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More On Tragedy 2087

There's been lots more happening today - arrests and suspect taken from the Westin Hotel in Boston, as well as the Park Hotel in Newton, MA, which is right down the road for me. There's been some thoughtful submissons about people saving the feeds on their [PVR]s, so that the moment isn't lost in time. NATO has invoked Article 5, meaning that for first in history, I believe, the mutual defense clause has been activated. More news included below.
Scott Laird writes "We've received notice that our network facilities in NYC are going to run out of Diesel in ~2 hours, and there's no way to get more diesel to them until lower manhattan is opened up. Since we're located in the same facilties as most of the other major network providers in Manhattan, odds are there are going to be a lot of things dropping off the air this afternoon."

ELBnet writes It would be a godsend if the various survivor registries would pool their data, or if someone sets up a google-like search engine to reach all of them at once - and that is a great idea. I set up the search engine at but need URLs to populate it. Please e-mail me any suggested URLS and I'll add them.

Also please don't /. the site... let the people who need it get to it. Spread the word."

Radio Free Wazee writes "Radio Free Wazee has suspended its normal programming in order to provide a relay for National Public Radio. Most of the sites are slammed -- we've got room for about 320 listeners. You'll need an MP3 player (WinAMP, etc.) -- the stream is at Our web site is Howard @ radio free waee"

GatorMan writes "The Red Cross and have setup a donations page for disaster relief to aide in the recovery of our people. I've seen it jump $100,000 in an hour (thanks to my $10 I'm sure) with over 25,000 donations so far, very promising. No where else on Earth could you find support like this."

winksmith writes "as many of us look on the recent crashes in horror, we will also be pushed towards more tech solutions to some of the scenarios witnessed. i believe experts agree that the buildings may have stood up to forces of the crash had it not been for the very hot fuel burning w/i the building. the building themselves were designed to take aircraft impacts (albeit circa 1960 aircraft). this disaster may spark re-interest in fuel additives for jet fuel that would immediately put out fires upon impact.

the faa and nasa ran some very extensive tests including the purposeful crashing of a large boeing jet (B720) in december of 1984. the tests were not encouraging. details are available. figure 1-1 shows the jet crashing.

no one can second guess what would have happened, but perhaps continued research into this area might have played a role in saving a few more lives. and still may in the future."

Wiggins writes ""The Internet Fraud Complaint Center recently received several complaints that someone is using the letters, "FBI" or "" in an e-mail address in order to make it seem that the message is coming from an FBI employee. In several cases, the message said, "Your application is approved. Please fill out this form to confirm your identity" and solicited the person's name, address, credit card number and expiration date." More on the I am sure /. users know better, but the general populace doesn't (always)."

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More On Tragedy

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  • by kiwaiti ( 95197 ) <kiwaiti@gmx.3.14159de minus pi> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @03:57PM (#2288239) Homepage
    Yesterday, immediately after the attack, it was hard to think anything but "nuke the middle east back into stone age", which seemed to fit the would-be nukees' level of cultural development.

    Today, having calmed down a little, I have been thinking about feasible ways to prevent such acts of terrorism.

    Experts seem to agree that security measures can never completely prevent a determined, well organized attempt involving suicide killers. Never being fully secure, maybe we could still make pulling off something like this hard enough so it won't happen again. Please share your ideas.

    One thing I read on /. was "physically separate the pilots from the passenger cabin". I think that would make it a lot harder. It could be improved by adding security personnel in plain clothes (preferably Constable Angua von Überwald ;o) israeli-style.

    This act was obviously planned by a close and disciplined group. Such groups need money to operate. It has been suggested that Osama Bin Laden be involved in this. Regardless, he is definitely actively supporting terrorism, which is what we are trying to make more difficult.

    IIRC, Bin Laden is a sort of rich businessman from Saudi-Arabia. Probably he still owns some company (or companies), drawing his income from it (or them). The huge, illegal, (nonexistant) cartels of (nonexistant) multinational corporations (not) governing virtually all international trade all (don't) have well established procedures (not) to crush possible competitors. Considering the degree of interdependency in our economy and the fact that the WTC housed some quite influential offices, Bin Ladens commercial efforts might suddenly prove unfit for competition on global markets, as did many others, surprising unsuspecting watchers.

    Apparently, he gets lots of cash from fund-raising organizations operating in rich (read: G7) countries. Could these be found out, their efforts proved illegal, their money confiscated?

    These methods could be used against multiple targets. They seem to involve less martyr potential than nukes. Any other suggestions?


  • Speaking of PVRs... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Booker ( 6173 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:01PM (#2288265) Homepage
    Ok, perhaps this is flamebait, but I'm asking, because I think it has some relevance.

    I read on the 'net that when "The WB" covered Bush's speech yesterday, there was a mic on that shouldn't have been. They claimed that they heard someone feeding lines to Bush during the first part of the speech - i.e. reading lines to Bush, Bush then repeating what he heard.

    Anyone else see this? Or is it political FUD? It would explain his strangely halting delivery.
  • 5th Plane theory? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gordzilla ( 97994 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:04PM (#2288287)
    Maybe I missed it, but has there been a confirmation about a 5th plane enroute to Colarado? This "mutual defense clause" does that mean that it's possible that Norad has been damaged and the U.S. is blind in the air?

    I'm watchin CNN now and there's a reported talking about a single unidentified plane flying over NY and to me it looks like one of the new unmanned spy plane's.

  • by Memophage ( 88273 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:07PM (#2288303)
    I find it interesting that this past Friday, (September 7th) the U.S. Department of State issued the following "Worldwide Caution" travel bulletin for the benefit of US travelers:

    "Over the last several months, the U.S. Government has learned that U.S. citizens and interests abroad may be at increased risk of a terrorist action from extremist groups. In addition, we have received unconfirmed information that terrorist actions may be taken against U.S. military facilities and/or establishments frequented by U.S. military personnel in Korea and Japan. We are also concerned about information we received in May 2001 that American citizens may be the target of a terrorist threat from extremist groups with links to Usama Bin Ladin's Al-Qaida organization. In the past, such individuals have not distinguished between official and civilian targets. As always, we take this information seriously. U.S. Government facilities worldwide remain at a heightened state of alert."

    [From: []]

    The U.S. Department of State apparently knew that something was up, just not exactly what.
  • by kstumpf ( 218897 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:08PM (#2288313)
    I'm glad to hear that airport security for passenger flights will be increased. I haven't seen mention, though, of non-passenger flights. There are other planes in the air, such as Fedex and UPS. Surely these planes make cross-continental flights and carry alot of fuel, making them dangerous weapons should terrorists be at the controls. Has anyone seen this point raised yet?
  • by torpor ( 458 ) <> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:09PM (#2288317) Homepage Journal
    The only effective weapon against terrorism is to do absolutely nothing.

    Make any change at all in response, and you are instantly losing. Pandering to the desired effect, which is 'change'.

    Say what you will about the loss of life, and the human tragedy of it, but the fact remains: humans die, whether at the hands of other humans, or by their own doing.

