Thursday, March 6, 2008

Recruiting Center Blast, Evacuation after Bomb Threat, Bomb Factory on Campus: Deja Vu All Over Again

Today may be more like the sixties than I thought. There's been an arrest at UC Davis, police are still looking for a bomb in Denver City, the FBI is now investigating the Times Square blast, and the New York mayor is asking anyone else who saw what happened to come forward. One witness saw a guy on a bicycle in Times Square before the blast: helpful, but not very.

It's early days: it's possible that the bombing of the USMC recruiting center in Times Square, a bomb threat in Colorado, and college kids making a pipe bomb in a dorm room have nothing to do with the War on Terror.

Possible, but not likely.

This reminds me of the sixties, when
  • Relevance ruled
  • The moon was in the Seventh House
  • Love would steer the stars, and
  • Terribly earnest, peace-loving students were setting fires and planting bombs
As Yogi Berra said, about something entirely different, "it's deja vu all over again."

I shouldn't be surprised: quite a few of those campus activists probably
  • Got their degrees
  • Got a job at a college
  • Stayed in one place long enough to get tenure
  • Are now dedicated to spreading the gospel according to Steinem, and teaching that there is no problem, real or imagined, that can't be blamed on (white, male, Christian) America
An over-simplification? You bet! Wanting to 'do your own thing,' while having others treat you according to the rules you won't follow - and blaming the government, your parents, or society when things go wrong - isn't an academic monopoly.

An important difference now is that I don't see the virulent hatred of the American military which I remember as a mark of the sixties. There's the occasional individual who makes cracks like 'Marines: the few, thankfully,' and a city council here and there that doesn't like big, rough soldiers on their turf: but that's the exception. In fact, that "the few" post isn't on the Web, now.

Why the difference? Here are some possibilities. Today:
  • Americans get information from The New York Times, the alphabet soup networks1 - and thousands of independent online sources
  • Everyone under thirty, who was born in America
    • Has lived with fallout from the Woodstock generation - and kids aren't stupid
    • Wasn't raised by parents who, with the best of intentions, were raising their kids with "expert" advice while keeping up with the Joneses
  • Authority isn't respected as much as it was in the early sixties: People are less likely to accept some crazy pronouncement, just because the person making it has a title, or is a college professor (Ironic, isn't it?)
All things considered, I'd rather be living now, than in the 'good old days' of either the fifties or the sixties.
1"Alphabet soup networks" - my name for the venerable triumvirate of ABC, CBS, and NBC, together the people's network, PBS.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.