Current Events: 20 Years

There are some days that crack your life into Before, and After. Like most people of a certain age, I remember exactly where I was when I heard about the Twin Towers (a university computer lounge) and how eerily quiet the rest of that autumn day was, with no planes in the sky.

I remember, when the shock wore off, that I was terribly angry.

I look at the current mess in Afghanistan, and the rest of the ongoing chaos, and I am, once again, terribly angry. Only somehow it’s worse. 9/11 was a stab in the back, something the average American and (likely) most elected officials had no way to see coming. You don’t make an evacuation plan for your house if you’ve never seen one burn down.

The current mess? The Biden administration has had twenty years to learn what the Taliban really thinks and what they’ve always planned to do. Any halfway competent reader with a library or a search engine could have worked that out.

Apparently our officials spent that time studying woke politics instead. And I mean that literally; most of Biden’s administration has been in government for all the past 20 years and more. Biden himself was a senator during the fall of Saigon, for goodness’ sake. If you can’t learn from that, you can’t learn from freaking anything.

I’m tired of the mindset that believes everything is politics, and everything including your soul is negotiable. I’m tired of the mindset that wants masks and vaccinations for American citizens forever, but won’t lift a finger to stop infected illegal aliens from pouring over our borders – that will, in fact, deliberately put them on buses and planes to the homes of their political opponents, instead. I’m beyond tired of the mindset that says ethics are all situational, that society is to blame for any individual’s bad choices – then turns around and labels whole groups of people Evil and Racist for pointing out Islam has a problem.

Better bloggers than I have opined on why our political class has become so suicidally idiotic. I’ll stick to saying that if their refusal to face reality only got themselves killed, it’d be tolerable; like the constant stream of death by selfie. But they have power, and their actions have deadly consequences.

Be prepared to deal with other people’s consequences. It’s not right, and it’s not fair. But until we have a sudden attack of sanity in our politicians, we’re stuck with it.

No, Leslie’s song is not wholly accurate to what we know of what happened. But mostly. And as the abbot of Number Ten Ox’s village said, fable has strong shoulders that carry more truth than fact can.

Flight 93

And when it comes to the whole vaccine mandate just announced Thursday night… It’s time to get really angry. And be ready to deal out consequences.

The Arizona Sword

Hello, Remember Us

86 thoughts on “Current Events: 20 Years

  1. I remember where I was when 9/11 happened: my elementary school library for my fourth grade class library day.

    I heard some boys from my class talking about it. At the time I thought it was silly: who’d attack the Twin Towers?

    It wasn’t until I got home and turned the tv on (my folks weren’t home and I always snuck tv time in when I could after school) that I learned the horrible truth.

    My parents didn’t want to let my sisters and I know, (and I didn’t bring it up) but when my sisters found a newspaper about the attack a few days later, they finally told us what happened.

    Let me tell you, living in a state near a major airport and airforce base, the silence for those next few weeks was terrifying.

    People don’t usually remember when they lost their childhood innocence. I do, on a normal September day in the year 2001.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Um. Wow. Your parents must have been really scared, but…. I was younger than that when I found out the Pope and the President had been shot, and my parents didn’t try to hide it. Wars are maybe not for babies, but a fourth grader?

      OTOH, my aunt and uncle tried to hide that her father had died, from their elementary-age kids who were close to their grandpa. Maybe it was people of a certain age who thought it was a good idea.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. My folks did plan on telling us, but they didn’t want it to be so soon. My dad was also in the US Navy at the time and they were worried that he’d be pulled into active duty.

        Dad did eventually head overseas, (got the call on my thirteenth birthday, and they told us the day after) but thankfully he and everyone in his unit came home. Still, those nine months were scary.

        Liked by 3 people

      1. *Shrug* I’m not sure either. What I do remember of that day was the teachers constantly walking out of the room and talking softly with each other. I think everyone was in a little shock and figured it’d be best to keep as normal day as possible.

        Being in the Western States might have something to do with it, but I’m not entirely sure even now.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. I was 11 and in a 6th grade social studies class. Our teacher actually told us the trade center was gone but nobody really paid attention until the phone calls for kids going home started. My mom was home and we lived pretty close to the school so she was one of the first to come get me and she filled me in. I live in Brooklyn across the water form Manhattan and as soon as I left the school you could see this giangantic black cloud that seemed to stretch forever. The smell, Omg the smell. It’s an indescribable type of rancid that will stick with me for the rest of my life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You can’t blame all of this on the current administration the previous guy didn’t do much better, nor frankly did the one before that. Besides did you want us to stay for another 20 yrs? We were in a quagmire, getting out was never gonna be pretty. It’s a damn trajedy and it was always gonna be. Westerners can’t hold Afghanistan. We never could. History’s told us that too.

      And for the vaccine mandate well, if you’ve got a better idea how to kill this thing I’d love to hear it. At least somebody’s doing something.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Okay, I’m going to take this point by point, and hopefully calmly.

        No, I did not want us to stay in Afghanistan another 20 years. Nobody sane did. Frankly I think we should have flattened the whole place in 2001, and left no later than when Bin Laden was found and killed. If they want to be an Islamist hellhole, let them.


        Anyone sane could have come up with a better evacuation plan. A troop of Girl Scouts could have come up with a better plan. It’s not hard. Secure an airport. Remove all civilians and dependents. Destroy the secret documents and equipment. Extract the troops.

        And do it in that order.

        You don’t withdraw the troops first and leave civilians scrambling. You definitely don’t rely on the Taliban to provide a secure airport. All of that – all of that – is on the people currently in charge. Flat out.

        As for the vaccine mandate – do you know how many people that will kill if that goes through?

        Do you know that if you’ve had Covid and recovered – and many, many people have – your risks of an adverse vaccine reaction are extreme, and potentially lethal?

        Do you know how many people can’t get the vaccine, because they have autoimmune diseases or organ transplants, because there’s a very good chance it will kill them? Who will now be faced with being fired, and thus losing medical insurance, which will kill them more slowly?

        Do you have any background in how diseases spread, the definition of “endemic”, and what it takes to actually wipe a disease off the planet? Hint: We have so far done that only once, with smallpox, it took decades, and we had a vaccine that actually worked for a lifetime instead of providing a few months’ resistance.

        And last – whatever happened to, “My body, my choice”? My bodily autonomy is not up for negotiation.

        Edit: And if you’re still not convinced, I suggest you check out who’s not getting vaccinated.

        Funny, that. And not in the “Ha hah” way.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. So, Fudge putting Hagrid in Azkaban “to be seen doing something”? There’s _always_ “somebody” doing “something”, but _what_ that something is and what it is for _actually are significant_. In fact, there’s specific named logical fallacies for things like the idea that _any_ “something” is better than “nothing”, or several of the related assumptions that go into that same comment. Quite often “something” can be _worse_ than “nothing”, if it’s the _wrong_ “something”. And even if it isn’t “worse”, it is at best _no better_ than “nothing” unless it actually has a positive effect (which, if it’s a non-linear/threshold problem, like most _pandemics_ including this one, means “anything that isn’t up to this minimum bar of effectiveness has no net positive effect overall”).

