Link Roundup, 9/9/16

From Esquire: As the pain of 9/11 becomes less raw, we are beginning to see it in more depth. Esquire looks at the history of one of that day’s more harrowing photos.

From JSTOR: A scholarly journal commemorates the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.

From Film Comment: Someone finally makes the connection between Winter’s Bone (Jennifer Lawrence’s first and still greatest performance) and The Hunger Games.

From Mental Floss: Origins of all 32 NFL team-names.

From The Week: A look at Europe’s stunted tech-boom.

From the GOPLifer archive: On a related note, why Europe is not a healthy model for the US.


Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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104 comments on “Link Roundup, 9/9/16
  1. Is it just me or are others just completely astonished at how many people say they will vote for Trump?

    Does anyone have any idea what will happen to the stock and bond markets the day after Trump gets elected? Yesterday was just a burp in the market! It means nothing! But one comment as President like the one Trump made a while ago, that he would negotiate the payment of our debt to China, even a hint, and you are looking at a collapse of both the bond and stock market! I have friends who are lightening up on their IRA’s investments just because Trump could win. There is no guarantee he will not!

    i understand the racists voting for Trump! He will corner that market. Hell, Trump rallies are the only rallies you see Nazi tats! And I understand the low information, poor, white old people who have nothing to loose.

    But that is not all his followers. There are a ton of better off people who are Trump voters. Have they no idea what will happen to their investments?

    In 2008, we were 2-3 days away from credit cards not working, ATM machines not working, all because there was no market for commercial paper. The financial markets were freezing up. If TARP had nor passed, and it was iffy, who knows what would have happened. Probably a world wide depression!

    I understand Clinton’s negatives. God knows she has screwed up in the past, both she and Bill! But with all that, how the hell can so many people vote for someone who almost never tells the truth? It is almost pathological with Trump!

    i admit, i am completely flabbergasted with what is happening!

    • flypusher says:

      There are two rationales for voting Trump that I can understand, even if I find them to be deplorable due to how grossly unqualified Trump is. One is the group that is so pissed off that they don’t care, and voting Trump is their way of saying “F$&@ You!” To the establishment. Then you have the people like Pence and Ryan and McConnell, who hope that Trump wins despite himself and that he’s disinterested in the work of governing or at least they’ll have his ear and can influence him towards their agendas. They are gambling and we are screwed if they win. But if you’re voting Trump because you are convinced that he’ll help the economic situation of the little guy (despite his ruthless business history and that fact that he’s pushing the same old trickle- down dreck), or you think he’s the one to protect you from the terrorists (despite the fact that he has no plan so far other than blustering and chest thumping, and he is profoundly clueless about world events), or you all mad over Hillary being dishonest (and you are ignoring Trump’s bigger and more blatant lies, the fact that he’s already been busted in court for dishonest dealings, he’s got lawsuits pending, and he’s not releasing those tax returns), than all I can you is that you are a fool. You are an uninformed fool incapable of critical thought, a profound embarrassment, and a danger to the republic.

  2. rightonrush says:

    Washington (CNN)Americans are more positive about the nation’s economy than they have been in nine years, according to a new CNN/ORC poll.
    In a reflection of rising optimism, 53% of Americans say economic conditions in the US are good, up from the 45% who felt that way in June. It’s the highest number since September 2007, before the 2008 economic collapse.

    • flypusher says:

      Be honest GOPers, if it was President Romney with those economic numbers, you’d be singing his praises about how he saved us from the Great Recession. The hyper partisan refusal to give any credit to the other party is one of the major things wrong with our politics.

    • 1mime says:

      An inconvenient truth, righton!

    • RobA says:

      This frankly is pretty scary to me.

      I mean, when other demagogic leaders that come to power democratically, a la Hitler, economic conditions really WERE deplorable. In a way, while that doesn’t excuse it, it does explain it.

      If Trump can get elected based on non sensical bluster, when the stock market is at all time highs and unemployment below 5%, when over 50% are optimistic about the economy, what does that mean? What protections do we have against disasters like this piece of shit?

      This is worrisome that it’s this close, but I’m not going to panic until after the debates.

  3. Griffin says:

    North Korea actually bans sarcasm that is “hostile” to the government. It sounds as though the regime is about to lose control.

    • RobA says:

      Nothing can defy gravity forever. North Koreans are humans, and eventually, the regime will fall. It does certainly feel like the end is near for NK, but whose to say?

      In an increasingly interconnected and digital world, the whole NK oppression model is unsustainable.

      This makes the increased nuclear belligerence all the more worrisome. When the end is nigh, there are going to be some awfully desperate ppl in the Kim family.

      • 1mime says:

        I don’t feel too sorry for the members of the Kim family when they are knowingly starving their people.

      • Griffin says:

        Neither do I but a violent revolution under the current conditions would get pretty bloody and could just lead to a new dictatorship, maybe one even nastier than the current one. Best case scenario for the NK people is the Kim’s willingly give up their power when they see the writing on the wall but I don’t think that’s in the cards, so revolution is probably inevitable. After that everyone would just have to hope for the best in terms of who comes out on top.

