The World Trade Center destroyed. The Pentagon damaged. Planes grounded. Border closed. An unknown number of dead and injured.
For those of you in the U.S. who feel helpless and would like to do something, one possibility is to donate blood.
HOWEVER, don't just jump up and head for your local center. Remember that the FAA has grounded all flights until at least noon tomorrow and that blood is a perishable item, so if it needs to be transported that may be difficult for a while. And in a lot of areas the lines to donate are already fairly long.
Instead, first give your local center a call and make an appointment or find out if you can come right in to donate. Blood will likely be needed for up to several *weeks* after this event and donating a few days from now may be what is needed. Check with your local center.
OK, I've got the breaking story now. Time to think about the future:
- We will not get the real story for many years. Right now, of course, there is massive misinformation just because it's a mess. But later, there will be deliberate misinformation. We average citizens will get some serious propaganda.
- This is the perfect for test for Dubya's "leadership" capability, and he will fail spectacularly in actuality-- but be praised as if he had succeeded.
- There will now be massive support for a missile defense shield (never mind that it wouldn't have helped. It's incredibly easy to say right now, "Next time they'll bomb us and we need an umbrella").
- As Faz noted, there will be massive racist backlash against Arab Americans.
- Ironically, there will probably be increased support for gun-control laws, even though that has little to do with these problems.
The point of terrorism is to make people afraid. I don't know what's the best way for a government to respond, but for us individuals, I believe the best response to terrorism is a raised middle finger.
Easy to say when I'm a couple thousand miles from the events and most of my loved ones are safe (I'm still waiting for word on my brother's sister-in-law), I know. And yet, that's part of the point. One newspaper article I read began with, "As chaos on a heretofore unimaginable scale reigned across the nation today...." There are people in my central Texas town who are withdrawing their money from banks, buying guns and ammo, etc.
Folks, if you're west of the Mississippi (and even if you're in many places east of it), you're farther from the attacks than most of Europe is from the Balkans. Panic? That's exactly what the terrorists WANT us to do.
Are you going to do what a terrorist wants?
02/10/07 at 5:14