16, 2013

    If not now, then when? It not when people have how ugly such violence is, when they see the dismembered bodies, then when?

    “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour, that is the whole of the Law, now go and study.”

  5. Tim Graham permalink
    April 16, 2013

    Your quote is from Benjamin Franklin. And on a different matter:

    What ye sow, ye shall reap. (or words to that effect)

  6. Ian Welsh permalink*
    April 16, 2013

    Not sure it’s from Franklin, as best I can tell it’s a modification of Franklin’s quote, which was “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

  7. jjmacjohnson permalink
    April 16, 2013

    Wonder if they will do random brief case checks too? Never seem too.

    I worry about the future and the police state too.

  8. someofparts permalink
    April 16, 2013

    We’re already fully dysfunctional because the nation is utterly mired in corruption, from sea to polluted sea. Color me not surprised at escalating bad outcomes. If one ascribes to the bad apple theory of society, the rest of you should seal the borders and quarantine the lot of us from Portland east to Portland west.

  9. April 16, 2013

    I was fascinated but unsurprised by how quickly some entities decided to jump on the “Saudi man” bandwagon, which seems for now to have fizzled.

  10. Working Class Nero permalink
    April 16, 2013

    The premise of this piece is that atrocities like the Boston Marathon bombing are motivated by poverty. But can you actually link one terrorist attack in the US of the past 20 years to poverty? The initial suspect in this bombing is a very privileged Saudi national. One would suspect he was not motivated by poverty. Instead he is trying to impose his Islamic creed on the world, tiny step by tiny step. Or take financial terrorism as practiced by Wall Street. There is no sector of the population more taken care of than Wall Street banksters and yet they commit crime with impunity. Indeed they are Too Important To Prosecute.

    It is amazing to see how the Left and Right flip-flop their reacts to various atrocities depending on the perps. If a gun nut goes wild in a cinema or elementary school, the Left will zoom in on the details of the carnage and call for police state action to limit guns while the Right pulls the zoom out as far as possible and makes vague references about people –not guns–killing people. If Islamic (or other designated protected victimhood group) terrorists blow people up then the Right calls for firm police state action while the Left pulls the camera back as far as possible and says in so many words, poverty — not ideological idiots—kill people.

  11. dearieme permalink
    April 16, 2013

    From whom did Franklin lift it? Anyway, my first instinct was almost exactly Bill H’s – most security theatre either doesn’t increase security at all, or merely diverts the insecurity elsewhere. Maybe there are bits of the “security” at airports that are worth the fuss, but how can we tell?

  12. C Ward permalink
    April 16, 2013

    Bomb goes off on Patriot Day — in Boston….. uh, seems a no brainer to me.

    I hated Bush Chainey — voted O and think it was date rape. I hate my government, Wall St, Big banks – root for bank robbers. As a fully disfunctional former Main St boomer — I fully understand why a bomb might go off in Boston on Patriot Day.

    This disfunctional hell we call America makes everybody crazy haters. You simply cannot take 7 billion people and mix em together in some toxic capitalistic cocktail – and tell us to “play nice now” — …

    Especially when the game is rigged in favor of some at the top and bottom – and against all others. Add environmental degradation to this police state lunacy and Tim McVeigh starts looking like a failed hero. Sorry — America did its job on me too… I hate everybody.

  13. April 16, 2013

    Amen.

  14. Antifa permalink
    April 16, 2013

    A quote from the Wall Street Journal:

    “Paul Thompson, a spectator who is a sports cardiologist, has researched and published extensively about the health implications of running the Boston Marathon. Driving away from the bloody scene near the finish line Monday, Dr. Thompson couldn’t speak without crying.

    “For what? For what?” said the 65-year-old. “These people are totally innocent. They’re not engaged in combat.”

    This gentleman’s statement, unfortunately, is at variance with reality, and only demonstrates the bubble of Exceptionality that Americans are conditioned to live within.

    America has just spent $3 Trillion dollars since 9/11 violating international laws by the bucket full — beginning with the supreme international law we hung Nazi politicians for in 1948 — waging aggressive war. We have waged war and tortured thousands in a dozen different countries over the past decades wherever we wanted their resources or wanted to control other nations’ access to their resources.

    And we did it as if we have the right to do so. Fifty people were killed and 300 wounded by bombs in Iraq yesterday, and it barely made the headlines here. They’re not Americans so it isn’t like it’s real, or matters.

    To anyone at the receiving end of our aggressive and illegal wars, every single American is very much “in combat.” Those whose family members we have killed actually expect every decent American to do something effective about stopping all the killing. They do.

    Absent that American response, the asymmetrical warfare represented by terrorist bombings is about the only effective means of fighting American aggression and surveillance.

  15. Ian Welsh permalink*
    April 16, 2013

    Sigh.

    It is not “motivated” by poverty, but if people were taken care of, it would likely not have happened. These are not precisely the same thing. Think a little about many of the gun killings which were committed by people, who, 40 years ago, would have been in a mental health institution.

    Taking care of everyone included taking care of people in the Middle East in a way that did not include bombing the shit out of them and that included moving the US off oil, which if done properly would have produced a lot of jobs and undermined the oilarchies in the Middle East.

    These things are all connected.

  16. April 16, 2013

    Speculation this early in is very problematic. Even if one turns out to be right, it doesn’t remove the fact that one’s own prejudices are exposed by predicting from an information vacuum.

    But I really wanted to comment on this “poverty” thing. It’s reflexive to think of it in terms of material wealth, but there are other kinds of poverty. Being subjugated as a tool of bullying superpowers is another kind of poverty, no matter how “bought off” that superpower may think you are.

    Of course, I have nothing but contempt for the narcissistic objectification of living beings as fodder for the expression of grievance, not matter what that grievance may be.

  17. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 16, 2013

    The following comment was censored from another blog I visit. The author of the post that was the focus of the comment, amongst other things, said about the bombing:

    our nation reeled

    Really? It reeled? The only reeling that was going on was the film from the non-stop coverage to further “our nation” in its addiction to victimized catastrophe. We don’t enable it in our home. No news coverage, period. The news turns potential to fudge. It turns brilliant minds to dust. It’s a destroyer. It shapes everyone who watches it into homogenous lumps of nondescript gelatin.

    We weren’t reeling, in any of the usages of that word. In fact, the event wasn’t even mentioned. We had many more immediate and important conflicts that required our attention. For example, my son and I watched Saving Private Ryan and we discussed how he must never, ever go to war because war is not about protecting your family, it’s about securing profits for the legalized thieves amongst us. Together, we dissected Spielberg’s propaganda piece and the director’s motives became rather transparent. Tonight, we’ll watch some Oliver Stone’s Untold History of the United States to gain a more accurate picture of how things really work.

  18. someofparts permalink
    April 16, 2013

    Georg Lukács said that Marx characterized economics as based on relationships – especially historical relationships. Reification describes the opposite of that. In other words, a complete disconnection from understanding economics or community as rooted in history and human relations, is the defining reified mindset of our fellow citizens.