        Liked by 5 people

      3. Kill everyone who is lying to us about it being a thing, and it will be gone.

        Failing that, no matter how many hearts you cut out, no matter how hard you dance in skins you have flayed from others, no matter how many infants you burn on brass idols, it will still be there in your eyes.

        There are two possibilities: One, it was a common cold, and everything was pointless. Two, Wuhan was basically playing with bioweapons, that release has already hit everyone, and we are not taking the steps that would mitigate the spread of future releases.

        Tegan, the problem here is with your innumerate, trusting, apparently-slept-through-biology and never-paid-any-attention-to-biological-warfare eyes.

        As for the other matter, the generals had a lot of political support from congress and others in refusing to follow orders. Hearsay prior to the Afghanistan withdrawal was that Trump had ordered the generals to leave, and that they had deliberately lied to him about how many people were there. It is speculated that the generals had deliberately not made plans for withdrawal, betting on being able to tell Trump ‘oh, no, it will be a blood bath’ and having him back down.

        Trump would have backed down if told that. Trump’s plan was for withdrawal in May, and would have used the other airport.

        If the arms and material were deliberately not destroyed, that would have required that specific orders of non-destruction be issued. There are other little touches like that which, if true, basically prove malice.

        Biden would have been informed that there would be bad results, and told them to go ahead anyway. The most that you can legitimately say in his defense is that he may not have been mentally competent to understand what he was told.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. This. The fact that the CDC is counting only vaccinated people and not natural immunity should be the first clue that they are not being straightforward with any of us.

        And every military, ex-military, and even student of military matters I’ve talked to or read their statements say, there is no way the debacle in Afghanistan happened by accident. That was deliberate screwing up.

        Liked by 5 people

      5. I would offer a slight caveat on that, for my part.

        Technically, I count as a student of military affairs. But, only as a hobbyist, it is not on the same level with topics that I have really seriously studied.

        On Afghanistan, I basically have not studied recent events at all, and have no information that I trust enough that I would argue. Only the fact that Tegan conceded that whatever happened was bad left me confident in arguing that with her. My grasp of the facts is not enough to support an argument with someone asserting that nothing happened, or that only good things occurred.

        Of the information I have been exposed to and treated as credible, most comes from right wing sources. Some of these sources, (*cough* Redstate *cough*) I have previously suspected of running information operations against me. So, I am basically willing to consider the possibility that everything I have been exposed to is sourced in lies. (a: I know a lot about past pro-Democrat information operations in ‘Republican’ media b: I know a little about the information manipulation habits of officers. c: chaotic situations naturally confuse information. d: after seeing recent information operations, my understanding of the limits of impossible lies has been broadened.)

        Fundamentally, these claims are all very incredible. If true, they have very wide implications, and there are a great many officers who would have incentive to avoid those implications. Officer career path is often ten, twenty, or thirty years in uniform, then some more decades in civilian DoD contracting. This basically assumes a certain level of funding for civilian R&D and procurement programs. Even the most hawkish civilian who isn’t making a living from DoD contracting is going to be more skeptical about funding those programs if classified equipment can easily pass into the hands of our most bitter adversaries. So, everyone who is in DoD contracting, or who wants to be in DoD contracting would not want such claims to be truthful. So, officers who are not blind morons would usually prefer to prevent fact patterns that would support such claims. It is not impossible that officers could screw up so very badly, but this is a level of screw up that I would not routinely expect. It is surprising information.

        This is very, very damaging, so to the extent that I base any plans on it, it is safer for me to assume that it is true, and figure out what I can do, then it would be for me to ignore things and pretend nothing has happened, and that my plans are all fine.

        I do not actually know that it is true. This is basically an artifact of personal isolation and laziness. Isolation, like the fact that I don’t know any life scientists who I unconditionally trust, and who have personal experiences examining samples of coronaviruses. Laziness, like the fact that I have been trying to get things done on other projects.

        If I had been less lazy before this year, I could at least collected information about the two airports that predated this round of information warfare. If I had been less lazy now, I could have checked DoS, DoD, etc., press releases, and confirmed which airport they said they were withdrawing through. In the case of having that information directly from reliable enough sources, I could be 100% confident in excluding pure incompetence.

        If and only if the information I have is all sourced in lies, there may be a possible explanation for this that is pure incompetence.

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Crossovercreativechaos has, of course, already covered most of this in much greater detail than I possibly could, so I’ll content myself to pointing out one thing: “At least somebody’s doing something” counts for absolutely nothing if it’s the _wrong_ thing. If the only action someone can think of just makes things worse, give me non-action any day. (Speaking from some recent medical experience, as it happens: had an absolutely fascinating rash a few months ago, and every treatment I tried just caused more skin to melt off. Leaving it alone turned out to be the best option.)

        Virtue-signaling helps no one. And that, to be frank, is all the lockdowns and masks and vaccine mandates are. They look like they _care_, while doing precisely squat of any use (and quite a bit of harm).

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I was 8 in my third grade classroom when someone came in and told my teacher about us. Our parents were called in and we were all sent home. At the time I don’t think I had heard of the twin towers, so I didn’t really get what it was about, but I knew everyone was worried and that my aunt had called my mother worriedly asking about my dad, who they knew was going to be flying home that day. Fortunately for us, he was safe, but it took him a little while to get in contact with us, so my family was quite worried for a while.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I was in high school. Teacher suddenly got a call, and declared a halt to class. We waited until they decided a half-day. First I truly knew of it was at home. Rice I was making turned rancid, had to throw out the entire pot. Small price to pay.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I truly hate this day. I remember the loudspeakers noting the minute of silence at the time of major events. Got jettisoned around 2005, which I thought was incredibly quick. Things have gotten worse over time. Still feel the shock this day. The lessons that horrible day taught have been forgotten. Secure the borders. The State department aided them practically every step of prep. America/ns are hated.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. And always remember that we are hated because we show that there’s a better way to live. That you can come from anywhere and anyplace in life, and as long as you follow the law and help your neighbors, it doesn’t matter who you were born – you are American.

      Totalitarians of any stripe will always hate us, just for that. It’s the same principle as any abuser – anything that might show people there’s another option than standing there and taking it has to be destroyed.

      We’re not perfect. But we’re the best thing going.

      Liked by 5 people

  6. First year of college. I’d been away from home for less than a month. I remember seeing the news feed on in the common room of the dorm but I was running late and didn’t stop. So I found out after I got to my Government class. The teacher apologized for having us buy a text book that had just been published. Said it was expensive, and as of today, it’s full of old policies.