      • 1mime says:

        Ryan, the date on that 538 article is August 24th. A great deal of tightening has happened since then, to Trump’s advantage. I have read verification of large Republican voter sign up in other journals. If you combine new Repub voters with many voters going with the 3rd party candidates, Trump could win with a smaller number of votes, as Silver explains in a 9/8 round table on the election:

        Nate Silver: “Well, if Trump only has to get 44 percent of the vote to win, instead of 50 percent, because there’s a big third-party vote, that makes it a lot easier.

        How does Trump win? It’s on the margin rather than with some brilliant strategy, I think. Stay relatively gaffe-free and you’ll probably get a few reluctant Republicans to come home to you. Keep that trust question about Clinton forefront in voters’ minds. Maybe you both go into Election Day with a 40-ish percent favorability rating. And then the third-party voters and the swing states break in a way that’s favorable for you.

        Now, that marginal strategy would work a lot better if Trump had a better ground game. But still — it’s not that hard to imagine how he could win.
        Is the number of undecideds right now on-track historically? Or is it out of the norm?

        natesilver: No, it’s way higher, at least compared to recent elections. You have 18-20 percent of the electorate that’s either undecided or voting for one of the (largely anonymous) third-party candidates.”

      • >] “How does Trump win? It’s on the margin rather than with some brilliant strategy, I think. Stay relatively gaffe-free and you’ll probably get a few reluctant Republicans to come home to you.

        >] “Now, that marginal strategy would work a lot better if Trump had a better ground game. But still — it’s not that hard to imagine how he could win.

        I can imagine Republicans getting all chummy with President Obama and passing some serious bi-partisan legislation just as easily, but that ain’t happening either.

        >] “natesilver: No, it’s way higher, at least compared to recent elections. You have 18-20 percent of the electorate that’s either undecided or voting for one of the (largely anonymous) third-party candidates.”

        Okay, sarcasm aside, there are two critical points to take with this line of thinking. First, it is not going to be an insignificant number of Republicans or Republican-leaning “Independents” that just opt to stay home. Trump gives them reason after reason after reason to do so and third-party candidates like Gary “Aleppo” Johnson and Jill Stein just aren’t going anywhere. Evan McMullin might’ve had an impact, but he’s gotten into this race way too late and serves as little more than a protest vote for #NeverTrump Republicans.

        Secondly, none of this does anything but hurt Trump. Democrats will be solidly unified behind Clinton come November 8th and her campaign will ring the proverbial sponge dry to turn out every last one of them. This ideal of a “marginal” victory by Trump is, with all respect, nothing but a fantasy. It’s an indulgence of hypotheticals with nothing to substantiate it.

      • 1mime says:

        Silver’s suggestion that the undecided percentage is much larger this year is of no concern?

      • That’s just what it is, a suggestion. In spite of those numbers, do you see any significant rise in support for either of the third-party candidates? Stein’s numbers don’t even hit 5% and Johnson’s, on average, are where they always are. He can’t even qualify for the debates.

        What you see in those undecideds are idiots who are either going to stay home or have already made their decision and just aren’t saying it so they can convince themselves that they’re somehow above the fray for two quote-on-quote “horrible” candidates.

  4. 1mime says:

    For those who missed this Frontline Documentary on 9/11, here is a link.

  5. 1mime says:

    Voter suppression appeals to the SC….Michigan, this time.

    This appeal concerned the elimination of straight ticket voting which the majority of minority voters use in MI. I was very surprised to learn in the explanation of the SC decision to refuse to hear the state’s appeal that:

    “The challengers countered that having the straight-ticket voting option is “essential” in Michigan because – unlike other states – the state does not offer either early in-person voting or voting by mail, and allows absentee voting only with an excuse. Thus, they explained, “the straight party option helps Michigan voters, particularly African-American voters, cope with one of the longest ballots and longest waiting times to vote” in the country. Eliminating straight-ticket voting now, the challengers contended, would create “massive confusion and even longer lines at polling places deterring voters, especially African-American voters, from voting.”

    There are so many ways to suppress voting. Republicans have really, really been focused on denying minority voting rights through whatever calculus they could get past the courts. Note that since the SC refused to hear the state’s appeal, the case is remanded back to the lower courts. This is so sad. It’s not as if the minorities opposing the elimination of the “option” to utilize a straight ticket ballot process were being greedy. So pathetic.

  6. Griffin says:

    Think the Allepo mistake is limited to Gary Johnson? Think again! A disturbing number of people who should know better seem to not be totally up to date on their foreign policy news.

  7. flypusher says:

    I’d lose my geek-cred if I didn’t comment on the Star Trek link. You could argue it wasn’t always high-brow sci-fi, but for me it was the gateway into so many interesting things. Thanks, Mr. Roddenberry!!!!!!

  8. 1mime says:

    I admit to limited understanding and exposure to the wonderful world of technology while embracing the many benefits it offers across a broad spectrum of my life. I do have concerns about cultural and personal changes resulting from its rapid growth and expansion.

