Saturday, September 15, 2001

joyce purnick of the ny times writes "Is it O.K. now - even necessary - to stereotype in a city that has become a prime target of terrorists?" no.
michael moore on alternet writes "Am I angry? You bet I am. I am an American citizen, and my leaders have taken my money to fund mass murder. And now my friends have paid the price with their lives."
the following are all links from scripting news:

the dalia lama writes to president bush "It may seem presumptuous on my part, but I personally believe we need to think seriously whether a violent action is the right thing to do and in the greater interest of the nation and people in the long run. I believe violence will only increase the cycle of violence."

kevin boyd writes: "Crisis, no matter how traumatic or unsettling, creates opportunity." he also has a decent collection of "tolerance information & resources."

jeff kandt writes "President Bush now promises 'victory' over terrorism. This strikes me as incredibly naive, or cynical, or both." naive seems like a popular name to call people these days. the first definition is "Lacking worldly experience and understanding." maybe we're all naive.

i loved dave's link to the palestine red cresent society. one of my professors suggested bush should have read from the koran rather than the bible. this is the kind of thinking i enjoy. we need actions which build unity, not division.
(via robot wisdom:) on yahoo news by adam entous:

"I beg you, please do not respond to evil with evil," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, a California Democrat.

Rep. Barbara Lee stood alone in voting against the resolution, which was approved earlier on Friday by a unanimous Senate.

"However difficult this vote may be, some of us must urge the use of restraint," said Lee, a California Democrat. "Let's step back for a moment and think through the implications of our action today so that it does not spiral out of control."

i remember someone in one of my university classes saying that they didn't want a woman president because they were afraid a woman might hesitate to send us into war. we could only hope so.
(via null device:) on salon, jesse j. holland quotes sen. zell miller, D-GA: "I say, bomb the hell out of them. If there's collateral damage, so be it. They certainly found our civilians to be expendable." again - this is probably very close to what the terrorists were thinking.
on first blush, kim hanson points to this ny times article, and comments "These actions differ from those of the terrorists only by degree." it seems to me that these religious extremists (via metafilter) differ from the terrorists themselves only by religion: jerry fallwell says:

I really do believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays, and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who tried to secularize America... I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."

to which pat robertson responds, "I totally concur."
i created a new yahoo group for "react with nonviolence" - which looks like it's going to continue after the event on thursday night. so if you want to get involved - or just watch what we're doing in bloomington, illinois - check it out.
what if the terrorists hadn't crashed the planes - what if instead they decided to land them in some remote location, and then they took all the food into the first class section and forced all the passengers to stay in the coach section, and after a few months, all the passengers starved to death - would america be just as angry if that had happened?

24,000 people starve to death every day. are american lives more important? is quick death worse or slow death? is it worse to kill someone or to watch them die and not help?
skyte writes:

Anthony, who's four, was watching the TV so intently I thought his eyes were going to drop out of his head. Turned to me right after someone mentioned bombing, and said in his little voice 'what's bombing?'

Em..ah..er..splutter...splutter. "Bombing is when they drop explosives from airplanes" needent get into the people who stash them in buildings, not at four. No, let's avoid that one...wait till your six son, then ask your mom.

"Well...do we bomb people?"

Erm...ahh...squirm..."Sometimes"

"Why?"

Friday, September 14, 2001

i've had and heard a lot of thoughts and events over the last few days, but i haven't had time yet to sit down and write much about it. i had one thought today that i wanted to share though:

terrorists have souls too. we should consider what terrorists around the world are thinking as they watch this all unfold. maybe they're questioning their own values. maybe this is a great opportunity to pursue another way to reduce terrorism, a way that we may have wrongly given up on long ago - simply ask them to stop. i'm not saying everyone is suddenly going to turn nonviolent, but massive tragedies have a way of awakening moral conscience - even in terrorists.