    You’d think that as the school was in the central US, landlocked, and well away from New York that it wouldn’t have impacted the day to day routines. The school certainly tried, I had my first college exam that afternoon. But… 3 girls on my floor had relatives in NY city. We had rotating schedules so they always had someone with them in case a call came in with bad news. Took a full week before my RA’s dad got through. The school’s higher degrees focused on mining, materials science, and engineering so we had about a 10% middle east population (oil rig machinery needs constant maintenance or things can explode). Our physics department had a nuclear reactor. The two resulted in barricades and armed guards patrolling campus for days. Eventually the guards were stationed only in the physics bldg, but the barricades stayed until the end of the semester. And there’s a small airport, mostly used for crop dusting that got shut down permanently because it was built within the new nuclear no-fly zone.

    I swear the shock would start to wear off, and then you’d walk by a guard or see the barricades, or overhear other students talking to each other in Arabic, and everything would just… go numb again.

    And after the last few weeks? Yeah. Safe to say, I’m STILL angry about a sunny September day, 20 years ago.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Be prepared to deal with other people’s consequences. It’s not right, and it’s not fair. But until we have a sudden attack of sanity in our politicians, we’re stuck with it.

    This is why I object, strongly, when people talk about how “stupidity has a natural death penalty.” They forget that it will fall on folks besides the ones being stupid–often more harshly, since even the stupid have some self preservation responses.


    I’ve mentioned before, I was in boot camp.

    Came back out to a totally changed world.

    Afghanistan looking like someone actively studied Saigon and tried to make it worse? I think that may be on purpose– because that gave them advantage for decades.

    There’s simply too many choices that were made, which would be obvious to those in DC but less clear to the rest of the country, that makes the choices in Afghanistan look like vicious attacks on the mental health of the armed forces.
    Not as effective as they’d like– the spokesdrone wouldn’t have had to answer that question about the soldiers who violated orders obviously enough to get caught saving hundreds of Americans, otherwise– but still an attack.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Really disconcerting fact pattern.

      Just now, I asked myself if observing these fact patterns isn’t a more disturbing experience than actually losing my mind would have been. I don’t mean losing my mind in the usual sense of my obviously having problems, and there are times when I really have a lot of problems. I mean in the in and out of psychiatric care, /needing/ psychiatric care, “I’m /actually/ psychotic” sense of hypothetical. I only know that stuff from the outside, so maybe the inside is much more horrible than I am imagining it is.

      At MHN, Kirk has gifted us with more stories of growing up among Eastern European immigrants in the 1970s. I’m processing those still.

      Theses ladies and gentlemen, and their academic models of Americans, are really very much not understanding Americans.

      I have some acquaintances, recent immigrants to the United States, that I would like to have a positive experience with America. I don’t know them well yet, and they are also hanging around some academics, and I haven’t yet figured out how to tip them off about what is what without disturbing them.

      I can be sympathetic with some of the people who do not have a sound understanding of Americans.

      Others, well, I am terrified and enraged, and with difficultly forcing myself to be quiet about that, and forcing myself to be able to spend headspace on other things, so a part of me is eager to lash out at certain others. This is compounded and confounded by the fact that harm to specific others appears like it would be genuinely just.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes. Very much so.

        What I was trying to say there was that, after adjusting tribunal process to address certain corruptions, and carefully considering each case, we might still decide many times to hang people. That degree of ‘it may be just to harm specific others’.

        I understand that it may still be better, on average, to knowingly use the old deliberately broken system, even knowing it will spare a rather excessive number of guilty.

        Not at all a great situation. A lot of forecasts suggest we get really bad precedents no matter what option we pick.

        I am very grateful that fixing it is not all on me. I am deeply grateful for the other Americans who see these problems now, and are enough saner than me to have better instincts. Thank God, for how He has blessed us with American culture, in many many ways.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Or the difference between vengeance and revenge: Vengeance is focused on justice, that the guilty get the punishment they deserve. Revenge is focused on pain and pleasure, that the victim get pleasure out of the pain of the guilty. The results may not be much different, but the difference in reason is significant.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. I grew up dealing with other people’s consequences, to the point my health was permanently damaged, and narrowly escaped worse things by the skin of my teeth. I’m fairly sure that one time my father deliberately left me with a pedophile to score points with the guy, only I was able to get to a phone and made it quite clear I wasn’t moving from the spot until someone came to get me – parent or cops.

      So yes. Stupidity and malice tend to kill completely innocent people, and I’ve seen enough malice by people who think they’re being subtle to see your scenario as depressingly plausible.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. I was eight and, being homeschooled, my schedule was flexible. My father called and told my mother to turn on the TV. She was upset because she didn’t want to interrupt the lesson, but he insisted. So she turned it on and I think we saw the second tower get hit. We definitely saw them both fall, one after the other.

    We spent all morning and a good part of noon/afternoon crying.

    Foxfier is right: The Afghanistan debacle has the hallmarks of Saigon, plus the Iranian hostage situation pre-Reagan’s swearing in, only dialed up to eleven. They want an advantage so they are scrambling to replicate “what worked before.” It’s going to come back to bite all of us.

    So we had better be ready for it.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I was living abroad and we saw the news on the kitchen TV. I didn’t know what the two towers were, mom had to explain,, but i knew something bad happened. I will never forget the footage of people jumping from the windows to their death. The news station we were watching rewound it and played it repeatedly. And laughed at the image of people jumping up back into the building. I understand it wasn’t played like that in the US. No, our country isn’t perfect. But. It is so much better then other places.

    I had taken my first plane ride less then 6 months before. The next time we went through, early 2002 the airport was eerie.

    The vaccine mandate sent cold shivers down my spine.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I actually did not much watch video of people falling.

    I’m more fragile, mentally, than I let on, and have some issues with control over what I dwell on. So, there is exposure that I limit.

    Also, I take in information very well in text form, and I have the abstract thinking to get a lot of the implications without looking at the video.

    It probably counts as a life changing experience, even if by that threshold I haven’t only had one life changing experience. I had certain interests before then, and already had certain patterns of information consumption, but the next ten to fifteen years of collection and analysis seem like they may have left a permanent mark.

    Another experience was reading Chung and Halliday’s Mao: The Unknown Story, “failing my roll to disbelieve”, and “lowering my SAN”.

    There are some related experiences that I’m either not ready, emotionally, to discuss now, or I’m definitely not going to talk about in public.

    I’m a little concerned finding out about the recent Biden speech. In English, there’s a usage that native speakers know of, the Royal ‘we’. He’s either aware of that and seriously disturbed, or he is senile, and apparently has ESL speechwriters, or something.

    As for mandates, some recent family health experiences had me rethink my priorities, and become a lot more hard line. Thinking about costs, and consequences, and what costs I am willing to pay. Yeah, I’m still a coward from a Glowie perspective, but I’m not convinced now that the Glowies have the right to castigate me for ‘doing nothing’. Yeah, wider impact is completely a gamble, but the key criteria for my own choice are my bottom line, and the things that are truly important to me.

