What a world it would be. And it's true - we could have world peace this very moment if we all collectively decided we wanted it.
But we don't, apparently. And so ravens eat bunnies and man oppresses man. Bummer!
Click below for literal example.
First! I think the BPD and all involved agencies did a fantastic job in a difficult situation, and the same can be said for the local elected officials. That said, I've long bemoaned the militarization of the police, and you could see this militarization to clear affect during this past week:
Indeed, the police protect us from crazed individuals like these bombers, from psychopaths, from wacked out killers, from rapists, etc. It's necessary for a functioning society. On the other hand, the police also enforce the will of The Powers That Be. And so OWS protests will get smashed. Political protestors will get penned in and arrested. Random innocent folks will get their doors smashed in because the police think there's a drug dealer living there.
In a formula: "To Serve" - the Authorities. "To Protect" - the people. I'm for the latter, against the former. I'm anti-authoritarian, in all forms. Thus, my conflict.
And to end on a downer, as I'm wont, I ALWAYS find flag waving to be disconcerting. It's too tribal, and the only Tribe I belong to is "Matter in this Universe". Represent! However, it's hard to get upset with images like this:
All that said, here's one image that fuses everything I was just trying to lay out:
I'll confess further, all this has left me confused.
This asymmetry intrigues/disturbs/bothers me. I'm not passing judgement on the actions taken by officials in Mass, but rather simply remarking on the imbalance of it all. Two men hold close to a million hostage in their homes.
Ever hear of the "80-20 Rule"? Also known as the Pareto Principle, it was first articulated for business concerns, but since has been found to apply in a wide variety of situations. To wit - 80% of the effects are caused by 20% of the agents. IE, 80% of crime is caused by 20% of the population. Or 80% of a company's profits are generated by 20% of their customers. I've long held that 80% of litter is generated by 20% of folks.
And so on. Asymmetry. Imbalance. It creates a condition where a general population can live in fear even though the vast majority of them are law abiding.
I'm not proposing anything by the way, except for the advice I've found holds true in 99% of situations: While you can rarely change reality, you can change your perception of reality.
We don't have anything to be afraid of, in other words. And yet, so much fear.
Stop being afraid and Repukes, and the Terrorists, and the Wars for no reason, disappear. Right Wingers are literally a cancer on humanity and kill whenever they emerge, but they can be defeated easily by simply organizing against them.
While I have a lot of personal association with this event (from afar), and it is tragic for the people directly and a bit less directly affected (unlike you and me far away from this event, watching on TV, or reading on the Net), I refuse to EVER be terrorized. As we all should. And that's what this clearly was - an act of terrorism. As almost all bombings are. Cowardly stabs at the heart of decent society. Which is 97 or so % of us. Here's what I say to terrorism:
The real power of terrorism, however, is not in the numbers of people killed and maimed in the terrorist attack, but in the reaction. The people who become afraid, distrustful, fearful. The powerful who use these emotions to become more powerful. The innocent caught up in waves of xenophobia. The Patriot Act. The invasion of Iraq. Color coded "TERROR ALERTS". Etc. This is the real damage of terrorism, and we directly control it, in a democracy.
It's psychological. The dramatics of it, the random suddeness of it, the cruelty of it, scars the mind/soul, and it takes far greater significance in people's minds. For example, fear of sharks. Very, very few people are actually killed/hurt by sharks in any given year, but the fear is palpable. And just so - relative to the total population of America, very, very few people are killed or injured in terrorist attacks in any given year. Compared to, oh say just for another example:
People are making money off gun sales - that's a big portion of the reason for our country's insanity. And it's not really that big money, but they've got a good lobby (NRA) and so, we die every day. Because it's the power behind the topic - the political power of divide and conquer - that ensures that for now, no sanity will be forthcoming. We will keep dying for reasons we could prevent/minimize, but won't. And the Right Wingers among us will in fact enflame.
Thus, here in America, the reaction to this:
Whilst a large percentage of the country goes into a froth over a couple of high end pipe bombs.
I'm sorry if you're offended, but our priorities are fucked up.