Star-Ledger: Since 9/11, “cigarette

Star-Ledger: Since 9/11, “cigarette sales are up. Weight- loss centers say business is down. Liquor stores say business is up, and addiction-counseling groups have seen an increased demand for alcohol and drug treatment services.”

– Bush loses weight.

– Unspecified panic and terror: On the one hand, I suppose I’m glad the FBI keeps trying to keep us informed. But I wish somebody would tell me what I’m supposed to do when they issue a nonspecific warning of impending terror attacks. Distrust all strangers? Stay at home? Move to Canada? (Anybody know a good real estate agent in Toronto?) Help!

– But now EVERYONE will have cause to panic: A civilian (not a mail worker, not a government worker, not a media worker, not a defense worker, just a plain old worker) gets anthrax.

– Howard Kurtz on impatience with the war, already: “Call it the miniseries mentality: Shouldn’t this show be over by now? Why, the Gulf War ended in a mere 100 hours.”

– Turncoat Brit bozo.

– More Brits wigging out: fearing nukes.

– Sensible Brit says celebs are meaningless.

– Very sensible Brit Tony Blair asks Britain to “hold its nerve.”

– More eloquent Blair: “We should never forget why we are doing this. Never forget how we felt watching those planes flying into the trade towers….î

– Question: “Is it better for bin Laden to be dead or be captured?” Tony Blair’s answer: “I think it is better that he be stopped.”

– Sensible British idea: requiring immigrants to carry photo ID.

Debka: 1 million Russians ready for war.

– Terrorist how-to.

Seinfeld tainted mail episode pulled.

– CNN tonight: “What is it about New Jersey?”

If you can’t go to the Here Is New York Gallery in Manhattan, you can now see this amazing collection of 1,000 photos online (and buy them soon): HereIsNewYork.org.

– A fine and right-on

– A fine and right-on Ken Layne rant: “I am tired of the pro-war/anti-war arguments. This is a war, and we are in it. This is a war declared by bin Laden, on the teevee for everyone to see. The fires are still burning in Manhattan. Going to the mailbox has turned into a nightmare…. It is time to deal with how this war is being fought.” Give this man a T-shirt!

– Iraq is sabre-rattling. Rumsfeld rattles his sabre back. But Britain’s Straw keeps his sabre at his side.

– A well-read reader points out this link from anthrax to Iraq: the chemical additive bentonite, which only Iraq uses. Told ya. (Thanks, Clyde.)

– I’m already getting spam offering me anthrax-zappers. All that and a bigger package, too.

– America’s economy contracts anthrax.

Arthur C. Clarke suggests compulsory psychiatric tests to find the terrorists. Trumps the national ID card.

I don’t buy the theory

I don’t buy the theory being floated now that the anthrax attack is domestic (just because the FBI hasn’t managed to find the link yet): [1] The aerosolizing of the anthrax is the work of weapons engineers, not just any old PhD. That means Iraq. [2] It’s now confirmed that Atta met with Iraqi agents and, reports say, got Anthrax. See all the Baghdad connections here. [3] The M.O. of the terrorists is to keep silent and not take credit to spook us; the M.O. of unabombers is to write long, looney treatises to get attention. I’m starting to wonder whether this domestic theory is being floated to draw attention away from likely culprit Iraq so there is not a public outcry to attack Baghdad and fight this war on a second front.

– Terror fashion: A safety coat with camera, sensors, geiger counter (in German).

Focus reports some want to turn the Hollywood sign red-white-and-blue; others fear this would make Hollywood a terrorist target.

– Life has changed profoundly in New York and Washington. Has it in the heartland?

– Bin Laden’s web guru. Or should I saw web iman?

Blair: Get Osama before he nukes us.

Newsrack/Standard: French better allies than Germans.