    Yes, it is not predictably good, and visibly so, in the eyes of others. That theory does not provide perfect foresight works in both directions.

    I’m certain that folks are bored of me talking of Memories of the Fall, but I feel that this quote is particularly appropriate.

    Chance is chance in the end. It doesn’t matter how you plot and plan, high and low, wise or stupid, kindly or malevolent. In the end, it’s all beholden on people choosing to do utterly insane things in the correct moments.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The actual Glowies can go screw themselves.

      The Doomers, I guess I still have a little bit of patience for.

      I’m going to make my own calculations without their input, and trust that so will others, and that it will all work out somehow.

      I’m the type of person who is perfectly willing to make /all/ of my political decisions on the basis of a 150 year old grudge. You had better believe that I will remember my grudge over current events, and weigh it in my future decisions.

      I may at times make a trade off with other priorities. I have already found it in my heart to forgive someone who has good wishes, and wasn’t mentally competent to know better. But I will not forget this before my brain degrades.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Doomer: Left has taken everything, has complete power, there is nothing that you can do that could be effective.

        Glowie: Left is having victory after inevitable victory, if you aren’t escalating to violence you are surrendering.

        There are sincere Doomers on the right. Left has had very effective propaganda for a number of years, and some people have gotten pretty demoralized.

        A lot of the Glowies are connected to the security services, in their desperate effort to scare up actual people that match the dissident profile that they are using to justify themselves to someone. You know how after every spree shooting some folks are briefly excited, then disappointed when a shooter turns out to be ill, maybe have been into drugs, and from a broken family that trends liberal? Glowie arguments are what security service agents provocateur or informants would use trying to fish out disturbed, ill people, who have something in the way of a conservative credential.

        Given that I am not in perfect mental health, am somewhat conservative, am not the right sort of technically competent, and might appear to be so on paper, this would be a problem for me if I hadn’t worked out a lot about security services when I was younger.

        I learned the terms about a year ago, when I was in a very pessimistic place, and arguing with this kid about it on the internet. (Okay, young adult, and getting older.)

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I was not quite 14, reading a textbook on my bed (homeschooled; my parents didn’t like the local public or private schools, for good reason), when I got word of the first tower being hit. Didn’t think much of it; I just figured somebody had had a major navigation error or something. Terrible, but, honestly, not hugely relevant to a kid in Michigan.

    Then I happened to turn and look at the TV just in time to see another fireball. Yeah, not gonna forget seeing the second plane hit, live, anytime soon. That’s when I knew it wasn’t an accident.

    Then the Pentagon got hit, and that’s when I started getting scared. If they could hit that, I thought, what else could they do?

    I don’t like all of what happened after. At the time I was just in “Our people got killed, let’s take it to the enemy!” mode, without fully understanding tactics or strategy. Or domestic politics. Afghanistan was an absolute mess, as anyone who knew anything about the British or Soviet attempts to tame the place should’ve expected. Nation-building was never going to work; in my opinion it should’ve been an in-and-out punitive expedition, not the twenty-year mess that we got. And oh, yeah, this “withdrawal” was so badly handled you have to wonder if our generals have brains in their skulls at all.

    Iraq… I don’t consider myself well enough informed on that one to have much of an opinion. Just that I think it was handled poorly, yet I cannot view the world as a worse place without Saddam Hussein in it.

    And then we have all the domestic “security” measures. As a scared teenager, I supported them. As a (hopefully) mature adult, I see them as having set the stage for the mess we have today, including this insane vaccine mandate. We sacrificed essential liberty for–the illusion of–temporary safety. And now we are in more danger from those who have set themselves up as our lords and masters than almost any external threat.

    Twenty years ago, Islam murdered three thousand Americans. Today, our own government is helping them murder more–exactly how many American citizens _are_ still trapped in Afghanistan? I certainly don’t trust the State Department numbers–and murdering who knows how many on top of that all by themselves.

    Twenty years ago, I was bewildered and scared. Today, I’m angry, worried, and resigned to the knowledge that however crazy I think things are today, tomorrow will raise the bar. SMH.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Afghanistan is the place Genghis Khan had to come through twice.

      When you know how the guy conquered terrain – attack, and if people didn’t surrender wipe out every living thing in the area and pile the skulls as a warning – this should be enough to know nationbuilding is Not An Option.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. …Goodness. I knew about the Brits’–hello, Rudyard Kipling–and the Soviets’ attempts at conquering the region. Good ol’ Genghis? Good grief, the British Empire should’ve known better, let alone those who came after!

        Liked by 3 people

  12. It was my family’s first or second week of homeschooling that year. I was ten. My mom got a call from one of our friends that something was happening and that she needed to turn the TV on, a rarity in our house. It was early enough on September 11th (we were on the West Coast) that the second tower hadn’t been hit. Watching that second plane hit… and the news anchors realize it wasn’t an accident that the first one had been hit… that memory still makes me sick to my stomach. That damned stunned silence as everyone watched a second plane plow into the second tower. We would end up watching the all of September 11th in real-time. And for years afterwards, we would watch compilations of the CNN news coverage of the event. What a different kind of news media existed back then… in the days before everyone had a video-camera in their pocket…

    The past few weeks have been… really hard to watch and think about. One of my aunts is Vietnamese. Her family was fortunate that their father was high enough up in the South Vietnamese army that they were air-lifted out of Saigon by the US military in that last week. And in Afghanistan… so many people like that were left behind…

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I was actually home alone watching tv at the time (discovery channel? maybe NOVA?) and being disgruntled at it because it happened to be something that I knew they were wrong about because I had relevant experience, when one of those “emergency warning scrolls” went across the bottom of the screen saying to turn to a news channel. When I did, it was just after the first plane had hit, and before stuff had really started happening, and I remember clearly that I had the exact same disgruntled reaction to the talking heads on the news as I had on the “science/history” show I’d been watching just prior, because I had just recently been reading some relevant books. It wasn’t a happy event that I did successfully predict the second plane, or that I did predict “the buildings _are_ going to collapse, contrary to their attempts to calm our fears”, but I was in the process of explaining my predictions to dad (who’d called to tell me to turn on the tv) when it happened. It did provide some fuel for my arguments with others in the homeschool co-op we were part of at the time, when I predicted (and preemptively complained about) the likely failure of the reaction to it, but seeing the long-term results finally reaching the point I warned would happen (we didn’t just go “in and out”, nor did we settle for “stay in until no one still alive has _direct_ experience of it, while also working to obliterate the cultural incentive to continue being a nuisance”, so “stuff going wrong” _is_ the expected result) is also not happy.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. The US (Reagan and Bush) created the Taliban, so, karma is a bitch.

