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.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    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?

    Peace

  • PatBannon

    Wow. This is the sanest thing I’ve ever seen you post. I’m actually kind of proud.

  • Michael Pullmann

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

    Even in the greatest darkness, there is light…

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Justin

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

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    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.

  • Rhubarbarian82

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    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.

  • Carstonio

    Look, I don’t know if gods exist or not. Depending on a belief that gods exist, or a belief that gods don’t exist, feels very risky to me, and I prefer the relative discomfort of my lack of knowledge. But as long as others don’t insist that I should share their beliefs, I have no issue with them finding comfort in own ways. And you shouldn’t either. What matters right now is is helping the victims and bringing the perpetrators to justice.

    In other words, knock it off.

  • 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.

  • LoneWolf343

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

  • 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.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    “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.

  • http://twitter.com/shutsumon Space Marine Becka

    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*

  • Lori

    Because nothing says “concern for the victims” like getting into a Twitter war that would embarrass the average middle school student. I can’t roll my eyes hard enough.

    There are some people who just seem to have the asshole proselytizer switch in their heads set permanently in the “on” position. If they believe in god then every tragedy or misfortune is an opportunity to rant about how god is punishing people for their sins or how only god can bring comfort. If they don’t believe in god it’s an opportunity to rant about the problem of evil. All those folks need a heaping helping of STFU.

  • P J Evans

    WBC says it’s going to picket the funerals, because the bombings were – I don’t have to fill in the rest, do I?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I had to see how much a thing this was. Yeah… tribalism is a thing for atheists too, for sure.

    I collected a few excerpts, for the curious.

    http://oi45.tinypic.com/5cf0qc.jpg

  • LoneWolf343

    The fuck are you on about?

  • Lori

    Same shit as she’s on about ever time she graces us with a drive by. Just be glad she doesn’t stay. I assume she has a circuit of religious or nominally religious blogs that she trolls on the regular.

  • Helena

    No. This one of the few blogs I read, because S.’s dismantling of Left Behind is so clever, and it turns out I share virtually every political opinion with him, except the belief in fairies. I’m flattered you keep track of me. The call for prayer is semantically equivalent to “I’m going to help you by doing nothing.” It is, as I said, insulting to the victims; it’s mockery.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    I’m curious: on your view, when my secular friends who know I live in the Boston area contact me and they tell me they’re thinking of me, am I wrong to appreciate them for it?

    Should I feel insulted instead, since they aren’t actually doing anything, but somehow think I should care?

    Is it even reasonable for me to feel insulted in that case?

  • EllieMurasaki

    S.’s dismantling of Left Behind is so clever, and it turns out I share virtually every political opinion with him, except the belief that it is possible to respect a belief that differs from mine.

    Fixed.

  • Lori

    I don’t keep track of you. I don’t have to. You make a point of being obnoxious every time you comment. It’s rather noticeable, which is clearly what you want.

    Thinking good thoughts and hoping for the victims’ recovery is also equivalent to saying “I’m going to help you by doing nothing.” If your actual concern was with whether or not people were doing something tangible then you’d focus on that. Neither prayer nor good thoughts automatically preclude doing something and not praying doesn’t automatically mean actually doing something.

    You don’t care whether people do something for the victims or not. We can tell because your post in this thread was just like every other comment you’ve ever made here. You’re simply using the bombing as an excuse to do your same old pissing and moaning and being rude. Using the victims that way is fair more disrespectful than praying for them.

    Beyond the fact that you’re just a user, you do realize that statistically the vast majority of the victims are probably believers themselves, right? You have no right to be insulted on their behalf. If you know for a fact that one or more of the victims is a non-believer who is insulted by prayer then do share that information. I’m sure that the praying folks here would be happy to exclude them out of respect for their preferences. If you don’t have that information then climb down off your totally unjustified high horse and can it.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    It is, as I said, insulting to the victims; it’s mockery.

    So… Those among the victims who want people to pray for them, they’re insulted too? Those who acquiesce to the requests of the victims for prayer are mocking them?

    See, this is why you’re an asshole. It’s not because you’re an atheist. It’s because you do not merely fail to give a damn about how the victims actually feel, but you accuse others of insult and mockery at exactly the same time as you yourself hold the victims feelings in utter contempt.

  • Fanraeth

    If you’re going to be enraged by religious people saying religious things in the comments section on a religious person’s blog, perhaps you might consider browsing elsewhere?

