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Boston (TW: Violence)

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Boston (TW: Violence)

Postby octarineoboe » Fri Apr 19, 8:31 2013

I'm sure all of the US spacefemmers and most of you from the rest of the world know about the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people and wounding many. Most of you probably also know that two suspects have been identified, one is dead after a shootout and explosion last night, and police are searching for the other. It sounds like the city has basically been shut down while this manhunt is underway.

I have all of the feelings and none of the words. For some reason, the news around this event has been affecting me more deeply than many other recent tragedies - even though this killed fewer people than Sandy Hook or Aurora. Every new report makes me want to cry, even - sometimes especially - the good ones: of runners continuing to hospitals to donate blood, of Bostonians opening their homes, of signs of support at Yankee stadium. And despite following the coverage, I feel like I have no idea what's going on. This morning on NPR I was listening to an interview about the suspects, and I still had no idea how the FBI had identified the suspects in the first place. When I turned my computer off last night, no one knew who did this, and when I woke up this morning there were two suspects and one of them had already been killed. What?

I didn't think I knew that many people in Boston, but my facebook feed soon proved me wrong, filling up with checking-in statuses from people who I didn't realize or remember were in Boston. I still haven't heard from my cousin at BU. I emailed her but I don't have her phone number and she's rarely on facebook. She's probably OK, because BU's reports haven't said anything about undergrads, but I want to hear it from her.

Melissa McEwan's heavily curated updates at Shakesville have been really helpful; she manages to sort through the noise to give a concise account of what's definite and what isn't, and always provides warnings for things that are difficult. And I want that national group hug she proposed the other day.

How are you holding up? Are your loved ones OK? How have you been sorting through the news?

To any spacefemmers in Boston, my thoughts and virtual hugs are with you.
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Re: Boston (TW: Violence)

Postby Eravial » Fri Apr 19, 11:12 2013

My uncle was running the marathon and my aunt was watching it. As soon as I heard about the blasts, I checked their facebook pages and saw they were both fine. My aunt always watches from the halfway point and my uncle is a fast marathon runner, so they were both back at the hotel when the blasts happened. Initially, it was just relief about them and general shock.

Then I started looking through other facebook posts; like you, friends in Boston who I didn't realize were in/from Boston posted that they were OK. Then I came upon this post from a friend from rural Ohio who I haven't talked to much since I moved away, and this is what actually made my world sink.
thoughts and prayers to everyone in this crazy world. News saying immigrants / terrorists did this. Just to think of this...makes me sick. We need to stand under in one nation as born Americans to live here. No more illegal immigrants! Obama better get his head straight about illegals immigrants and immigrants. I don't want anyone here but born Americans. We have enough problems here.

I just cannot fathom such bigotry, and using tragedy and uncertainty to justify that bigotry.

I wonder if she's heard yet that the (alleged) bombers were here legally and are Caucasian. Although, she only watches Fox News, and apparently this morning Fox did indeed feel the need to wrongly clarify that "Chechans are not caucasian." Chechnya is indeed part of Caucasus.
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Re: Boston (TW: Violence)

Postby Tweek » Fri Apr 19, 11:27 2013

It is the main story on the BBC news; the rolling news channel is showing coverage almost non-stop.

I hope the police manage to arrest the guy soon; might be difficult but taking him alive might lead to an explanation for the madness.

Anybody who hates immigrants in the US is a bit of a hypocrite unless they are Native American!
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Re: Boston (TW: Violence)

Postby rowan » Fri Apr 19, 14:12 2013

I have a lot of friends in Boston, I'm glad they've all checked in ok. I'm trying not to freak out about the continued story but it's hard.
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Re: Boston (TW: Violence)

Postby cwbyrvr » Fri Apr 19, 19:10 2013

Eravial wrote:I wonder if she's heard yet that the (alleged) bombers were here legally and are Caucasian. Although, she only watches Fox News, and apparently this morning Fox did indeed feel the need to wrongly clarify that "Chechans are not caucasian." Chechnya is indeed part of Caucasus.

This is the result of a general misuse of the term "caucasian." Far too many people use it to mean "white people" when many of the people in Caucasus are not white identifying. They are the real Caucasians. It's not about skin color at all (or at least, it shouldn't be).
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Re: Boston (TW: Violence)

Postby Eravial » Fri Apr 19, 19:36 2013

Well, the second suspect is in custody, so there's that. Maybe we'll get a reason for all this, maybe not. http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/0 ... story.html
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Re: Boston (TW: Violence)

Postby Aum » Sat Apr 20, 13:42 2013

I'm more than just a bit disturbed at how secretive the U.S. government is being. They go on shooting rampages in neighborhoods, killing one of the suspects in the process, and then they detain the other one. We don't get to hear the story until they tell it to us, which could be any trumped up story at this point.

I just don't trust our government anymore. Terrorists are terrorists but we're supposed to be an informed democracy, and the media blackouts on the details are becoming all too routine. Journalists should be constantly pressing the White House for more information, and instead the corporately owned media is just sitting back and waiting to be spoonfed information for dissemination to the public.
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Re: Boston (TW: Violence)

Postby rowan » Sat Apr 20, 15:04 2013

I got a lot of details on what was going on, when I actually looked, both through people in Boston, and through the news.
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Re: Boston (TW: Violence)

Postby Sonic# » Sat Apr 20, 18:43 2013

Yes, I've gotten a lot of information through Twitter, through the police feed - I've never felt blacked out.

The most frustrating thing has been the discussion around Miranda rights and what to do with him. I think people are too vicious when it comes to terrorists.
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Re: Boston (TW: Violence)

Postby Mathmo » Fri Apr 26, 16:08 2013

I think it's absurd that he's been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction. Shouldn't that mean, like, biological/chemical warfare or at least a bomb spiked with radioactive material? Though it seems to be technically correct (having read some comments where people have claimed that this kind of explosive in the right kind of location can count as a WMD).

I am also concerned that this will be yet another catalyst for increasing bigotry and intolerance, especially towards Muslims :(. I don't really understand what makes this so different from the far-too-frequent shooting sprees that never get described this way (which injure fewer people but kill more?) ... well, except I sort of do and wish I didn't: the perpetrators'* ethnicity/religion. These factors shouldn't affect how events are reported ... but they do.

(*I think he's admitted to it so this is correct, rather than just saying 'the accused' ?)
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Re: Boston (TW: Violence)

Postby Tweek » Sat Apr 27, 4:38 2013

Calling the relatively small bomb a WMD is both laughable and potentially damaging. By referring to it that way enemies can boast about how they struck at the US with such a weapon when it was really rather small; it also means that the next time a US strike accidentally kills civilians people will legitimately be able to complain about the use of WMDs against them. It is essential that the term WMD should only refer to genuinely huge weapons.
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