Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • The bombs that disrupted the Boston Marathon, killed three and maimed almost two hundred others did more than decimate the crowd at the finish line. They also did their part to further rend the fabric of civil society and push back civil liberties.

    A week after the explosions, Boston's main thoroughfare, Boyleston Street, was still cordoned off to let the FBI finish up combing the rubble for forensic evidence. The surviving suspect fights for his life in a local medical center. Three days after his capture, federal investigators are grilling him. Given the array of state and federal charges Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is likely to face, he better have an attorney present.

    Soon the makeshift memorials deposited at the crime scene will be moved to Copley Square so that the street can be reopened to traffic. After a decent interval, they will be tossed away. The Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins will play home games. Life will go on, but something has changed. And not just in Boston.

    The media keeps saying what tough stuff Bostonians are made of. But if we're so strong and resilient, why did they sequester a million of us in our homes for twelve hours? Nobody can recall anything like that happening after a tragedy or disaster in any other American city.

    Some people always manage to see a silver lining in the tragic events. Yet, it is still astounding to read in the New York Times that

    On Saturday morning, Sunny McDonough, 34, a hairstylist and accountant who lives in Watertown, brought her 3-year-old daughter to Dunkin’ Donuts for a treat after having been cooped up for so long. Ms. McDonough said she expected the ordeal to bring more people to Watertown. “Now we’re on the map,” she said. “And I think our property values are going to go up by 10 percent. Everyone knows where we are now, and they might be more inclined to visit and go to the diner and the stores."

    I guess there's nothing like a dramatic firefight to pump up property values. If that's the spirit that our town is made of, Lord help us.

    More than nine thousand law enforcement officers deployed in Boston to handle the situation, perhaps an order of magnitude more than rushed to Newtown, Connecticut after 26 people were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Some might describe such a massing of troops as an appropriate response. I call it training exercise for a Homeland Security action plan and ask them to resist being desensitized to a domestic arms race.

    This was a military-style response to a sudden but circumscribed civilian emergency. They told everybody to be very afraid and then locked down most of a metropolis for half a day to catch who they told us were two local guys with no known organizational connections. The idea is that terror can tip-toe up any time and it's real scary, so let's get used to martial law, starting now.

    Behind all of this rough-and-readiness is an enormous military-security-federal-industrial-complex that has been ramping up steadily for decades now. Your tax dollars fund the armed services, the NSA, FBI, CIA, DoD, DoE, and lots of agencies you've never heard of, all dedicated to spending more than the rest of the world combined to maintain America's military superiority, national security and global dominance.

    Local Police are being equipped like commandos, with full body armor assault weapons, tanks, and intel backup from the feds. Better get with the program. They know when you are sleeping. They know when you're awake. They know if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.

    @image: ACLU Launches Nationwide Police Militarization Investigation
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.