    Anyone still in that matrix is a potential agent. Meanwhile, from what I can tell, the millions who don’t have work or food are not only not in the matrix, they’re in hunger games, a whole different movie.

    My sense of it is that I certainly want to keep an eye on the people who are still in the matrix of amerikan exceptionalism, pretty much for the same reason I keep an eye on any aggressive, unstable dog. You never know what the chronically irrational may do, so ’tis best to keep an eye on ‘em.

    Meanwhile though, all the folks getting kicked out of the matrix and into hunger games may be the ones who will change things if they get a chance. Maybe those are the people that should be our focus.

  19. Working Class Nero permalink
    April 16, 2013

    “It is not “motivated” by poverty, but if people were taken care of, it would likely not have happened.”

    This sounds like a sort of religious mantra. Did you even attempt to falsify it in your head before you wrote it? Has there ever been a state in the history of the world that has “taken care” of its people enough to avoid the realities of human nature? No. But has any country ever come close. I would say the nation that comes closest to taking care of its people would be modern day Norway with exceptionally low poverty and the highest standard of living in the world along with the best welfare state and strict gun laws. Their foreign policy is one of the nicest in the history of human states. So they would most “likely” be spared these types of terrorist attacks? No of course not, even Norway suffered a terrible attack where young teenagers were massacred at a political gathering. And so your theory is shown to be wrong.

    It is the nature of humans to slaughter and kill each other, often for the stupidest of reasons. The only way a state could ever stop this is by becoming an all good, all powerful and omniscient, totalitarian state. I think I would rather suffer the occasional terrorist attack than ever believe that such is state is even possible, let alone desirable. But then again I’m an atheist; it would take the delusions of a religious nut to believe the state could become God.

  20. BlizzardOfOz permalink
    April 16, 2013

    It’s unbelievable, and I don’t completely understand it, but I swear that people in this country are never so blissful as right after a “terrorist” attack in one of our cities. Listen to them wax nostalgic about how everyone came together in the days after 9/11; to the rhapsodic, flamboyant parading of their feelings of grief; the dick-measuring promises of “war” on the imagined perpetrators. Meanwhile, the government they support continues to brutally slaughter 10 times the number of people, *every day*, as the lives taken by the latest domestic act of violence, false-flag or not, to trigger their self-righteous peacocking; of which irony scarcely a hint of awareness will ever creep into their collective consciousness.

    I know this sounds harsh, but the hypocrisy is revolting to me. There’s something seriously wrong with these people.

  21. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    April 16, 2013

    When the adjective ‘terrorism’ or ‘terrorist’ is first uttered, abandon all hope to find resolution, you have lost the ability to respond in any meaningful manner. The 11 September 2001 presented the country with a bridge having a fork in its span and only one path forward of the two choices presented in the fork. Those choices were either ‘terrorist’ or ‘criminality’. Terrorist was the path taken, without reflection, once crossed that bridge cannot be crossed again.

    The national baying for blood has yet to reach a crescendo in the latest atrocity of 15 April but it is abundantly clear in the hours since that no valid political claim has been publicly lodged. ‘Terrorism’ is an absolute political act and grows in soils of great inequality. Once again, for whatever political gain that may be harvested from ‘terrorism’, and do not dismiss public revenge or seen to do public revenge as the motive and the power derived from that stance. The country again has a bridge with a fork in its spans. It is increasingly doubtful that reflection will be made that not ‘terrorism’ has taken place, but a crime of heinous atrocity was visited upon defenseless bystanders, and again the fork ‘terrorism’ is where the public will be guided toward the shores of thoughtless revenge.

    Winston Churchill, that fabulous optimist, once declared that the americans would in the end get whatever right – after they’ve tried everything else.

  22. Rob Grigjanis permalink
    April 16, 2013

    Oaktown Girl: “I stuck my toe in that water earlier today, didn’t go well.”

    This is one of the few sites I know of where the water is reliably reality-friendly on these delicate matters. I wouldn’t even take my socks off anywhere else, never mind dip a toe.

    Like the gun ‘debate’, it’s always too soon, and always too fucking late.

  23. nobody permalink
    April 16, 2013

    “Think a little about many of the gun killings which were committed by people, who, 40 years ago, would have been in a mental health institution.”

    This is an appalling comment, Ian, both the pernicious propagation of the “mental health” and violence linkage, and in the implicit endorsement of mass institutionalization of people with mental differences from that which is designated “normal.”

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2011/01/crazy_talk.html

    http://depts.washington.edu/mhreport/facts_violence.php

  24. nobody permalink
    April 16, 2013

    “Prior to the 1960′s, people with significant disabilities were invariably incarcerated in state-run institutions. People with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and sensory or physical disabilities were kept in appalling and inhumane conditions often far worse than criminals were subjected to, even at the time. Deinstitutionalization is a process that began to occur in the 1960′s in which people with significant disabilities were gradually released from institutions to return to their communities where treatment was to be available. This process created for the first time in American history an opportunity, an imperative, for people with disabilities to live free and independent lives. From this, a community and a culture with history, values, and an objective were born. As with any minority, the real battle would come in winning the support of the public. The movement toward deinstitutionalization came about through disability activism… Although deinstitutionalization was a victory for the disability community, the public did not yet believe that people with disabilities were entirely entitled to their civil and human rights regardless of disability.

    “Emancipation from state-run institutions came for the disability community amidst massive Civil Rights Movements nationally and abroad. Leaders of the disability community began to realize that our human rights and civil liberties would come only as we fought for them… But society’s unwelcoming attitude did not change.”

    http://www.virginianavigator.org/vn/the-disability-rights-and-independent-living-movements/article-24183.aspx

  25. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 16, 2013

    It’s a safe bet if we were to apply the psychological standards of the early twentieth century today, the majority of the population would be institutionalized. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, anyone? Looking through early twentieth century glasses, we’re all escapees who need to be rounded up. No wonder Rove waxed nostalgic for the Gilded Age; eighty percent of the population drugged and taking marching orders from Nurse Ratched. Wait just a damn minute, this is an institution, and we are drugged, and Nurse Ratched is delivering orders. We didn’t escape, but rather dug ourselves deeper in.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxNEiZhpinY

  26. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 16, 2013

    If you can’t bring them to the institution, bring the institution to them. That’s it. That’s what’s happened. There is no getting out of this place. Savoir faire is everywhere.

  27. Oaktown Girl permalink
    April 16, 2013

    @Rob Grigjanis – Yes, you are exactly right. That’s why I came here last night, seeking an oasis in the darkness, even before an email alert arrived letting me know there was a new post up. Thank you, Rob.

  28. jcapan permalink
    April 16, 2013

    Blizzard, ever read Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle?

  29. Crocodile Chuck permalink
    April 16, 2013

    Quote: Benjamin Franklin

  30. Alcuin permalink
    April 16, 2013

    @Ian: “The alternative to a police state is to take care of people: widespread affluence and liberty.”