    Bush II sure as hell didn’t do any favors when he started his war of aggression in Iraq, tying down significant troops and other resources that could have been used in Afghanistan for decades. There were no weapons that UN Inspectors hadn’t found, and Saddam Hussein and the Bathists were ENEMIES of the Muslim extremists. It wasn’t until the the regime in Traq was toppled, and the US and Allies to thin on the ground to keep control, that the damn muslim extremists even managed to really gain a foothold, to the point that whole regions of the country had to be fought over a second time, frequently requiring clearing from house-to-house. So, again, brilliantly, the US creates another enemy.

    The Trump administration flat out sold/gave Afghanistan to the Taliban, cutting the Afghan Government and Army off at the knees (the one we spent nearly two decades and billions in support propping up), and not giving any of our allies any place at the table either.

    The Trump Administration set a date for May 1 2021for final withdrawal, which Biden at least extended. The Biden admin also has been telling Americans “to get out” for months- wow, look how many people decided to wait for the last minute, for God knows what reasons. It didn’t help that the Trump administration blocked the Transition of power wherever they could, for as long as they could.

    The Trump administration also did all they could to block the visa process for all the brave Afghans who decided to work with the US and Allies, and are now at risk of their lives, if they couldn’t get out. Which could have at least gotten their families out before the chaos.

    I’d agree, that history shows that foreigners simply haven’t been able to keep control of Afghanistan, or enforce some kind of puppet state.


    I am vaccinated. My whole extended family is vaccinated. Almost all of my mother’s friends and their spouse’s (just one person/pair aren’t) are vaccinated, with no problems. My sister is a medical professional, and she sure as hell supports wearing masks even now.

    Disregarding the hysteria on the right, the government is not forcing private citizens to get vaccinated. You DO have to get tested weekly.

    Companies can choose which policy they want to follow- set a company rule requiring vaccinations, or weekly tests. That’s simple reality when working for a company- you have to follow the rules. Or else you have the “freedom” to quit, and try to find work elsewhere.

    Hey, Florida requires (MANDATES) numerous CHILD VACCINATIONS BEFORE ENROLLING IN SCHOOLS. Guess it’s time to get rid of that? FOR FREEDOM AND PREVENTABLE DEATHS.

    75% of adult Americans have at least one shot already. The Delta and Mu variants might cause even vaccinated persons to get sick, but THEY HARDLY END UP IN THE HOSPITAL. PRACTICALLY ALL COVID PATIENTS IN THE ICUs ARE UNVACCINATED. Oh, and DELTA AND MU INFECT KIDS. KIDS ARE DYING IN THE ICUs OF COVID.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you get all your news from CNN? Because pretty much everything you just said about the virus and the vaccines is wrong. For one thing, define “experts”. Because if you think Herr Doktor Anthony Fauci is an “expert”, you know _nothing_ about what that man has done. The Nazis would’ve loved this guy. Look up his history, please, and _then_ try and tell me you think the “vaccines” are hot stuff.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. God, what kind of bubble you must live in. OAN?

        Yeah, I absolutely DO believe and trust Fauci. Not just Fauci, but MANY other medical professionals, MANY of which are BEGGING AND PLEADING people to get vaccinated, because their hospitals/ICUs are FULL OF COVID PATIENTS, practically ALL of which are unvaccinated.

        Your “sources” must not be mentioning any of the news stories about NON COVID patients waiting hours and DAYS to find an open hospital bed/ICU. Hear about Idaho? They are basically triaging ICU patients, because they don’t have enough beds or personnel. But I guess that, and over 660,000 dead Americans are just “fake news” to you.

        I TRUST MY SISTER who IS a doctor, and was pushing and pushing for my mom, herself, and me to get vaccinated.

        I also believe the GERMAN (AND THOSE FROM OTHER EUROPEAN COUNTRIES) Medical Professionals who are telling us to vaccinate, and wear masks.

        Not too mention Australia and New Zealand.


      2. Part of the reason they don’t have enough personnel is because people quit rather than be forced to take a vaccine they don’t think is safe.

        BTW, you should check the yearly death rate of Americans before you throw numbers like that around. And how many people died of everything BUT Covid because social networks are breaking down from the crazy.

        Don’t get me started on Australia. They’re locking entire provinces down because of positive tests, with no deaths whatsoever. People are going to die from that.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. And your sources aren’t mentioning the fact that Herr Doktor Fauci caused quite a bit of damage during the early days of the AIDS epidemic. They haven’t mentioned that he’s flip-flopped a dozen times in the past year and a half, on at least one occasion outright admitting that he lied (“for our own good”, of course).

        You also must be unaware that the CDC has been caught screwing up the numbers multiple times, most frequently via counting anyone who died with COVID as having died “of” COVID (including, in a memorable case here in Florida, a guy who died in a motorcycle crash). That the most common test for COVID has a titanic false positive rate.

        And let’s not forget the “vaccines” that aren’t. The CDC had to quietly change the definition of vaccine on their own website to explain away the tiny detail that a vaccine that doesn’t stop the spread of a disease _is not a vaccine_. Which, BTW, the “vaccines” we currently have don’t actually do. By the CDC’s own admission, they “lesson the symptoms”, or some gobbledygook like that, rather than actually preventing you from catching the evil bug. Oh, and let’s _also_ not forget that said “vaccines” have not gone through proper testing–they got “emergency authorization”, at which point at least one of the companies involved immediately dissolved their control group. And even had they not, it is physically impossible at this point to know what the long-term side-effects may be, because there hasn’t been a “long-term” yet. You’re trusting your life to an untried experiment. Pardon me if I refuse to be a guinea pig.

        And finally, when you’ve got places like Australian banning Ivermectin not because it doesn’t work but because–by their own _explicit admission–they consider trying to treat the virus a roadblock to getting people vaccinated, excuse me if I think there’s a problem.

        I’m not the one living in a bubble, buddy.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. It’s Thiemo.

        Merkel apparently has the Germans trapped inside a pretty effective information operation, judging from him and one other.

        Remember, we know you have Gottingen in the same country, and visiting it is a distance that isn’t going to be far by US standards. Germany isn’t Vanuatu or Monaco or Guyana or somewhere like that. You guys have the university that Ludwig Prandtl trained people at. We very well know that you guys are not unlettered savages, without anyone who can explain to you fluid mechanics in your own language. We know that you personally can go learn about numerical methods, continuum mechanics, and the experimental basis for constitutive equations, and have not studied those things to the point of realizing certain implications. We understand that your ignorance about these when you ‘believe in science’ wrt AGW is willful and deliberate. So, take your comments about us being in a bubble, along with the rest of your worthless opinions, and choke on them.

        Liked by 3 people

      5. Hear about Idaho?

        Idaho is one of the states that has expressly forbidden vaccine mandates and passports, despite the governor’s openly stated desire that everyone be vaccinated.

