Patriots Day bombings in Boston

I don’t know any more than you do at this point, quite likely even less.

Two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. I’m keeping track of events via CNN, which is reporting two killed and as many as 100 people injured in the initial blasts. They’re also saying two unexploded devices have been discovered elsewhere in Boston.

Talkingpointsmemo seems to be doing a good job in keeping pace with official responses.

Charlie Pierce describes the situation in Boston.

No news yet as to who did this, or why.

If you’re the praying sort, please pray.

Let me share this, via Joe Hanson, which seems like a good reminder today.

Look for the helpers. And whenever possible, be one of them.


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  • P J Evans

    One of the people helping was a RI state trooper who had just finished running.
    I heard that many of those who had already finished went to hospitals and donated blood.

  • zmayhem

    General PSAs with what little info I’ve gleaned over the last couple of hours: The Boston Red Cross is reporting that people have been crazy generous, and they’re asking Bostonians to consider holding off for now but coming in to donate in the next couple weeks.

    There’s also a Safe and Well database at their website, where you can go either to say, “I’m here and I’m fine” or to check whether friends and family have checked in. Google has also set up a check-in site.

    Cell phone use is strongly discouraged for now (was shut down completely for a while; I don’t know when it’s going back up), but text messages are fine.

  • aunursa

    My condolences to the victims and their loved ones.

  • That was exactly the picture I shared in response.

  • Victor Savard

    (((bombings in Boston)))

    I must be honest and say that I have not read any of your post but i’m simply going to take advantage and give my Deepest Sympathy to all who were involved in this wicked occurance on humanity.

    What more can be said?


  • Michael Pullmann

    And all reports are saying that there are plenty of helpers.

    Even in the greatest darkness, there is light…

  • Justin

    If you’re the praying sort, unclasp your hands and grab someone in authority’s sleeve and ask what you can do to help.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    Let me just use my patented cyborg Extend-O arms to reach across the continent here.

  • Thanks for this. I don’t think there’s any situation that Mr. Rogers couldn’t have made at least slightly more easier to bear, and this particular quote is a good choice.

    Thoughts and prayers where they will do the most good.

  • Justin

    It’d be appreciated. Would do more than prayer.

  • Unfortunately, thoughts and prayers are really all many of us have. There isn’t much a person living in Seattle with hardly a penny to their name can do. I’m sure the victims and their families will thank you for your efforts to reduce prayers on their behalf, though, and on that note, what the fuck do you expect to see, coming into a Christian blog?

  • Justin

    I respect the minds I often read on this blog. That’s why I spoke up.

  • LoneWolf343

    It’s not the time to be a dick to people.

  • LoneWolf343

    Certainly a rotten birthday present, I can say that much.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    So you spoke up, and revealed yourself to be a dick. Mission accomplished? Or were you expecting something else to happen?

  • SisterCoyote

    Dude. Fucking stop. Some of us are hundreds-thousands of miles away from our loved ones and praying is all we can do. Do you have any idea how terrifying and heartbeaking that feeling is? Please stop. You’re not helping.

  • Lori

    The minds that read this blog know that random people getting in the way isn’t going to improve the situation. I’m not a believer but in situations like this I think prayer does serve a purpose. For people who believe it helps them deal. That reduces the freak out and that’s a benefit, both for the person and for the county as a whole.

    We are pretty much inevitably looking at another ratcheting up of security theater as a result of this. That’s the best case scenario. Worst case is that this brings on yet another round of assaults on our civil liberties. The worst case is more likely to happen if people totally lose their shit and at least marginally less likely to happen if they don’t so I am 100% in favor of people doing what they feel they need to do in order to keep it together. If that means prayer then for all our sakes they should pray and pray hard. Folks who need to meditate or work out or talk to loved ones or hold their pets should do that. Self-care is a positive good today. No one should feel the least bit bad about doing it.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Sister, if you’re in that situation, then *super hugs* if you want them.

    My boyfriend is going to school 45 minutes from Boston. I can only imagine how I’d feel if he’d been at this event….

