Combat the Horror
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"Second Week of September, 2001
Combat the Horror
Like most of you, I woke up this
morning prepared for a normal day. And,
like most of you, I instead spent the morning watching in horror as
hijacked aircraft were used to attack the World Trade Center, the Pentagon
and possibly other targets. At this time, I don't know any more than about
the scope or magnitude of the attacks, nor from whence they came.
I do know that the coming days
will be equally horrible. The death toll
will mount. There may be more attacks, and there certainly will be a
I'm not going to ask you for some
five minute feel-good effort this week.
It would be wrong to think that any such gesture is sufficient to do
justice to the tragedy that has befallen us.
I _am_ going to ask you for action,
however, on both the personal and
Please: give blood. For every
death, there have probably been hundreds of
injuries. The Red Cross will almost certainly be begging for your help
before the day is out. A pint of your blood costs you almost nothing to
give: some time, some energy, some recovery. The cost to injured people who
don't get the blood they need may very well be their lives.
Sometime before or after giving
blood, take the time to sit down with your
older children and talk about today's events. Do you remember being a
child? Do you remember the effects a crisis can bring? Fear and
uncertainty. Your children -- or children in your family, whether they are
yours or not -- need your reassurance and comfort. If they've seen the
images on TV, or heard fear in the voices of the adults around them,
they've just been exposed to one of the most hideous, traumatic events
"If you've never taken a public
stand in favor of freedom, now is shaping up
to be a pivotal time in which your contribution is needed. In the near
future, we can expect a crackdown of major proportions. Some of it will be
ad hoc, some of it will come in the form of proposed additional
encroachments on our freedom by Congress.
It's time to mourn, but it's also
to act on behalf of the injured,
their families and friends -- and on behalf of liberty. Don't let your
guard down. Don't accept excuses or let the enemies of freedom make the
Bill of Rights the final casualty of these attacks."
[one typo - 2000 instead of 2001 - corrected]
F r e e d o m A c t i o n o f t h e W e e k
Edited by Thomas L. Knapp. To subscribe or unsubscribe to this and
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"Date: 13 Sep 2001 03:56:14
To: List Member <email@example.com>
From: "The FC Network" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: FC Sporadic for Wednesday, September 12, 2001
I want to offer my sincere condolences to anyone reading this who can't find, or has lost, a family member, relative, or friend.
Things certainly are different now. I don't have to tell you that the loss of a few hundred thousand jobs, people being mistreated by their employers is nothing in comparison to the events of September 11th, 2001.
I've been living in a somewhat secluded hotel room in New York City for the past few weeks, writing. I woke up that fateful morning when one of my friends called me.
"You have no idea what just happened, do you," she said.
The first thing I noticed was the smell of burning. You know, that smell where you walk around the place and look for something, an oven maybe, you might have left on.
Next thing I did was turn on the TV. Soon as I figured it out, I tried calling my parents and my older brother. Phones didn't work.
I walked outside. Being about two miles from the scene, I took the stairs instead of the elevator.
All roads around me were closed except for emergency vehicles. Most of the people I saw walking around looked shocked, but the kind of shocked where they almost looked like zombies, blank and expressionless. A few people were running.
A lot of people were crying. Two types of crying. The "I just saw a really sad movie" type of crying, and the "my son just died" type of crying.
There were long lines at every pay phone as cell phone service stopped working due to transmitters located atop of the World Trade Centers. I overheard one phone call, this young Wall Street-looking guy was crying on the phone, "Jimmy and I made it out, I don't think Mike made it."
I saw an old women sitting on the curb, head in her hands.
I saw those "the end is coming!" Jesus guys all over the place, yelling and screaming, throwing their hands in the air, telling me the end is near.
All the while, deafening sirens everywhere. Clusters of police cars, big green military trucks, fire trucks and ambulances. Soldiers with machine guns.
Emergency vehicles headed downtown toward Wall Street were clean, ones coming back up were covered in ash.
I walked by a hospital. It had three main entrances. Outside one entrance there were hundreds of people lined up to give blood. There were big signs saying, "Family, around back." Around back were groups of people with photographs of family and loved ones. The hospital was handing out papers that I think had the names of known survivors.
The third entrance was obscured by a sea of stretchers, ambulances, nurses, doctors, and media.
What about the future? The future of FC? The future of news? The future of entertainment? How could somebody like Jay Leno return to work? How could you watch an episode of "Law & Order" right now?
You can't enjoy it yet. At least, I can't.
The key here is to not let those fuckers, whoever did this, win. Things must go back to normal. While I wouldn't be able to appreciate a new Simpsons episode today, tomorrow, or for a while, it'll happen eventually, and we've got to be able to enjoy it.