        He figures that his citizens would fire him – possibly out of cannon, he’s on very thin ice after the ruin he forced on the state’s economy – if he mandated them. He, at least, knows which side his bread is buttered on.

        However, there is loud contingent of residents in the state who want Idaho to be more like California, because, apparently, living in a state of mind-your-own-business rednecks is too uncultured for them.

        This contingent happens to run the state’s various newspapers, and, being ambitious, has also infiltrated much of the government.

        I wouldn’t trust even the local news to report accurately on anything having to do with the Chinese Lung Rot, when the entire goal is force everyone to comply with the latest irrational and self-contradictory government diktat.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. The Biden Administration says they told people to get out months head of time.

      The Biden Administration says a lot of things.

      A shocking number of those things turn out to be untrue.

      Liked by 4 people

    3. “The US (Reagan and Bush) created the Taliban,”

      …Pardon me while I die of sarcastic laughter over here. No, really. If you think they created the Taliban you know very, very little of the history of Islamic movements and probably need, just to start, the definition of “taqqiya”. I would suggest checking out any of Robert Spencer’s books on Islam and for an intro.

      “There were no weapons that UN Inspectors hadn’t found,”

      Do you know how much military equipment Saddam sent to Iran? Not to mention the conditions of peace were let the inspectors check everywhere. Saddam started putting various places off limits that we had reason to believe housed bioweapons and/or the makings of nukes. He broke the rules. Sad to be him. We shouldn’t have stayed there either.

      “The Trump administration flat out sold/gave Afghanistan to the Taliban,”

      State your evidence.

      “The medical experts have consistently said, and PROVED in studies, that MASKS WORK. ”

      Funny. There’s a paper written by Fauci himself oh, about 4-6 years back, that says they don’t. Which might be why the guy goes around unmasked any time he thinks the cameras aren’t on him.

      And if the vaccines work, why do they keep having higher and higher numbers of vaccinated “breakthrough” infections?


      Unless, y’know, you have a trick immune system. As I pointed out in a comment above. A lot of people do. And their complications can be far more fatal.

      “I am vaccinated. My whole extended family is vaccinated.”

      That’s nice?

      “the government is not forcing private citizens to get vaccinated. You DO have to get tested weekly.”

      Likewise a violation of personal autonomy. Or do you think people should take a breathalyzer every time they start their car?

      “That’s simple reality when working for a company- you have to follow the rules.”

      Except these are federal mandates, and constitutionally illegal. Segregation used to be company rules, too.


      None of which are experimental mRNA “vaccines”, have you noticed?


      More kids died in Chicago in shootings last year than have died in the entire U.S. from Covid.

      Try. Harder.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Another thing on the “weekly testing”. As I understand it, the current test has a two-week turnaround. Um… not quite getting the use of weekly testing when you wouldn’t hear back about the first one until you’ve already had the second.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. That too. Plus, who’s going to pay for all that testing? Your employer? No way would they stand for spending $70 per employee per week indefinitely. They’ll fire people first. And then where will you find a job, if people know if they hire you they’ll be incurring that cost?

        “Not forcing people” my foot.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. As with most efforts to impose tyrannical measures “for our own good”–boy howdy, do I hate that motivation; I ascribe much of my current troubles to people trying to “help” me about ten years ago–the “logic” falls apart on close examination. Clamping down is never the answer. It’s not true with guns, it’s not true with viruses, it’s not true with “vaccines”, it’s not true with current climate hysteria.

        Look at the facts, and tyranny “for the greater good” always falls apart.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. In my case, I think my relatives were genuinely sincere. But what they thought was “good”, my immediate family and I viewed as a gilded cage. Escaping the situation more hastily than we otherwise would have resulted in our situation hitting rock bottom, and we’re still fighting to climb back up. Might never have happened if people hadn’t tried to force their help on us, and forced us to take drastic action instead of taking the time to do things right.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I have *had* Covid 19… Looking up the studies on how likely people who *had* Covid 19 are to either (a) get it again or (b) spread it is… very amusing. The rate is *crazy* low, much lower than the rate if someone just has the vaccine. There is… very little reason to get the Covid Vaccine if you’ve already had Covid since your immune system can wack it before it’s a problem (seriously, some studies can’t *find* people geting Covid twice if they don’t have crazy numbers of people involved because of this). Oh… and the current data on how long your immune system stays active enough to stomp on Covid after getting it is longer than the Vaccine gives you too…

        The fact that anyone who has had Covid 19 already isn’t exempt from the vaccines makes *no sense* going by all the available data…. and a good portion of the population has had Covid 19 by now. Goodness knows *they’re* not going to be spreading it and should be getting back to normal lives as… probably the safest people from Covid. But nope! they don’t have the vaccine, so they don’t count for contributing towards herd immunity.

        Which is why a good number of people think the vaccines mandates are… fishy…

        Liked by 3 people

    4. the government is not forcing private citizens to get vaccinated.

      “not private citizens” Just every Federal employee, all federal contractors, and anyone who needs to enter a federal facility. Better hope you don’t need a passport, Post Office is closed to you, you second-class citizen!

      I do like the implication that anyone who does Federal business is wholly owned-chattel of the US government though. There’s something… amusing? about that idea.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Or to send a package or mail a letter. Sheesh.

        Edit: And if you’re a self-employed person or work for a small business, sooner or later you have to do that – which knocks the whole “only businesses with over 100 employees” bit into irrelevance.

        Liked by 2 people

    5. Dang, Bush and Reagan are crazy powerful, they can create a group that formed when Clinton was in power.

      Guess it’s easier to blame the Republican presidents than Russia or Clinton….

      Bush II sure as hell didn’t do any favors when he started his war of aggression in Iraq, tying down significant troops and other resources that could have been used in Afghanistan for decades.

      Violation of terms of cease-fire. I know it’s a crazy concept, but the little brown people are fully human too, they’re quite able to understand the idea of “if you shoot at these guys, their agreement to stop waging war against you is voided.”

      …you know, I could go point by point, but mostly:
      Dear heavens, get some information that wouldn’t be improved by going to Snopes! Maybe get really excessive, and look for something resembling a primary source before pulling down your pants to waggle your bare behind around; this pile of trendy falsehoods is just flat embarrassing.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think the actual problem here is a complete impasse of incompatible worldviews.

        Thiemo’s stance appears to be, “if it saves one life any degree of submission to the government is worth it.” (Ignoring that the vaccine mandate would actually kill people, because Good Intentions never have Bad Results.)

        My position is that we have certain inalienable rights, any government infringing on them has gone too far, and the freedom to be left alone is worth dying for.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Incompatible world views would explain the different interpretation of the facts, but not the objectively false claims.

        You’re probably correct, and that’s just an expansion of the “good intentions” malarkey.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Again, he is living in effin’ Merkel’s Germany.