    Yes, it's horrific the way things went down in New York yesterday. Terrible, and we all suffered through it (thanks to live action television) with those souls in the street and in the buildings and planes.

    Americans fear death. Everything they do - their entire culture - is designed to prolong the inevitable.

    It is this nations biggest weakness.

    Responding to this form of terrorism with anything less than an utterly peaceful view is to let the terrorists win.

    Killing terrorists in retaliation won't work - they've already demonstrated they're not afraid of death - something that most Americans can not truly admit.

    Face it. In this particular case, America is not the superpower, since those who do not fear death have the mightiest weapon of all.

    However, we should of course expect a typically American reaction. Bombing of specific targets. Categorically standard propagation of information by American news/propaganda corporations. Political jousting and hustling. Conspiracy, subterfuge, irresolution.

    Made for TV movies will be on the airwaves by June ...
  • by linzeal ( 197905 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:20PM (#2288429) Homepage Journal
    Throwing out rhetoric about the abortion issue is not something you want to get into if you have little facts and no real opinion.

    1. no one has ever suicide bombed an abortion clinic and those that do are not pro-life

    2. Not all pro-lifers are christian or fanatical, see my http:// above

  • by Averye0 ( 194295 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:20PM (#2288435)
    An excellent point.

    However, it would be much more difficult for terrorists to hijack a FedEx or UPS plane than a passenger flight for one simple reason. The only people allowed onboard those planes are the flight crew. When was the last time you heard of terrorists getting onto the plane by posing as part of the crew? You haven't, because it's too difficult and too prone to slipups/mishaps/blown covers.

    Plus, said terrorists would have to be well trained enough to actually prep the plane for takeoff and then actually takeoff. While takeoff is not as tricky as landing, it's still a difficult manuver. It's much easier to smuggle some kind of weapon onto a passenger flight and takeover once the plane is in the air. IMO, anyone who has spent a few hours in front of MS Flight Sim has enough familiarity with the instrument panel of a 7x7 to pilot it into the side of a building. Sad, but likely true.

    Averye0 out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:23PM (#2288460)
    Is available without registration at: The Wall Street Journal> []
  • by sulli ( 195030 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:27PM (#2288494) Journal
    I have been extremely impressed with both the slashdot stories - getting better with all of the links to mirrors, eyewitness accounts, newspaper stories, and the rest - and the many eyewitness and survivor accounts. [] I've also found it a good place to share my own feelings about the events of yesterday, in an open and honest forum.

    As important, the signal to noise ratio is the best I've ever seen - almost everyone has been respectful and honest. I will admit to being an occasional troll myself, and I'm very pleased that there has been almost zero harassment or false stories - just as it should be.

    One [] of the stories is now number one on the Hall of Fame [] with 2422 stories. Again, just as it should be.

    Many thanks to the Slashdot crew for keeping the site running, and posting such meaningful, powerful stories. And thanks everyone for sharing your experiences. It's made a difference for thousands of people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:29PM (#2288513)
    Two floors of the WTC were home to Sun's NYC operations. According to Sun, at least 300 of their New York employees are unaccounted for.
  • The Israel factor. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Robber Baron ( 112304 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:39PM (#2288613) Homepage
    This is an excerpt from an analysis I just received from Stratfor []

    The big winner today, intended or not, is the state of Israel.

    Israel has been under siege by suicide bombers for more than a
    year. It has responded by waging a systematic war against
    Palestinian command structures. The international community,
    particularly the United States, has pressured Israel heavily to
    stop its operations. The argument has been made that the threat
    of suicide bombings, though real, does not itself constitute a
    genuine threat to Israeli national security and should not
    trigger the kind of response Israel is making.

    Today's events change all of this.

    First, the United States no longer can argue that Israel should
    endure the bombings. Moving forward, the domestic American
    political mood simply won't tolerate such a stance.

    Second, Israel now becomes, once again, an indispensable ally to
    the United States. The United States is obviously going to launch
    a massive covert and overt war against the international radical
    Islamic movement that is assumed to be behind this attack. Not
    only does this align U.S. and Israeli interests but it also makes
    the United States dependent on the Israelis -- whose intelligence
    capabilities in this area as well as covert operational
    capabilities are clearly going to be needed.

    Excuse me...big winner, intended or not?

    Is this a suggestion that some Israeli faction might be involved?

    Who benefits? Who pays?

    I can't see this being a Palestinian operation. The last thing they want is a pissed-off US pouring more money into Israel. It might have been Bin Laden but I would've expected him to show more of a sick sense of "pride" in his handiwork. The Iraqis? maybe, but Iraq is monitored pretty closely and they know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of US ire. Answer who benefits and you might be close to uncovering the source of this wickedness.

    This'll probably get modded to hell, but I don't care. Karma isn't everything.
  • by Pengo ( 28814 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:39PM (#2288619) Journal
    google groups []

    This madman was warning people about the event before it happened! :-(

    This guy seemed to be warning people on the newsgroup about the end of the world, etc etc. And that tomorrow you will understand my warnings, blah blah blah.

    Maybe it's crap, but it's still fricken given me chills.
  • Re:Sun micro (Score:3, Interesting)

    by catseye_95051 ( 102231 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @04:56PM (#2288775)
    I can confirm that this is what we have been told inside Sun. All our WTC employees got out fine. None of our pentagon employees were hurt.
  • by cvanaver ( 247568 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:03PM (#2288849)
    I have a couple of points to make:

    First, though I'm not neccesarily advocating the arming of pilots in cockpits, cabin de-pressurization is not that bad of a thing when compared to many alternatives. If a cabin becomes de-pressurized in flight due to a puncture in the fuselage, about the worse thing that would happen is the plane would drop a few thousand feet in order to move to a higher pressurized atomosphere. The plane would not become unflyable. Drop down masks would come down so people can breathe and the plane could be diverted to an immediate landing strip, assuming the emergency situation (terrorists) was brought under control. We all remember stories in the past about parts of planes falling off. We all remember when a huge part of the fuselage popped off a plane and people were sucked out. Even that plane landed successfully, and that is far worse than a 9mm hole in the side of the plane.

    Second, air marshals were commonplace on commercial flights in the US in the 60's. Israel has been using them for many years. As a note, Israel, a country more affected by terrorism than any other nation on Earth, has never had a civilian airliner hiijacked. Granted, that is, in large part, due to more than just air marshals, but they are a key part of the security plan that Israel implements.

    Personally, I think separating the cabin is a better solution. It would not stop hiijackers (because of the hostage situations which the pilots would have to deal with), but would prevent the kind of suicide attacks we saw yesterday.

    However, separating the pilot cabin would require a replacement or significant structural changes to exisiting air fleets, which cannot happen in a very timely fashion. This is part of a long-term approach, but should be coupled with some short term measures including the presence of air marshals on flights and the de-privitization of airport security. Trained police and/or military personnel should be used to ensure airport security. The under $10/hour rent-a-cops should be sent back to the shopping malls.