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Helena specifically visits the blog from time to time to do this, hence why I phrased my reply as I did: Some people see tragedy as nothing but an opportunity to be an asshole to people.

  • Fanraeth

    Oh, one of those. I used to have a “Christian” acquaintance who used every tragedy as an excuse to say bad things happen to people to drive them to God.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Yup, therein lies the irony. Same tactics, same jerk attitude, only what they’re proselytizing is atheism instead of Christianity. They fail to recognize the import of the fact that once you adopt this kind of behavior, it ceases to matter what you’re preaching because your attitude will never win any converts. It becomes all about establishing the tribal boundaries.

    And when they use tragedies to push this message, I frankly consider them no better than the WBC.

  • 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.

  • 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….

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    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.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I’m Enopoletus Harding and I am responsible for the downvote of your comment (and plenty of other comments here). Since perfectly reasonable comments of mine have been downvoted, I shall hereby downvote every comment on this blogpost that I don’t like. I also support Justin’s position on this issue.
    Edit: I have now rated every comment on this post.

  • EllieMurasaki

    This, folks, is why we ignore downvotes.

  • Lori

    What are you, 12? Not only are you behaving like a petulant child, you’re bragging about it. WTH?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I’m not bragging about it, I’m just quelling confusion about responsibility for a downvote.

  • Lori

    Well, I guess if you’re going to behave like a petulant child we have to give you partial credit for owning it. So um, good on you for that.

  • JustoneK

    You sure showed us.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Ah, got it. We have a child in our midst.

    Note: I don’t believe in prayer either, so I guess you could say Justin’s train of thought is akin to mine. But, hey. I’m not being a dick about it. If people want to pray, let them pray. Hopefully it will motivate them to then go out and help some other way.

  • AnonaMiss

    Since you’re doing this as some sort of revenge against downvoters (which makes no sense at all to me, but whatever), you should note that only registered users can downvote. Between this fact and the heart-wrenching situation she was relaying in the comments you downvoted, your downvoting of SisterCoyote is dickery of the first order.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I fully agree with SisterCoyote’s point that some people simply can’t do anything to help. I disagree with her lack of opposition to the irrational practice of prayer. This “revenge”, as you put it, isn’t a targeted practice of revenge against registered users; it is merely a change in the thoroughness of my use of the Disqus ratings. What constitutes “dickery”?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    Just to make sure I understand: does your new “thoroughness” involve more consistently downvoting things you disagree with, or is there a more narrow target?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30319652 Tim Lehnerer

    Oh, just stop it. I’m an atheist and you’re making me look like a real shitheel by doing this.

  • Fusina

    On the other hand, we now have a slightly less anonymous downvote–eg, anything with only one is probably our “friend” EH.

    Yes. I pray. My best friend is an atheist. She understands that when I fell helpless to change something, I pray. I understand that she thinks I am praying to my imaginary friend, and I understand that this makes her confused, as otherwise she thinks I am very intelligent. I understand that I may be a total fool for believing in a god, but it makes me feel more secure, so if you can just accept that some of us need a security blankie, maybe that will help.

    That said, downvoting someone who would help by giving blood, even if they do believe in a god and in praying for bad situations–oooh, very mature.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=30319652 Tim Lehnerer

    I’m downvoting a blog post reply, not a blood donation.

  • 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?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Don’t strawman Justin. He never called religious people “evil”.

  • Rhubarbarian82

    Oh, great, you’re in this thread now.

  • Steele

    Okay.

    “To score petty points about religion being useless.”

    You’re right, that’s far more respectful.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    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.

  • LoneWolf343

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

  • P J Evans

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

  • Veleda_k

    I was born September 11th 1987.

  • LoneWolf343

    My brother’s birthday is Sept 13.

  • 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.

  • Ross Thompson

    This is the only thing I remember about my 12th birthday: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungerford_massacre

  • LoneWolf343

    It was my mother’s birthday, too.

  • 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, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J902WJ52Nn0

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    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…

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Update: They’re fine, thankfully. None of them were in attendance.

  • “NOBODY’S FOOL”

    “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.

  • aim2misbehave

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

  • 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.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Victor has his problems, but nastiness doesn’t seem to be one of them.

  • 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.

  • Monala

    Especially because Massachusetts, with emphasis on the Boston area, has celebrated Patriots’ Day for many, many decades, starting with a re-enactment of Paul Rever’s ride and the Battles of Lexington and Concord, followed by the Marathon, and culminating with a Red Sox game.

