How Does This Change Things?

Header image via Flickr,  copyright Moyan Brenn (CC by 2.0)

Today’s post comes from Barbara in Robbinsdale

I have just come across this article by Kerri Westenberg in Sunday’s (12/6/15) Star Tribune Travel section about a woman (Catherine Reid Day of St. Paul) who was in Paris during the November 14 attacks on the City of Light. She, her husband, and daughter had spent the day being tourists – been to Notre Dame and the Louvre – and were back “in their hotel by 9:30. The terrorist attacks at restaurants, a stadium and a concert venue began at 9:20.

She found out about them via a text from a friend back in the States, asking if they were OK. Then they turned on the TV.

The next day (Saturday) they ventured out and found one store open, a book store – appropriate, she said, “because education is the antidote to all of this.”

To have the attack in San Bernadino, CA, happen on “our own soil” almost three weeks after this event is unsettling, to say the least. One of the saddest outcomes of this random act of violence is, ironically, how much it will hurt the Muslim communities throughout the US and the world.

A Washington Post article re-published Monday, 12/7 on contains this quote: ‘ “The purpose of terrorism is to make ordinary people afraid to do the ordinary things that make up their lives,” said Janice Rutherford, a member of the [San Bernadino] county Board of Supervisors. “We can’t be afraid of our lives, of our community, of our neighbors, of our coworkers.” ’

It seems from all the rhetoric around these two events that this is being considered another “watershed moment” in our history, the way that 9/11 was – we will remember a before and an after.

What, if anything, do you think has changed in the world?

24 thoughts on “How Does This Change Things?”

  1. 911 was a wake up call to let the world know there are terrorists out ther who want headlines and the way to achieve that is by big news. the idea has now taken and any maniac with a news channel in their lives sees the 15 minutes of their names plastered in the headlines as a trophy worthy of dying for.
    television sports decided years ago (remember streaking) that the best way to handle exhibitionists is to not show them on tv. if there is no incentive the acts will stop. remember all the people running out on the basenbal and football fields in the 70’s or 80’s or whenever it was? they stopped because they got no coverage. just a night in jail. if the fact that someone just blew up a plane or a schol or a football game was that it happened and the guy would get caught it takes the incentive away. if isil is able to continue being headlines thats too bad. the copycat crimes are the headlines we need to stop. i think they already have somewhat. i heard yesterday on the news that the munber of deaths caused by handguns in the us in the last 5 weeks is greater than the number of deaths by terrorists since 9/11.
    when i was a kid we used to have the duck and cover drill to hide in the school closet if the commies dropped the bomb. today the thing you want to teach is how to hide when the bullets start flying. thats changed.
    too bad.
    on the other hand look at a list of famous birthdays today. margeret hamilton, kirk douglas, redd foxx and dina merril along woth donny osmand. all people who make you think of good things when you hear their name. it all a matter of where you put your focs isnt it.
    i loved dina merril in desk set.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Events like those attacks bring out the worse side in some people and the best side in other people. It is unfortunate that people like Trump use situations like this to gain popularity by appealing to the worst side. There are others who are telling us that this is the time to work harder on building a better world. We need to listen to the people asking us to work for good.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Since I’ve become the Strib’s most vocal progressive the last few years, I research major topics such as terrorism and gun violence. Seems that no matter how many hard facts I post, a reactionary right wingers either blow past them or accuse me of making them up. It’s completely predictable. My problem is that once I start posting, I feel compelled to continue rebutting such insane posts with even more facts they ignore so it’s difficult to get off the boards and live a somewhat normal life. It feels like being caught up in an endless loop.

      In the last decade, only 21 Americans have been killed in two separate terrorist attacks involving four terrorists. In that ten years, 387,0024 have died from guns. Half of this number were suicides.


  3. I agree with Wessew. Nothing has changed except for our awareness of aspects of the world or human nature. Terrorism was happening in Northern Ireland, Spain, Central America and I don’t even know how many other places for decades before Usonanoj took the slightest notice beyond checking travel warnings while planning their vacations. When the American empire is as faint a memory as that of Mali it’ll still be happening, because that’s the reality of armed struggle between a state and any smaller group.

    As for the high rhetoric that’s passing for political dialogue in some quarters, at the risk of Godwining myself I’ll note the interesting similarities between it and what was being said in Europe in the 1930s. Pagans have a tendency to view time as cyclical rather than linear, and the future as something created by the past. I’m certainly seeing that at work in the here and now.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, that’s the second think I find rather alarming to 1930s. (Had to look up Godwining: Godwin’s law is an Internet adage asserting that “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”.)


  4. Instant communication and 24-hour news coverage. Combined, they create instant, worldwide notoriety for all the wrong people.

    Also, because of the constant pounding into our brains of all the misery and evil in the entire world (because only bad things seem to be newsworthy) we news consumers are made to think that the world is 95% evil, when in fact only 5% of the people in the world cause 99% of the evil in the world–beginning with the political/ruling/wealthiest class.

    Better to focus on one’s own neighborhood, town, county, and state and find the good being done there. This is what affects 95 % of our
    lives. The rest is white noise.

    Chris in O-town

    Liked by 3 people

  5. As I see it, history is a spiral, a sort of corkscrew. There is nothing brand new, for it all has happened in one way or another in the past, so things go ’round and ’round. We’ve had xenophobia and ugly patriotism and fear mongering and demagoguery before. We’ve had terrorism before.

    At the same time, everything is new. Nothing is exactly like it was before. While we’ve had demagogues before, nobody in our history matches Trump for boorishness, self-aggrandizement, and utter disregard for proven fact. We knew terrorism in earlier eras, but our terrorists are now vastly more lethal because of modern technology.

    Everything the same. Everything different.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. What most concerns me is that Trump is playing right into the hands of ISIS. They want the world divided into anti-Muslim and Muslim because it stokes hatred for the West and lends itself to more recruitment. They are thrilled by his hateful rhetoric. My greatest fear is that, because ISIS has division/rage as their #1 goal, it will take advantage of what Trump’s created and ramp up more terrorist attacks as a result.

      One other part of this that appalls me is that the international community is losing more respect for America every time he speeks.

      Sorry – this really gets me going!!!


  6. Well, we are planning a trip tp Germany, Amsterdam, England, Scotland and a couple of days in Dublin this May. My anxiety about travel is usually high, and now it is higher, but we really want to go and this is the last itme our children will be able to join us before things in their lives prohibit overseas travel (jobs, etc.) so we are going. Gulp!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I get anxious about encountering unknown holdups, delays, missed connections, plunging into the sea, etc, although once I am in the process of traveling the anxiety disapates.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. BiR – could you have asked a bigger question? Maybe “why are we here” or “what the meaning of life”.

    I agree w/ what others have been saying. I made a decision the last few days to stop opening up any story or opinion piece about Donald Trump. If the internet knows that I shopped for shoes last week (based on the ads that are popping up now) then I’m assuming that somewhere somebody is counting up the clicks. And I don’t want any more attention given to him from me. Maybe I should do the same about the latest bad news. No clicks, no attention.


    1. You’ll also have to turn off the TV as well because every cable news show allows itself to be interrupted by a speech he’s giving. Millions endless free advertising. I’ve never been more repulsed by a human being in my life.


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