    ” “The confluence of a large pool of capital, world-class talent, vibrant support infrastructure,
    and a risk-loving culture has bred a self-fulfilling cycle of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

    How can anyone argue against a statement like this as being anything other than incredibly positive? Has Europe made a conscious choice to slow technological development in an effort to preserve their culture, or, is have they simply been the slow horse in the race? Either way, technology is here to stay as a force in our lives, research, and development. Let us hope that as we benefit from its expansion that we don’t lose our sense of appreciation for other important aspects of life.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Mime, you whippersnapper . . . Get off my lawn! 🙂

      • 1mime says:

        But we agree on this, Tutta! There are costs for most changes. The loss of interpersonal communication is one I most regret. Texting vs calling (or,heaven forbid – visiting!); surfing while in the company of living breathing human beings instead of having a conversation; doctor visits where the doctor is more focused on inputting data into an electronic device than in communicating with the patient….you get my drift. Yet, I cannot deny how much technology has benefited not only me personally but our world. Change is challenging.

      • objv says:

        Get off my gravel and rocks, you young whippersnapper! (Don’t have a front lawn in NM.)

  9. unarmedandunafraid says:

    I just read “Hillbilly Elegy” by J.D. Vance. It made me more aware of the human ability to hold conflicting or contradicting thoughts in out head at the same time. The author talks about this feature that the Appalachian poor use, at times. I also saw it in the authors writing.

    I guess it’s a human feature and a bug. I know ferreting it out of your own thought process is hard.

    So, that brings me to the article about European entrepreneurship of lack of it. First off, he talks about the huge, sorry yuuuge, differences in capitalization in US vs EU companies. The first thought is that, maybe there is a problem we are not recognizing, in that disparity, in what we capitalize? But that’s not my point.

    On that site, there’s a link to another article, by the same author, talking about how our deficit spending and stifling regulation is hurting our economy.

    Am I wrong, seeing a huge contradiction?

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I heard Vance interviewed on NPR, and he is opposed to Trump, but when asked if he would vote for Hillary, he said no, and when asked why, he paused and said simply, “I can’t.” And then he added it was because she did not connect with his people.

      But I was struck by that pause, and his answer, “I can’t” seemed to come straight from the gut.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I love Mr. Vance’s voice, so I will be listening to “Hillbilly Elegy” on audio, since he narrates his own book.

      • objv says:

        So, Mr. Vance won’t vote for Hill/Billy?

        I know, I know, that’s a horrible joke, but somehow I can’t help myself. 🙂

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I have the same visceral reaction toward Trump. When asked why I won’t vote for him, my first words are “I can’t.”

        I made my decision the day of the press conference when he growled at Univision’s Jorge Ramos, “GET OUTTA HERE!!!.”

        In my book, no one is allowed to talk to Jorge Ramos like that. It’s like kicking out Walter Cronkite. From that day on I closed my ears to anything Mr. Trump had to say.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Interested in your thoughts when you read/listen. I found I have many things in common with Mr Vance. Except for the going to Yale part.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Actually, OV, the interviewer brought up Bill Clinton, and asked Mr. Vance if he could at least relate to MISTER Clinton, and he said no, that Bill had changed too much after so many years in Washington.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I think it was on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Unarmed, so far, from what I’ve heard about and from Mr. Vance, I feel a connection to him. My upbringing was not turbulent like his, but we both came from humble backgrounds and went to school out of state and shared a certain naiveté when rubbing elbows with more sophisticated types.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        So, tut. Do you believe Bill changed or did the popular wisdom in Vance’s circles change?

      • 1mime says:

        I heard that interview as well. My book stack is getting tall…Hillbilly Elegy is somewhere in there (-; along with Dark Money…and a few other tomes….Many Republicans who have their heads on straight (meaning – they will not support or vote for Trump) have indicated they will write in a candidate. I hope the race is not so close at the end that these write in votes won’t tip the balance in T’s favor…..

      • objv says:

        Tutt, I dislike Trump but do not have the same visceral reaction to him.

        On the other hand, I do have a gut reaction to Bill Clinton. As a woman, the thought of allowing an accused sexual predator (and possibly a rapist according to one woman) back into the White House gives me a feeling of revulsion.

        I do not know what arrangements Bill and Hillary have between themselves in their marriage. That part is private but it seems that Hillary has looked the other way and allowed Bill to have his fun while attacking some of the victims for speaking out.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Unarmed, I think Bill changed as anyone being in politics for so long would change, but I think he still has that “common touch.” (I know OV with have a field day with that one.)

        Vance has a strong anti-elitist streak that won’t allow him to support either of the Clintons, and yes, that attitude may come from the extreme polarization in politics over the last 10 or 12 years, of “elites” versus “common folk.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, with regards to the Clinton sex scandals, I saw it all as one big soap opera, so I sort of tuned out during that time, so I never really formed an opinion, besides feeling sorry for Monica Lewinsky, whom I saw as a pawn among power players.

