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Friday, April 19, 2024

Mourning in America

A Virginia State Trooper walked out of Norris Hall at Virginia Tech Monday and doubled over, puking out his breakfast. A brisk wind, gusting at times to 50 miles per hour, blew parts of the retch back onto his otherwise spotless blue and grey uniform.


A Virginia State Trooper walked out of Norris Hall at Virginia Tech Monday and doubled over, puking out his breakfast. A brisk wind, gusting at times to 50 miles per hour, blew parts of the retch back onto his otherwise spotless blue and grey uniform.

A Montgomery County sheriff's deputy, outfitted in mostly-new special weapons and tactics gear, sat at the back of his department's SWAT van and sobbed.

"I've never seen anything like it," he said. "Never."

Nobody had – not veteran cops, not rookies not rescue squad workers, not journalists on the scene.

The trail of carnage left by a deranged semi-automatic pistol toting South Korean English major at Virginia Tech left everyone in a state of shock.

The media calls it as massacre. It's more than that. It's madness.

We may or may not ever know what triggered Cho Seung-Hui to go on a killing spree that left 32 dead before he took his own life. How can we? Insanity, whether temporary or permanent, is difficult to explain.

Over the years I've watched Virginia Tech grow from a sleepy land-grant agricultural college into Virginia's largest university with a nationally-recognized engineering school and dreams of becoming a national college football powerhouse.

As a high school student in an adjacent county in the early 1960s I contemplated attending Tech (or VPI as it was known in those days). I opted instead for the then Roanoke campus of the University of Virginia so I could work as a reporter at The Roanoke Times.

Many of my high school friends attended Tech. Some of those same friends have children and grandchildren among the 26,000 students. Thankfully, none of their offspring were among the dead or wounded.

I've witnessed and been a part of too much death in my lifetime. I have killed for my country without fully understanding why. I have photographed death and watched too many people die through my camera lens.

Prolonged exposure to death leaves too many of us callous towards the violence and carnage. I became hardened by constant exposure to death but never fully immune: Too many nightmares, too many sleepless nights.

When I retired and returned to my boyhood home in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia, I thought I had left that world behind. There hasn't been a murder in my sleepy county for more than a decade.

But civilization and the uncivilized behavior it spawns encroach daily on our tranquil mountains. Nearby Roanoke has one of the highest crime rates in Virginia. The Tech campus sits just 35 minutes away in rapidly-growing Montgomery County, part of an increasingly urban New River Valley.

Earlier this year, our sheriff's department asked the board of supervisors for money to set up a "school interdiction" team complete with SWAT team and a Marine-trained sniper.

"I hope it never happens here," Sheriff Shannon Zeman told me. "But if it does I want to be prepared to go in and take out the threat."

Last fall, an escaped prisoner killed a security guard at a Montgomery County hospital and then a cop on the Tech campus. We held our breath and then breathed a sigh of relief when police captured him.

When the first reports of a shooting at a dorm surfaced Monday morning, we said "oh no, not again." As details emerged, we realized this was like nothing anyone had seen before. Not here.

Those who died must be mourned. Those whose heroic acts saved the lives of others must be remembered and honored.

Unfortunately, those who exploit tragedy in order to promote political agendas show their true colors at this time with callous disregard for simple human decency.

There will be time to deal with such opportunists.

Not now.

Now is a time for mourning.

16 thoughts on “Mourning in America”

  1. Wow SEAL…truly a smoking indictment concerning how things are in our times…! You are needless to say on-the-mark, but all it does is make the so-called “good people” squirm. They shake it off and look upon people like ourselves as cassandras with predictions of little to no merit. They live in their billy-bob, NASCAR, AmeriKa is the bestest and the baddest paradigm. “We don’t take s***t off no one and surely not them thar ragheads”…:)) Soon they’l be getting the bill for their brain-dead loyalty to a failed paradigm when a loaf of white bread costs $10 and a Honda Civic costs 50g’s or more…! I see little hope for a turnaround in our national policies much less how the American people view the world. As they say this train ain’t stoppin’ til it crashes.

  2. What occured at Virginia Tech – “the worst in our modern history” is a minimum every day occurance in Iraq. 32 is a low number for them. Their daily disasters run 50 – 100 – 150 or more at a time. Those mourners should try to imagine having to face that every damn day of their life for FOUR YEARS. Running and dodging and hiding in doorways just to get to class every day because you don’t know when or where or what or who it will be coming from. Gunfire? A bomb? A chemical? You trust no one. Forget having a social life. Can’t risk having a party. It may be bombed. Every car may be a bomb.

    The people of this nation claim to be so compassionate and caring. We give millions of dollars in aid to countries with monstrous health problems like AIDS and feel so good about ourselves. But that’s all it is. A feel good cop out. An excuse to cover the fact that we really don’t give a shit. It’s over there and “those people” don’t amount to much anyway. Look at the way they live. And they are so dumb and dirty.