    By the way, I just heard on the news that the FAA has re-instated the sky marshal policy.
  • by catseye_95051 ( 102231 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:04PM (#2288861)
    As it happens the Israelies have solved this one.
    They have a gun (special bullet i believe) tht has a large bullet and low muzzle velocity. Will put down a human, wont go through steel.

    But secondly, to be honest, in a hijacking ill take my chances with depressurization. If the hijacker is put down there are always the breathing masks for the passengers.
  • by MoNickels ( 1700 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:07PM (#2288892) Homepage
    For the last 36 hours, I've been keeping a weblog of the events in New York and DC, largely from the perspective of amateur vidoe and still photographers, keeps of weblogs and journals.

    World New York [].
  • by catseye_95051 ( 102231 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:08PM (#2288893)
    Im going to answer this in one place-- here.

    I considerd this, there are two answers:

    (1) The Isrealies have already solved this problem. They have a gun that shoots a large bullet with low muzzle velocity. Will put down a human but wont go through even the thin steel of an airplane.

    (2) Frankly in a hiucjackign ill take my chances with depressurization. If the hijcakers are put down tehr are always the breathing masks for the passengers.

    Oh and finally, in re trianing. As i mentioend in the original post, almost all if not all US comemrical airline pilosta re retired airforce pilots. (its abotu the only way an individual cna get Jet training in the US.) So actually they have already BEEN trained in the ahndling of a firearm.
  • FedEx hijacking (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:15PM (#2288951) Homepage
    FedEx had a hijacking in 1994 [], by a disgruntled employee who had just been fired. His objective was to crash the plane in to FedEx HQ in Memphis. The pilot and copilot fought him off, suffering serious injuries. The plane (a Boeing 747) plunged into a vertical dive.

    The two pilots struggled to subdue the hijacker. They were able to hold him down enough that one pilot was able to take back the aircraft controls and pull the plane out of the dive. The plane exceeded Mach I during the dive, the pull-out stresses warped parts of the aircraft, and counterbalance weights in the tail were torn off. But the plane held together.

    The plane was landed intact at Memphis, the hijacker was arrested, convicted, and is in prison, and one of the pilots was too injured to fly again. The plane itself was repaired and returned to service.

  • by henley ( 29988 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:32PM (#2289028) Homepage
    But secondly, to be honest, in a hijacking ill take my chances with depressurization. If the hijacker is put down there are always the breathing masks for the passengers.

    Up until yesterday you'd have been a fool to take that risk. By sitting still and doing exactly as the hijacker said you'd have stood an excellent chance of making it out alive and unharmed.

    What happened yesterday is totally without precedent and it would be unwise to make such a drastic policy and procedural change [carrying guns on commercial flights] without considering first what other measures might be more appropriate and secondly whether the additional risks incurred [of carrying weapons] are matched by a corresponding increase of overall safety.

    Sadly I have no idea of a feasible means of measuring such an impact without waiting for it to happen again and plotting statistical graphs. How very depressing.

  • by LinuxParanoid ( 64467 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:36PM (#2289054) Homepage Journal
    The Washington Post has two webpages showing a listing of all the businesses in the World Trade Center, sorted by name, but also showing which floor each business was on, both Tower 1 [] and Tower 2 []. Interesting to see the non-US companies listed there, but more grimly relevant for gauging survival probabilities of friends/acquaintances/loved ones.

  • by wtpooh ( 15154 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:54PM (#2289194) Homepage Journal
    I am on the mailing list of a group [] that advocates third-party nonviolent observers in crisis areas . Here is their press release:

    Quote for the lazy: "Instead of hundreds of billions for weapons of destruction which we manufacture for ourselves and sell around the world, we should allocate hundreds of billions of dollars for feeding the world's hungry, housing the homeless, healing the sick and helping heal the wounds of war and hatred around the world. The only real security is for the United States to become a real friend of all the world's people."

    For immediate release

    Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    We at Peaceworkers are heartbroken by the tragedies that continue to unfold in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. The depth of the violence is incomprehensible. It is a time for us to draw our loved ones close. And, it a time for us to draw close to our hearts those not immediately in our circles and to keep those who have died close in our hearts and prayers. We also hold up the families and friends who either know their loved one has died or who wait in anguished limbo. We wish strength and endurance to those police, firefighters, rescue workers, medical personnel and public officials working to save lives.

    And, we ask each of us to draw close to those who will be scapegoated for these horrific acts. These acts were not carried out by an ethnic group, race of people or religion. Each of us individually and collectively, must be forthright in resisting any scapegoating or attempts to retaliate with violence.

    We also call upon the United States government not to respond with violence, thus escalating the spiral of violence.

    This is a time for deep reflection and grief. The horrible carnage reminds us that no amount of armaments can protect us from such violent attacks. It is a time to understand the unity of all people and to build our security based on that understanding. . Instead of hundreds of billions for weapons of destruction which we manufacture for ourselves and sell around the world, we should allocate hundreds of billions of dollars for feeding the world's hungry, housing the homeless, healing the sick and helping heal the wounds of war and hatred around the world. The only real security is for the United States to become a real friend of all the world's people.

    From: Ken Butigan,
    Adjunct Professor at the Franciscan School of
    Theology, Berkeley; 510-533-8181

    Nightmare and A New Beginning?

    September 11, 2001. It is late afternoon. By now, it seems unnecesary to recount the facts of this unspeakable day. We know the details neither by dint of will nor by the rigors of memorization but by the molten visceral after-image burning through us in the way that one passenger plane, then another, and then still another burned through the skin of buildings and then ferociously through the flesh of the unsuspecting within.

    The radio all day long repeats the facts. A troupe of airliners, three headed for California, swung away from their their appointed paths and slammed with almost impossible precision into New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon, buildings teeming with people even as they are (or were) fraught with economic and military power. But the facts give way to deeper realities. Just as the 110 storey twin towers at the southern edge of Manhattan seemed inconcievably to lose their shape and dissolve as they imploded before the horrified and disbelieving crowd in the street below (one news account reported that they strained their arms upward in unison as an autonomic, if futile, attempt to keep the skyscrapers from collapsing), so too do the facts seem to dematerialize.

    It is not that the facts about this catastrophe are not real. Rather, they are like the ten thousand bits of debris that have blasted across the banks of the Potomac, the rugged wilderness of western Pennsylvania (where the fourth hijacked plane went down, presumably not having reached its target), and the concrete canyons of New York City.

    The facts are everywhere and nowhere. They peel away to reveal the nightmare just below the surface, the landscape of endless loss and sorrow. The ashes of death are in our mouths. Laid before us is the unutterable collision of two worlds, made suddenly and irretrievably concrete in the finality of this destruction.

    The nightmare is just beginning for the victims of this violence, for their families and friends. We must clearly articulate our horror and condemnation of these premeditated acts of murder. We must find, as negligible as they may be, ways to offer solace to those most directly caught in the stunning brutality spreading out from this most recent ground zero of horrific violence.

    The nightmare, however, is not theirs alone. We as a nation have added this experience of violence to the long tapestry of violence that stains our history. The great danger lies in how we interpret and respond to this nightmare.

