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Impressions of an American Thanksgiving

  • Jofid:Did you know that today is also Hanukkah?
  • Limmy:Really? Oh, I didn’t know!
  • Jofid:Yah! Apparently it’s the first time Thanksgiving and Hanukkah is happening on the same day in 125 years. Everyone in America is probably going mad right now.

Russian politics: Chechnya and the bombs in Boston | The Economist

Most of those who live in the North Caucasus are caught somewhere in the middle: between a perpetually fearful state that is wary of the independent power base even peaceful Salafism represents and the Islamist rebels who, by simply asking for a package of bandages or a piece of stale bread before they return to the mountains, make them a target for the police. Local authorities have responded with paranoid and indiscriminate crackdowns, treating every Salafist as a potential terrorist. Moscow is largely out of energy and ideas; the conflict may have crossed into a state of intractability.

It remains unclear how much of this history had to do with the bombs in Boston. The fact that two young men of Chechen origin committed an act of terror is not the same as saying Chechen terrorism has come to United States. Mr Kadyrov, usually spectacularly unreliable in his pronouncements, may have gotten it more or less right when he suggested via his Instagram account (his preferred method of communication these days) that the “roots” of Dzhokhar and Tamarlan’s “evil” are best found in America, not Chechnya.

In the end, whatever twisted sense of grievance and fury that drove the Tsarnaevs may have found its ultimate trigger in their adopted homeland more than in the one of their memory. Dzhokhar and Tamarlan are Chechen and Muslim, but they are also immigrant young men, struggling with their own sense of isolation and frustration. The language and motifs of the Caucasus militancy may have acted as a kind of salve, however desperate, for whatever dislocation they felt in America. Their uncle, who lives in Maryland, called the brothers “losers” who didn’t know what to make of themselves in America and thus were left “hating everyone who did”.

And so, in Boston, the cultivated sense of grievance and justification of the North Caucasus militants may been infused with the feelings of loneliness and revenge found in American men who commit acts of horrific violence: a case of “Beslan meets Columbine”, with disastrous results. If al-Qaeda and American male-rage have anything in common, it is that both foster the sort of self-obsessed nihilism that can have tragically bloody results. “I don’t have a single American friend,” Tamerlan is quoted as saying in a photo essay that followed his aspirations as a competitive boxer. “I don’t understand them.” Now it is America struggling to understand the Tsarnaevs.

I’ll say it again. 
People running towards explosions to help. Blood bank rejecting donors because they’re at capacity. All wounded made it to hospitals and survived. 
Restaurants staying open to provide food and battery for charging phones, Dunkin Donuts especially, by request of local law enforcement officials. 
Google doc with lodging offers. Massive photo and video upload to aid investigation. 
Survivor comes to and first thing he does is offer description of suspect. 
Suspect was found because a Watertown resident kept his eyes open after lockdown was relaxed, saw the blood around the boat and lifted up the tarp, then immediately went home and called 911.**
Quick on the uptake. Look out for each other. Tough as nails. Don’t mess with this city. City of Heroes. City of Minutemen. #bostonstrong
**Correction:

The Watertown man who found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in his boat says he is an “incidental hero.”
David Henneberry tells WCVB that contrary to what’s been reported, he did not see blood outside his boat. There was “no indication of anything.” Instead Henneberry was simply going outside to fix some foam rollers that had fallen off.
When he rolled up the boat cover, he saw blood on the floor of the boat, then he looked toward the front and saw more blood. When he looked toward the engine, he saw a body. He did not see a face.
"It’s surreal," Henneberry said. "I wasn’t out on the prowl. I was out to see my boat and I stumbled upon this." (source: The Two-Way, NPR)
His words were, ‘I levitated off the ladder.’ He does not remember going back into the house. He told his wife, ‘Lock the doors,’ and he called 911.” (source: New York Times)

I’ll say it again. 

People running towards explosions to help. Blood bank rejecting donors because they’re at capacity. All wounded made it to hospitals and survived. 