    What really makes it all so hypocrital is, at the same time we are killing thousands of people in one of the countries for profit. The longer we continue to kill them the more money some of our people make. The rest of us spend billions to kill these people. But we feel good about the few million we sent to somewhere Africa to buy drugs that make no real difference due to the violence and the genocide killing that is going on all around them.

    So, go ahead and cry and show how sad you are for those 32 that died but ignore the tens of thousand YOU are killing. They’re only a bunch of “those people” and they are over there. Continue to support the blood thirsty maniacs that are robbing you in order to continue to kill kill kill in your name.

  3. Right on…SEAL! I’ll cut our people a bit of slack since they are contaminated by the Big BX syndrome; i.e., America being one big Disneyland type shopping mall from coast to coast. The brutal reality of a third world combat zone means nothing to them until combat level violence strikes on the back porch. Bushco is no doubt exploiting this tragedy in the sense it is a distraction for the grevious, nation-destroying scandals that have been relentlessly uncovered since 9/11 with no resolution in sight. I hope this backfires on them with people waking up to what the reality of “high-order” violence means then maybe they’l finally say enough bloodshed is enough albeit in Mayberry vs. Bagdad. This past six years under Bushco has been nothing but endless “bad news”. It’s so much bad news that one has to stop and think is this simply coincidence or by design? I believe it to be the latter excluding this school mayhem, but who knows, predicated on my mind control article? In these times the best motto is “trust no one”…!

  4. While this crazed young man killed 32 people in Virginia, several crazed young men killed 233 people in Iraq. But we don’t light candles, have mass prayers, and morn them, do we?

  5. I offer my condolences to the families of the fallen and also to you to Doug since this is so close to home and in area that you thought would be your peaceful retirement refuge. It will take many years for the trauma associated with this mega-rampage to even begin to heal.

    Many people don’t realize it but our government has operatives imbedded in most if not all major and minor American universities. People should remember that universities and their students are the first targeted when there’s a regime change in a nation. This could be due to civil war, a coup, or they even being a hotbed of dissension and opposition to government polices. It was this way during the Nam era. Government agencies were surveilling the universities intensely looking for seeds of discontent. HUMINT specialists are expert at identifying free-thinkers, radicals, especially student leaders and assuredly “wackos”.

    Many people think “mind control” is something that’s only found in the purview of science fiction etc., not so! There are actual patents for achieving mind control and “thought-seeding” via microwaves. When microwaves cross space uninterrupted by the medium they can vibrate water molecules in organic structures; i.e. including the human brain. It’s the same process used for heating food in your microwave oven. If these same microwaves are modulated with a baseband audio signal it’s possible for seeded thoughts, possibly irritating, enraging and incessant to be heard within the inner ear or induced into the brain stem and then to the cortex for processing. The transmitter could be space based, tower based, or even done with a handheld unit. So if a contingent of Manchurian; i.e., “Red Queen” candidates are available nationwide then it’s just a matter of pushing a button and targeting these individuals with incessant microwave induced subliminal attacks that would trigger them to act.

    The ability to do this would be great for distractive purposes relative to re-directing people’s thoughts from the business of government or whatever is at hand. Case in point. Bushco has a lot on his plate right now. There’s too many to enumerate in this article, but this horrible public crime has distrated us from the business of government. Our leaders were meeting with Bush to discuss a compromise on the Iraq legislation which isn’t going too well for Bushco. The Gonzales hearing have been delayed indefinitely and I’m sure alot of other pressing government business that was on the front burner has been moved to the back. Of course it doesn’t make the issues go away, but delaying action on many of these has a tendency to defuse their urgency and import. This tragedy is surely distractive.

    The perpetrator of this crime had a lengthy track record of writing extremely violent English papers etc. His professors were concerned with their violent content, but no one seriously confronted him. I find it amazing that this guy made to senior level status and no one, not even his student associates finally went to either campus authorities or even the police to discuss what they were witnessing.

    Now a HUMINT specialist would have caught wind of this guy. They are trained to be observant and look for “marks” for exploitation purposes etc. He might have ended up on the list of those available for microwave “imprinting”. He may have never been called upon to perform, but he’s inplace to do so if necessary. So the word goes out for “Red Queen” agent activation via bursts of 100mhz microwaves with relentless, repetitive irritation concerning those issues that would cause this character to “rage” along with an “ordered” solution to his problems. Even if this were not done in his case, I do find this mega tragedy quite close to the nation’s capitol.

    I’ll provide some links so folks can steep themselves in this technology. The best countermeasure is to wear “foil hat”… ; ) Folks are welcome to diss my ideas, but you do so at your own risk. We don’t have to worry about well balanced folks, but those such as this perpetrator who are walking in the grayly lit world of the manic-depressive, the schizophrenic, or quite possibly a blend of both.

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