Brit military chief warns of

Brit military chief warns of a four-year war: ìIím not suggesting this war will go on for 50 years but weíre fighting a concept, not a state . . . and weíre having to rewrite the rulebook (to deal with it). The al-Qaeda organisation is not tangible. Youíre fighting against this thing called terrorism.î

Thanks to Matt Welch for a great plug for the Warlog Store (read about it under the tote bag below and buy the Former Pacifist or Rudy Kicks… or Osama Kiss My… T-shirts)…. And I’m glad that Matt and his cohort Ken Layne are back and blogging.

If you want a barometer of what America is really thinking — if not saying — listen to Howard Stern. Today, Howard wondered what Bush is up to trying to wage the politically correct war, telling our kids to send dollars for kids in Afghanistan and now to find Muslim pen pals. Howard says that’s not how we waged WWII; the countries we bombed were our enemies. Right. Now it’s true that in this war, Bush has to work hard to distinguish the enemy — terrorists — from the civilians around them and their fellow Muslims, since we are relying on them as at least temporary allies. Still, what Howard’s really saying is that we want decisiveness. Instead, we’re starting to hear that we may not ever get Osama and that the war is already tougher than we figured. On the homefront, it’s worse: We witnessed a fumbled, mumbled, and bumbled response to the worsening anthrax attacks; we got vague reassurances when we should have been getting swift action and information. It also does not inspire confidence that the government is asking Hollywood and now us for ideas to fight terrorism (apply here). Our support for the war and Bush is not faltering. We just want something more to support.

– Anthrax survivor: “I was near death.”

– Fun Florida.

– Bin Laden link to Argentine terror attacks.

The post-9/11 T-shirts I’m seeing

The post-9/11 T-shirts I’m seeing on the streets of New York are mostly mawkish, hawkish, tacky, or even offensive. We need to improve the level of T-shirt discourse. And here is my humble contribution: The Warlog Store (all profits to charity). So far, three products:

– The Former Pacifist line (inspired by my confession, below). For you NPR/PBS fans who may not be caught dead or alive in T-shirts, we offer the Former Pacifist tote bag (above). Buy here.

– The Rudy For… t-shirt. On the front, suggestions for Rudy’s next job: Attorney General (my crusade), FBI Director, Senator, Governor, any of the above. On the back, “Rudy Kicks…” with an arrow pointing you-know-where. Buy here.

– And to show off my new hawkish tendancies: A T-shirt that says “Osama: Kiss My…” with an arrow pointing down; the same message on front and back. Buy here.

Suggestions welcome.

Through others’ eyes: In the current issue of der Spiegel, there’s one story about the love-hate relationship Germans have with America right now — with many against supporting our war. And only a few pages away there’s a story (neither of them online) remembering the day exactly 40 years ago when our tanks confronted Soviet tanks across the Berlin Wall, risking nuclear war, a historian now believes, for the sake of German freedom. Ungrateful? Disloyal? At the same time, we’re hearing more about the planning for terror that occurred in Germany. Spiegel has a story about Atta plotting in Hamburg. And there’s an amazing story (if I’m translating correctly) about the double life of a soccer star turned terrorist. There are terrorists in their midst, too.

– The future of mail: Wall Street Journal asks whether this is the end of snail mail. I was telling friends the business to be in is sanitizing and opening mail for important or self-important people; too late, for the NY Times reports that Hazmail is offering just that. Will we be required to seal our mail in plastic bags? Will our mail be delayed while it’s nuked? Will the mail cost more? You bet. Will that affect every business that sells and communicates via the mail? Absolutely. Will they try to find alternatives in email? They’re trying.

– The United We Stand postage stamp released today. Let’s hope it’s the no-lick variety.

– Do NOT microwave your mail.

Uncle Bin’s Instant Anthrax (picture on Der Spiegel).

Blair: No Court TV for bin Laden. Rumsfeld: Ditto. Rumsfeld: On the other hand.

– Bild via CBS: Atta got anthrax from Iraq

– Criticism on the homefront: NY TimesWashington Post