    It is too early to say who perpetrated them. There will, nonetheless, likely be strenous efforts by the U.S. to retaliate. As a nation, it is critically important that we recognize that, quite likely, this nightmare is not a new one. Quite likely it is a nightmare drenched in the blood of a retaliatory cycle of violence, and that if the U.S. responds(as government war planners put it)either "proportionately" or massively" there will not only be enormous -- and likely indiscriminate-- bloodshed, it will strenuously escalate and accelerate the wheel of what has been named "redemptive violence." Unfortunately, our history as a species and as a nation painfully reveals that retributive violence is not "redemptive" at all. It does not "save" or make "secure." In fact, it increases the liklihood for new retaliation.

    Now is the time for us to clamber off the wheel of violence. It is the only worthy legacy we can offer to those who died today.

    To this end, I feel personally moved in more profound way that ever to recommit myself to the spiritual journey of creative nonviolence so that true justice can flourish and genuine peace can be every being's lot.

    This means mourning the dead, condemning this horrific violence, but also once and for all acknowledging our own violence and justice and seeking a new path. In this most shocking moment, we have paradoxically been given a moment to desire -- and work for -- the well-being of all. Let us let the unimaginably horrific violence experienced today in the Eastern United States help us understand, in a way we perhaps have never understood before, what such "death from the skies" means, and help us to humbly acknowledge the violence we have perpetrated in this way in the past and continue to contemplate, under certain politically-defined circumstances, in the future.

    Most of all, let us be transformed in light of this horror to recognize, again, that we are all one. In this moment of unspeakable fire, may we once and for all commit ourselves, in a deeply powerful way, to the path of active nonviolence for justice, love, and well being for the earth and for all its inhabitants. Let us take action so that, hope against hope, we can choose -- as Martin Luther King, Jr. implored -- nonviolence, not nonexistence.
  • by fjordboy ( 169716 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @05:58PM (#2289225) Homepage
    i got this in an email..but i almost completely disagree with both of your points. I would say that even if this was true (which it is not)...saying this sort of crap in the wake of a tragedy of this magnitude causes more grief and solves NOTHING. that was a pure flame intended only to cause anger and I am dissappointed in anyone who would do this. Thank goodness the majority of americans aren't like you or else we wouldn't have the heroes that are going into the dangerous situations to rescue people.

    this is the email I got.

    This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.
    America: The Good Neighbor.

    Widespread but only partial news coverage was given
    recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from
    Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television
    commentator. What follows is the full text of his
    trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional

    "This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the
    Americans as the most generous and possibly the least
    appreciated people on all the earth.

    Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and
    Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the
    Americans who poured in billions of dollars and
    forgave other billions in debts. None of these
    countries is today paying even the interest on its
    remaining debts to the United States.

    When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it
    was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward
    was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of
    Paris. I was there. I saw it.

    When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United
    States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59
    American communities were flattened by tornadoes.
    Nobody helped.

    The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped
    billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now
    newspapers in those countries are writing about the
    decadent, warmongering Americans.

    I'd like to see just one of those countries that is
    gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar
    build its own airplane. Does any other country in the
    world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the
    Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why
    don't they fly them? Why do all the International
    lines except Russia fly American Planes?

    Why does no other land on earth even consider putting
    a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese
    technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German
    technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about
    American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -
    not once, but several times and safely home again.

    You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs
    right in the store window for everybody to look at.
    Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded.
    They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless
    they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American
    dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

    When the railways of France, Germany and India were
    breaking down through age, it was the Americans who
    rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the
    New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an
    old caboose. Both are still broke.

    I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to
    the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me
    even one time when someone else raced to the Americans
    in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even
    during the San Francisco earthquake.

    Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one
    Canadian who is tired of hearing them get
    kicked around. They will come out of this thing with
    their flag high. And when they do, they'll have every right to turn their
    backs of the lands that are gloating over their present troubles (even
    though they won't). I hope Canada is not one of those."

  • Cockpit fortress? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:02PM (#2289247)
    Would it not help if airplane cockpits were heavily secured with locks and armour, and pilots were not allowed to leave the cockpit?

  • by chhamilton ( 264664 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:03PM (#2289258)
    All the news out there has been hinting that the hijackers got control of the aircraft by luring the pilots out of the locked cockpit by killing passengers/flight attendants, and threatening to kill more. Typical company policy says that they are not to do that, despite it seeming like the right thing to do at the time.

    Why not physically seperate the cockpit from the rest of the aircraft? Currently, regulations and company policy make it so that their should be a door between the cockpit and passenger cabin, and that door is normally locked. However, if the pilots had a seperate external entrance to the cockpit, it would make it pretty much impossible for the hijackers to threaten the pilots directly, or attempt to take over the controls.

    Not to say this would prevent all hiijacks (you can still threaten the entire plane with a bomb or kill passengers to persuade the pilots), but it would prevent aircraft from being physically controlled by hijackers, and used as flying bombs.

    Just a thought...

  • by Stickster ( 72198 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:27PM (#2289391) Homepage

    To those who think this is an isolated incident, let me point out that this enormous tragedy is only one attempt to disrupt, destroy, and devalue American lives. You are of course not hearing about the ninety-nine others in the past several years which failed.

    The fact that this hasn't happened until now is due in large part to the tireless and heroic actions of the same government agencies -- military, Federal, state, and local -- that some of you ./ers love to deride, slander, and vilify without any firsthand knowledge whatsoever. (I encourage you to infer the obvious from the last few words.) These are the people who were the first to the sites when the attacks happened, the people who were crushed as the towers came down, those who went to work in a still-burning building because they knew that not to do so was allowing terrorist factions an unearned victory.

    Returning to normal life shows that we will not be cowed by cowardly attacks on innocent civilians. It just so happens that by simply returning to their normal lives, these people are trying to keep us safe from the next attack... tomorrow, next week, next month, next year.

    Please remember that before you hit your next "Submit" button.

  • by unformed ( 225214 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:27PM (#2289396)
    Thanks for the story, now it's clear why the Pittsburg plane crashed...and some more info on the actual occurences...

    and here's a nontracked and clickable link []
  • by jiheison ( 468171 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @06:31PM (#2289416) Homepage
    Most of the world has real problems (AIDS, oppression, genocide) and globalization doesn't even rank.

    And what do you think is at the root of or at least a conributing factor to these problems?

    Why do you think we have bases in foreign countries? To proctect the interests of American civilians?
  • by nomad_monad ( 442915 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:21PM (#2289654)

    If a more reasonable understanding of the topic is to be gained, then some inaccuracies in your presentation should be corrected... To the meat:

    the fundamental problem in that area is that since the founding of Israel, the Arab countries have continuously devoted themselves to its destruction. I think you also have some major misconceptions regarding the nature of a "Palestinian homeland" which could be more accurately described as "whatever area happens to be under Israeli control at the moment".

