The scoop about the mysterious pipe bombings

Summary: The miracle of America is that we get so much news, but know so little. This week’s bombings are an example of modern America: increasing political violence, increasing weirdness (nothing makes sense). Here is some info the news doesn’t mention.

violence

Step One from America’s playbook: when a threat appears, get hysterical.

“With every intercepted pipe bomb and suspicious package, fear spread from New York to Washington, Florida, Delaware and California. The devices stashed in manila envelopes and mailed nationwide targeted top Democrats, critics of President Donald Trump and CNN. None of the bombs detonated, and no one was injured ….”
— “What we know about the suspicious packages sent to top Democrats, Trump critics and CNN” in CNN.

As usual, the internet overflows with information from “experts.” Based on photos of the bombs and the sketchy information released about them, they conclude that the bombs were assembled by professionals – or amateurs.

We know nothing now. Of course, partisans on both sides confidently spout nonsense – blind to any logic and facts that does not match their tribal narratives. This makes it easy for our rulers to manipulate us.

Wise words about the bombings

Caitlin Johnstone

Nation Transfixed In Horror By Toy Bombs While Destroying Lives With Real Ones
By Caitlin Johnstone.

“As of this writing nobody has been killed or injured in any way by any of these many explosive devices, and there is as of this writing no publicly available evidence that they were designed to. As of this writing there is no evidence that the devices were intended to do anything other than what they have done: stir up fear and grab headlines.

“And of course it is a good thing that nobody has been hurt by these devices. Obviously targeting anyone with packages containing explosive materials is terrible, even if those devices were not rigged with the intention of detonating and harming anyone …. It is a good thing that none of America’s political elites were targeted by the sort of explosive device that America drops on people in other countries every single day. You know, the kind that actually explode. …

“There are any number of possible explanations for this spate of impotent pipe bombs, many of which don’t involve a partisan explanation at all. Without endorsing any particular one, there are for example a few sociopathic government agencies in the US which would love nothing more than to manufacture support for more intrusive domestic “counter-terrorism” powers.

But partisan explanations are possible as well; maybe there really is a Trump supporter out there who either

  • wanted to scare Democratic elites without hurting them and didn’t realize doing so would only generate sympathy and unify Democrats right before midterms, or
  •  is really, really consistent in being really, really bad at making pipe bombs.

“Who knows. The important thing is to remain agnostic and skeptical.”

——————————–

It’s time to panic!

Our experts pitch in to build the fear, such as this by the President of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations.

This is, of course, nuts. Terrorism has been endemic in America since after the Civil War. By the KKK, by business owners against unions (and vice versa, such as the 1910 LA Times bombing), by anarchists (e.g., the 1920 Wall Street bombing), and by and against socialists and communists.

Flash forward to the modern era. Such as the political violence in America in the 1960s and the 1970s. Our cities burnt every summer in race riots, with the National Guard in full military gear occupying America’s ghettos. There were massive anti-war riots (e.g., the shootings at Kent State). Militant leftist groups were bombing so many things that NYT called 1969 a Year of Bombings (e.g., the Weather Underground). Other Leftist terrorist groups were even more aggressive (e.g., the Symbionese Liberation Group).

More recently, America has seen violence against abortion clinics and the timber industry, by Leftist groups on campuses against conservatives, and now by far-right and far-left groups against each other. Yet despite this history, the Republic still stands. Amazing how all that has gone down the memory hole. Our amnesia makes us easy to manipulate by cutting us from our history.

Conclusions

Since 9/11, we have mysteries without answers. But nonetheless these episodes are learning opportunities. For example, the 2001 anthrax attacks were rich with lessons for us, but we preferred to believe what we were told, cheer the Patriot Act – and then forget everything. Perhaps we can do better this time.

For More Information

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about politics in Americaabout fear, about political violence, and especially these about fear…

  1. What are the odds of violence from the Right in America?
  2. Threats come & go, leaving us in perpetual fear & forgetful of the past.
  3. Journalists suffer from the crisis crisis, warping America’s vision.
  4. The Right began the current cycle of political violence in America.
  5. About Steve Crowder’s thrilling exposé of Antifa’s violence.
  6. The Left uses violence to fight climate change.