    On the Commons

  31. C Ward permalink
    April 16, 2013

    I learned about it so late last night, I only just realized…. Patriot Day – Boston – April 15.

    Both the immigration and gun bills have been tabled.

    Silver linings point to the perps.

    AGAIN – I am pretty much immune to this stuff anymore – so long as it doesn’t hit me or mine…. I’m conditioned by this disfunctional culture to hate or mistrust anyone beyond my own group.

    Hamilton’s Rule. – we are hard wired to care only for those who are like us – an evolutionary strategy for survival that pits OUR people against THOSE people.

    A hundred years in the washing machine of American democracy changes NOTHING.

    There are MY people….. and OTHER people who just don’t matter.

    I consider myself a victim of terrorism too. Bush, O, Wall St, Big banks, the Pentagon and TSA make my life hell on a daily basis. So much like what Audrey Hepburn said to Cary Grant in the opening scenes of Charade — I already know too many people, and until one of them dies, I have no time or energy for anyone else OR their problems.

    African and Asian children are so far down my dance card that I look at them as unwanted potential breeders who eat monkeys and dogs. yuk….

    So when tragedy strikes somewhere else — I pretty much don’t care. I have been an attentive student of American society these past 65 years. This is just what should have been expected.

    —the immigration and gun bills WERE stalled because of this event. Will everybody hate me if I — well, you get the point.

  32. April 16, 2013

    Ian,

    Cold comfort I know but this could have been a lot worse.

    The presence of nails and ball bearings coupled with a small amount of explosives or weak explosives is generally indicative of a group or a person that can’t get their hands on large amounts of explosives.

    This was true of Northern Ireland for loyalist and unionist groups whose devices were loaded with BBs and nails for just this reason. They couldn’t get their hands on enough explosives to demolish buildings so they went for maximum damage to people.

    The same was true of the bombing of a gay night club, a supermarket in Brixton (the Iceland supermarket in Electric Avenue Brixton has a large Black community) and in Brick Lane East London (a lot of Bangladeshis live in the streets around Brick Lane). That set of bombings was carried out by one neo-Nazi acting alone

    See: David Copeland – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and BBC News | The nail bomb terror | Two dead in London nail bomb for details.

    It’s been suggested that this was a cascade bombing but I don’t think that that is the case. Cascaded bombings are generally aimed at responders. That does not appear to have been the case here.

    As a former felix I want to know WTF the police were doing or rather not doing. A large event like that is an inviting target for all sorts of attacks. The area where the blasts took place should have been searched thoroughly and then placed under strict patrolling and 24 hour camera surveillance for at least 48 hours before the bombings.

    The main point though is these were small bombs as the low levels of physical damage and the low casualty levels prove. Who ever did it they don’t have a good A&L team behind them and that’s good news.

    mfi

  33. Bernard permalink
    April 16, 2013

    we are already too far down the Rabbit hole. it is obvious though, violence just draws the noose tigher around the average American, were he to notice such things. i had never like reading the “Hunger Games” due to its’ portrayal of Americans as being subjects to outright control by the Elites. Watching the response to the Boston violence has shown me we are already there. Control is the aim and the result. Nor do i think Americans have any clue about much. the divide and conquer strategy worked.

    where i live we are told there are “military games” scheduled, so ignore flying helicopters and the noise with them. we are told not to be “concerned” so “they” say. one thing is sure, i won’t have to worry about “enemies foreign”. those domestic ones, well, that is another matter. too late even if i were to object.

    then again, we have so many guns and crazies enough that makes Iraq look like a walk in the park. that may be the American way to control the sheep. it seems to be working well. we certainly don’t “need” bombers” aka Boston, to instill fear and panic, on a daily basis. these really are interesting times.

  34. April 16, 2013

    @ Bernard – April 16, 2013

    then again, we have so many guns and crazies enough that makes Iraq look like a walk in the park. that may be the American way to control the sheep. it seems to be working well. we certainly don’t “need” bombers” aka Boston, to instill fear and panic, on a daily basis. these really are interesting times.

    That is complete and utter nonsense which only somebody who hasn’t lived in the country could write. The government and people of the USA cynically viciously with malice and with forethought destroyed every social structure in Irak. Everything that keeps a society from decaying into a Hobbesian state of nature was wrecked. The USA then flooded the place with weapons and money in an almost successful attempt to tear the place apart by fomenting civil war. The result of the American war against Irak and its people was more than one million dead civilians. More than one million households headed either by a widow or by a teenage child under the age of sixteen. And more than 5 MILLION ORPHANS. The country still doesn’t have a decent water treatment system after USA bombed the very good one that existed there to bits. They still don’t have a properly functioning electrical grid or health system after the USA wrecked the ones that were there. The economy is a wreck and a country which used to export rice and wheat now imports a huge percentage of all its food.

    In the face of all that do you think you could have the elementary decency to refrain from hyperbolic sniveling about how bad things are in the USA?

    mfi

  35. jcapan permalink
    April 16, 2013

    What MFI just said.

  36. April 17, 2013

    no one in the West gives two good God-damns about that

    Ahem ….

    mfi

    (Sorry Ian couldn’t resist)

  37. Everythings Jake permalink
    April 17, 2013

    This sort of puts us to shame.

    Iraqi Boys Mourn with Boston

    I dunno, maybe it’s exploitative.

    Unclear what it will take to wake Americans from their slumber and take responsibility. Easy to blame the thoroughness with which they are indoctrinated by propaganda on the one hand, on the other, we really do need to wake the hell up.

  38. Everythings Jake permalink
    April 17, 2013

    Also, I observe that this has gutted attention to Obama’s proposal to cut social security, privatize the TVA, etc. I wonder if it’ll resurface. The McChrystal affair effectively killed frotn page coverage of the Gulf oil spill.

    “AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?” – Joe Bageant

  39. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 17, 2013

    As a former felix I want to know WTF the police were doing or rather not doing. A large event like that is an inviting target for all sorts of attacks. The area where the blasts took place should have been searched thoroughly and then placed under strict patrolling and 24 hour camera surveillance for at least 48 hours before the bombings.

    This is precisely the response Ian asserts will come from this. Draconian Police State tactics for any and all events. Citizens increasingly spying on their neighbors and fellow citizens and reporting them to “authorities.” An escalation of basic mistrust of the world and everyone around you. The replacement of genuine community with the cold, banal, sadistic protector State.

    You can shove it, MFI. I know who you are, and I’ve been tracking you at other sites where you and your pals have been running co-optation interference. For the unwitting, you’d be wise to see this MFI for who he is, and keep your distance. You and me are always going to be on opposite sides, MFI. You and your kind are cowardly bullies who hide behind a veil of faux concern. It’s imperative people wisen up to this charade as things continue to disintegrate, because MFI and his ilk will deliver you into the hands of the rising mafia thugs. Don’t let them.

