Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The usual suspects

To all the folks talking about how we should place the Muslim community under more scrutiny: If you don't think said yet-to-be-defined scrutiny will also apply to you, hop over to the airport and see whether or not they make you take off your shoes.

 It doesn't matter how you fill in the "Religion" box folks, you're already a suspect.

 * * *


Joe said...

You are right.

Woodman said...

Unless you belong to the elite. Then you are above suspicion.

Bill said...

I agree with you Erin but, according to the still living brother, the motivating factor for the bombing WAS religion. Pretty chilling to think about the 19 y/o "normal American kid", setting the pressure cooker down, next to an 8 year old boy, knowing that, in a few seconds, he'd be blown to bits.

Erin O'Brien said...

No more chilling than Lanza's actions or McVeigh's or Page's (Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting) or Loughner's.

Remember the Beltway sniper attacks? Those two men had an entire region terrified for three weeks.

Strange how none of those attacks resulted in big security changes--although the Oklahoma City Bombing may have resulted in permanent heightened security. I honestly do not remember.

But one "Islamic radical" with explosive shoes that don't kill or injure anyone? EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN is sentenced to remove his/her shoes before boarding a flight.

One unsuccessful "Islamic radical" underwear bomber and my teen daughter is forced to be viewed naked by some leering security agent at the airport.

That's pretty goddamn chilling too.

Bill said...

Of course you make a good point, but, religion, as a motivator to kill a kid or a bunch of fellow soldiers (you forgot Ft. Hood), plus, too many other examples to name, does put radical Islam in the spotlight and, rightfully so. I fully expect someone here to google the Crusades. By the way and, I suppose, unrelated, is anyone else repulsed by the facts coming out at the Kermit Gosnell trial?

Woodman said...

Things did change after McVeigh, there tended to be more security in front of federal buildings. Lanza and Laughner were both in need of psychiatric care, the solution to crazy people with guns is a topic for another post I'm sure. I don't know enough about Page, it is funny how little press he got, considering the damage done.

Everything the TSA does is flavor of the month crap designed to make people feel better and not actually accomplish anything. From all reports they haven't actually stopped anything from happening, the shoes, underwear, and toner all got on planes.

It's designed to chip away at our rights. And targeting a religion is designed to do the same, if it's ok to follow and observe Muslims because they are Muslim, then maybe they can do that to Tea Party members, or Al Anon members, or ACLU volunteers, or Girl Scouts.

They shut down 400k people or so because one man with a gun was out there somewhere. In Detroit and Chicago a night with only one crazy guy with a gun running around is called Tuesday. And from what I can tell there weren't any complaints. While the city's military component went into action. My old unit wasn't armed that well. How many civil rights were trampled that day?

Bush and Obama fell from the same big government will protect you tree. Each "We'll protect you" turns into another brick in the wall (Thanks Floyd).

Bill, you want to talk about Gosnell, start your own blog. I think this is the second or third thread you've brought it up here. If Erin wants to talk about it I'm sure she'd start a post on it.

Anonymous said...

@ Erin-Prior to the OKC bombing you could still get pretty close to the Celebreeze Building on East 9th St. If my memory is working properly today, when my old man worked out of that building in the late '70s-early '80s there was a "U" to allow drop-n-pick right in front of the main entry. The big concrete tank-stoppers went up tout suite after McVeigh.

Hey, Erin? A little help? I forget the method for detecting a person's religion by looking at them. Can one still tackle one of these fiends and look for the 6-6-6tattoo at the base of their skull? And speaking of McVeigh, remember the instantaneous certainty that we were looking for somebody err...a little...umm...swarthier than he?


Anonymous said...

I agree
James Old Guy

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmmm..."(A)ccording to the still-living brother" we have a definitive motive for these crimes.

And if the attorney(s) of the "still-living brother" should hold a press conference tomorrow to explain that the entire affair is the worst miscarriage of American justice since Rocky beat out Network AND Taxi Driver for the 1976 Best Picture Oscar, what probative value will be accorded that statement?



Bill said...

Woody; I think I'll just go ahead and write what I want. K? But, thanks for counting. MR. The "still living brother", the uncle, others. I guess the motive was, what? The welfare payments weren't adequate? Want to make a point? Radical Islam had nothing to do with this?

Anonymous said...

Here's the point, Mr Darrow. You can't cite an individual as a trustworthy source for any one piece of information if you would also categorically refuse to trust him on any other issue. On anything. At all. Ever. The points of the compass in which the sun rises and sets? Nah, I'm gonna go check outside after dinner? Then he's not a worthy source for much else.