Thursday, September 13, 2001

i haven't posted much because i've been spending all my time to help organize a "react with nonviolence" rally on my campus tonight. i went to a "united in peace" rally at illinois state university this afternoon and there were thousands of people there. but this msnbc poll (via metafilter) is somewhat discouraging. is the logic here that if we are somehow able to find and kill bin laden that the entire organization will take the death of their leader as a sign to quit rather than as a rallying point for more violence? or do we just want to kill someone to make ourselves feel better? i'm having trouble understanding how people are thinking about this. i guess some other people are having trouble understanding my views as well. my brother called me "naive" via email, and i've been trying to explain what i think to him and a few other people. maybe i'll post some of those emails later when other things don't seem more pressing.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

nonviolence.org: "We must pray and heal and not respond in a hatred that will only fuel the cycle of war, global injustice."
(via scripting news:) this page is eerie. dave's still pushing peace, but starting to second-guess himself. is anyone else starting to organize against retaliatory violence?

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

(via scripting news:) afgan news network writes: "This is a terrible act of horror and our hearts go out to the victims and their families in this heartless terrorist attack! This act is against the teachings of Islam and Muslim nations condemn this cowardly terrorist attack!" i just left my international politics class, where a muslim student talked about worries of a new wave of racism in america. someone else said that they've heard of this already happening at another american university. my professor pointed out that at best, the calls for war today are impractical - war against whom? he also said it wouldn't do much good to bomb afghanistan, as there isn't much there to bomb.
cocky bastard (he said it, not me) writes: "I’m not saying we should or shouldn’t do anything. But ‘War’ is a heavy term to throw around. And my dreams are of Peace, not Punishment." me too.

some one else (i couldn't find a name) writes "I have a theory. Well, it's probably not just MY theory. Anyway, the theory is that if Gore had won the election instead of Bush this would not have happened." i must admit, i found myself thinking the same thing this morning, but it doesn't much matter now. this is what matters:

on cnn, george shultz just said "we're not going to change our way of life." i hope he's wrong. that's exactly what i'm afraid of: more of the same - respond to death with killing, more death, more death, more death. that's what i don't want to see.
lenny says what a lot of people on the news are saying, in less round-about words: "I hope we bomb some motherfuckers into the stone age." ironically, this is probably exactly what a couple pilots were thinking this morning as they flew planes into buildings.
cnn is now giving us information about the cost of and materials used to build the world trade center buildings. who cares about the buildings?
if you haven't heard already, from cnn.com: "Terrorists struck the United States Tuesday morning in harrowing, widespread attacks that included at least three commercial jet crashes into significant buildings."

i just heard an interview with henry kissinger on cnn. i can't give a direct quote, but he said something like "this attack is comparable to pearl harbor, and the end result for those responsible should be the same." is this an advocation of nuclear war?!? if so, this is only the most extreme in the general response to today's events, which is calls for strong military punishment of whoever did this.

beyond that general sentiment, nearly everyone seems to feel they know exactly who did this: osama bin laden (though some early accusations were directed towards palestine.) and a clear connection is being drawn between bin laden and afghanistan. i'd like to take this opportunity to say that while the loss of life today is horrific and the government in afghanistan has done many terrible things, i don't want to go to war. robot wisdom writes: "If you want peace, work for justice." this is close to a good lesson to draw from today, but it almost hints at excusing terrorism. i say if you want peace, work for peace.

dave winer writes "there's no time like now to start forgiving, to turn the other cheek, to show the world not that we're tough, but that we're commited to making the world a better place." right on. also: "Perhaps a new connection between peace-loving people everywhere?" let's hope so. i'd say this bears more similarity to hiroshima than pearl harbor.

Monday, September 10, 2001

last year i did web design for a department at my university. i spent most of my time cleaning up bad html generated by a bad visual html editor because no one knew the password for the website (except the html editor). this year i already have two other jobs, so i don't need to work there again. so i thought i'd take the opportunity to present a proposal for a better job they could give me. i asked them to let me work off-site when possible (which is a good majority of the time when doing web design). that way i could work whenever it was convenient for me (i find working in one-hour segments isn't a good way to do web design), and i could use the software tools i am most familiar with. what's in it for them? i offered to work for free. they said no, and that they'd call me if they couldn't find anyone else to do the job. sometimes i just don't understand people.