  40. April 17, 2013

    I know who you are,

    Who I am is a matter of public record. Name, rank, and serial number to coin a phrase. All in the public domain. Feel free to plaster the information all around the place.

    As to the remainder of your hostile babbling by all means continue to demonstrate both your ignorance – in every sense of that word, and your political impotence. If that’s what pleases you keep on at it. Do you really think I care even remotely what you do, say, think, or write?

    mfi

  41. April 17, 2013

    @ Formerly T-Bear April 16, 2013

    Now it’s all very well being a fabulous optimist, or even an optimistic fabulist, but I think I’ll stick with being a gloomy and morose old pessimist. It makes for a relaxed and enjoyable life – all my surprises are pleasant ones.

    mfi

  42. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    April 17, 2013

    @ markfromireland (how did you do that link bit?)

    Sarcasm, like brandy, is best in small sips and savoured for nuances; but then you knew that.

    In all probability, I shall not live long enough to see the day when victims of bomb-blasts in Pakistan, and Afghanistan, and Iran, and Iraq, and Indonesia, and Syria, and Somalia and the dozen or more other places bombs are igniting, those defenseless victims, are accorded the same shock and concern as those victims in Boston. It would seem sensical that the world’s governments create and open political channels to hear the powerless and in some manner offer redress of those grievances that fuel these desperate acts of the disadvantaged. If not, these damaging acts are sure to continue; some initiative needs be found to try bringing to a halt these inhuman scenes.

    And yes, rather the pessimist and be pleasantly surprised than the optimist and bitterly disappointed – always. A post script: thought you handled the opinionated one having no stated specifics or facts quite well.

  43. David Kowalski permalink
    April 17, 2013

    I recently read an article in the Smithsonian magazine which stated that the reason crime rose was ethyl lead poisoning and the major reason it has fallen is the elimination of the additive. Apparently, it can be proven on both the statistical model (in different states and countries) and on the molecular level. The expensive police state, community policing with emphasis on petty crimes, imprisonment, and the drug war has had minimal effect.

    I also saw recently that the weapon (pressure cooker bombs with shrapnel) and the event (international sporting event with a strong running focus) line up pretty closely with the Atlanta bombing by an anti-abortion nut. He, too, did not claim responsibility and also left over 100 wounded (but 20 dead).

    Right wing talk radio has been carping against Massachusetts since McGovern carried the state in 1972. Rush Limbaugh, et al. may deserve a big share of the blame for this atrocity as well as the religious right. As usual, if the Obama government cracks down on anyone, it will be the general public and pretty peaceful left-wing or non-ideological groups (PETA or the Humane Society).

  44. C Ward permalink
    April 17, 2013

    Has no one noticed that each of these “events” – from Waco, to Matthew Sheppard hanging on a fence, to 9/11, to now Boston — have one thing in common.

    Each “event” – serves to demonize a specific group or interest out of power in the White House.

    Bill Clinton needed to infiltrate and eliminate the militias – he made use of the dead gay male on a fence –

    Bush’s false flag demonized Arabs, Iraqis, Saudis…

    Now Obama gets his turn…. another terrorist attack … but THIS TIME, the enemy is the white Tea Party anti government type. O doesn’t need evil Muslims… he needs evil Tea Partiers.

    I was played like a cheap ukelele for 24 hours… only because every news story omitted the obvious. April 15, Patriot Day and Boston…. everybody was so so eager to wait for evidence of ‘who might have done this’…. yeah right.

    The ever present ‘drill’ during attacked in England, Spain, 9/11 et al provide cover and layers of explanation to the local yokels.

    anti-terror exercises are useful to false flag terrorists in the dark corners of a military industrial complex that has a vested interest in war and terror. They provide both a cover story if things go wrong and an explanation to colleagues not in the know if they should chance upon a plot.

    Boston was crawling with bomb sniffing dogs and snipers…. and loud speakers kept telling everybody “it’s only a drill”….. the stories of more bombs that were found… and then the following disinfo that told us no more bombs were found serves the same purpose..

    The phony drill was cover for the Manchurian [probably some Indiana militia kid] AND the phony story of bombs deactivated made it seem like the military presence made a difference.

    “It could have been so much worse!” —

    Jesus I hate this government. And you just know Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity are seething because this was O’s event…. and they have to play along… cuz Bush/Cheney did it with impunity…. Nobody can afford to level with the American people about the depths of the depravity by both sides each time they conduct one of the exercises “for the greater good.”

    BARF

  45. C Ward permalink
    April 17, 2013

    I know the wife of the spook who initiated the Matthew Sheppard conflict that gave Bill Clinton his ‘victim’… and thus, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

    this is how it works..

    Clinton gathers his ‘ministers’… telling them it’s tough to get congress to move on gay rights…”The American people don’t understand how dangerous it is to be gay in this country!”

    Those are the walking papers. We now have plausible deniability… no paper trail or direct orders… and the wheels of government begin to turn.

    An “operative”.. in this case, an aging alcoholic former special forces goon – who can be locked up in a nano second should things go south….

    is sent to Denver — posing as gay – then instigates the entire event in the bar that night – next thing ya know Matthew Sheppard is accused of ‘hitting’ on some knuckle dragging cowboy and is found dead on a fence… beaten to death

    by evil white men

    BINGO… Don’t Ask Don’t Tell… AND a host of other goodies for gays.

    I know the wife…. she knows the story…. ex hubby is now in jail for some other event gone south

    after a long weary career of dirty jobs and deeds for whatever sociopath is head of that department in any given administration.

    ONE THING … judge each media event during any administration by how often the PERPS are natural enemies of the party in power…

    Ask yourself… during an Obama administration.. would there be terror attacks by Black Muslims? Angry Mexican nationals? Militant Lesbians?

    NO — those are the perps in a Republican administration.

  46. April 17, 2013

    @ Formerly T-Bear April 17, 2013

    Step 1: Copy & paste the text. Such as “Formerly T-Bear permalink
    April 17, 2013″

    Step 2: Using firefox addon copy & paste the location of the permalink

    You’ll have something like this:

    <a href=”http://www.ianwelsh.net/brief-comments-on-the-boston-bombing/#comment-27140″>permalink</a>

    Step 3: A little bit of editing of replace ‘permalink’ with in this case the “Formerly T-Bear … ”
    April 17, 2013″

    Reading the above it sounds far more of a rigmarole than it is. It takes seconds and adding the location of the comment in question helps those reading the conversation (including me later on) keep track of exactly which comment I’m replying to.

    There probably exist add-ons that allow one to do this in Chrome. I strongly doubt there are add-ons that allow it for Internet Explorer.

    I have, always have had, a somewhat bleak view of humanity and what we can get up to. I’d love to believe that someday that Westerners will enter into the dialogue you describe but I don’t. Not unless they’re forced to it. I agree it’s needed and the sensible course of action but I’m a pessimist and am convinced that when Barbara Tuchman wrote “The March of Folly” that she was on to something.