Motive can be powerful evidence for a prosecutor, but it's not essential. The state doesn't have to present motive to convict. It will come together in time and I would be extremely surprised if is one-dimensional.

Here's two things I AM sure of this evening: elements of the media, in particular CNN and the New York Post and the lampreys at Fox, have dishonored their profession, AND the men and women of the Watertown, MA Police Dept. make me proud to be their fellow American.

They were, and are, magnificent.


Anonymous said...

PS: If any of you folks haven't heard the story yet, google 'New York Post apology prank.'

Nothing better than a classy, smart and funny smackdown for an organization so cranio-rectally inverse as the Post. It's pretty epic and I'm pretty sure you'll laugh about it like I did.


Bill said...

Actually, the police screwed up and got very lucky because of a guy who was finally let out of his house to have a cig.

Erin O'Brien said...

Bill, it sure takes a lot of nerve to police-bash right now--unless of course you're as geographically far from Boston as possible while still being within the continental United States.

MR: I don't have the time to shake it down right now, but years ago, I saw some "making of" sort of program on Disney's Aladdin wherein the narrator affably explained how illustrators/designers delineated the "evil" characters from the "good" characters by making their features long, thin, pointy vs. round and jolly; leering eyes vs. big doe eyes. Jafar has a bulbous hooked nose vs. the button noses on the thrilling young Aladdin and Jasmine.

I shouldn't have been surprised, but I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

Gee, now that I think of it, the "Disney test" wouldn't have worked with the good looking Boston duo.

Guess I can't help you, bud.

Woodman said...

Hell, look at most Disney movies. All the bad guys are pointy. Like predators are pointy. Bad guys in animation, for kids at least, look like animals that would eat you.

Even the octopus in Little Mermaid has sharp features for a plus size woman.

I think all the Cable News stations all covered themselves with shit the last couple weeks, if you have to fill air time and don't know anything then you start making assumptions that have no backing. Hell, if you listened to Chris Matthews it was a Tea Party plot. God knows what the NYP was thinking.

OTOH, I'm not sure why there is a problem assigning this bombing to Jihad. Two young muslims raised partially in a very extreme environment where some of the nastiest terrorists in the world have come from, one of them was kicked out of his mosque for being too extreme and disruptive, follows AQ on youtube, and then the surviving brother says that's why they did it. Along with some of the people that knew them.

I'm not calling for profiling every Muslim in the world as a bomber. But this one sounds pretty straightforward. Looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, swims like a duck, and says he's a duck. I'm thinking he might be a duck.

Add in some family issues, maybe some class envy, though I'm still trying to figure out how you afford their apparent lifestyle on government benefits, and you've got a couple bombers.

What's the big hoo hoo about saying the initial reports are this was Jihad? I don't get why this is an issue.

eviljwinter said...

There is a simple and elegant solution to screening, one that makes it so no one even notices it's happening. In Israel, you are watched from the moment you enter the airport to the moment you get on the plane. They don't care what you look like. They want to know how you act. If you act a little hinky, expect a casual conversation with security. Sorry to inconvenience you, sir. Just a couple of questions. Where are you going today? Greece? Have a nice trip then.

If you behave like a guy going to Greece and is nervous about flying (or even bored with the idea), off you go. If not, expect another security staffer to ask more probing questions.

They watch for reactions. The guy scared of sitting in a metal tube at 26,000 feet going 400mph does not act like the guy who wants to storm the cockpit.

Result? When was the last time you heard the term "skyjacking"? And when was it involving an Isreali flight?

Some of you weren't even born yet.

Unintrusive, lets people get to where they're going. At most, you pass through a metal detector.

This has been in place for almost 40 years.

The US and EU need to figure this one out, but won't. There's no "Do something dammit" aspect to it.

Erin O'Brien said...

Jim, you are exactly right.

So much of what we have now is security theater--all for show.

The two times I covered Dubya events, the Secret Service guys absolutely blew me away. The only thing those guys were targeting was behavior.

Yabu said...

The undeniable fact is the Boston murders were done by radical Muslims. Another fact is the majority of attacks, world wide, are done by radical Muslims. The murders at Fort Hood were done by a radical Muslim. It was a terrorist attack, not workplace violence, and our president won't come clean on that. It's only logical to pay more attention to Muslims. Sad, but true. The world is on fire, and it's only going to get worse.

