Am I Supposed to Be Scared?

The news headlines in yesterday’s papers were overtaken with the big, big story that Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the brothers accused of the Boston Marathon bombing, had planned to come to New York and ‘party’ in Times Square.  The Daily News editorial berated the FBI for not promptly informing the New York authorities about the brothers’ ‘party’ plans.

For my part, I’m skeptical of the narrative of the Boston Marathon bombers:

  • There was a Saudi national who was a person of interest in the bombings, and then quickly and quietly deported.
  • The Tsarnaev brothers had normal social lives for young American men.  Why would they have turned to such destruction?  (I know, that’s a question that we’re never supposed to ask.)
  • The FBI put on a charade for us a week ago Thursday, asking us for help in identifying the suspects, when they knew damn right well who they were all along.
  • And why was it necessary to effectively lock down the entire city of Boston the next day?  The only answer that comes to mind: Because they could.  And because it would be good practice for the next time.  (OK, that’s two answers.)

But returning to yesterday’s story, am I supposed to be scared? Consider that:

  • First, the obvious: one brother is dead, and the other is quite thoroughly locked up.
  • When I was growing up, we worried that the Russians might annihilate us in one fell swoop.  Somehow we all got through that in one piece.
  • Twenty years ago, there were over 2,000 murders per year in New York City.  (Today, it’s less than a quarter of that.)
  • And in 2001, terrorists destroyed the World Trade Center and killed over 2,000.

In comparison, two dudes with pressure cookers and gunpowder, even if they were still at large, don’t budge the needle, other than my possibly deciding not to go to Times Square.  But I stayed away from Times Square in the 1980s, when it was a garden of sleaze, so even that is not new.

Or am I supposed to be gratified that the civil authorities are diligently protecting us?

8 thoughts on “Am I Supposed to Be Scared?”

  1. There is still big money to be made in homeland security. The plan is to grow homeland security into an agency that rivals DoD. Didn’t you get the memo? A friend of mine just sent me an e-mail and told me that a set of airplane landing gear had been found in a narrow alley in New York City that are believed to be from one of the planes that was flown into the World Trade Center.

    This should be fairly easy to disprove. Take the maximum height from which the landing gear could have fallen and the maximum velocity at which they could have fallen, prior to acceleration due to gravity. The worst case is that they will follow a ballistic trajectory, presuming that they didn’t break off prior to hitting the building. This will tell you how far the landing gear could have gone, presuming that they didn’t hit anything on the way down, and drawing a radius of that length from either building will give you your circular error probable, or the area in which the landing gear could have fallen. If the landing gear isn’t in that area, it probably wasn’t from the plane. It sounds more like an MIT-style prank, where the landing gear were assembled on site. Failure of the buildings to be damaged above the point where the landing gear landed would argue against the landing gear having fallen from above, not to mention the delay in discovery. Tracing the serial number on the landing gear ought to be fruitful.

    We have much to learn from Holcomb, Kansas, which was made famous by the murder of the Clutter Family on November 15, 1959. The story was made famous by Truman Capote in “In Cold Blood”. Holcomb has a memorial park dedicated to Herb and Bonnie Clutter and their son and daughter, Kenyon and Nancy. The memorial is a plinth about 10′ X 12′ on which there is a plaque that tells about the lives of Herb and Bonnie but does not mention the murderers. I have to admit that I like that idea. They shouldn’t get recognition.

    1. The item about the landing gear is not really surprising. The building where it was found is a stone’s throw away from the WTC site (not ‘3 miles’ as shown in a Daily News graphic). It is behind the Park51 cultural center/mosque/whatever, which is located in a building the Park51 organizers were able to buy really cheap, because… a landing gear had fallen through the roof on 11 September. I can believe that another landing gear component fell between that building and its neighbor, never to be seen again…until now.

      Then again, it could just as easily be a prank.

      In either case, in and of itself, it isn’t worth a second thought.

      But the public reaction to it is telling.

      As far as homeland security being the next big thing, no, I didn’t get the memo.

      We’re broke, so we’ll bring all the thrills and harassment of the airport to a subway station near you? Or lock down the whole city for a larf?

      Spare me, please….

      1. I am teasing you. I’ve spoken with people who left DOD for Homeland Security, and they tell me that the people who run it scare them. Cops gone wild.

        It is entertaining to read the things that will disqualify you from working for TSA, such as an unsatisfied judgement against you IN ANY AMOUNT.

          1. Not exactly. If you are hired as a regular government employee, it’s at least $15 with benefits, and higher if you have a degree. The range for full-time employment is $31-42K for new transportation safety officers, and with a degree, you would start at a higher pay rate

            The troubling thing is that TSA is using more part-timers. If you work part-time for the government, the government contribution to health insurance oremiums is pro-rated. Normally it costs around $60 every two weeks for self-only coverage, with about $150 paid by the government. If you are working half-time, you will pay about $135 for health every two weeks that has, on average, a $30 co-pay for offfice visits, $300 deductible, and $10 copay for prescriptions. A nice feature is that you can pay for health insurance with pre-tax dollars, so if you are paying $1500 annually for health insurance, your taxable income is reduced by $1500.

    2. I read that book twice and saw both movies and to this day it horrifies me. It was such a creepy situation that was rare at that time by two kooks.

      The thing that bothers me about this situation is how we allowed them to come here, sponge off the system then repay Americans by killing people, and injuring many others.

  2. A 19 year old with something up his ass, if I may be crass for a moment??

    At 19 if you are a guy, the only things you are concerned with is beer, finding girls, getting more girls, cars, sports, more beer, video games, ifones and gadgets, maybe gaming, dopey music du jour, beer again, more girls and more girls on top of that. And maybe school, if you are in college.

    What’s going on here???

    1. The brother who is now dead was a bad influence and forced him to help. That’s what the lawyer will argue.

      If Tamerlan could get a woman to convert to Islam and put up with his nonsense, he is either relatively charming, fairly threatening, or both.

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