    That doesn’t mean the effort shouldn’t be made. At one point in my life it was expedient for me to learn Dutch. They have a proverb that they attribute to William of Orange :

    “Het is niet nodig te hopen om te ondernemen, noch te slagen om te volharden.”

    Which in English means – “One need not hope in order to undertake, nor succeed in order to persevere”.

    They batter you with it repeatedly during tutorials and just before exams but it’s a good starting point for many enterprises including bringing Westerners in particular American Westerners to their senses.

    mfi

  47. April 17, 2013

    @ David Kowalski April 17, 2013

    That sounds like an interesting article. Do you happen to have a link?

    TIA

    mfi

  48. Ian Welsh permalink*
    April 17, 2013

    That the mental health care system was horrific does not change the fact that leaving such people on the street, or inadequately cared for, is also horrific. I dislike anecdotes but one of my acquaintances is a paranoid Schizophrenic, and to say that the care he has received is atrocious is a vast understatement.

    If you care for people, they are far less likely to engage in large-scale violence. If they have meaningful work to do that lets them live a dignified life, they are far less likely to become terrorists. This goes far past the mentally ill, and into caring for ordinary people in other countries, as well. People nod and smile and say we’re all linked, but they don’t act like it.

    As for the police in Boston, it is interesting (ahem) that they are wearing torso armor, but no leg armor. I guess the Iraq war didn’t happen, or something.

  49. jcapan permalink
    April 17, 2013

    Isn’t it also a question of medication? Whether they’ve been overly medicated or gone off their meds. I know most mentally ill who act out violently suffer from some sort of addiction–it can only be compounded by the legal narcotization practices.

  50. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    April 18, 2013

    markfromireland
    April 17, 2013

    (Test of typing handiwork, firefox or chrome na)
    And Thanks

  51. April 18, 2013

    @ Ian Welsh April 17, 2013

    I’ve been told by a US Army surgeon with experience of both Irak and Afghanistan that leg armour isn’t all that useful.

    And thanks for reminding me to say what I should have said above about how it could have been worse. The bombs were placed on the ground level. The blast was up and out as can be seen very clearly from the injuries. If the bomber(s) could have placed them one metre up – at waist height. The casualty levels would have been far far worse.

    If you care for people, they are far less likely to engage in large-scale violence. If they have meaningful work to do that lets them live a dignified life, they are far less likely to become terrorists. This goes far past the mentally ill, and into caring for ordinary people in other countries, as well. People nod and smile and say we’re all linked, but they don’t act like it.

    Couldn’t agree more.

    mfi

  52. April 18, 2013

    While we’re on the subject of explosions and in an attempt to forestall conspiracy mongering about the explosion at the Texan fertiliser factory.

    From the reports it’s the classic industrial accident for that industry.

    The plant used the Haber (Haber-Bosch process) Process in which you use atmospheric nitrogen to make Ammonia, the process involves very high pressures and very high heat.

    The Haber Process for the manufacture of ammonia

    The process and technology involved go back to World War I.

    mfi

  53. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 18, 2013

    Is this conspiracy mongering? I think not. It’s spot-on and highly accurate. Does the line exist anymore between infiltration and complicity? I don’t think it does. The Intelligence Services have now become what they’ve infiltrated. No conspiracy necessary. It’s just a natural progression when you dance with the devil.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rjW03McCgfw

  54. The Tragically Flip permalink
    April 18, 2013

    Someone mentioned the Norway massacre. I think even a tour through the Wikipedia page highlights how their response to that tragedy differed from what America does when bad stuff happens:

    “At a press conference the morning after the attacks, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Justice Minister Knut Storberget addressed the country. Stoltenberg called the attack a “national tragedy” and the worst atrocity in Norway since World War II. Stoltenberg further vowed that the attack would not hurt Norwegian democracy, and said the proper answer to the violence was “more democracy, more openness, but not naivety”.[212] In his speech at the memorial service on 24 July 2011, he opined what would be a proper reaction: “No one has said it better than the AUF girl who was interviewed by CNN: ‘If one man can show so much hate, think how much love we could show, standing together.’”[213][214]

    The leader of the Workers’ Youth League, Eskil Pedersen, vowed to “return to Utøya” and urged Norway to continue its tradition of openness and tolerance.[215]”

    There’s no mention of reactionary and ill concieved laws being passed, remarkable considering Breivik even tried to kill the Prime Minister.

    Oh, and when a report concluded that the Police mishandled the response to the Island shootings, the national police chief resigned. Accountability, imagine that.

  55. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 18, 2013

    Talk about over-the-top. What emergency? It’s over. Done. There is no emergency. There never was. What the hell? And there’s the burgeoning DHS at the forefront, ready, willing and increasingly able to protect the Fatherland at any and all costs.

    http://www.policymic.com/articles/36089/president-obama-signs-massachusetts-emergency-declaration

    President Obama has signed an emergency declaration for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts tonight opening up the door for the state to recieve additional federal funding in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.

    “The President today declared an emergency exists in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and ordered federal aid to supplement commonwealth and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from explosions on April 15, 2013, and covering eligible activities through April 22, 2013. The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Middlesex, Norfolk, and Suffolk. Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. Emergency protective measures, including direct federal assistance, will be provided at 75 percent federal funding.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named James N. Russo as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.

  56. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 19, 2013

    Is this a Crossing the Rubicon moment? I think it is. Insane. Where do we go from here?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMJBlg3nA3s

  57. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 19, 2013

    This is eerily similar to Fahrenheit 451. What’s the burning point temperature of Baked Beans? Anyone know?

    The entire city of Boston and surrounding suburbs have been put on Lockdown, and major cities around the U.S. are freaking out over any suspicious package they see, shutting down traffic for miles and miles.

    Can’t you just smell the coffee brewing? It’s a new dawn in this brave new world.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/04/19/17822687-boston-transit-shut-down-nearly-1-million-sheltering-in-place-amid-terror-hunt?lite

    All services on the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority were suspended authorities announced earlier on Friday.

    All Boston Public School activities were canceled. All city employees were told to stay in place and not come to work. If they are already at work, they have been asked to stay in place.

    Trial courthouses and offices in Cambridge, Brighton, Newton, and Waltham were closed until further notice. Jurors for courthouses at the Suffolk Superior Court and Brooke Courthouses were told to stay home.

    People waiting for buses or other transit services should head home and stay there, police said earlier on Friday. No vehicular traffic was being allowed in or out of Watertown, where police engaged in a shootout overnight with men armed with explosives. A no-fly zone was instituted over the Watertown area, the Federal Aviation Administration announced.

  58. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 19, 2013

    You knew it was coming. It’s here.

    http://proxy.storify.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fpbs.twimg.com%2Fmedia%2FBIO2OZ0CQAA42hx.jpg

    Neil Diamond’s Coming To America has now taken on a whole new meaning.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRTHdC7k4uY

  59. jcapan permalink
    April 19, 2013

    I beg of anyone driving in Watertown, Mass, including the police, give us a little mercy and run over Wolf Blitzer.