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

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

  • SkyknightXi

    I think the baiter is trying to imply that patriots are in short supply if we’re not even trying to overawe every possible source of trouble. You’d think people would realize there are more avenues to security than just inciting fear in the Other.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    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.

    Fuck.

  • 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.

  • AnonaMiss

    Eh. I’m pretty young too, but as I understand it, it’s not so much that this sort of thing has been going on super often now – it’s the ability of your average bystander to get video, which increases the chance to a near-certainty that television news will have video fit for television and leads to a domino effect among all the different news media.

  • 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: http://www.wgbhnews.org/term/marathon-explosion 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.

  • 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.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    I don’t want to downplay Boston – there’s something exceptionally callous and malicious about attacking a crowd of random people out for a happy occasion. But you don’t even need to cross an ocean to support your point. Just down the road a few miles from me as I sit here typing is Camden, New Jersey – perennial contestant for the poorest and most dangerous city in the US, with 67 murders last year. It’s routine to see a news story out of Camden about a couple of people dying because somebody thought they spotted an enemy in a crowd of bystanders and started shooting more or less at random. It’s a slow motion disaster that doesn’t get half the attention it needs.

    And yet, at least the typical Camden murderer is right there for the attack and has a grudge against some specific person. Maybe what horrifies us about events like the Boston bombing is that whoever did it clearly doesn’t have an individual enemy in mind. They just want to cause blood and fear and death, and anybody’s pain will do.

  • Ursula L

    I’m willing to downplay the events in Boston, at least to the extent that they are being over-played, and with awareness of how that over-playing is causing real damage.

    When I see more resources getting thrown at this bombing than at all the bombings of women’s health clinics in the US, I get angry. Likewise when I see more resources being thrown at these murders and assaults than at the many murders and assaults related to the ongoing problems related to domestic violence and gender-related abuse.

    Particularly since when we throw this much excessive attention at this sort of gaudy attack, we are giving the perpetrators exactly the attention they want. While simultaneously while we downplay or ignore deaths from domestic violence we give the misogynists who consider this violence the right of men against the women they have a right to exactly the space they want to do as they please.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dpolicar David Policar

    For what it’s worth, I’m a Mass resident who was pretty emotionally devastated by the Boston bombings, and I nevertheless agree with you.

    It doesn’t change my emotions, nor should it, but it’s important for me to be aware of the difference between my emotional reaction to an event on the one hand and my understanding of it on the other.

  • Dash1

    Very true. The NY Times for April 15 said there were 37 dead in Iraq, and 140 wounded in the lead-up to the elections. It does not take away from the pain or loss in Boston, but perspective is good. And it has just occurred to me how relieved I am to think we have, at least, an administration that is unlikely to think this is a good opportunity to start a war somewhere, even if this turns out to be of non-U.S. origin. (I’m going to guess, at the moment, it’s home-grown.)

    We were a lot better at “keep calm and carry on (and help)” before the 24-hour news cycle.

  • J_Enigma32

    The 24-hour news cycle destroyed the entire concept of news. The term “infotainment” comes to mind; it’s less about news and more about “news analysis”, which is really just a fancy way to say “personal opinion.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Riastlin-Lovecraft/100000678992705 Riastlin Lovecraft

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

  • LMM22

    If you want to contextualize this, realize she was almost certainly telling him this during the lead up to the second world war.

  • Carstonio

    I’m not proud of the fact that I become fearful somewhat when such events happen, with Boston and with Sandy Hook, and I’m concerned that it interferes with my empathy for the victims. It was worst after 9/11, where for a few days I was terrified that nuclear war was imminent. I’m the same way on a personal level – I hear someone describe a medical or financial crisis and I imagine these happening to me.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I heard about this yesterday. :( I hate not having any idea who did it or why. :( And hearing that people have died makes it worse :(

  • http://twitter.com/lesterhalfjr Chris Hadrick

    The Saudi national thing is a red herring. He was tackled in the street based on some guys belief that it might be him. it wasn’t based on surveillance footage. They need to get cracking on that.

  • Lori

    Oh ya, they should totally “get cracking on that”. Because I’m sure no one is working on it. [eyeroll]

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    If I had to say who did it, I’d vote domestic terrorism. There are right-wing movements all too happy to let the blame shift to those brown foreigners if it means they get away unscathed and can do it again somewhere else. :|

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Or, for that matter, Patriot groups. Killing people in order to prove how Real Americans would never put up with terrorism is kind of a thing for them.