      • flypusher says:

        “Vance has a strong anti-elitist streak that won’t allow him to support either of the Clintons, and yes, that attitude may come from the extreme polarization in politics over the last 10 or 12 years, of “elites” versus “common folk.” ‘

        Here’s the politically incorrect truth- high level government positions are for “elitists”, with the caveat that we’re defining “elitists” as people with the education, relevant experience, and other actual qualifications for the job. Not everyone really can be President and not everyone should be President. It’s a difficult job with very high stakes, and only a small percentage of the population have what it takes to do it well. That’s not even getting into the inevitable cronyism and exchange of favors that are pretty much SOP for people climbing high on the political ladder. Now if Vance and his folk want to resent that aspect of elitism, I completely understand. But if you’re embracing the obvious ignorance, ineptitude, and unqualifications of Trump, you’re taking it off the deep end. At best, Trump is a figurehead. We should not waste such an important job on someone incapable of doing it.

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        In my opinion, Mr Vance still has some cognitive dissonance going on. But I admire him for his accomplishments.

    • flypusher says:

      Speaking of Trump’s fan base, the link has a quote that perfectly sums up a major demographic segment of it:

      Well, Mr. Blue, you probably sustain all that political correctness stuff too, so I’ll be just as blunt as you say you want (and I’ll have the added bonus of speaking fact)- you are an ignorant fool, and ignorant fools like you are a major danger to our society. You have zero rights to spew poison in the air just because you don’t like somebody else’s politics. You can and will be stopped, and just to really stick it in your overly agressive craw, it should come in the form of a regulation from that big, bad, Federal government you hate you much. You are not worth trying to reason with, so we will go with what does work, the legal equivalent of smacking you on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. (Disclaimer- I don’t approve of doing that to dogs.)

  10. flypusher says:

    Louie Gohmert breaks out the IMAX projector:

    Never think that Gohmert can’t bottom out on stupid.

  11. texan5142 says:

    Reading The falling Man pulled at my soul from deep down.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      When 9/11 happened, I was working on a sculpture of Bessie Coleman, a native Texan and the first African American to get a pilot’s license. Her company was headquartered in Houston but she died in Florida.

      She fell from her plane while she was inspecting an exhibit site.

      My small wish for Bessie was that she flew unencumbered for some seconds — and knew it as the freedom that it was for a woman who loved to fly.

      I coped with the falling 9/11 people by transferring my small wish to them. It was the best I could do.

      If I’d known the link went to those photos, I wouldn’t have clicked it.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      Also, 9/11 is my birthday.

      • 1mime says:

        Well, a very happy birthday to you, Bobo. I am sure the day has a bittersweet memory of the tragedy in NYC, but one has to continue living and celebrate the life we have. I hope your day is filled with happiness and laughter. May you get to blow out lots of candles in your lifetime.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Nobody forgets my birthday now, but no celebrations..really can’t do it. But thanks.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m sorry you can’t celebrate even as I understand why. As we age, birthdays are more important as a time to simply share with those special people in your life. Nothing more. Regardless, I still wish you a sweet day.

  12. 1mime says:

    In regards to the link that discusses a new cinematic technique – repressed, controlled feelings vs the hyperbolic displays that are prevalent in action/horror movies, I thought of the quiet statement made by Colin Kaepernick in silent protest to police brutality of Black men. In so many ways, his choice of not “acting out or speaking out in anger ” (Linly) offers a more powerful message for its “lack” of action.

    Winter’s Bone was a profound book and movie. Like the book “Cold Mountain”, it had the ability to place you in the lives of people who were in extreme circumstances – circumstances that most of us never experience – by fortune of birth or location. I also thought of the movie, “The Philadelphia Story” in which the pain and hurt of a gay man was so powerfully expressed through a dance to music with no words.

    Movies have the ability to help us relate to situations which we will likely never experience. For all the criticism that Hollywood gets from conservatives, the medium transforms, informs, and inspires.

    • formdib says:

      “In regards to the link that discusses a new cinematic technique – repressed, controlled feelings vs the hyperbolic displays that are prevalent in action/horror movies,”

      Level of significance of this post to politics or meaningful social change: super low. Just a movie nerd sidenote:

      That article does a decent job trying to make it’s case, presuming the very narrow historical perspective it’s taking. Its attempt to compare Jennifer Lawrence’s social realist, aka ‘naturalistic’ acting to James Dean’s and subsequent ‘method acting’ would be on point if it weren’t completely beside the point. Method acting isn’t the only alternative to theatrical acting, and the more subdued social realist style has been around since the silent era. See: Hindle’s Wake.

      Social realism has been part and parcel of cinema since its inception and calling Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘restrained, subdued’ acting unique or new in any way sort of kinda wipes out, I don’t know:

      * Japanese, French, Czech, and Polish New Waves

      * British ‘Kitchen Sink’ and Italian ‘Neo’ realisms

      * ‘New Hollywood’ of the 70s and 80s, and to a degree the default mode of ‘naturalistic’ acting in No Wave, mumblecore, and American indie drama acting that’s prevailed since.

