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“Despots always promise development, but their first acts are invariably to kill or banish as many of the actual developers as they can.”
–Editorial from the September/October 2001 issue of The American Spectator (author unknown)



Something about 9/11

Seems odd to me, but I don’t reckon I’ve ever written anything about 9/11. Nothing I can remember, anyway, which probably means any incidental scribbling that may have occurred must have hardly been worth remembering.

New York City is even more foreign to me than many actually foreign places. I like to visit her, and have a handful of times.  I have friends there.  But nearly everything about New York and New Yorkers is as unrelatable to me as the dark side of the moon.  New Yorkers and rural Northwesterners are two peoples divided by a common language.  Their accent I find either grating or comical depending on the mood I’m in.  Their adaptation to living shoulder-to-shoulder is inscrutable to me; their penchant for electorally empowering commissars of the nanny state utterly baffling.  In sum I like them, but they’re as “other” as other can be to my staunchly libertarian, wide-open-space-loving, authority-detesting, thoroughgoingly Western spirit.

Yet when my brother called me around 7 a.m. on September 11, 2001 and asked if I’d been watching the news, and said, “We’re under attack” when I told him I hadn’t been, I had to agree.  WE were under attack.  Those New Yorkers may be odd folk, and near impossible for me to ken.  But they’re definitely in my “we.”  Just as with family, I can be as critical as I want to of them.  But let some true outsider attack them, and I bristle with the same primordial urge to throw down.  Three thousand of my kinsmen were murdered that day, even if they were culturally, geographically and even emotionally distant relations. It’s how I felt then, and how I feel with no less intensity now.  And now, just as then, they deserve justice, and to have their memories honored.  I guess we humans are inherently tribal creatures, and it took an unspeakable act of savagery for me to get a clear view of just how far my tribe extends.

I have other thoughts about 9/11, but they’re too big to write down.  So I’ll just leave it.

“Traditionally, nothing succeeds like failure.  Failure is rewarded with more money for more programs, more specialists, and, of course, more failure.  Success, on the other hand, is a risky business.  It destroys excuses.  It raises expectations.”
–Joanne Jacobs



“We shall never prevent the abuse of power if we are not prepared to limit power in a way which occasionally may also prevent its use for desirable purposes.”
–F. A. Hayek



“There is danger from all men.  The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.”
–John Adams