This country is so divided and polarized that it might not be fixable, and it does need to be fixed. We have so many problems on so many different levels we're all going to have to all give and take to solve 'em. We've got a president who won't admit that radical Muslims are responsible...that's a huge problem.

We're in deep trouble, and profiling has nothing to do with it.


Woodman said...

"The US and EU need to figure this one out, but won't. There's no "Do something dammit" aspect to it."

I wholly agree. But training operatives to run Tel Aviv, vs. training tens of thousands of people to run our airports is not politically doable.

I would love to see three or four trained agents running the security line instead of a couple dozen TSA yahoos. 24 jobs are worth more than 4 jobs to Congress. Not to mention the 24 jobs are union and the 4 wouldn't be. And written procedures are the rule, not judgement calls. Policy is king. See mandatory sentencing, zero tolerance rules, three strikes legislation, and most school handbooks.

Keep in mind another reason Israel doesn't deal with this too often is swift and violent response to terrorists. Kind of like you didn't hear much about terror attacks in the USSR.

Bill said...

Erin, They did screw up and they did get lucky. That's not bashing and saying it has nothing to do with nerve.

Regarding Israeli airline security; I wonder if any of their agents are followers of Islam. Because you can bet, if we implemented their system, there would be a quota. Can you imagine the profiling complaints?

Erin O'Brien said...

Another fact is the majority of attacks, world wide, are done by radical Muslims.

Another fact is that the majority of murders by gunshot (most notably mass shootings) are done by gun owners.

If we start treating all Muslims like terrorists, don't be surprised when we start treating all gun owners like murderers.

Once again, if you need any proof of that, just try walking through any airport security with a concealed loaded gun.

You may not believe me, Yabu, but I guarantee you that any legislation enacted to protect the general population from "radical Islam" will be very carefully worded and will essentially apply to everyone.

Got Patriot Act?

Anonymous said...

@ Erin, or in the off chance there are any other SENTIENT creatures reading today, if you have a few spare moments you may find James Fallows over at The Atlantic interesting reading. He's a China specialist but he also is a private pilot and writes with great expertise on air travel and the post-911 security scene. I'm not sure it was he that coined the phrase 'security theater', but he was discussing the situation early and often, oftimes well ahead of the media in general, and always with great acumen.

-More later-


Velociman said...

I think saying "We should put the Muslim community under more scrutiny" is a bit of a straw man, and intentionally disengenuous, Erin. You may know people saying that. I don't. But when the Russian security services call you twice and say you need to keep an eye on this guy, you probably should.

Erin O'Brien said...

From GOP Congressman Peter King, who chairs the House subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence: “I think we need more police and more surveillance in the communities where the threat is coming from, whether it’s the Irish community with the Westies [an Irish-American gang in New York City], or the Italian community with the mafia, or the Muslim community with the Islamic terrorists.”


Velociman said...

Who does Pete King speak for, other than Pete King? Screw that jag off. He isn't helpful to the discussion.

DogsDontPurr said...

I never dip my toe into these waters. I usually just shake my head when there is another one of these bickering posts. So I don't know why I am even bothering...but for some reason I started to comment here, then it went too long so I posted it to my blog.

This topic just makes my head explode. So I'm usually just silent.

Why can't we just all get along? Why does there always have to be a Top Dog? Bleh...

Anonymous said...

Memo to 'Velociman': Disengenouous? Erin is setting up stalking horses? Bullshit. She's reporting what others are saying when she repeats that language.

Watch ANY cable news network. The Congressional GOP is on this like...heh-heh...white on rice. Watch Fox News. They say it over and over and over. Virtually everybody who appears on camera with a microphone in front of his/her ugly squash bashes Islam, as if from a script, using repetitive language from host to host and from program to program. Loyal and law-abiding American citizens (You know, those law-abiding citizens the NRA can't stand to see victimized by reinstating certain gun safety provisions which were the law of the land between 1994 and 2004?) are marginalized because of their faith.

Not to worry, though...the security apparatus of the Russian Federation has our back. We used to call them the "KGB".


WV: 'coffins'

Anonymous said...

And look! Yabu-Dabu-Jobu is in the house.

Back again? Lemme see: "Sad but true. The world is on fire...we're in deep trouble, and profiling has nothing to do with it." Yup. That could only be you.

You know one thing that DOES have a bearing on it? People who babble FUCKING CLICHES. Because their brains are CREAM OF WHEAT.

This is epic Jobu-speak: "We've got a president who won't admit that radical Muslims are responsible...that's a huge problem."