      It ignores Ken Loach, Yasojiro Ozu, Jim Jarmusch, Wim Wenders, Hal Ashby, Francois Truffaut, Krystof Kieslowski, Bela Tarr, and Michelangelo Antonioni among other major luminaries.

      See also more recently: Kids, Before Sunset, Wendy and Lucy, American Beauty, Francis Ha, Half Nelson, No Country for Old Men, and Mud for contemporary and semi-recent relatively famous entries. In short, there’s nothing ‘new’ about this style of cinematic drama or acting.

      Winter’s Bone was excellent, though, and for many of the reasons that the article stated. To build on it’s point in a more positive way, I draw a distinction between ‘Hollywood’ movies and ‘American’ movies, sometimes called ‘independent film’ or abroad, ‘American independents.’ Hollywood is as American as Google is Irish: just because the transnational corporations are based there, doesn’t mean they represent the culture. Winter’s Bone is an actually American story about actually American people dealing with actual American circumstances. It’s a part of the culture of the territory it’s set in, unlike Hunger Games, which is the same left-libertarian wish fulfillment fantasy most dystopia science fiction lives in.

      The Hollywood blockbuster most people set the standard by is both relatively new (post Jaws / Star Wars of the late 70s) and relatively rare (though saturated). Other countries don’t make them due to budgetary constraints and lack of film production infrastructure, relying instead on melodrama and romantic comedies; the super good ones we receive as ‘art house cinema’ that get packaged in pretty designs and subtitled as ‘foreign films’. But that’s changing now. See Ra-One ( from India, and The Guardians from Russia (

      Actually, politically important, see THE MERMAID: This legitimately marks a move of Hollywood corporate production toward China, meaning America’s monopoly on transcontinental tentpole productions is beginning to get chipped away like everything else. There may yet be a day when the United States isn’t the world’s largest media exporter.

      * Cute joke hidden in there.

      • formdib says:

        In other news, if people here liked Winter’s Bone, please, please check out Wendy & Lucy. Such a great movie.

      • 1mime says:

        I have ordered it for the grand total of $.01 + 3.99 shipping via Amazon. I checked netflix and Amazon and they didn’t have it. It looks special. I have to say that my favorite movie this year is “Begin Again”…speaking of NYC. So perfectly cast, great music/acting.

  13. flypusher says:

    I just don’t grok the denial reactions some people have about those who jumped out of the towers rather than burn to death. It’s really not suicide (I think it’s the anti-suicide stigma driving this)- it’s people who are doomed choosing what is barely the lesser of 2 evils. Not their faults, and no reason to be ashamed.

    Those pictures do what proper journalism should do- they hit you like a knife in the gut and remind you of the horrors that people suffered.

    Sadly, at least in the medium-term, the 9-11 attacks are still benefitting the terrorists. They triggered the clusterf$&@ that was the Iraq invasion, and even worse, there are people who are willing to vote for an unqualified authoritarian idiot because they’ve let fear rule them.

    • flypusher says:

      Also let’s not forget that the 9/11 terrorist attacks are STILL killing people, albeit more slowly:

      I’m thinking those people who did rescue/recovery/cleanup are owed more detailed yearly health screenings at least. The details are lacking in Mr. Turturici’s case in this story, but I wonder if his cancer could have been detected earlier if he had been considered at high risk.

    • objv says:

      Fly, I don’t like that the images were published – not because of denial – but because of privacy concerns. Would I like to see a photo of my husband or my father jumping to their death if they had been in the building? No. Absolutely not.

      Many people think that the time of death should be private. A photo like this published without family permission could cause pain to the children, spouse or parents of the man who jumped.

      • flypusher says:

        There’s a privacy concern IF you identify the person in the picture. On that issue the families could legitimately argue with the photographer. If they don’t want him ID’ed, that wish should be respected, IMO. But denying the jumping? Not wanting that part if the story to be told? On those issues I part ways.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, I agree with you for the most part. I wonder if the photo of this man falls under the category of photos that have become part of history, part of the public domain, like the photo of the little girl in Vietnam whose clothes burned off.

      • objv says:

        Here’s where I had the problem with the photo. I read the article to the end. The photo caused unbelievable pain to the family. The photographer had the nerve to show up at the man’s funeral. I’d urge you to read the last section which includes the following:

        “Catherine Hernandez never saw the photo the reporter carried under his arm at her father’s funeral. Neither did her mother, Eulogia. Her sister Jacqueline did, and her outrage assured that the reporter left—was forcibly evicted—before he did any more damage. But the picture has followed Catherine and Eulogia and the entire Hernandez family. There was nothing more important to Norberto Hernandez than family. His motto: “Together Forever.” But the Hernandezes are not together anymore. The picture split them. Those who knew, right away, that the picture was not Norberto—his wife and his daughters—have become estranged from those who pondered the possibility that it was him for the benefit of a reporter’s notepad. With Norberto alive, the extended family all lived in the same neighborhood in Queens. Now Eulogia and her daughters have moved to a house on Long Island because Tatiana—who is now sixteen and who bears a resemblance to Norberto Hernandez: the wide face, the dark brows, the thick dark lips, thinly smiling—kept seeing visions of her father in the house and kept hearing the whispered suggestions that he died by jumping out a window.”