        Kirk’s diatribes on MHN about how for the immigrants from Eastern Europe, not being utterly committed to their ethnic rivalries was counter-survival insanity? That is true to a lesser degree for Germans, they are going to be really reluctant to spend much time on understanding an alien mindset that is contrary to what their government is saying is true.

        Basically, the same thing as a child who goes to New York City, becomes an FBI agent, or becomes a lawyer; the people you spend time around shape your behavior.

        So, yes, he is going to say ‘trust the experts’, and then ignore experts not endorsed by his government when it comes to things like fluid mechanics, or the mendacity of certain universities in claiming that they aren’t racist against blacks.

        He is going to say that we are living in a bubble, and should be listening to Tokyo Rose and Lord Haw-Haw, so that we can have a full understanding reality, when in fact we have heard Haw-Haw and Rose, and have concluded that they speak falsehood.

        On top of any fundamental philosophical difference.

        That’s the charitable interpretation.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Main reason that I can see to respond to him is that it might get through to him– and even if it doesn’t, lies should answered.

        The truth is owed a defense, in justice.

        Liked by 2 people

    6. The Delta and Mu variants might cause even vaccinated persons to get sick, but THEY HARDLY END UP IN THE HOSPITAL. PRACTICALLY ALL COVID PATIENTS IN THE ICUs ARE UNVACCINATED.

      Have you told the UK that the full third of their COVID deaths of late, who were vaccinated, don’t exist?

      I’m sure they’d be delighted to find that out….

      When the US study on risk of breakthrough infections and serious complications had to choose a period that *ended* with about 45% of the population having had two shots, use that as the population comparison point, and *then* had to change their definition of vaccinated from “has had A shot” to “has had both shots at least two weeks prior” in order to get a favorable number.

      When the statistic already favored ‘vaccinated’ because people who are too sick to get vaccinated are a lot more likely to die with COVID. Side effect of having no immune system left, for many of them.

      They even had to admit that the hospitalization rate was only very slightly higher for unvaccinated….

      The thing that is most obnoxious, though, is your callous disregard for the known risk of pneumonia with masking.
      More kids have died of pneumonia than COVID. My mother has permanent lung damage from masking– her case was something that actually worked, preventing breathing ash, but it was a known risk and she got unlucky.
      But, hey, you get to feel all virtuous while you spread nasty falsehoods to try to drive people into making dangerous choices.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh yes, because a faddishly useful newsfeed “factcheck” totally overrules prior scientific evidence, basic safety guidance, wildfire smoke PSAs*, OSHA regulations, the experts they quote at the bottom of your chosen article about having to clean masks to avoid ‘microorganisms’ growing on damp masks, and, oh yes, the health warnings on the sides of mask boxes themselves of the last several decades.

        *golf clap*

        But hey, you actually got SOMETHING besides hand failing this time.

        In contrast, this is evidence:
        A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers

        The rates of all infection outcomes were highest in the cloth mask arm, with the rate of ILI statistically significantly higher in the cloth mask arm (relative risk (RR)=13.00, 95% CI 1.69 to 100.07) compared with the medical mask arm. Cloth masks also had significantly higher rates of ILI compared with the control arm. An analysis by mask use showed ILI (RR=6.64, 95% CI 1.45 to 28.65) and laboratory-confirmed virus (RR=1.72, 95% CI 1.01 to 2.94) were significantly higher in the cloth masks group compared with the medical masks group. Penetration of cloth masks by particles was almost 97% and medical masks 44%.

        This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Further research is needed to inform the widespread use of cloth masks globally. However, as a precautionary measure, cloth masks should not be recommended for HCWs, particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated.

        This is quite familiar to anyone who has been following the challenges of getting medical supplies to areas with less dependable supply chains, or the history of cloth masking as a disease vector control; trying to find a way to make reusable masks work is a bit of a holy grail, one that has stayed out of reach for over a century. It continues to not work.

        Now, contrast that study (and the many others, you might start back a century or so with Dr. Kellogg the California State Board of Health and go from there) with the notable lack of evidence in support of the ‘debunking’, as has come to be expected.

        Now, Reuters could’ve gone with something easy, like say… seeing if the bacterial pneumonia rate goes up in areas with required masking. And providing that evidence as support of the claims, instead of resorting to a fallacy.

        There’s a reason that they have to personally attack those providing countering information, and why we’ve seen such insults to the very system of scientific inquiry as that MIT study that announce that it’s “unorthodox” to ‘believe’ that scientific claims should be tested before being accepted, rather than accepting interpretations without support– that science is a system of rational inquiry, rather than a body of experts.

        *smoke particles are equal or larger in size than the COVID virus; you can look up the requirements for filtering out smoke in the workplace, along with limits on how long people can wear them.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Science is a method of trying to find out what about the physical world is true. Unfortunately it seems too many people these days think it’s revelations given to scientists out of clear air that Cannot Be Questioned.

        It makes me want to thwap someone over the head with entry-level statistics books.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Add in some history books of what it means when, all of a sudden, everyone is getting a result that is the opposite of previously reproduced studies, AND doesn’t want to show their work.

        It doesn’t indicate that suddenly everyone found a big problem in the methods of prior studies and and is quietly correcting it.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. *Wry* Indeed.

        (And the results strongly indicate Mendel cooked the books by including only the genetic pea traits that did sort independently. All of them but 2 are on separate chromosomes, and those last 2 are so far apart they almost always assort independently anyway. When you can’t trust a monk doing science to show all the data….)


      5. Didn’t his studies help inspire the standard of “collect all the data and record it, no telling what you’ll find” not post-date it? Exactly because he was able to identify that there were unexpected results– and even then, nobody much noticed until he was dead. Still, a very solid strike to the “tell a story” form of natural philosophy.*

        I think I have a new gloriously stuffy version of the classic “Huh, that’s funny,” though:
        ‘was intuitively aware from his informal observation’.

        IE, went “huh, that’s funny, it doesn’t match what I know I saw….

        I may need more coffee. 😀

        * Oooh, that may be an actual distinction between Science and Natural Philosophy, as they’re supposed to be practiced. I really like Ben Franklin, but he was definitely more on the art side than a strict technician!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. My favorite part about the “any mask works” people is that the claim is directly contradicted by the mask manufacturers themselves.

        You pick up one of those cloth mask packages at the store and it says right on the plastic envelope “this mask is for fashion only. It does not protect against viruses, bacterial or disease transmission” (or words to that effect, at any rate. I’m certain that I’m not remembering with complete accuracy.)

        They are not fit for the purpose for which everyone is making, selling, buying, and wearing them.

        Liked by 3 people

      7. Well, in US manufacturing, sold to the public, under the old rules if you said that product has quality x, you could get in trouble if it could be shown that it did not have x. Huge liability issues. So, someone in manufacturing might reasonably expect that they would get in trouble unless they could show that it did x. There there was the fall out of the lawsuits for failing to have labels warning about things that an intelligent person could work out were true. So, if people are excited about x, and looking for a y that has x, and your y does not have x, you would be safest to label it as not having x.