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20 thoughts on “The scoop about the mysterious pipe bombings

  1. The real right wing conspiracy oriented persons at work think the bombs were sent by a Democratic operative to gain sympathy and votes as an answer to #Jobs, Not Mobs, in an attempt to stop the Republican increasing likelihood of wins predicted by the latest polls.

    Who knows? With so little evidence, all sorts of speculation cannot be reasonably dismissed. Maybe it was the Russians.

  2. Dear Larry,

    First, thank you for introducing me to Kaitlin Johnstone and Black Agenda Report. I find both very interesting.

    As for these bombings, I agree we know nothing. Forgive my tribal instinct but I lean toward “False Flag” by an Antifa type.

    My memory serves me well regarding 60’s, 70’s, the Long Hot Summers, bombings of ROTC Buildings on various campuses and bombings of Police Stations by SDS and Weatherman. It’s why I tell my daughters, “You ain’t seen nutin yet.”

    You, your guests and commenters have greatly enlightened me, educated me and broadened my vision. Your site and book suggestions have proven correct. To stay ignorant, rely on news instead of education. Your analysis is invaluable after perusing MSM and PJ Media headlines. It always seems to cut through the chaff.

    I have found a producer of high quality FM Tee Shirts! I’ll wear them when not wearing my ICE POLICE Tee Shirts. All my others are plain. I never buy Trademark Tee’s. They have to pay me to advertise.

    I’ve made it a mission to spread your name far and wide.

    Best regards,

    Longtrail

    1. Longtrail,

      The folks running the media are working to put “false flag attack” into the thoughtcrime box, along with “conspiracy theory.” Because both are commonplaces in our world, recognition of which ruins the narrative. Managing a nation of sheep requires – as Caitlin Johnstone has often said – that they follow the narrative, and that dissenters be suppressed.

  3. Longtrail, said, “Forgive my tribal instinct but I lean toward “False Flag” by an Antifa type.”

    AREED!

    Everyone including the staid ole’ Maximus is pushing the panic button with, “BOMBS, BOMBINGS!”

    NYET! “When in worry, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout” in this case “Bombs! Bombings!”

    “Bombs, Bombings” fuels the Antifa rhetoric and assumes something not yet evidenced.

    s/ Wayne Wickizer The Ole’ Buzzard

    1. Wayne,

      These bouts of hysteria appear to be becoming more frequent in America. For example, in 2009 I wrote posts debunking the hysteria about swine flu (summary here). Only six years later, I wrote a similar series about a similar outbreak of hysteria about Ebola (summary here). That’s some fast forgetting.

      I am amazed at the small audience for debunking of our panic narratives (i.e., they get below average pageviews) – and how quickly we forget them afterwards, so we don’t learn.

    2. I’ve no intent to prolong unnecessarily. But let me suggest that we’re observing a well planned, craftily designed “worrisome ness” at the bottom of which is simply “Psyops” on the cheap. “Worrisome ness” rather than “panic” because nothing has blown – yet.

      With “False Flag” as a distinct possibility, it costs little to pay some pre-programmed, mindless shill(s) to mail/distribute those “devices” resulting in mass histrionics and a huge return on investment. And – not pointing any fingers – yet – but all sides play these games and have been doing so for decades. See “42 ADMITTED False Flag Attacks” at Washington’s Blog. One may anticipate that the current “scare” is but a “cover within a cover” concealing and obfuscating what’s happening on other sides of the Elephant.

      We lament that when searching for the truth, it’s increasingly more difficult to see through the Psyops’ foggs these days.

      s/The Ole’ Buzzard

    3. Wayne,

      (1) “But let me suggest that we’re observing a well planned, craftily designed “worrisome ness” at the bottom of which is simply “Psyops” on the cheap.”