    Incorrect. The Oslo declarations and repeated statements by the PNA, amongst other organizations involved in the (now defunct, I suppose) peace process have strictly defined the legal boundaries of a proposed Palestinian state as the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and the portions of Israel that are beyond the "Red Line" crossed and occupied since the war of 1967. Prior to that war, that land was wholly occupied by the Palestinians and Jordanians. Of further note, though Palestinians make no claims to Western Lebanon and the Golan Heights, these are additional territories that were occupied by the IDF in the aftermath of the 1967 war. As for the statement that Arab nations are committed to its destruction, this is also inaccurate insofar as it overgeneralizes the nature of the conflict. Egypt and Jordan have signed official peace treaties explicitly accepting the premise of a Jewish state, while the sole sticking point for Syria is the unjustified and continued occupration of the Golan Heights. In terms of nation-states explicitly opposed to the very idea of a Jewish state, Iraq, Iran, and Libya are pretty much it.

    If it makes you feel better, think about how much we spend on defense each year. Now think about the dollar value of the fact that Iraq didn't have nukes in 1991. Was aid to Israel cost effective?

    This mischaracterizes cause and effect. To break it down: 1) Israel has nuclear weapons. Arab nations don't. As the first entrant in an arms race of weapons of mass destruction, it can appropriately be assigned causal (though not necessarily moral or ethical) blame for such an arms race. THINK: would Arab nations be in such hot pursuit of nuclear weapons if Israel did not have them??? 2) How in the world does military aid to Israel prevent the acquisition of a nuclear arsenal by Iraq? If anything, UN inspections and Allied bombings contribute (however poorly) to the nuclear-free status of Iraq. Furthermore, it's likely that aiding in the overwhelming superiority of Israel's conventional forces only further contributes to Iraq's perceived need for a nuclear arsenal. Think again.

    But it's worth keeping in mind that the only country in that region in which Arabs can vote is Israel. In the rest of the area, the best they can hope for is a reasonably benign king (Morocco, Jordan) or despot (Egypt).

    While it may be true that Israel is the one country where Arabs can vote, it is also the one country in the region where Arabs are categorically disenfranchised (as in disenfranchised *because* they are Arab, or maybe more accurately, disenfranchised because they are not Jewish). One need look no further than the unrelenting pace of Israeli settlements that push out Palestinians further into the hell-on-earth conditions of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Not to mention, they are *branded* as different level citizens - persons of Arab descent are required to have license plates are on their vehicles designating them as Arabs. Though they may be afforded a political right that we assign some abstract worth to, the efficacy of that right appears to be pretty much worthless on the ground.

    And also that the current hostility isn't because Israel denied the Palestinians a homeland but because it offered them one.

    This last statement is so lacking in historical context that it makes any claim to "knowing what you're talking about" immediately suspect. As stated above, there are clear definitions as to what constitutes an official Palestinian state, and there is no denying that the territories that Israel occupies are ones that were captured, and not returned, during a war. This conflict has been going on for decades, and it has nothing to do with Israel offering a homeland - it has everything to do with Israel refusing to provide an acceptable homeland. Discussions of such only gained serious consideration in the aftermath of the 1987 intifada uprisings. The final sticking point to these negotiations was the status of East Jerusalem, the home of numerous Islamic holy sites, and occupied by the Palestinians before the founding of Israel. The negotiations collapsed when Israel could not agree to the reasonable request that East Jerusalem (not even all of Jerusalem) be run as an international city. In sum, when it comes to the question of a Palestinian state, at every stage, Israel has been the recalcitrant party. If there is any further doubt to the completely backwards claim that you're making, think about how things would be if Israel had never offered the prospect of a Palestinian state. I guarantee you, more than the world trade centers would rubble by now.

  • Kevlar (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:21PM (#2289657)
    I recently did some video work in a court room - one thing we needed to do was cut several holes in the judges bench.

    Surprise! it was line with grenade proof epoxy impregnate kevlar and man was that though stuff. This material took HOURS to cut through and with a re-enforce frame around the doors would make the cockpit a fortress.

    Why can't we install 2 new bulkheads of this material, one between the cockpit and food prep area and one between the food prep area and cabin? This way if and when some one needed to enter/exit the cockpit the people in the cabin area could be locked out.

    Cameras in the cabin area with display in the cockpit, why not?

    Some where I remember hearing a pilot talk about getting everyone to sleep by lowering the cabin pressure. Why not have a system to lockout the emergency O2 and dump the cabin atmosphere untill everyones out, sure some will suffer but....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:28PM (#2289690)
    I'm an AC, so I probably won't be read much, if at all. But Pope might read this. Hey, the lessening of our freedoms that began during the gulf war (remember how airports *used* to be?) looks like it's going to happen again. Because they are ineffectual and bureacratic, they make me sick. Why should we give up more liberty, etc. for idiotic/robotic questions like: 1) has your bag been out of your control; 2) has anyone unknown to you...blah blah. How about showing ID? Do you like that? What if you don't have a driver's license? How 'bout strip searches (and I saw one in the Chron. today) at airports? Do you like that idea? IT'S GETTING TO THE POINT THAT YOU ONLY FEEL FREE WHEN YOU'RE OUTSIDE THIS COUNTRY! Travel anywhere in Latin America, and you'll see what I mean. Oh, how much terrorism has there been on Latin American flights in the last, say, 10 years? Can't think of any? For that matter, the LAST INSTANCE OF "TERRORISM" ON A US FLIGHT WAS IN 1989. FOR THE MATH IMPAIRED, THAT WAS OVER A DECADE AGO. Doesn't really sound like a threat worth giving up freedom/liberty for, does it? To top it off, you can't stop plastic knives and suicidal people, anyway.
    Sorry pal, I hope your yearning for more corporate/statist control fails.
  • by Jish ( 80046 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:31PM (#2289708)
    I just wanted to say that I think it is amazing how many people are donating to this and I really believe it should be a link on the front page of slashdot.

    To reiterate:

    Donate money []

    - Josh

  • by ckedge ( 192996 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @07:32PM (#2289710) Journal

    What happened yesterday is totally without precedent and it would be unwise to make such a drastic policy and procedural change
    NO, there is ample precident!!! The alternative is to suffer through the development of TOMBSTONE TECHNOLOGY.

    It's been clear for some time now that it would only be a matter of time before an air-rage incident with an unarmed intruder resulted in 4-500 people dying as an airliner went straight into the ground. And yet no government agency even considered forcing airlines to "reduce profits" by adding a 1000 lb titanium/aluminum door to seperate the pilots from the passenters, even though the idea of a 'stronger door' is the first thing that strikes EVERYONE.

    It's a known fact, by those in the know, that most of what "humanity" and "society" does is Tombstone Technology. Everything that has happened could have been prevented if decisions were made on the side of safety instead of economics. If people didn't simply refuse to deal with complexities by glossing over them with black and white pictures. The phrase "tombstone technology" does not describe "what must be", but describes what goes on now because of the "stupid short-sighted decisions human beings currently make." The way in which organizations, businesses, governments, and masses of human beings makes decisions MUST CHANGE.

    If the FAA isn't relieved of it's air-safety responsibilities, I will be sickened. It's been known for 10-15 years now that the NTSB should be in charge. The conflict of interest of the FAA in promoting air travel and the profits of the airlines has already killed so many due to not implementing NTSB recommendations.