  • Lori

    The first comment on Charlie Pierce’s article said it very well:

    All those people–cops, firemen, emergency tech personnel, construction guys, union personnel, civil servants, other men and women in reflecting yellow vests–lifting barricades, lifting bodies. It’s the commonwealth
    in the Commonwealth. We are not safe here, but we are not alone

  • P J Evans

    I knew a guy who had Challenger for one of his birthday presents.

  • SisterCoyote

    Thank you. I just heard back from my friend; I thought he had attended, since he’s been doing a lot of races in the area, but he stayed home for this one. My friends at BU got back to everyone on facebook this afternoon. It’s just… that feeling of helplessness. Hugs to you and yours, as well.

  • Justin

    I wouldn’t presume to insult the victims and their families by suggesting there was a benevolent god who cared what happened to them. This is the most important time for people to think rationally. If there is a god, and he couldn’t stop this, he’s not worth worshipping. If there is, and he could stop it, but let it happen anyway, he’s evil. I don’t see how either option gives anyone comfort. But this will be my last attempt to get in the last word. I’m done. My thoughts and hopes go out to the victims and the ACTUAL PEOPLE who are helping them.

  • Fusina

    I’m glad to hear your friend is okay. And, being not in Boston, I will be praying for those that are. I have been in the situation of having family in a place that has been rendered suddenly unsafe due to stupidheads, it is not fun, it is stressful, and for me, praying helps. I’d give blood, but the last four times I went in, my iron levels were too low and they wouldn’t take it. I was trying to finish off my second gallon, so I am quite bummed about that.

  • Lori

    Dang, this really isn’t the best time to be running the problem of evil. The fact that you don’t see how anyone can get comfort from belief in god(s) at a time like this doesn’t mean that they don’t. We’re all thinking about the victims and the people helping them. Some of us are doing that thinking in the form of prayer. Some of are doing it in the form of thoughts and hopes, what are, of course no more effective than prayer. (IMO they’re also no less effective, but that’s not really the point.) Some of us are apparently doing it in the form of rather self-righteous outbursts which really aren’t helping anyone. Everyone has their way of coping.

  • Take it from me, an honest-to-whatever diagnosed sociopath: You’re being a huge asshole right now and it isn’t doing anybody any good at all.

  • Veleda_k

    I was born September 11th 1987.

  • Jessica_R

    One of the confirmed fatalities was an 8 year old boy. Keeping Boston in my thoughts, I’ll try to get a little something off to the Red Cross this week as they’ve been aces helping with this.

    And hand in hand with that quote, this song from a children’s show always make me feel better about everything,

  • LoneWolf343

    My brother’s birthday is Sept 13.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Interesting comment to get downvoted. I know I’m prone to talking without thinking and being accidentally ass, but I don’t see how that happened here…

  • Downvotes: Thanks a whole fucking lot, Disqus.

  • Lori

    I’ve been told that it’s easy to downvote by accident if you’re on a mobile device or tablet. The wonders of Disqus.

    Either that or, you know, someone is just being a major dick. It happens.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    I do accidentally hit “downvote” instead of “upvote” a lot when I’m using a phone or tablet, but I correct the mistake pretty much immediately. I think Justin went on a petulant downvoting spree before taking his ball and going home to r/atheism.

  • Helena

    So you think god wasn’t planning on doing nothing to help, but he might if you ask him? Who’s the dick, again?And what is he going to do, raise the dead maybe? The whole thing is ridiculous and insulting.

  • “People died today. Awesome, a chance to score points over the religious people for praying! I’ll show them what kind of stupid priorities they have with some mocking banter! I am so cool.”

  • Lori

    Why are you so determined to prove every nasty stereotype about atheists true? What would it take to get you to stop making the rest of us look bad? You know that annoying, rude PITA that trolls atheist boards proselytizing? You’re That Guy. You have no room to ever complain about That Guy or feel smugly superior because you are exactly the same.