      Probably not. Such ops are rare. Terrorism, and other forms of violence, by disturbed people is common. Always be aware of the odds, as in this basic stats exercise:

      Mr. Donald Jones is either a librarian or a salesman. His personality can best be described as retiring. What are the odds that he is a librarian?

      When we use this little problem in seminars, the typical response goes something like this: “Oh, it’s pretty clear that he’s a librarian. It’s much more likely that a librarian will be retiring; salesmen usually have outgoing personalities. The odds that he’s a librarian must be at least 90%.” Sounds good, but it’s totally wrong.

      The trouble with this logic is that it neglects to consider that there are far more salesmen than male librarians. In fact, in the US, salesmen outnumber male librarians 100 to 1. Before you even considered the fact that Donald Jones is “retiring,” therefore, you should have assigned only a 1% chance that Jones is a librarian. That is the base rate.

      Now, consider the characteristic “retiring.” Suppose half of all male librarians are retiring, whereas only 5% of salesmen are. That works out to 10 retiring salesmen for every retiring librarian — making the odds that Jones is a librarian closer to 10% than to 90 percent. Ignoring the base rate can lead you wildly astray.

      (2) “With “False Flag” as a distinct possibility, it costs little to pay some pre-programmed, mindless shill(s) to mail/distribute those “devices” ”

      That is, based on my cursory familiarity with FF ops, not likely. That’s a common m.o. when an organization plans to take credit – as with Islamic suicide bombers. It is a somewhat common m.o. with US law enforcement (aka, entrapment to create Islamic terrorists), where the media will report on the gov’t narrative. It wouldn’t work well for high profile covert ops, where the odds of the paymasters are likely to be discovered. Look at the list of “42 false flag attacks.” Almost all were directly conducted by agents.

      (3) More broadly, a population of apathetic and gullible people are easy marks for deception ops. Hence the flood of them at colleges – fake episodes of racial and sexist harassment and assaults. The stream since 9/11 of FBI-created Islamic terrorists (which appear to be most of the Islamic terrorism in the US since 9/11). Worse, we don’t know – and can’t know – how much else of what we see are covert ops of some form, and we’re not willing to look or think to discern which are – beyond applauding when one of “our” team makes wild accusations about our foes. This has a corrosive effect on our politics).

      We are the weak link in the Republic. But we can change.

    1. Roberto,

      “Your Deep State seems to be getting very sloppy…”

      That’s pretty cryptic. To what are you referring?

    2. Beg your pardon, I was in a hurry. Those pipe bombings are blatant false flags, and very sloppily done too. Nobody gets hurt, the suspect seems very much a patsy, everything happens a few days before midterm elections…we in Italy had a very long and bloody series of false flags, in the Seventies; it was called “strategia delle tensione”, “strategy of tension/edginess”. Horrible, cruel, disgusting, but very well done (see for example this one: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bologna_massacre ). So that I thought, “ehi, what a decay in US Deep State…”

    3. Roberto,

      Why do you believe the accused didn’t do it? There is a long history of guys like that doing quasi-political violence. Near elections – with high voltage rhetoric flying – is a plausible time.

    4. My humble opinion: the accused DID it. Simply he did NOT do it alone. He did it with a little help from his friends, just like a lot of patsies and stool pigeons did things like that (and much bloodier, much better conceived). Of course I can be wrong.

  4. Interesting article, salient points all around. I have sometimes felt alienated from my peers just because I am able to go “Well, this period sure isn’t great, and I wish the President wasn’t constantly saying dumbass things on TV. But it’s already less violent than the 1960s – and if you want to go back even FURTHER… you guys know why Kansas was “Bleeding?” No? OK, I’ll settle down.”

    Their anxieties are real even if their causes are not.

    Also it seems that they got the guy. Florida man with about a billion Trump stickers on the van.

    1. Sf,

      “I have sometimes felt alienated from my peers”

      That is the story of me and most of the authors whose work graces the FM website. My hope is to find a path on which most Americans can join, taking us to a better America.

      “Florida man with about a billion Trump stickers on the van.”