Every day I receive countless email and contact from people who were laid off, abused and lied to by their employers. They tell me that FC is therapy. I've read hundreds of personal emails from people who've lost their jobs, just got married, just had kids, just bought a house, are in financial ruin. They tell me they visit FC and see that they're not alone, they see that it's not their fault.
They tell me FC brings them some light that they can't get anywhere else. They send me details about what's going on with their companies, how they got screwed and taken advantage of, and ask me to post it.
I've receive over 1,000 emails every day. I've never, not once, received an email from anyone dismayed that their company was listed on FC. Only thanks. The only exception being dirty CEO's whom I've exposed (eFront, etc.).
I'm frustrated now because there's not much I can do to help with what just happened. I'm lucky enough to be at the helm of this relatively huge force, a website, a community visited by over 4 million people monthly. When the Edgewater Tragedy [...] happened, I started a fund and you collectively donated over $16,000. When I opened up free advertising for non-profits [...], you uploaded tons of banners.
We can't let them win, we mustn't change.
Until they ask me to go to war, the only thing I can do, the only thing *we* can do, is go on with business as usual.
Keep rocking on,
[no typos corrected :-)]
11 September 2001
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Both sides of the calendar debate were wrong; the new century began on 11 September 2001.
All day I fielded phone calls from reporters looking for the "computer security angle" to the story. I couldn't find one, although I expect several to come out of the aftermath.
Calls for increased security began immediately. Unfortunately, the quickest and easy way to satisfy those demands is by decreasing liberties. This is always short sighted; real security solutions exist that preserve the free society that we all hold dear, but they're harder to find and require reasoned debate. Strong police forces without Constitutional limitations might appeal to those wanting immediate safety, but the reality is the opposite. Laws that limit police power can increase security, by enforcing honesty, integrity, and fairness. It is our very liberties that make our society as safe as it is.
In times of crisis it's easy to disregard these liberties or, worse, to actively attack them and stigmatize those who support them. We've already seen government proposals for increased wiretapping capabilities and renewed rhetoric about encryption limitations. I fully expect more automatic surveillance of ordinary citizens, limits on information flow and digital-security technologies, and general xenophobia. I do not expect much debate about their actual effectiveness, or their effects on freedom and liberty. It's easier just to react. In 1996, TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed in the Atlantic. Originally people thought it was a missile attack. The FBI demanded, and Congress passed, a law giving law enforcement greater abilities to expel aliens from the country. Eventually we learned the crash was caused by a mechanical malfunction, but the law still stands.
We live in a world where nation states are not the only institutions which wield power. International bodies, corporations, non-governmental organizations, pan-national ethnicities, and disparate political groups all have the ability to affect the world in an unprecedented manner. As we adjust to this new reality, it is important that we don't become the very forces we abhor. I consider the terrorist attacks on September 11th to be an attack against America's ideals. If our freedoms erode because of those attacks, then the terrorists have won.
The ideals we uphold during a crisis define who we are. Freedom and liberty have a price, and that price is constant vigilance so it not be taken from us in the name of security. Ben Franklin said something that was often repeated during the American Revolutionary War: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." It is no less true today.
1562, adopted Thursday, will expand Federal wiretapping powers:
of civil liberties are coming:
must rethink how to safeguard the country without bartering away the rights
and privileges of the free society that we are defending. The temptation
will be great in the days ahead to write draconian new laws that give law
enforcement agencies - or even military forces - a right to undermine the
civil liberties that shape the character of the United States. President
Bush and Congress must carefully balance the need for heightened security
with the need to protect the constitutional rights of Americans."
- The New York Times, 12 Sep 01
our resolve, our commitment, our sense of community will serve us well.
I am confident that, as a nation, we will seek and serve justice. Our Nation,
my neighbors and friends in Vermont demand no less, but we must not let
the terrorists win. If we abandon our democracy to battle them, they win.
If we forget our role as the world's leader to defeat them, they win. And
we will win. We will maintain our democracy, and with justice, we will
use our strength."
- Sen. Patrick Leahy, 12 Sep 01
teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when
constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure."
- Justice Thurgood Marshall, 1989
with the kind permission of the author, Mr. Bruce Schneier, from the 15
September 2001 Crypto-Gram. Please go to the Crypto-Gram Web page at <http://www.counterpane.com/crypto-gram.html>.]
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The news coverage on TV has been better than average (and even better in Europe [Germany, France, England,...] than in the United States), paying tribute thus to the uniqueness of these happenings. But if you want more outspoken and independent comments than are customary in the mass media (too close to governments), more honest and intelligent and knowledgeable opinions, going to the very roots of the questions, it is a good idea, if you cannot wait for the monthly and quarterly journals, to look around on the Internet. I have collected hereafter a few of the web pages I ran into these days and which I found interesting and helpful. I wish that they will lead you further in your investigations.
In random order:
And for your collection of smooth Arab boys:
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