  • Lori

    I agree that this feels like something homegrown rather than something imported. There are obviously other possibilities, but if I had to bet that’s what I’d go with. Of course home grown could mean a US citizen acting as a member of a foreign terrorist group, as was the case with 2010 Times Square bombing*. It’s also possible that it was strictly domestic terrorism, like the Olimpic Park bombing. The fact that there were only 2 devices and they were placed quite close together would suggest that they were places by just 1 person. If that person was acting alone it could take a while to find them. I just hope that between now and then we don’t turn someone into the next Richard Jewel.

    *In the case of the Times Square bombing that group was the Pakistani Taliban, and they’ve disclaimed responsibility for this attack. Obviously I don’t have any faith in their overall honesty, but their purpose in carrying out acts of terror means that there’s no percentage in them doing it and then saying that they didn’t.

  • AnonaMiss

    It was a bombing in Boston on tax day. If that doesn’t scream what movement the bomber considers himself a part of, I’ll eat…

    Um. Actually, I don’t have any hats. My imaginary hat?

  • Monala

    In Boston on Patriots’ Day – the day that commemorates the “shot heard ’round the world” and the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

  • Lori

    Yeah, if forced to bet I’d guess that in this case Patriot’s Day has greater significance than tax day.

  • AnonaMiss

    Mm. I’m from the midwest, so I’d never heard of Patriots’ Day before this thread. When I first read the thread title, I thought Fred making a point about the patriotism of paying your taxes (which would have been inappropriate for the occasion, but I assumed from the lack of explanation that it was a well-established Fred-ism which I had forgotten).

    I’m still inclined to think tax day is the more likely reason, because the only people I can think of who would want to make a point about Patriots’ Day would be Brits with a chip on their shoulders… and while that’s not impossible, that’s a much smaller pool of potentials.

  • Lori

    The kind of person who would want to make a point about Patriot’s Day wouldn’t be a Brit with a grudge, it would be an American with a whole lot of resentment. Specifically someone involved with the far Right militia movement. Among regular folks Patriot’s Day is a thing in Massachusetts & Maine, and somewhat less of a thing in a couple other states. If you’ve never lived in any of those places then it makes sense that you’ve never heard of it. However, if you were part of the militia movement you’d know about even if you’d never set foot in any of those places.

    The particular segment of the far Right that I’m talking about is often referred to as the “patriot movement” for a reason. They fancy themselves the last True Patriots and see themselves as the vanguard of reclaiming the Revolution. For someone like that committing an act of violence on the day that commemorates the shot heard round the world would make sense (within the totally nonsensical boundaries of his world view). Tax day is far more important/obvious to the vast majority of Americans, but these guys live in their own subculture and they don’t see things quite the same way that we do.

    The violent anti-tax folks really do tend to confine themselves to targeting the Federal government. By & large they have no beef with the rest of us so if they’re going to harm someone or blow something up they focus on IRS offices or personnel, Post Offices, federal buildings, that kind of thing. Some of the Patriot guys definitely see the rest of us as part of the problem and/or fair game. Think Eric Rudolph.

    None of which is to say that it couldn’t turn out to have nothing to do with Patriot’s Day. It’s just that if we were laying odds I’d still go Patriot’s Day over tax day. (The nature of the device would tentatively, although not definitely, mark it as domestic terrorism rather than the work of an outside terror group.)

  • AnonaMiss

    Mmmm, I see the point about them considering themselves the spiritual descendants of the American partisans, but… assuming that’s so for the perpetrators in this case, why would they bomb an event which I would assume they would see as honoring them? Because liberals are celebrating it too liberally/trying to co-opt it/whatever? I’m inclined to think this wouldn’t be the motivation, because if it were, you’d think the secularization of Christmas would have attracted this kind of attention long before the secularization of Patriots’ Day.

    Not arguing, curious.

    Actually, my confusion, and more to the point the confusion of “NOBODY’S FOOL” upthread, brings to mind another possibility: someone who hadn’t been familiar with Patriots’ Day, found out about a “Patriots’ Day celebration” being held on tax day, and flipped their shit.

  • Lori

    If it turns out to be someone from the patriot movement my guess is that their motive would be more or less the same as Eric Rudolph’s motive for the Atlanta Olympics bombing—to undermine the government by demonstrating that it can’t keep its citizens safe. That’s a very big thing with those guys and within their (totally immoral and wrong) worldview that makes perfect sense.