      • 1mime says:

        The photographer was wrong to intrude upon the family’s privacy. However, as devastating as these photographs were, the tragic events occurred in the public domain. I agree with Fly and I also agree with you. (Remember the photographs/video of Jack Kennedy’s death? Did that not get blasted all over the world? Was that any less horrible?) Matters like this need to be handled with great sensitivity and for the most part, I think the dead were accorded great respect from the responders, the media and the public. I don’t think I could have taken those photographs if I were standing there with a camera in my hand; however, these tragic falling men made this atrocious event unforgettable. And America needs to never forget what happened and why. This was real. You can’t erase it by simply putting pictures in a box.

      • objv says:

        I forgot to make it more clear that the man initially identified as “the falling man” was most likely another man causing unwarranted grief and distress to the first family.

    • objv says:

      Mime, I’d say there is a fine line between what is acceptable and what is not and the line can vary for different people. Would you agree with that?

      In Jackie Kennedy’s case, she was voluntarily a public figure and JFK was our President. In some ways her grief, although personal, was the country’s grief as well because JFK was our leader.

      The falling man was a private citizen and could eventually be identified. Neither he or his family were public figures and the photographer should have gotten permission before publishing the photo.

      I remember seeing video of the towers and people jumping at a great distance. That was part of the total scene and the people’s features could not be distinguished. I didn’t think that the video was inappropriate.

      As far as the burning girl photo, I think that her privacy was also shattered even though the photo was taken in a different country.

      • 1mime says:

        Yes, I would agree with that. The Frontline documentary (link posted) looks at 9/11 from a faith perspective through the lives of family and loved ones. Possibly you will find it more appropriate. Whether one is private or public, unnatural death is just as difficult. I think that in both cases (Kennedy’s assassination and the deaths of all those on 9/11 and after) the loss and shock experienced by loved ones is deeply personal and privacy for their grief should be respected.

      • objv says:

        Sorry mime, I read Jackie instead of Jack. I don’t remember the photos of JFK. If they were graphic in nature, I don’t think they should have been published either.

        Perhaps I’m being oversensitive at this time. My husband’s father died a few months ago. We were fortunate in that he died at home in peace and we were there to say our last good-byes. I contrast that with the horror that the falling man experienced and would not wish that sight on any family.

      • 1mime says:

        I have been thinking more on the subject of photographing pain, death and misery of others. Why is it that we aren’t so “personally bothered” by the scenes of death in Syria? Or the boat people who drown?…Those images are equally gruesome but our world view and realization of the tragedy is sheltered by distance. Death is all around us and is a reminder of how imperfect our world is and how tenuous life is. It seems that we are more shocked when it is our people’s deaths that are being recorded – and I don’t say that to be argumentative – it is simply true. There was value in people from around the world seeing the evil launched at America in the 9/11 attacks even though it wasn’t on their soil. What I am saying is that it is easier to be de-sensitized in viewing the atrocities of death of those we don’t know or live among than it is within our own country.

      • goplifer says:


        It seems like the response you’re describing cuts to the heart of the whole event. In way it helps explain why we all feel so personally violated by those attacks, even if we were a thousand miles away.

        That man wasn’t Jackie Kennedy. He didn’t run for office. He didn’t place himself in the path of history. And yet, like that little girl in the Vietnam photo, there he was. He was minding his business at work one Tuesday morning and that’s how his day and his life ended. For no reason whatsoever.

        There’s something about his individual humanity, not just a blurry figure in the distance but a nearly recognizable person, that makes the image resonate. That’s also why the image from Vietnam proved so powerful. Stalin allegedly said that single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. That image is a reminder that it wasn’t three thousand deaths, but three thousand *single deaths* that happened on that Tuesday morning.

        And for all that, of course, we still don’t actually know the identity of the man in the photo. Though so personal in a way, he’s still private. That guy was robbed of choices in life. Now his death forms part of the mythology of the event, part of the narrative we all inhabit in an effort to gain some meaning. It seems right somehow. It seems like a small act of healing.

    • formdib says:

      “Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”

      –David Foster Wallace

      • formdib says:

        Context: quote is from Infinite Jest and is actually about depression, which Wallace suffered until he killed himself by hanging.

      • 1mime says:

        It is impossible to try to understand suicide using logic.

      • Ken Rhodes says:

        Mime wrote: “It is impossible to try to understand suicide using logic.” I don’t agree with that.

        My friend Henry told me that, and explained that, since death is equivalent to an expected value of negative infinity, it is always the worst choice. But I think he was wrong. I think death has an expected value of zero minus whatever pain you suffer in reaching the end. I think there are many circumstances in which the expected value of the remainder of your life is a larger negative number than the negative number you get from picking your time, place, and method of dying.