      Much political violence is done by people like that. On the fringe, alienated, not too bright. The Left laughs when they have Trump stickers. The Right laughs when he has “save the planet” stickers. Both are complicit, encouraging their followers to violence. Much like England’s Henry II yelling “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” Henry was rightly whipped annually for this. Perhaps if political extremists suffered the same fate, they would be more moderate in their speech.

  5. A few notes:

    1.) If you avoid engaging in fact free speculation, you can spare yourself the ordeal of looking like a public foool when the guy is finally caught and your speculation proves to be wrong. (Note: This is the editorial You. I accuse no one here of anything, certainly not Larry.)

    2.) Nearly all attacks are accompanied by conspiracy theories of a false flag motivation, and these are nearly always wrong. If Muslims carry out an attack, someone will say it was the Jews. If Left Wingers carry out an attack, someone will say it was Right wingers. if the Plain Bellied Sneetches carry our an attack, someone will claim it was a false flag attack perpetrated by the Star Bellied Sneetches. You can turn False Flag into a drinking game. Someone proposes a false flag theory, take a drink. Someone proposes a false flag theory involving Jews or Israelis, take a double shot. Someone suggests it was the CIA chug from the bottle. last man standing wins.

    3.) Maybe the dude just wanted attention. Well, he got it. By that measure, I suppose the operation worked.

    4.) I wasn’t in Florida when these things were mailed and I can prove it.

    1. The Man,

      (1) “If you avoid engaging in fact free speculation, you can spare yourself the ordeal of looking like a public foool when the guy is finally caught and your speculation proves to be wrong”

      I’ll take the other side of that. In our tribal society, statements in accord with tribal truths are not subject to facts. Nobody is held to account for errors, or even outright lies. See the countless examples in the past decades, including Bush Jr., Hillary Clinton, and Trump. Or the millions of words spinning tales about Trump as a Russian pawn – now pretty clearly delusional. Or the many wild predictions about climate change and other leftist nightmares. Is Paul Ehrlich an outcast on the Left for his decades of crazy false predictions?

      Making “fact free speculation” that serves tribal needs is the fast track to success in today’s America. The bolder, the better,

      (2) “I accuse no one here of anything, certainly not Larry.”

      Certainly not, since this post was dead-on accurate. As usual. It followed the standard tripartite structure used here. First, a summary. And observing that we getting a flood of “fact free speculation” (using your apt phrase):

      “As usual, the internet overflows with information from “experts.” Based on photos of the bombs and the sketchy information released about them, they conclude that the bombs were assembled by professionals – or amateurs. We know nothing now. Of course, partisans on both sides confidently spout nonsense – blind to any logic and facts that does not match their tribal narratives.”

      Second, mockery of American hypocrisy: our hysteria about non-functional bombs – while we’re bombing civilians on the other side of the world, and have been for 17 years. This includes Caitlin Johnstone’s prescient statement:

      “But partisan explanations are possible as well; maybe there really is a Trump supporter out there who either (A) wanted to scare Democratic elites without hurting them and didn’t realize doing so would only generate sympathy and unify Democrats right before midterms, or (B) is really, really consistent in being really, really bad at making pipe bombs. Who knows. The important thing is to remain agnostic and skeptical.”

      Third, mockery of the fear-mongers – and putting modern American terrorism in a historical context.

      Based on the news so far, this post looks great. Nostradamus could do better, but he’s not here.

  6. It’s been pretty funny to see the same group who screech in terror when some Oberlin sophomores are mean to Charles Murray act so nonplussed by actual pipe bombs.

    1. chukchi,

      (1) “some Oberlin sophomores are mean to Charles Murray”

      So you are ok with fascism? Using violence to suppress the speech of political opponents. Good to know where you stand.

      (2) “so nonplussed by actual pipe bombs.”

      That makes no sense. Nonplussed means “surprised and confused so much that they are unsure how to react.” Nothing in this post is remotely like that.

  7. Larry,

    Thanks for your reply. Point taken. Even more so with the recent information about a suspect and how they made the connection.

    Beste

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