Final Straw

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The Final Straw

Why am I doing this?


It's not the attacks and the spam as such
It's not some personal "could have been"
It's about a 4-year-old girl

It's not the attacks and the spam as such

For anyone who is aware of the spam problem, the spams that took advantage of the deaths came as no surprise. They were shocking and revolting, but they were no surprise.

Spammers are sociopaths. Like terrorists, they have no empathy for people. We are simply cannon fodder - collateral damage in their bid to reach that tiny percentage of victims who will respond. They steal the resources of others to deliver their emails. They always lie.

That sort of mentality can only perceive the aftermath of the attacks as a way to make a fast buck.

I was outraged by the spams and reported them immediately, but since it was obvious that the spams were going to get attention from the media, there wasn't a drive for me to do this website on the thing as just spam.

It's not some personal "could have been"

One of my daughters was spending the summer in Hyannis. She had taken a trip to NY and visited the World Trade Centre in the week before the attack. She had tentatively planned a trip from Boston to LA around the same time. The terrorists could just have well picked a different day for the attack. My daughter had two close chances to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If either of those chances had come through, I would have been stuck in Ireland with no flights to the US. I would have been using the Net to try and find any information. I wold have been checking email like crazy. I would mostly have seen spam coming to my email boxes. Then I would have got that spam, and would have recognised it immediately for what it was.

That's only "could have been" of course. However I know that for many others, it wasn't an 'if', and their families will be spammed with that spam - and the mailboxes of the dead will have been spammed.

Nonetheless, we've not got to what really drove me.

It's about a 4-year-old girl

I turned off the TV fairly early in the hours following the attacks. There was only so much of the 'action-replay' of the airliner hitting the tower that I could take without feeling like a perverted voyeur. I saw people at windows, but didn't want to see them jump.

One image that stuck with me was a photograph of a little girl and her mother. They were on the second airliner to hit. That image got lots of exposure in Ireland as the mother was Irish-born.

"Changed world" is a phrase that has been used a great deal in relation to the attacks. For me, a world changing event was the birth of my first child. From that time, I've tended to think of situations in terms of the effect on children. To say that all children became my children might be pushing things a bit, but that would be the general sense of it.

Friday September 14th was a national day of mourning in Ireland. All business shut down for the day. At 11 in the morning, there was a 3-minute silence. As I sat quietly, my thoughts kept going back to that little girl and what her last minutes of life might have been like.
- And I thought about the spammers who were using her death and the deaths of thousands of others to defraud well-meaning people.

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