  60. Everythings Jake permalink
    April 19, 2013

    jcapan: I beg of anyone driving in Watertown, Mass, including the police, give us a little mercy and run over Wolf Blitzer.

    Right, I can see John King’s news report now: “My sources, my very well placed sources, important sources, good sources say it’s a DARK car that ran him over, I won’t say anymore because this is sensitive, when I mention DARK. I know when I say the car was DARK that’s liable to cause a lot of people to be upset, that DARK is very loaded, but it’s not me that said DARK, or wants to say DARK, I’m not happy to have to report that it was DARK. It’s what I was told, it was a DARK car.”

  61. jcapan permalink
    April 20, 2013

    E-Jake, merely reading your rendition of his douchery is enough. Only in these moments of national insanity do I even think of turning on CNN International. But even my masochism goes only so far–kept everything muted the whole week.

    Two thoughts: 1) The powers that be couldn’t ask for a better distraction while they dismantle the New Deal. 2) The media’s rapturous paean to the police state just set the cause back years. As a family member just told me, “Surveillance may be all big brother-y but I don’t have anything to hide.”

    Absent Wolfie the speed bump, the second-best option would have been for the intrepid adversarial journolist to get down on his knees and blow one of those paratroopers. That’s what it amounts to–corporate media in bed with the fascist state.

  62. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    April 20, 2013

    What a disgusting, revulsive display of utter incompetence in Boston 19 April 2013.
    What was revealed to the watching world was NOT police work, it was Hollywood motion picture location but sans script, direction, plot or reason, done by less than rank amateurs who shouldn’t have or carry anything more dangerous than baby rattles.

    What the watching world saw was nothing more than faux adults afraid of their own shadows. There is no police work that ends in “Victory”, the only law enforcement conclusion that ever applies is “successfully ended”. Just how many jackbooted police officers are required to apprehend one very scared boy? Has the number of police present ever been established?

    The streets were black with police uniforms but then the public was ordered to stay in their pens so not to interfere with operations, no doubt sheeple is the correct designation. The gestapo isn’t any better. No mention was ever made of giving the suspects a safe way to surrender, or to provide some legal assistance (or intersession of religious authority) that they would trust. No it is guns blazing, look how brave we are heroics.

    Now five have needlessly died and too many injured, and for what end, for what end? The police and their political masters have brought no credit upon themselves whatsoever after the fierce gun fusillade that ended the life of the first suspect (how many shots were actually fired there) in the middle of a residential area no less, showing a dire need to send those handling firearms back to basic training on how, when and where to discharge firearms and how to find other options instead of endangering anyone’s life.

    That location was not treated as a crime scene but a movie set location. No mention has been reported if either of the suspects had on their person when captured a mobile phone. Just how easy would it be to locate those phones by GPS signals. The sheeple will never know those things, the gestapo are not about to tell and their vaunted media are not about to ask.

    That one suspect was able to flee this shooting location, apparently wounded and bleeding profusely, how come the blood trail being laid was not found and followed. The mental midgets controlling thought it more productive to have a regional lockdown of a major metropolitan area – just in case. In case of what? Some irrational fear, no doubt.

    Again, no indication that some safe way to surrender was being announced, but rather an army of well armed and outfitted posse was put on the streets. Professional vigilante’s running amok. All for a frightened lad of 19. God must have loved assholes, so many were showing.

    In all, those pretending Homeland and Security have displayed their abilities and those abilities are wanting. The police state was revealed in its totality and the sight cannot be anything but disturbing, as unconscionable as it is. The sheeple need kiss good-by to any resemblance of a republic, that no longer exists. This is something else entirely.

  63. Celsius 233 permalink
    April 20, 2013

    Formerly T-Bear
    April 20, 201

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    A powerful piece; scratches a couple of itches for sure…

  64. S Brennan permalink
    April 20, 2013

    My thoughts on the past days events…told in two vignettes.

    I am driving along on a pleasant Texas evening. Absently mindedly, I listen to my citizen band when I hear the call come over the speaker, a fertilizer plant is on fire. I wheel my truck around and head for the danger. You don’t know me, but I am a member of a VFD [Volunteer Fire Department], my spare time is spent bringing people to safety, this is my duty as God gave me the light to see it…and I will be dead in twenty minutes. I will be killed by an explosion larger than any conventional warhead the US military has, it will devastate one quarter of a town. You will never know my name, only my community will know of my service.

    I live in the Boston area, I am angry at the world…and I have chosen to express my anger by making my shitty world just a little bit shittier. I will be dead in two days. I am going to do something really awful then run away and hide. Because I am a big eff-up, nothing will really work the way I planned, the majority of bombs won’t work and I will be ID’d and surrounded. Rather than face trial…with the shame that would bring to me…for the people I betrayed, I will shoot it out with the cops. My reasoning for the whole thing are a little unclear, even to me, but I will be feted with publicity, you will know every detail of my life. Everything that ticked me off in will be the subject of national discussion. The press will focus on ME, I will be remembered, long after my pathetic life is over.

  65. April 20, 2013

    “It is the nature of humans to slaughter and kill each other, often for the stupidest of reasons.”

    Actually, the converse is true.

    It takes a LOT of oppression or training to get people to kill. The violent videos that train our children to kill were developed by the US Army, precisely to overcome humans natural AVERSION to killing. From the back cover of On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society By Lt. Col. Dave Grossman :

    IN WORLD WAR II, ONLY 15 TO 20 PERCENT OF COMBAT INFANTRY WERE WILLING TO FIRE THEIR RIFLES. IN KOREA ABOUT 50 PERCENT, IN VIETNAM, THE FIGURE ROSE TO MORE THAN 90 PERCENT.”

    What Heinrich Harrar observed in Tibet:

    “One cannot close one’s heart to the religious fervor which radiates from everyone. After a short time in the country, it was no longer possible for one to thoughtlessly kill a fly, and I have never in the presence of a Tibetan squashed an insect which bothered me. The attitude of the people in this matter is really touching. If at a picnic an ant crawls up one’s clothes, it is gently picked and set down. It is a catastrophe when a fly falls into a cup of tea. It must at all costs be saved from drowning. In winter they break the ice in the pools to save the fishes before they freeze to death, and in the summer they rescue them before the pools dry up. These creatures are kept in pails or tins until they can be restore to their waters. It was pointed out that worms and insects might easily be killed during the work of building, and the utmost care to avoid this was enjoined by all. Later on, when I [Heinrich Harrer] was in charge of earthworks, I saw with my own eyes how the coolies used to go through each spadeful of earth and take out anything living.”

  66. April 21, 2013

    Patrick Cockburn has some trenchant commentary:

    The Boston bombs roused a monster – Comment – Voices – The Independent

    mfi

  67. jcapan permalink
    April 21, 2013

    F-TB,

    One can both loathe the police state on display during the last week and the bombers.