    If all they do is "beef up" boarding security, I will be sickened. We've known for 10-15 years that current security precautions are totally inadequate. I have never EVER heard of a "test" of the boarding security precautions which didn't report a 40-60% success rate at getting serious weapons aboard.

    Airplanes have been siezed before by people bluffing that they have bombs. Knives do not need to be made out of metal. And yet we've got some idiot on TV spouting off how it's so impossible to prevent someone from hijacking an airplane and doing this, seeing as they don't actually need a weapon. If there was a bulkhead and they had no weapon, all they could do is bluff and negotiate when back on the ground.

    No, you can't stop someone from blowing up an airplane in-flight. But you can stop someone from crashing a fully loaded super-liner (like the new ones on the drawing boards from Boeing and Airbus) from being crashed into the Superdome and suffocating 100,000 people, or bringing down the Sears tower.

    You're simply refusing to work through the complexities of the real world. That's what got us into this fucking mess!!! We can handle complexities of this nature, if those capable of making analytic decisions are given the chance, and not mucked with by those who can't think past their nose.

    BTW: With respect to depressurization: the pilots simply need to do a crash dive down to 5000 feet and slow to 150-200mph, at which point there will not be a pressurization difference and aerodynamic stresses will be minimized. Then a few bullet holes will be just fine.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:13PM (#2289876)
    America: The Good Neighbor.

    Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

    "This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it. When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans. I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times -and safely home again. You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here. When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."

  • by smallpaul ( 65919 ) <paul.prescod@net> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:21PM (#2289900)

    But it is plausible to argue that the US is supporting the bombing of Iraq and the sanctions that murder so many innocent children, and the butchering of Palestinian innocents with US bought and made weapons and the torture, repression and murder in Central and South America precisely so that a crap, worthless product like McDonalds can be made cheap enough to be bought by gasoline-burning, wasteful consumers.

    People go to war because they either have different beliefs or want each other's land. The Palestinians both have different beliefs than the Israelis and the two want the same land. I don't see what this has to do with globalization at all. Israel and Palestine could both drop off the face of the earth without affecting the United States' GDP. If the US was really interested in the money it would do well to side with the Arabs (with the oil) rather than the Israelis with their relatively worthless bit of desert. People went to war before there was globalization for the same reason they go to war now. What was the gross domestic product of Israel when the US became an ally. Probably $0

    This is all of course a gross simplification. But it's closer to the truth than you are. The rest of the world's "real problems" exist so that the US and its European client states can have slave populations that are better housed, fed and entertained than the majority of the world slaves.

    Oh sure, the western world caused AIDs and globalization is the root of the constant infighting in Africa. It has nothing to do with the results of pre-globalization imperialism. It has nothing to do with the aftermath of the cold war. It has nothing to do with the arbitrary borders drawn by notorious "globalizers" like 1950s Belgium and Holland.

    Get yourself a break. Construct falsifiable models of world economy and politics and then tell me that globalization is nothing to do with it.

    Globalization has nothing to do with it. People have constructed excuses to kill each other for thousands of years. The killing reached its height years before globalization was a term or an idea. If you call any inter-state commerce "globalization" then okay, globalization has been around almost as long as war but if you use a more reasonable generation then you can't blame globalization for the world's fucked-up-ed-ness.

    Yesterday people died horrifically because the US elite acting in their own interests only have done similar but larger scale things all over the world.

    People died horribly yesterday because the US is involved in a fight with people who are very desperate. Globalization or not, that can only be avoided by withdrawing from the world stage. That withdrawl would be a license to monsters all over the world to follow in the footsteps of Rwanda and Cambodia. The US needs to be more engaged in the world, not less. But there may be blow-back. It's the price of getting involved.

    I believe that this is wrong. I believe that capitalism is a gross, horrific abomination that produces this sort of terror. If you believe otherwise then I hold you accountable.

    Go ahead. Even today, I would much rather live in New York city than in a city in any of the countries practicing alternatives to democratic capitalism: Havana, Beijing, Pyongyang. Do you have a proposed alternative or are you just "fighting the machine", "getting back at the man" and all that other stuff that is appropriate to rebellious youth?

    Would you rather live in mainland China or Hong Kong/Taiwan? East Germany or West? South Korea or North?

    You know what they need in Africa, and Afghanistan and every place in the world where people are oppressed? They need democractic capitalism. We've done the experiment over and over again and we know the results. You are just cruel if you want to subject some poor people to yet another alternate system. I'm a left leaning liberal but I'm not naive enough to still believe we should be pursuing some alternate system.

    Maybe once we've wiped out poverty and AIDs we'll have the bandwidth to experiment with alternate systems but right now we need to get those people good jobs, good homes and enough purchasing power that they can buy some influence over their own governments.

  • tech solutions (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:34PM (#2289956)
    Large passenger jets are close to being able to land themselves (if they are not already capable of doing so, that is). Of all the solutions being bandied about, I haven't heard of anyone suggesting a "panic" button.

    The idea would be simple. The pilot hits the button and relinquishes control -- permanently. The plane then looks in its database for nearby airports and lands itself.
  • by NetJunkie ( 56134 ) <> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:43PM (#2289988)
    Air marshalls carried guns on aircraft for a long time. They came out with a special rounder to be used. It's commercially available now to people like me that live in apartments and don't want shots to go through walls should they have to defend themselves.

    It's called MagSafe (as well as a few other brands). Basically the point of the round has a resin tip with small "BBs" in it. It fractures on impact and loses energy. It'll really hurt someone, but loses a LOT of it's energy when it hits drywall, and wouldn't go through the skin of a plane.
  • by Tsujigiri ( 77400 ) <> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @08:45PM (#2289992) Homepage
    I'm not sure when this was originally written (or broadcast). But I would like to point out the efforts of the Australian Firefighters during the recent forest fires in the US. Many Australian CFS (country fire service) personel went to the US to lend their considerable expertise in fighting bush fires to help stop the blazes (in california??).

    I know it's not much compared to the rest of that article, but it is a small token of thanks from a small burgeoning country.
  • by smallpaul ( 65919 ) <paul.prescod@net> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @10:08PM (#2290306)

    No, but I think that globalism is one of the things that brings him supporters. Get rid of the systemic problems and go after the terrorists. THat way more terrorists don't step in to fill the void.

    The systemic problem is that after WWII a bunch of Europeans were given land in the Middle East and the people who were there are understandably pissed. If you have a solution to this problem that doesn't require the removal of either group, then I would love to hear it. Nobody else seems to. Globalization is irrelevant.

  • by annielaurie ( 257735 ) <annekmadison@hotma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @10:12PM (#2290320) Journal

    I read an article earlier this evening on TechTV [] indicating that the New York Red Cross is in serious need of an enormous list of hardware, peripherals, consumables, and software to help facilitate their field operations, many of which are being carried out by paper. They also need Microsoft and Citrix certified volunteers. The list ranges from entire systems to network hubs, Cat5 cable, scanners, handhelds, and even things like diskettes and tie wraps.