  • I realized out of the blue that I have family in Boston with whom I have no direct contact. Sending a message to my father; hopefully he can get in touch with them and confirm that they’re safe…


    “Patriots Day”??? since when…stupid bleeding heart lies…tragedy, tragedy, tragedy, take the guns, video everyone, arrest for nothing sissy-ass country we’ve become…well, THEY actually made YOU this way…

  • Baby_Raptor

    is this another of those “only Republicans are Patriots, Liberals are all baby murdering, evil gun grabbers” comments? I confess that I can’t quite make sense of it.

  • I left Boston last night for a two-week business trip. So I’m in a hotel room reading about the deaths and injuries and dreading my nation’s response to it.


  • Hexep

    I guess this is human life, from now on… perhaps I’m just too young and don’t have any perspective, but it feels to me like there’s been a sea-change in the past 5 or 6 years, where this sort of catastrophe has gone from being genuinely shocking to just… some kind of dismal routine.

  • Ursula L

    When I heard about this, I deliberately chose to avoid the hype of CNN, which, with its endless repeating loop of news, tends to make everything it covers seem vastly out of proportion.

    Instead, remembering all the PBS shows that I’ve seen produced by the PBS station in Boston, I looked it up. Found its news page. And looked around a bit, until I found that they were tagging all the related news with “Marathon Explosion.” The page for tagged reports is here: Refresh every quarter or half hour, and you’ll get all the news CNN is offering, but without wasting hours watching them repeat the few things now known over and over in order to fill air time.


    It’s also worth remembering to keep this in perspective.

    If we were living in Syria, today, the casualty numbers we’re seeing would be a good day.

    If we were my father and stepmother, young children in Germany during WWII, the casualty numbers we’re seeing would be a good day.

    If we were talking about deaths and injuries from domestic violence, in the US, today, then the numbers that we’re seeing would be a good day.

    If we were talking about deaths and injuries from firearms, in the US, today, then the numbers we’re seeing would be a good day.

    This is one crime, in one city. Last I saw, two people had been killed. Two murders in one day in a city the size of Boston in the US would not make the headlines on an ordinary day.

    Fred often writes about the dangers, the evils, of having a persecution complex, when you are, in fact, very powerful. The US is about as powerful as it gets. And the US feeding a persecution complex, off of events like this, is a problem.

  • Steele

    Yes, but what if I want to take advantage of people’s mourning a tragedy in order to score petty points against the evil religious people? Can that take priority over helping?

  • It’s happening on Twitter as well. There’s two hashtags – #helpboston and #prayforboston and the amount of snarky tweets on #helpboston about #prayforboston is clogging up #helpboston is likely less helpful than praying because they bury the useful tweets. (It also ignores the fact a lot of people were using both because people who pray are often not just praying). *facepalm*

  • Hexep

    Achhhh… That’s true, isn’t it? Hell, I’ve got the Shanghai Daily on my desk right now; yesterday’s edition showed 13 people dead in Xiangyang, 50 injured. And that just passes without incident…

    I don’t usually say this sort of things, because it’s not my way, but Ursula, you said something that was good and wholesome for me to hear (wrote/read), and for that, you have my sincere gratitude.

  • Hth

    It’s a weird place we’re at in American history when people can say with a straight face that Boston is co-opting the notion of patriotism from Real America.

  • You do realize that quotation marks aren’t for emphasis, right?

  • aim2misbehave

    Me neither, although I’ve been wondering if perhaps it’s a relative or something of Victor’s?

  • My thoughts are with the victims and their loved ones. Stay safe out there :(

  • reynard61

    My birthdate is April 20*. Try living *that* down. Then again, it’s also George Takei’s birthdate. So I’m not *too* bummed about it…

    *April 20, 1961, to be exact. The same day that President Kennedy sent his letter to VP Johnson asking if men *could* go to the Moon. I’m literally a child of the Space Age.

  • reynard61

    No, while it can take a bit of time (and, let’s face it, a decoder ring) to parse out the general theme of one of Victor Savard’s…um…Orations; this New Guy is just another troll. Don’t feed him, and he’ll eventually go away.