    “One very scared boy,” “a frightened lad of 19,” sorry if my empathy fails me. Want to see a boy–look at the 8 year old they murdered. He had no safe way out either. That we were forced to observe capital punishment theatre, that it advances the fascist cause admittedly sucks. But I’m not at all confused about what those “boys” did. They’re not victims.

  68. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    April 21, 2013

    @ jcapan

    If you are reading anywhere in my comments approbation for the bombing, I’ll know the faulty opinion rests in the reader.

    The news service being used (BBC live coverage) played a CCTV clip of the two accused. Not being a telepathic mindreader, I can only rely on what body language may suggest from a very short segment shown. Neither of the two show any apparent tension in the video that you would expect of someone aware of the enormity they are about to engage. The first elder (deceased) appears to be looking for something or somebody as if instructed and is striding a distance ahead of his brother who appears as if he were asked to help in something. The younger of the two’s attention seems diverted to watching something happening around him and has fallen quite behind his brothers lead. Neither have the body language that knowledge of their task would engender, neither brother shows the necessary tension. It is obvious that that CCTV was not taken where they allegedly dropped their burdens, presumption being where the bombs went off. Where is the CCTV footage of that? Which brother placed their burden where? How did they exit? Will the story ultimately told be based on evidence or on conjecture and how can that be assured?

    When bombs go off in crowds, people get injured, some fatally. A bomb is not like a gun pointed in a specific direction where intent can be easily demonstrated. The victim of a bomb is a matter of wrong place or wrong time, happenstance, kismet or fate. To imply specific intent upon a specific victim is disingenuous and fraudulent appeal to emotion.

    Empathy failure has become endemic, yours is not alone. Empathy failure and the abandonment of reasoned and rational response was the object of my comments; what was being presented was beyond proportion, emotion born of phantom fears displaced logic. That was my point, sorry you missed that. Have you ever wondered why the pharmaceutical producers have not made an empathy pill.

    Take a ”lude’ and let time develop the story of this tragedy before your opinions become so set that revision becomes impossible. In the meantime please refrain from putting words or intentions where they don’t appear, please.

  69. jcapan permalink
    April 21, 2013

    F-TB,

    My sincere apologies. Expect no further interruptions to your algorithm of nonsense. If it were only finite.

  70. Celsius 233 permalink
    April 21, 2013

    @ Formerly T-Bear & jcapan

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Yes, strong words (From FTB) and frankly, I expected a firestorm of response.
    At first read, I was a bit perplexed, but with further attribution I think I understand.
    All the collective “we” have to go on is from is garnered from very bad reportage using every manipulative trick in the book.
    As a fellow expat (all 3 of us I think) I have expressed a view of blow-back as the cause of this attack.
    I’ve been told to stuff my PP up my ass and to renounce my citizenship! I’ve been mauled by the responses; except, unfortunately, I expected such responses and they land to no effect.
    What I hear from FTB is a call to stop! Think! Look! And listen!
    We, with our necks in the noose, seem to welcome the hangman to tighten our noose.
    The celebrations, IMO, are so over the top to the reality that I just shake my head.
    I’d strongly suggest re-reading Orwell’s 1984 or at least watch the movie.
    There we are.
    Is this what the collective “you” really wants? I doubt it, but the Pied Piper of Hamlin seems to have you dancing to his music.

  71. April 21, 2013

    @ Formerly T-Bear April 21, 2013

    When bombs go off in crowds, people get injured, some fatally.

    Often True, depends on whether or not it was possible to evacuate the place.

    A bomb is not like a gun pointed in a specific direction where intent can be easily demonstrated.

    Your statement is very much at variance with the experience of:

    1. Northern Ireland – bombs targeting specific officials (Christopher Ewart Biggs)and police officers such as (John Kirkpatrick), to politicians (Airey Neave), and various bombs targeting British Army and or RUC patrols such as the Bessbrook bombing, and the bombing of human and civil rights lawyer Rosemary Nelson.

    2. Spain – assasination by bombing of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco,(Prime Minister) and the assasination by bombing of Fernando Buesa.

    3. Lebanon – war against Israeli occupiers.

    4. Lebanon – civil war.

    5. Lebanon – post-civil war assasinations including of Rafic Hariri (former Prime Minister) and Wissam al-Hassan head of the information branch of Lebanon’s ISF (Internal Security Forces) to name but two.

    6. Irak assasinations and attentats – too numerous to mention on officials ranging from junior officers and civil servants to various politicians and ministers including the current Prime Minister. Ditto humanitarian workers.

    7. Syria – there are some indications that bombers have targetted specific Air Force Officers. Given that the Air Force intelligence cadres are particularly brutal torturers this is far from surprising.

    The victim of a bomb is a matter of wrong place or wrong time, happenstance, kismet or fate. To imply specific intent upon a specific victim is disingenuous and fraudulent appeal to emotion.

    Except when the bomb is aimed at a precise person or class of persons which they very frequently are – see my remark above about why this wasn’t a cascade bombing In other words while it may be true say that there was no specific victim or class of victims intended by the perpetrators of this particular bombing you most emphatically cannot say that that is true of bombings in general.

    If you’re going to discuss a specific bombing or a specific type of bombing then you need to be specific. Otherwise not only does your argument fail but you lose credibility.

    As to your comments on empathy you can empathise with somebody but neither sympathise nor approve of them. A successful bomb disposal officer needs to be very good indeed at empathising. As do intelligence analysts and activity analysts.

    mfi

  72. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 21, 2013

    Oh please, we’re now going to segue into a pedant discussion about the psychological complexities of bombings? Really?

    As far as I’m concerned, this case is still unsolved. The alleged suspects are still just that, even though the overwhelming Shock & Awe Police State with its complicit media has played judge, jury and executioner. Anyone with a shred of TRUE Progressivism in them should be appalled at what has just transpired in Boston, and in no way should be amplifying or trumpeting the MSM’s misdirecting narrative to include handing out .

    The fact of the matter is, these bastards could make anyone guilty of anything at anytime, and then go on a manhunt to annihilate you for no more reason than they could and that’s what they do….and do it well.

    Were the alleged suspects guilty? Maybe. Maybe not, but the clear fact is that whether or not they “were” is no longer disputable because now they “are” guilty. The well of public perception’s been poisoned, and there is no rewind when it comes to perception management. Remember, first impressions mean everything, and if you’re one of those few who’s capable of rethinking your positions, well, you might as well settle on a very lonely intellectual existence.

  73. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 21, 2013

    A successful bomb disposal officer needs to be very good indeed at empathising. As do intelligence analysts and activity analysts.

    I suppose if you psychopaths keep telling yourselves that, it will one day come true. Psychopaths are incapable of instinctual empathy. They can feign it, but it’s not authentic. It’s like humor. Either you have it, or you don’t. It’s not something that can be taught, but the appearance of it can be. Any astute person can see the remarkable difference. Most choose to ignore that difference because there are more important things to garner their attention, like the next “national catastrophe,” so plentiful are they these days.

