Columnist Glenn Greenwald explains what the Boston bombings and U.S. drone attacks have in common, and how secrecy leads to abuse of government power.
“Should we change or radically alter or dismantle our standard protocols of justice in the name of terrorism? That’s been the debate we’ve been having since the September 11th attack,” Greenwald tells Bill. “We can do what we’ve been doing, which is become a more closed society, authorize the government to read our emails, listen in our telephone calls, put people in prison without charges, enact laws that make it easier for the government to do those sorts of things. Or we can try and understand why it is that people want to come here and do that.” [..]
“There certainly are cases where the United States has very recklessly killed civilians,” he tells Bill. “So at some point, when a government engages in behavior year after year after year after year, that continues to kill innocent people in a very foreseeable way, and continues to do that, in my mind that reaches a level of recklessness that is very similar to intentional killing.”
Charlie Pierce is a sportswriter, author and political blogger. He is also lives very near Boston. He writes several article a day for Esquire at his Politics Blog. His writing about the bombing incident and his appearances on “All In with Chris Hayes” over the last week have kept many of us grounded in seeking the facts. He now has a request of the “gobshites” that are still spinning on their speculative tops: “Please, for the love of almighty god, shut the fk up.”
I mean, seriously, padlock the pieholes. We are fine. We are muddling through. We are carrying on. We are getting up this morning and going about the business of our lives. We are riding the T, or driving on the Pike, or walking along open paths along the Charles River. We are eating lunch at Donohues or shopping at the Target in the Watertown Mall. (OK, some of us are still doing some rubbernecking at the several crime scenes.) We are dealing with the fact that Copley Square, the center of practically everything, is still something of a crime scene. (We’re getting a little grumpy about it, but that’s what we do here.) Our kids are going back to school. And we are doing all these things without particularly needing the pity, concern, or the Very Deep Thoughts of a pack of Green Room school nurses seeking to coin what we’ve all been through into their own unique brand of banality. We are not children here, and neither are our children. [..]
Seriously, though, people. We’re really doing OK. It was nice having y’all around for a week. Hope you spent a little dough. Now go home, please. We have lives to live.
Thanks, Charlie, we sure hope they take your advice but we have our doubts.
As you know MSNBC deicded to do disaster porn instead of #Uppers yesterday for whatever stupid reason after everything was over. Just for fun since the #Uppers stream was as pissed as I was, I am going to share some of my tweets about that in addition to today's tweets. Yesterday's tweets first.
So no #Uppers today? Like we're not going to be talking about the same thing. Overkill is the word of the day. #p2#OWS
I find it hard to write about anything after this happened. Boston is a great city I had the pleasure to visit in a field trip in 2006 while I was in school. There was so much life in that city and there still is despite this attack. It’s still affected me even though I don’t live there because of that fond memory. Senseless acts of violence like this shouldn’t happen. It’s hard enough just to get by.
I feel a sense of panic and uneasiness as if the fabric of society is breaking and it is; all the record inequality fueling human breakdown; the wars; the bombing of other countries fueling human breakdown. Human breakdown is caused by those that show indifference to their state of being thus breaking down barriers of sanity that keeps one non violent and functioning. Nothing excuses these actions whatsoever and I don’t care about the reasoning of whoever did this; it’s despicable and abhorrent act of violence that killed a child and 2 other human beings and more than 170 were injured many permanently disabled.
That being said, we can try to change the society that breeds these types of people and actions instead of enabling the void. That’s what protects people from terrorism and acts of violence in the aggregate. It may have been impossible to stop this incident, and not all can be prevented. However, given the overall breakdown of society and the marginal extremes that causes within the minds of the population, I have to think every one of our problems contributed to it. Every few months there is either a shooting or something like this. That’s why I talk of the unraveling of society.
Instead of overreacting in the war on terror sense that killed the 4th amendment, I hope we acknowledge that as a country full of desperate people without resources breeds the kinds of conditions for senseless violence to take place. I also hope we realize that this is something the people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have to deal with all the time. We cannot continue to think we are isolated from it. I pray and mourn for all the victims, their families, and to the people that will find it even harder than death to move on with missing limbs. I hope you find it within yourself to keep going.
I hope we as a society are able to give you some semblance of happiness so you can smile through all the tragedy, at least, sometimes. I hope we use these tragedies to FIGHT to become a society that lifts people up and gives them the resources they need to deal with the blow back of the angry indifferent society we have become. This cannot continue.
We as a country are NOT taking care of our people and we must realize that. Some people also need to stop enabling this whether by making excuses and lying about the merits of or the inevitability of war and how a useless police state killing our rights and failing all of us is “necessary.” All of this has turned us into an angry violent society; social darwinism at its worst. This is our sad reality and it’s time to get real. I hope this is acknowledged sooner rather than later, instead of just a hallow speech on the day of tragedy. RIP.
One of the transit bloggers that I enjoy reading is Alon Levy who blogs his observations on a variety of transit topics at Pedestrian Observations . Following the important California HSR funding vote in the California State Senate and the excitement leading up to it, I thought I’d like to take a look at the proposed Express HSR system for the states of the Northeast Corridor.
Of the $53b cost of the proposed San Francisco to Los Angeles Express HSR corridor seems hefty ~ and it seems even heftier when it shows the Year of Expenditure headline value of $68b ~ then the proposed Northeast Corridor states Express HSR will seem massive.
In contrast with this extravaganza, it is possible to achieve comparable travel times for about one tenth the cost. The important thing is to build the projects with the most benefit measured in travel time reduced or reliability gained per unit of cost, and also share tracks heavily with commuter rail, using timed overtakes to reduce the required amount of multi-tracking.
This sounds like an intriguing possibility … but is it realistic? Or is it wishful thinking? Follow me below the fold, and then let’s discuss it.