        Manufacturers do not want any part of the liability wrt covid.

        They aren’t using the filter media that can do the job, and even if they were, anyone can be shown how to understand that the ‘seals’ and the straps do not permit the masks to filter reliably.

        So, they would say so, even if there was some utility if used correctly. The folks I’m around almost certainly not always using them correctly. As in, they are wearing them too long, and not keeping them laundered enough.

        And with the air quality of masking, the EPA or OSHA would intervene quickly as long as it was private business that they were screwing over.

        Liked by 2 people

      8. Well, my cotton bibs with terrycloth backing have worked fairly well to avoid getting sick from masks, mostly because 1) bibs are designed to be washed with bleach, and 2) because terrycloth wicks moisture and germs away from your face. And if people were really concerned about “droplets,” they’d all go heavy duty like a bib, instead of these playbaby masks.

        But you definitely don’t want to wear even a bib two days in a row, even if “cooked dry” in the sun, because there’s no substitute for being washed and bleached. Nope nope nope.

        Also, the Karens of the world get very annoyed that I leave the bottom of the bib swinging free, even though it’s a much much bigger, thicker mask than they use, and absorbs more germs.

        (And yes, of course it’s stupid anyway, but my employer makes me wear a mask. So I’m still making the best of things. Fortunately they don’t force us to use a single kind of mask, because frankly the normal adult masks don’t even fit my nose and mouth unless I wear them upside down.)

        Liked by 2 people

      9. It’s been my experience that whenever someone can feel virtuous and smug about singling out someone else who is otherwise Minding Their Own Business and inflict pain and embarrassment, they’ll almost always do it. Especially if said bystander is minding their own business.

        Liked by 1 person

      10. It’s been my experience that whenever someone can feel virtuous and smug about singling out someone else who is otherwise Minding Their Own Business and inflict pain and embarrassment, they’ll almost always do it.

        This is what the injunction in Jewish and Christian tradition to try to correct in private is designed to short circuit– it removes the virtue in public correction, so that if it gets that far, it means you already failed even if it’s still worth doing.

        Applied psychology in religion is fun– like how the rule for the ancient Jews that they could have more than one wife, but they had to get *identical* support, meant that they only had one wife by 2000 years ago. Not just because it was expensive, but because the dynamics of abuse didn’t work if both wives got identical material treatment.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. I’m from the UK. We are 64% vaccinated. (A lot of the remainder are too young to get the vaccine under our current rules. Taking them out, it is more like 81%.)

        In the last few months, around twice as many unvaccinated people are being hospitalised or dying as vaccinated people. This is a rough estimate; obviously the data looks much more complicated, but it does agree with your summary.

        That means that in the UK, vaccines are currently being about 80%-90% effective in preventing hospitalisation and death.
        (As far as I can figure, the people who were too sick to get the vaccine are statistically negligable, as are the immunocompromised for whom the vaccine may or may not have been effective.)

        Our deaths and hospitalisations are currently rising, but much slower than in the two waves before vaccinations. (This is more pronounced in deaths.)

        Obviously, all the numbers will change as the vaccines’ effects fade, but vaccines have so far been a really effective protection in the UK.

        I don’t think mandating medical treatment is a good idea on any level, especially not within an employee-employer relationship, but that doesn’t mean that the treatment itself is bad.

        Liked by 1 person

      12. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the vaccines, and side effects that are showing up on official records yet never getting press coverage.

        That said, I’d never prevent someone from taking them, and they have had a definite lifesaving effect for many in high-risk groups.

        OTOH if you’ve caught any of the variants of Covid and gotten over it, your resistance to another infection is something like 7 times better than the vaccine… and your risk of side-effects from the vaccine is much higher. There should be no vaccine mandate at all, but there definitely should be no “you must get vaccinated or get fired” if you’re already immune!


  15. As for 9/11, I’ve lived in Germany since the late ’90s. I had a nightshift iirc, and I didn’t really register what my Uncle was telling me what was being shown on TV for a while- must’ve been afternoon my time. I was pretty much stunned. My sister, on the other hand, lived in Fort Lee, NJ, at the time (she worked in NY City for a defunct medical supply company that made disposable syringes). She was also a first responder with the Fort Lee ambulance Corp, and deployed with her vehicle crew to the disaster site. She even got on a brief news video shot, when she was helping to load an injured firefighter.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I was sitting at lunch in middle school, with a bunch of older girls when they announced it.

    My general response to the polticos who’ve managed to shadow puppet their way in charge of our country matches that of a long haired, well-trained chihuahua I dog sat for. I have never, in my entire life, seen something so unimpressed with my general existence. If share a picture, but it seems my phone won’t let me.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I’ve got to be honest. I was not-quite-eleven and it took me days to understand what had happened (I did not mature very quickly, emotionally speaking, and we live in deep woods) and years more to fully grasp the horror of it in depth.
    We were homeschooled, and we’d finished for the day and we’re regulated to my brother’s room to play and watch cartoons while my mother cleaned. My brother had this beautiful old television and it was hooked up to a massive, old H-style antenna, and it only got about four channels, and that day none of them seemed to work. We told mom, because when that happened it was usually because the antenna needed to be turned or the cable was loose. I think she told us not to worry about it.
    We had TV in the living room– Dish back then, I think, but it could have been our local cable. Looking back on it, I wonder if she learned about it before we ever got out of bed.
    We learned about it when my brother’s TV finally started working again.
    Late that day my father called. I didn’t know why it was impactful then. My father only called once a day; he was off at truck driving school, after all, and it’s hard to talk when you’re studying. I learned later that he had already graduated and was that day due to get his own truck– in New York, not far from the Towers. He had been, blessedly, delayed. If he hadn’t, he wouldn’t be here now.
    I don’t know how much of this I was aware of at the time. I have vague memories of my mother being stressed, but mostly I remember being confused. I remember her explaining to us that the World Trade Centers were a central hub and that most television channels bounced off them, and that’s why our TVs worked when they managed to fix that, or something to that general effect. My memory of the day isn’t great.
    My memory of the week, though, days watching and rewatching the news, trying to make sense of what all I was seeing. Months researching, later, trying to comprehend the scale of it.
    The outrage. The horror. The medical glint of it, as I studied growing up, how fright kills, and impact damage, and smoke. Researching the chemical balance of PTSD. Study, study, study.

    My workplace announced the day by quoting Mother Teresa and advocating “peace and tolerance of our fellow man” in “honor and remembrance of those who were lost”. I don’t know if I have ever been more mad. No amount of peace and tolerance would have ever saved those people, and it’s a spit in their face to advocate tolerating their murderers. Because they were murdered.

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