  74. Carol Newquist permalink
    April 21, 2013

    Has Beck crossed the Rubicon? I think so. Next week’s going to be interesting. Allegedly, Russia has information that can incriminate, as well, and is prepared to use it. The sad fact of it is, even if U.S. citizens were confronted with the truth, so long as the MSM didn’t support that truth, or couched that truth, most if not all wouldn’t care, and even for the few who would, what difference would it make? Even of you cared, what could you do aside from switch off your teevee, PC and i-phone, and tend to your garden for your remaining days like Louis Dega in Papillon?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PODZaaMTwfg

    You hear that, Obama. You have until Monday. Then Beck’s gone a come a callin. Or so he says. We’ll see.

  75. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    April 21, 2013

    markfromireland

    Am surprised, one of the most astute participants at this site. Shall we try venn diagramming:
    “When bombs go off IN CROWDS”

    My craw is revolted at this discussion. First the innuendo suggesting approbation of the bombing coupled with a dishonest attempt at emotional blackmail from one. Answering that ignites your contribution, which in its demand for specifics provides examples #3, #4, #5 , #6, #7 (see above). Concerning #2, a service tunnel was enlarged and packed with explosives having the dear Admiral’s name on them. IIRC several pedestrians passing by were injured or killed. The Admiral’s car was blown over the top of a seven story building and landed on a balcony on the other side with the Admiral still innit, dying later but it did mark paid to the Franco dictatorship’s successor. A memorial plaque can be found on Calle Serrano in Madrid where it happened. As for Hariri, how many of the dead and injured in that incident were the intended objects of that still unindicted incident? And you want to get into the morass of NI for example? Please find any there whose hands are clean of blood, particularly British hands (Does Widgery strike any bell for you?)

    Please go back and reappraise what I’ve contributed in these comments if you will (cmd F – Formerly T-Bear). As stated, my craw is now full and I would appreciate more honesty in these exchanges. Respectfully I am concluding any further participations on this subject, it is no longer worth the candle.

  76. April 21, 2013

    @ Formerly T-Bear April 21, 2013

    Spare me please, the craw-thumping. I have spent my entire adult life in the Middle East trying to mitigate not even undo just mitigate the evil done by your country with the enthusiastic approval of the overwhelming majority of your countrymen. I know exactly what happens in a crowd when a bomb explodes if somebody like me doesn’t get there in time to defuse the damned thing. I know what it looks like, sounds like, and above all smells like.

    I suggest you get well and truly used to having this sort of discussion because if self-professed ‘progressives’ and ‘liberals’ in that decaying empire you’re from are to have any hope of arresting its movement away from being a Rechtsstaat towards its natural state as a Machtsstaat then you’re going to have to learn to discuss this sort of thing factually.

    Your point was this – let me quote you again:

    A bomb is not like a gun pointed in a specific direction where intent can be easily demonstrated.

    Was and remains flat out factually wrong. Bombings and bombing campaigns can indeed be pointed in very specific directions and to very specific intent. Regime paralyis, or regime decapitation being two of them. Knowing the direction and intent of the bomber determines what counter-measures should be taken. Or are you content to cede that public debate to the extreme right wingers who control the US security apparat as well?

    mfi

  77. April 21, 2013

    For those interested a description from somebody who knows all too well what the aftermath of a bombing is like:

    There are enough of us now to start to attend to the dead. An interpreter like a dog in a mask walking on its hind legs speaks to me as I pass him and his American masters. I recognise his accent and politely express the hope that his family is well and are enjoying life in [ the name of the village he is from ] .
    I do not think that particular dog will sleep well in its kennel tonight.
    What will we talk about today you and I? I do not want to talk about last Saturday. Shall we talk about peace? I would like to talk about peace. I love the word. No, perhaps we are not ready to talk of peace yet you and I, we are not at peace, we are not even at truce.
    Showing the helpers how to pick up the pieces of human flesh. Put your hand inside one plastic bag pick it up. Drop it into the plastic sack. Move on to the next piece. One of them has not done this before his hand is shaking so much that he drops a piece of dead human flesh to the ground. But before I can get to him another whose face I recognise from before moves to him and shows him how to do it properly. They stay together the experienced helping the new. The first time is hardest. The new one’s shoulders are moving up and done as he works. He stands up and runs to a stall his helper running after him. He stands his shoulders moving up and down. His helper’s hand upon his shoulder. My brother calls out:

    O God! Pardon our living and our dead, the present and the absent, the young and the old, the males and the females.

    They go back to work.

    O God! Pardon our living and our dead, the present and the absent, the young and the old, the males and the females.

    Lips moving with each piece that they pick up and put into their plastic sacks.

    Read in full: Gorilla’s Guides » Blog Archive » What will we talk about today you and I?

  78. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    April 21, 2013

    @ MFI

    At no time did I show you disrespect in my reply. I attempted to point out what I wrote and indicate the intent. I attempted to avoid any judgmental position. For someone who is as lingually erudite as yourself, your failure of comprehension is surprising. My comments here started with the disparity of concern between what happened in Boston and what is happening elsewhere. You have chosen, without knowledge, to paint what you presume to be my nationality with a very broad brush. You are entitled to your opinion. I am entitled to be offended by your opinion. It would seem entirely counterproductive to chance affront with your aspersions and alienate as assuredly those who may have respect for you and what you do. Did you ever once consider the intent of my words to be that once a bomb was ignited the ensuing maelstrom was not selective as to what or whom was damaged. You may put whatever political coloration on that simple intent you wish. I am no longer interested in what you say and shall hold whatever respect once held in abeyance for further consideration. This conversation is finished.

  79. April 21, 2013

    Did you ever once consider the intent of my words to be that once a bomb was ignited the ensuing maelstrom was not selective as to what or whom was damaged.

    None so blind as the wilfully blind. The ensuing mælstrom is anything but selective.

    mfi

  80. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    April 21, 2013

    @ above

    You’re drunk

  81. April 21, 2013

    Christ on a crutch, but if this isn’t a living example of the proposition that one cannot advance the world as long as oneself is unattended to…

    …stated in various ways by the likes of Krishnamurti, Gandhi, John Lennon, etc., but I’ll not resort to quotes. I can stand on my own authority.

    And frankly, I don’t look forward to the impending harrumphs about my condescending and patronizing intrusion on this (which I of course hope to stay by making this preemptive complaint,) but I feel negligent in my silence.

    A couple of obviously intelligent people, both of whom are clearly interested in peaceful intercourse among men, making the most nakedly ego-fueled mistakes in conversation that couldn’t be better engineered if they were staged as an object lesson for an anger-management class.

    “That is not what I meant, but I can see where I might have stated it better.” Not, “You didn’t understand me, so you’re an ass.”

    And yes, I really do feel shitty about stepping in and saying this, so feel free to tell me how I should feel shitty about it. I can assure you that I will not defensively leap into yet another spiral of mutual abuse.

  82. May 4, 2013

    Rebecca Minkoff, $150Looking for festive holiday footwear that will not kill your ft?

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