      • 1mime says:

        Ken, I don’t disagree with what your friend said (about suicide being a choice between life and unbearable pain). My statement was too limited. I understood where you are coming from.

  14. Robert Evans says:

    Regarding your ‘Why we can’t be like Europe’ article. . .

    I won’t disagree about the benefits of America’s greater acceptance of creative destruction. But regarding the first point, which I’ll summarize as ‘we can’t spend on a social safety net like Europe because global security depends on US military spending,’ I must disagree. This assumes that a drop in American subsidizing of European military security would not push Europe to pay more for its own security, or that they could not otherwise be convinced to do so. I think they would if we cut off the gravy train.

    • duncancairncross says:

      Why the hell should Europe spend more on it’s military?
      Who is going to attack them?
      After the USA the rest of NATO is the strongest military in the world – by LOTS!

      Russia has a stronger military than any single European country –
      But excluding the USA there are 27 other countries in NATO and four of them have militaries that are nearly as large as Russia and possibly more effective

      Once you are maybe twice as powerful as the most powerful alliance of enemies you can stop spending
      Europe is well above that level – the only military force on Earth that would be a threat to Europe is the USA

      So WHY spend more????

  15. I’m still not convinced by that last piece, the one which maintains that Europe is only as wealthy and pleasant as it is because of the American military protecting us.

    The last time that a foreign military threatened Europe, there were two Germanies, the World Wide Web hadn’t yet been invented, South Africa was ruled by white people, Donald Trump had not yet gone bankrupt, China was anti-capitalist, and Saddam Hussein was a Western ally helping to hold back the evil Iranians. There are now people old enough to vote and have children who have only ever seen the Berlin Wall on old photos and in museums. Nobody except specialists knew what a hedge fund was, Nokia was a timber company, and Bavaria was a rural backwater rather than the beating hi-tech heart of Europe.

    As someone who was born to a family from the part of Germany that was behind the Iron Curtain, I will forever be grateful to America for standing by the torch of democracy; but come on. Had America entirely abandoned us in 1989, nobody would have invaded. To all intents and purposes there has been no American military subsidy for twenty-seven years.

    (Those twenty-seven years, possibly by coincidence, have been the richest the world has ever known, and the Old World is no exception.)

    • objv says:

      EJ, it looks like we may have something in common. My father’s family came from that region as well. Luckily, they all made it into West Germany when the war ended unlike an estimated two million people who died trying.

      I am also forever grateful to the United States. My parents said they remember how fearful their own parents and other adults were to say anything derogatory about the government even to close friends. It makes me cherish our freedom of speech even more.

      • I’m really glad your people made it out! The refugee columns at the end of the war were a nightmare – nothing like as bad as what we inflicted during the war, of course, but still not a good thing. West Germany was far better a place to be a child, and America better still (I’m told – Americans can no doubt comment.)

        Sprichst du auch Deutsch? Do you know where your father’s people were from, and has he or you ever been back?

    • Griffin says:

      There’s still Putin expanding westward, terrorists the US invests alot of money into spying on and suppressing in other countries, and the potential for economic/political instability in Western Europe leading to possible far-right governments (particularly in France). Europe’s not out of the woods yet.

      • On Putin’s Russia as a threat to Europe:

        In 2015, Russia spent $66bn on her military. France and Britain each spent around $50bn, Germany $40bn and Italy $25bn. When you include the smaller states, the total EU military expenditure is large enough to dwarf Russia’s. Even if the UK sits this one out, the EU has a substantial budgetary advantage. I’m not a military man but this makes me feel that we’ve got this one.

        In other words, this is not the age of Europe being defenceless against Soviet tank hordes. Those days are gone: not because Europe became a badass, but because the Soviet Union ceased to exist, and Russia is a pale shadow of that threat.

        (These numbers are misleading, because lot of that expenditure on both sides is spent on the nuclear programmes rather than on tanks. If those things simply rust in their silos then that money is wasted on both sides, of course, but the alternative is unthinkable.)

        On the rise of the far right:

        Sadly it’s happening throughout the world, including in Europe (particularly in Austria and Hungary, although as you point out the largest headlines are in France) but the rise of the far right is not a military issue. It’s a democratic issue. What do we do when our own population sincerely holds opinions which we regard as unacceptable? That’s a hard choice for anyone who believes in democracy, and I don’t have an easy answer. However, the answer is not violence. This is not something that American tanks or planes can protect us from, nor should they.

        As such, yes, we still live in a dangerous world, and in harsh times the strongest currency is cooperation, but Europe is not a defenceless maiden to be saved from the dragons.

      • 1mime says:

        “in harsh times the strongest currency is cooperation, but Europe is not a defenceless maiden to be saved from the dragons.”

