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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



A Trio of Rants (or helpful observations) Inspired by Being Awake Since 4 a.m. for No Particular Effing Reason

When people—usually preachy, tedious dullards—insist that we should avoid using stereotypes because they’re misleading and unhelpful, are they not stereotyping stereotypes?

What’s with the exposed butt cracks?  Seriously, how do people not instantly know when they’ve had this particular specie of wardrobe malfunction and, upon attaining such knowledge, how is it that they so often put off doing something about it post-haste? It seems that, for whatever depraved, satanic reason, I’ve seen more of these over the past 3 weeks than in the previous 3 years, and I’ll take that as a sign that I’m meant to say something.  Is there no draft? One would think that there would be at least some minimal level of sensory input sufficient to alert the owner of the crack.  It’s wrong even when sexy women let it happen.  It’s profoundly wrong when anyone else does.

Why is "911" still festooning the sides of every police and emergency vehicle in Christendom?  Is there a person alive in the United States older than 18 months who does not know what number to dial in the event of an emergency, or if McDonald’s gets your order wrong?