    Part of the definition of a sovereign state is that it holds a monopoly on the legitimate use of force within its territory (via some combination of police and military power). In exchange for that monopoly the state takes on the responsibility of ensuring the safety of its citizens (in general and within reasonable expectations). If you undermine that enough you undermine the legitimacy of the state itself. When people take about failed states one of the things that pretty much all of them have in common is a lack of a functioning monopoly/responsibility deal.,

    If the responsible person or group is from the Mass-Maine area then the marathon and Patriot’s Day would be closely linked in his/their mind(s) because it’s the big holiday event (the two are on the same day on purpose, not by coincidence). It’s basically a smaller version of Olympic park—-a high profile event with lots of media coverage that has lots of people in a space that’s hard to secure. That makes it a good target.

    Having lived in California if I was going to try something like this* I’d pick the Rose Parade. Same deal—lots of people in a fairly small area that’s hard to secure, for an event that draws a huge amount of coverage. Especially with a fairly high risk operation if the goal is not to get caught (as opposed to martyrdom) there are major advantages to targeting a familiar event. Knowing how the event works gives you planning advantages and allows you to blend in better.

    *I would never, ever do such I thing. I am speaking purely hypothetically as a thought exercise. It’s a hazard of having done graduate work in security studies. There is no need for any stern people wearing mid-priced suits and driving boring sedans to visit me.

  • Lori

    IDK. The violent anti-tax folks usually direct their violence at the federal government, as opposed to large gatherings of random folks against whom they have no grudge. They’re violent whack jobs, but they’re usually focused violent whack jobs.

  • Jenny Islander

    They could have just assumed that everyone running the marathon was idle rich or librul. The Goldmarks were murdered back in the ’80s because some loser thought that they were both Communists and stinking rich and killing them would be righteous as well as lucrative. He was plenty focused, just on something that didn’t make sense to anyone but him.

  • Lori

    But the guy who killed the Goldmarks wasn’t an anti-tax whackjob. He was Christian Identity, which is a different flavor of Right wing awful. Hence his (mistaken) concern about them being Jewish and Communist. It’s possible that the Boston bombing will turn out to have been committed by someone like that, but if so then neither tax day nor Patriot’s Day will really be the issue.

    It really is depressing how many subgroups of hateful, potentially violent people we have in this country.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    If you knit or crochet, you can always throw together a hat made from licorice whips at the last minute. That’s always been my plan if I ever end up needing to eat my hat.

  • Jamoche

    If you have to eat your hat, order it in a sandwich – to go.

  • AnonaMiss

    Dem!

  • Jamoche

    I like the British approach to tea and adversity:

    That’s Britain for you. Tea solves everything. You’re a bit cold? Tea. Your boyfriend has just left you? Tea. You’ve just been told you’ve got cancer? Tea. Coordinated terrorist attack on the transport network bringing the city to a grinding halt? Tea dammit! And if it’s really serious, they may bring out the coffee.

    Though this is Boston – they might have different ideas about tea.

  • aim2misbehave

    Make a tinfoil hat!

    But, I more or less agree – it’s Patriots’ Day, too, but since that’s a Monday holiday, it only coincides with Tax Day once every so many years. IMO, it suggests someone who was very familiar with certain aspects of American politics. IDK if it was from the specific movement that has a lot to say about Boston and taxes and patriotism, but regardless it’s looking very, very much like a domestic thing.

  • Steele

    I think speculating on who did it at the moment is fairly useless. It could be right-wingers, left-wingers, religious extremists, or just someone who wanted to kill people. It could have been because it was Patriot’s day or because it was tax day or because it was the Boston Marathon and that seemed like a fairly easy place to blow up. They might hate taxes or America or people running.

    We don’t really have evidence pointing at one group or another at the moment. Until we do, I want to be cautious of pointing the finger at ‘those people,’ and be careful about wanting to believe the worst in people I disagree with.

  • P J Evans

    A red herring spread by the Murdoch ‘news’ empire. Please, don’t help them.

  • flat

    my thoughts and prayers are fore the victims.

  • other lori

    I do understand that this is news, and the media will report on it. But I was thinking about how it’s kind of ironic that, the less information we have about something, the more the media reports on it. It’s like, when something just happens and we don’t know much, the media bombards us with images and rumors and everything we need to become hysterical.

    And then, a week or two or six later, when we start getting solid facts and sorting out what really happened, the media has moved on, and the fact won’t make the headlines.

    My husband recently read David Cullen’s book about Columbine, and the main thing he learned is that pretty much everything that has stuck in the popular imagination about Columbine is from the early media reports, and nearly all of that is wrong. The popular narrative is based on myths that were fully dispelled in the investigative report the police released, but the results of that report didn’t get much media attention.