    I wrote to the contact person to verify this, and I have just heard back from her; apparently the story is entirely true, as she has asked me to phone her in the morning.

    If you are looking for a way to help that is relevant to what you do and who you are, this certainly looks likely.

    Here are the texts of my message to Ms. Webman and her answer to me:

    -----Original Message----- From: Anne Madison [mailto: ]
    Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2001 8:18 PM
    Subject: Story on TechTV

    Sorry to break in on you like this.

    I am reading an article from TechTV that indicates you're in need of hardware and equipment. A detailed list is provided in the article. The URL is: 0,23008,3347294,00.html

    If you're still in need of these things, a group of us here in Baltimore would like to help. We are wondering if the list is still current, and while we don't have a wealth to expend, we would like to try our utmost to cross at least one item off your list. If you could ask someone to let us know that the story is correct, and where and how to send the items, we would be grateful for the opportunity to assist in some small way.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. God bless!

    Anne K. L. Madison


    The story is true. We will have a better sense of what has been donated by tomorrow morning. Would you be kind enough to call me in the morning and I will see what is left on the list.

    Thank you!!!

    Dorothy Webman, D.S.W.
    Webman Associates

    4 Brattle Street, Suite 207
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    (617) 864-6769 [Telephone]
    (617) 492-3673 [Facsimile]

    New York Office:
    1650 Broadway, Suite 701
    New York, NY 10019
    (212) 459-0944 [Telephone]
    (212) 586-4306 [Facsimile]

  • gold under WTC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Goonie ( 8651 ) <robert.merkel@be ... minus city> on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @10:18PM (#2290344) Homepage
    This article [] claims that there is very large (> 1 billion USD) amounts of gold stored in a vault under the WTC towers.
  • by ryanvm ( 247662 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @11:00PM (#2290486)
    With apologies to the original author, I would like to present a post I read in nntp:// It is very well written and insightful.

    Subject: view from a new yorker...

    the numbness is setting in... im looking at my family right now, each with
    that depressed face one gets on the 2nd day of a funeral....

    there is a depression hitting this city like you wouldnt believe.. everyone is
    just.. blah at this point.. its beyond even the point of saying "i cant
    believe it" its just a numbness... a blackness.

    there were slight racial incidents... my neighborhood is very near to an arab
    neighborhood, coincidentally only a few blocks from the mosque (sp?) where the
    original 1993 bombing was planned... anyways, there have been sirens and lots
    of police activity over there.. so far i have heard of a car being set on fire
    and a muslim beaten, but not killed... i think when the shcok wears off
    tomorrow, and people become increasingly angry at the growing number of death
    reports.. or when the stupid media starts showing bodies or body parts - the
    same as they keep sensationalizing the clips of people jumping out... as if
    thats something we need to see 17 times in one news report :( - well as the
    anger increases tomorrow, i fear common sense will not control people's actions
    tomorrow... hopefully people can keep their senses, and not turn into an
    LA-riots style race war.

    There are still particles floating in the air, and i am 4 miles away, across
    the river. there is a 1/4 inch thick layer of dust from the collapsed
    buildings.. there is also a burning tire smell in the air.. just hanging
    there..i find myself wishing for a breeze.

    stories of the few recovered survivors are filtering through, and there are
    "mental health crisis hotline" flyers posted all over NY...

    i personally dont even want to go to sleep.. im haunted by images, and today
    has been just a series of moments.. i have no sense of a continual and
    coherent passage of time today... just a series of isolated moments and
    emotions... this is the strangest feeling i have had. i decided to write this
    letter after i realized i had been sitting at my keyboard just staring at the
    computer screen for 10 minutes.. not doing anything.. i sort of zoned out.

    its gotten to the point where we have recieved so many phone calls from crying
    relatives and friends that i dont even want to pick up the phone anymore.

    no one is crying anymore... their eyes are sunken in and swollen to show they
    had been crying the whole day.. but not now... its a mental, emotional, and
    physical weariness.

    everything south of 34th street in manhattan is closed tomorrw. the rest of
    manhattan is going to be "business as usual."

    my fraternity brothers who own a hosue right nea the brooklyn bridge are
    telling me about the HUGE amount of commercial truck traffic into the city
    across the bridge. construction support and 18 wheelers full of rescue and
    recovery materials are working their way down... its sort of like that scene
    from "godzilla the movie" where the u.s army takes over nyc.

    stored i shopped in regularly are gone totally..

    people who are trapped in the rubble are calling the authorities from their
    cell phones!!! As the fire was still burning and fear of a gas explosion or
    further collapse was present - rescue workers have not gotten to the "ground
    zero" of the towers... however the surrounding rubble is being searched.

    a few of the people who were calling earlier from their cell phones are feared
    dead nwo from smoke inhalation.

    the national guard is a strong presence in nyc right now - and the scene of
    standard issue cammo gear and soldierly movements in and about the city is such
    a surreal and unfamiliar site...

    most major subway train lines are not able to get into manhattan from brooklyn
    tomorrow... the trade center was above one of the largest hubs in the NY subway
    system... all the major lines from brooklyn met there, and then proceeded to
    ther respective courses uptown or crosstown... this major station of course
    collapsed once the building collapsed...

    my brothers car was rear-ended by a police vehicle that started sliding out of
    control on the layer of ashes (as thick as 2 inches deep around 34th street
    (more than a mile away from the immediate crisis)

    and right now i feel myself getting struck with that numbness i spoke about.. i
    think i'll go and try to get some sleep right now... but just thought i would
    update you on the local condition here in nyc... from a ny'er

    -Steve 98 TJ

    My heartfelt sympathies go out to all those who are directly affected by this tragedy.

  • by MagikSlinger ( 259969 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @11:11PM (#2290522) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, we've heard that one how many times. That's like playing Chess thinking one move at a time. You have to play the game out to the end, not just to the next move.

    What the U.S. could have/should have done is chosen one or two of the many factions--Yes faction*s*, plural--that you could live with and make them the leaders of the struggle. Afterwards, you set them up as the government and use them as a stalwart against the further spread of Communism. The U.S. did that in Europe, Japan, Korea and the south Pacific.

    Contrary to popular belief, the mujahadim is not the Taliban. Saying the mujahadim is a bit like saying "Americans" or "Native Indians". It referred to everyone fighting the Soviets. The factions fighting were not just the Taliban, but many other groups, including several pro-Western groups who are now desperately holding onto small scraps of land. They could have been put in power to help rebuild the country and fight the Cold War. Win/win/win. Check and mate.

    This policy was used by the U.S. very successfuly up until the first Indochina war (France vs. North Viet Nam). I have never heard a good explaination why the policy (Find a good local faction, support them, make them the government, give them money aftewards to become self-sufficient) was dropped. The only real failure of that policy I am aware of was Ferdenand Marcos.

    Simply saying "we had no choice" ignores the fact that we did have choices. Lots of better ones, but people who have little to no skill at geopolitiking (the Reagan administration) chose cowboy actions because it made them look tough. Who cares if it really serves the end goal?