Restaurants staying open to provide food and battery for charging phones, Dunkin Donuts especially, by request of local law enforcement officials

Google doc with lodging offers. Massive photo and video upload to aid investigation.

Survivor comes to and first thing he does is offer description of suspect. 

Suspect was found because a Watertown resident kept his eyes open after lockdown was relaxed, saw the blood around the boat and lifted up the tarp, then immediately went home and called 911.**

Quick on the uptake. Look out for each other. Tough as nails. Don’t mess with this city. City of Heroes. City of Minutemen. #bostonstrong

**Correction:

The Watertown man who found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in his boat says he is an “incidental hero.”

David Henneberry tells WCVB that contrary to what’s been reported, he did not see blood outside his boat. There was “no indication of anything.” Instead Henneberry was simply going outside to fix some foam rollers that had fallen off.

When he rolled up the boat cover, he saw blood on the floor of the boat, then he looked toward the front and saw more blood. When he looked toward the engine, he saw a body. He did not see a face.

"It’s surreal," Henneberry said. "I wasn’t out on the prowl. I was out to see my boat and I stumbled upon this." (source: The Two-Way, NPR)

His words were, ‘I levitated off the ladder.’ He does not remember going back into the house. He told his wife, ‘Lock the doors,’ and he called 911.” (source: New York Times)

Tragedy in Boston: How to help - CNN.com

In case you were wondering, like I was. 

#Bostonstrong.

#Bostonstrong.

Highrock evangelical church gives town of Arlington an unusual Christmas gift: money to pay a social worker - Metro - The Boston Globe

The Rev. Eugene Kim, executive pastor and director of the Christmas concert, said the gift is an extension of the church’s mission.

“We’re just doing what the church is supposed to do,” he said. “We’re supposed to be a community that loves each other and loves others and loves God, and that worships and serves. It’s an old-fashioned idea.”

That’s my home church in Greater Boston, Highrock Arlington! I was blessed enough to sing in this choir for two years, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. The funds raised from the concert go towards funding a part-time social worker position for families in crisis in the town of Arlington. 

"When we moved into town, & bought the building, we really felt the desire to be a part of the town, & basically just do what we feel Jesus calls us to do as Christians, which is to love our neighbors." 

youtube.com

ELECTION SPECIAL: Barack Obama Singing Can’t Touch This by MC Hammer (by baracksdubs)

OMG. Dying. Best way to log the election results on this blog!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important message…
If you’re USAmerican, please vote today!
If you’re wondering why I a foreign citizen like me should care, it’s because like it or not, US foreign policy and economic performance affects me directly, and US behavior—modeling peaceful, (hopefully) thoughtful and constructive political participation—affects me indirectly. Simple as that. We all set the tone for each other on this interconnected planet. Do it!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to bring you this important message…

If you’re USAmerican, please vote today!

If you’re wondering why I a foreign citizen like me should care, it’s because like it or not, US foreign policy and economic performance affects me directly, and US behavior—modeling peaceful, (hopefully) thoughtful and constructive political participation—affects me indirectly. Simple as that. We all set the tone for each other on this interconnected planet. Do it!

On Los Angeles' skid row, songs of hope come in karaoke - latimes.com

For 15 years, these moments have arrived every Wednesday, courtesy of Pastor Anthony Stallworth, his wife, Lucy, and a karaoke machine bought by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello. The stars of the evening come from the neighborhood’s hotels, shelters and sidewalks.

Performances are ragged, raw and often inspired. On some nights you won’t find a more electric room in Los Angeles, and the crowd bears witness to a brand of musical epiphany seldom seen at a cutting-edge Echo Park club or the stage of the Hollywood Bowl.

Pastor Tony, as he’s known throughout the neighborhood, came up with the idea: “We’re a place where the homeless can come, they can sing a song, they can feel like somebody after being rejected everywhere else, get a free cup of coffee — and people applaud for them.”

Accompanying video here. This makes me so pleased.