    We’re just in this crazy situation where we are given 24/7 coverage of tragic events as they unfold in the first hours or day or weeks, when all the media can really do is report on rumors and share disturbing images that invoke fear and outrage, and then, by the time solid information comes out, we’ve pretty much moved on to the next thing.

  • flat

    I agree one of the worst things after these terrible things is that directly afterwards there is too much noise.

  • rizzo

    Yeah they gotta keep reporting on something or you might change the channel and then they wouldn’t be able to sell ads. It’s not about news, it’s about moolah.

  • kadh2000

    Always leave it to Mr. Rogers to have the right thing to say.

  • Simongren

    One of the things from the media that has driven me crazy since the bombing is the description “lone wolf bomber”, as in “We don’t know if this was done as part of a group or if it was a ‘lone wolf bomber’.”

    There are people out there that see ‘lone wolf’ as a compliment, something cool to aspire to, a person who follows their own different drummer. These type of descriptions need to stop.

    The better media description of a single or paired bomber would be “We don’t know if this was done as part of a large group of cowards or if it was just one single pathetic loser.”

  • Ross Thompson

    A lone weasel bomber?

  • banancat

    I kind of view this as a subtle form of racism. Like, I can’t wait to find out the race of bomber so we can determine if this was terrorism or just a completely isolated act from an isolated white guy which is unrelated to anything ever and has no cultural or legal implications.

  • other lori

    With the use of “lone wolf,” it refers to something specific, that’s common among anti-government/white supremacist groups. When a person associated with one of those groups commits an act of terrorism, they often do it as a “lone wolf,” which means that they don’t get any direct help from the group, the group doesn’t provide financial support/materials, they make sure there’s nothing to tie the group directly to the attack, so that the group won’t be implicated.

    But, they are only a “lone wolf” if they are associated with some group/movement. A solitary person who just decides on their own to blow something up wouldn’t be a lone wolf bomber, but something else.

    I don’t know if that makes the terminology any better, or where it originated. But it’s referring to something different than a solitary person deciding to commit an attack on their own.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.kempster.12 Michael Kempster

    You can say, ‘Ain’t it awful?’, and pour yourself another drink. You can say, ‘Ain’t they awful?’, and load the Bushmaster. Or, you can say, ‘What can I do to help?’

  • EllieMurasaki

    From hundreds of miles away while broke as fuck? Nothing. I can’t even donate blood for another four weeks.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    And some of us can’t even do that much. I’m below the minimum weight to donate whole blood or plasma and I’m tall enough that even when I skim over the minimum weight, my BMI (around 17 on those occasions) makes doctors deeply uncomfortable. Have been told I’m borderline anemic too, although I take iron supplements.

    The most I can do is endeavor to make sure people have access to accurate information on the incident and to advise them to stay calm and rational. As we’re seeing, that’s sometimes an uphill battle.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Good points, AnonSam and Ellie.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Hm. Another strange downvote.

  • P J Evans

    Pouring a drink may help the drinker. As for the rest – Boston has all the help it can handle. (The Marathon is a ‘live exercise’ for *all* the first responders involved, from the ambulance crews to the National Guard.)

  • aim2misbehave

    My roommate is Bostonian, and I’ve got friends and family who are avid marathoners who’ll do every big race they can get into – luckily nobody that either of us knew was near the explosions, but at the end of the day, pouring drinks definitely did help.

  • JustoneK

    Can I cry? Is that allowed? Or is it too ineffectual? What about mourning, is that allowed? It’s not terribly practical.

  • http://timothy.green.name/ Timothy (TRiG)

    An American friend of mine on h2g2 has written up a list of reasons why he thinks this was domestic terrorism.

    TRiG.

  • Dash1

    TRiG, thanks for linking to that. It’s a very persuasive list, and it’s also got some helpful explanations for those who aren’t familiar with all of our special brands of U.S. craziness. It’s also reassuring on the subject of the upcoming London marathon.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam
  • P J Evans

    I suspect that they have to be – the number of people out there spreading their personal ‘theories’, and the amount of misinformation from the media (Fox, CNN, I’m pointing at YOU) is impressive in a negative kind of way.

  • Lori

    The New York Post is the worst. The Post is terrible all the time, but they’re really outdoing themselves on this one. It would be morbidly fascinating if it wasn’t so scary. If they don’t end up triggering some kind of vigilante violence it won’t be for lack of trying.


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