        Powerful words and a powerful case for diplomacy. Indeed, we must save ourselves from ourselves. It is interesting that as the world leans more “right”, it is also becoming more secular. Religious people would say this is the “problem”- that the development of science has weakened the nurturing tether of existential beliefs leading to turmoil and anger. Health improvement is allowing people to live longer and long for different futures Education has encouraged people to question long held beliefs and patterns of behavior and seek new opportunities – with mixed success. Technology has surely played a strong role especially for those undeveloped, volatile areas of the world….after all, subsistence becomes less tolerable with exposure to other lifestyles. People want better lives for themselves and their families. We all want peace – or, do we?

        Chis did a post on the shifts that have occurred and are occurring in our world. I wonder if the shift to the far right is simply a signal of inevitable change as we move into a new era. The breadth of the change across a more interconnected globe is striking. Is this populist expression and shift to the right indicative that our social and cultural systems are not adapting as quickly? Or, is it something more fundamental – a fear of change and desire to return to more individual control? If the price for progress is that people no longer feel they control their own destiny, it is understandable that there would be resistance. I think that is where we are now. In this twilight time between eras.

        So many questions.

      • Griffin says:

        I’m sure they CAN defend themselves but they’d nonetheless want to ramp up their military spending without American military support. The idea is not to “win” the war it’s to have such a massive budget nobody would ever think to start one.

        Yes extremist governments rising in countries would still scare citizens of neighboring nations. You’d likely see increased military spending in response to this. Your response is basically “we got this” but there shouldn’t be a “this” in the first place if there is then there was a failure. Whether the conclusion is war or not having the threat of war the point is Europe would have to increase its military spending either way without US support, and thus undermine its social democracy.

      • We (that is, Europe) can and have made ourselves safe from Russia without increasing military spending. We already spend multiples of what Russia does; given that Russia’s finances are collapsing due to the oil price and they’ve had to cut spending in dollar terms since 2014, Europe doesn’t need to spend more to maintain her safety (from that front at least.)

        Sadly, as we’ve seen in Nice and in Florida, there are some threats which are not easily contained and which no amount of money can protect one from. How does one stop a private citizen from nursing a grievance, picking up a commonly-available-yet-deadly device and using it to murderous purpose? Up until the point where they pull the trigger or drive the truck onto the pavement, they’re a law-abiding citizen and there’s very little that anyone can do, regardless of how much money, how many allied states or how many tanks they have.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Ej
        “How does one stop a private citizen from nursing a grievance”,

        You stop feeding the grievance!
        You reduce inequality!
        – it won’t help immediately but it will in the long term

        If you look at the actual figures terrorism in Europe is at a historic low level

  16. 1mime says:

    Chris, “The Falling Man” is a powerful, heartbreaking, beautiful story about a day we must always remember. I would never have seen this story without your post, but I will make a permanent copy to read again in tribute to the fragility of life and those whose lives were taken in such an atrocious way.

    “…all we know of him becomes a measure of what we know of ourselves” That simple observation is apropos of so much in life that tests us. “Who” in history becomes less important than “why”, and yet each life is significant because each person was someone’s son, brother, husband. We all share in their loss but can never truly feel the pain of their loss.

    As we approach Sept. 11, I hope each of us will pause to remember that the gift of life is precious and fleeting. How we live our lives in the time that we are given is largely of our own choosing. The men and women who lost their lives on 9/11 and their families deserve our respect and our resolve to seek peace but be vigilant against evil.

  17. tuttabellamia says:

    Combining 2 links . . . regarding Europe’s attitude toward technology, and whether Europe can be a role model, I actually like how Europe places a high premium on privacy in the online world, and I like that it challenges the actions of the Google and Facebook moguls, who tend to think they can do anything they want. Not so fast, says Europe.

    I like that Europe provides a check on what would be unfettered activity by the tech giants, at least in terms of user privacy.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      The author of the piece about Europe and technology neglected to mention:

      It’s legal for American tech companies to collect and sell the data generated by individual users.

      Reminds me of the hela cell line heist.

      From my days attempting to market telecom systems into European countries, we were told that their telcos didn’t want directory data and usage data mixed in the same system and that their preferences were a result of the Nazi era. Directories can be misused.

    • It’s a mixed bag. You can’t use Google Streetview in Germany, precisely because of this.

      On the one hand, I like my private data being private. On the other hand, people who misuse my private data often provide us with really cool technical toys.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      I am gradually going back to a pre-internet lifestyle, using the internet for work only, mostly for email.

      I tried it for about a week recently, and it was great. I unplugged my wifi box at home and turned off my iPhone. Just print books, newspapers, magazines, paper maps, CDs, DVDs, and broadcast radio (no TV). I regained some peace of mind. I loved it.

      I would call it an analog existence, but I guess DVDs and CDs are digital, so I prefer to say “pre-internet.”

      • tuttabellamia says:

        And the business white pages, copies of receipts, and my trusty memory for phone numbers.

        I have never, ever entered contacts in any phone, in order to keep my memory sharp. I think it’s ridiculous how people are clueless about phone numbers without their phones.

      • Ken Rhodes says:

        With all due respect, Tutta, I wonder how you look things up conveniently, or obscure things at all, without Google.

        I have never had any interest in social media, but I think my life would be poorer without Google and several good blogs.

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