    Now watch me get flamed or modded down for suggesting the Reagan administration had little to no kill at geopolitics. But you have to remember: they funded Saddam Hussein's army, they sold arms to both Iran and Iraq hoping they'd bleed each other dry (exact opposite happened), they traded with terrorists and kidnappers. In short, most of their "active policy choices" have accomplished little or made things worse in the long run.

    In order to win a struggle, you have to survive the endgame.

  • Whores in the media (Score:2, Interesting)

    by balthan ( 130165 ) on Wednesday September 12, 2001 @11:49PM (#2290604)
    I'm really getting sick of the media and the way they handle this and all major news events. A couple specific things that piss me off:

    1. The Melodrama. This is already one of the biggest events of recent times. There is no need to play this up at all, it's already a huge deal. Yet every single news person feels the need to pile on the melodrama.

    2. The Carnage Whoring. Who hasn't seen the film of the towers getting hit and later collapsing 500 times already? And from 50 different angles. And people falling from the building. Yet they continue to show it over and over and over and over again.

    3. The over-coverage. The day it happened almost every fucking station was showing some kind of feed. Including MTV, VH1, and ESPN. And everyone except the major news people (ABC, CBS, CNN, etc.) were using feeds from other channels. CNN, HN, TBS, and TNT, for example, were all showing the exact same CNN feed. What's the point in that?! In today's newspaper, every singe section (including Style, Sports and even the kid's section) all had pictures of the WTC on the cover. People need something else to thing about, if only for a little while.

    On a side note, something else that pissed me off in the Congressional resolution condemning the attack. Anothing fucking useless measure. If my house is burglarized, why should I gather my family members together to condemn the robbery?! The US was attacked, so of course everyone in the US is going to be against the attack! What's next? Passing a law to ban suicide bombing?
  • No problem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday September 13, 2001 @01:15AM (#2290804)
    What they need is something like the Glaser Safety Slug [] []. Bullet does fairly well against humans but won't go through much else. For aircraft, you'd probably use the normal pressure version (the one for sale here is high pressure) which penetrates even less.
  • horror and shame (Score:2, Interesting)

    by archivis ( 100368 ) on Thursday September 13, 2001 @02:46AM (#2290964) Journal
    The obliteration of the World Trade Center, as well as the strike against the Pentagon, and the utterly needless deaths of those innocents in the planes turned missiles is something that I have been struggling to comprehend.
    I have learned a great deal. We, the people of the United States of America, are responsible for a swath of violence and hate across the world, mostly in the wake of well-meaning but short-sighted policies designed to protect us from an array of threats from Communism to economic blackmail. Our leaders have made choices that have earned us deserved enmity. That is not to say that we are an unalloyed scourge upon the world. We have acted to protect our interests, as any sane country must, as well as what we saw as the greater interests of the free world. Given our status as superpower, our interests cover the entire globe and every conflict. Inevitably, those we oppose become our foes.
    This in no way lessens the horror and sheer audacity of the terror perpetrated upon us. Issues of morality and justification aside, one who baits the tiger cannot expect anything but bestial fury in return. Factor into the equation the immoral slaughter of thousands of innocents without warning as the end result of a cold-blooded and calculated plan of terror, and the unsheathing of the naked blade of war is all but inevitable.
    We have been engaged, around the world, in a number of battles and military actions since World War II. This attack upon our home presages the possible advent of the first real declared war, with no power or resource of the United States held in abeyance for concern of mercy. Those who perpetrated this attack cannot but have anticipated this response. I feel, surely, that they cannot have but have desired it.
    Commit continual acts of blood and terror upon a country, and that country will stagger from the blows. Freedoms will be lost to expediency and need. Lines of social stress will flare as tensions rise. Inevitably, if no outlet for the strain can be found, the long slow onslaught of terrorism will bring a nation down - or warp it into something unrecognisable.
    I watched the videos of disaster, from a score of angles and perspectives. Too, I sampled scores - thousands - of news stories, commentaries, posts, essays, and interviews. I have covered to to CBC broadcasts to transcripts of interviews with terrorists to chat rooms and more others than I can remember. I have spoken directly with Americans and Canadians. I have sampled the opinion and thoughts of the world. All of it, searching for meaning.
    This act was not unthinkable. The carnage was not unimaginable. This was a human act, carried out by human planning, directed by human will. All of it, birthed from a human understanding of something most people shy away from.
    I have done my best to understand.
    At first, I wanted revenge. I had fury-driven fancies of tank battalions driving across Afganastan, should bin Laden be at fault. Then I read, from the posts of people familiar with the region, of it's poverty. I read the CIA World Factbook entry on Afganastan.
    To be blunt, from what I know, there isn't much there to bomb or blast. The people have had war for over twenty years, are dirt poor, and under the isolationist control of a fundamentalist Muslim faction that does it's best to deny them the benefits, amusements, and information of the West. Television is banned, along with a host of other things. Not that it matters much - no electricity.
    No TV, no radio. Nothing remotely resembling a free press. I'm not even sure they have an unfree press. These poor bastards don't have any but the dimmest notions of what has been done to us, it's magnitude, nor the magnitude of what we could raise against them. They have been betrayed as much as we.
    So, having come to understand who it is that massive American action in that poor blighted corner of the globe would be smiting, I came to hope for surgical strikes, as massive in their own way. Of course, that won't sate the American bloodlust, nor will a barrage of cruise missiles give us the confirmation of the eradication of a cancerous organization.
    I came to wrestle with the question of having the stomach to watch our military force carve a bloody swath through a people who don't deserve another invasion to remove a man who has been waging a war from the shadows with religion and money. I hoped I would have the moral resolve to stand firm and let war be waged.
    This didn't feel right. I spent another 12 hours trying to realize something fairly simple. I continued my reading and watching, canvassing any resource I found. In the end, I understood.
    In a perfect world, were we a perfect people, we would absorb this violation done us. We would return, in a spirit of a peace, the violence in the form of aid and construction without taking resources both material and cultural in exchange. We would spend the long and difficult years, paying the high price in our lives and money, to rebuild shattered nations who we helped, with shortsightedness and poor thinking, to break. We would find those peoples who lived in fear, in the very grip of terror themselves, and raise them up. We would let them rebuilt while we took on our shoulders the brunt of the slaughter, so that they could raise forth new and free nations in the image of their own people. We would make terrorism needless in a world of understanding.
    We are not a perfect people, and we are not living in a perfect world. It is not a question of wether I have the resolve to let justice be done. It is a question of my having the resolve to take a better path, to bear calmly as sacrifice the burden of horror while rebuilding the world.
    I believed that I was a man of peace.
    Let blood and fire reign down. Let us burn them out, whomever did this, and salt the earth with their blood, so that no son in the next generation may raise sword against us. Let this thing be done.
    The truth of terrorism is that it is an act which creates terrorists.
    I understand.

    I hope that I am more alone that I suspect. I hope that cooler, saner heads than mine will prevail. I hope.

"Plastic gun. Ingenious. More coffee, please." -- The Phantom comics