What is there to admit? And to what purpose?

Mr Obama presides over by far the biggest accretion of military force in the world. Our military spending is more than the next twenty powers combined, and most of those twenty nations are allies. The Chinese, the only plausible potential threat to American hegemony for decades to come, spend a TENTH of our budget-and with a populace four times our size.

This administration is criticized almost daily over the conduct of a world-wide program of drone-delivered, relatively surgical attacks on individuals identified as clear and present threats. Most of those individuals, in the context of our current defense posture, are Muslim. Many of the critiques come from the President's own side of the political spectrum. While the right in this nation has sought to dissolve this President in the bellicose bile of labels like Socialist or closet Jihadist, there are a lot-and I mean a LOT-of people on the left who aren't even really sure they consider him a liberal at all.

All that being said, do you really think the man is unaware that there are Muslim radicals who mean to do harm to the United States, its interests and it citizens?

Now back to the beginning, to the braying asses of Fox and the right-wing wind-tunnel-cum-echo chamber: 'He doesn't say it's radical Islam? Why desn't he call it like it is!? Who's he trying to protect among Muslim radicals? He only said 'terror', not 'terrorist.'

Why do you suppose he has to project a little nuance and prudence when he selects his vocabulary?

It's because he doesn't have to deal with radical Islam in the course of his duties. He has to deal with ISLAM! All of it! There are somewhat around 1.6 BILLION Muslims in the world. That's buh-buh-buh BILLION. And a very sizable portion of the world's
Muslim population lives in countries that are practically FLOATING on petroleum.

At the beginning of your 10:11 post you mentioned 'facts' a few times without know...FACTS to back 'em up.
Hear's an easy project for you, because it will lend itself to numbers quite quickly and easily.
Go back to the most recent calender year in which INTERPOL and/or the FBI posted numbers for terror attacks world wide in which Muslim extremism was cited as a probable motive. And compare it to the numbers of total terrorist attacks. Then maybe-just maybe-you'll have a factual basis to discuss and not just a mealy-mouthed, overly generalized, old-wives-tale belch of a comment.

Otherwise take that weak crap back to your compadres in the right-wing wind-tunnel like that psychotic at the Sipsey Street Irregulars. Your febrile brethren will swallow it.


PS-And avoid those cliches like the plague.

Erin O'Brien said...

Nice post, DDP.

Who does King speak for? You and me, Kim. He chairs the House subcommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence.

And just because we're here, I'll throw out another piece of conjecture. Had the Tsarnaev brothers done their damage with guns, the entire right side of the aisle would be calling them one-ff nut cases. The event would be a non-starter just like the Giffords incident and Newtown and Chardon and the Wisconsin Sikh incident and Columbine and Fort Hood ... and ... and ...

Woodman said...

But Ft. Hood wasn't a one off. The prosecution and the federal government are trying to pass it off as a single event. But its another case of a radicalized Muslim killing people for his religion.

Giffords and Newtown were crazy people. And we do keep an eye on crazy people to see if they are going to do something already, or at least we're supposed to. Interestingly enough, because of weapons laws in Wisconsin the leader of the Sikh temple was not allowed to carry the traditional weapon that could have stopped the attack and had to try and defend his congregation with what amounted to a sharpened butter knife.

If they had had guns they would have been killed much earlier, possibly before they even killed anyone themselves.

The Feds watch the Westboro Church people, I'm sure someone keeps an eye on Reverend Wright up in Chicago, I bet there are several churches and congregations across the nation that people keep eyes on, shouldn't they keep tabs on radical Mosques as well? When religious leaders call for violence people answer that call.

I don't think anyone is calling for Muslims to wear badges, and if they are I'll be more than happy to vote against them, but if you talk about dying for Allah and killing the infidel, or worship somewhere that pushes that idea. Yeah, maybe you might want to pay more attention to them if someone raises a red flag on them.

Do you think by ignoring radical Islam it will go away? Or will we have more issues like the Jewish guy getting beat on the Subway in NYC? Or more honor killings of disobedient wives? Maybe we could look into Islamic extremists in Scandinavia and see how well it's working for them.

Let's not make being Muslim a reason to suspect someone, but maybe if there is another reason to suspect someone we look a little harder if they belong to KilltheInfidel Mosque.

Yabu said...


It doesn't take much to get under your skin, does it? I can always count on a good laugh from you when I respond to a comment on this blog. Actually, I want to thank you for some minimal financial gain. I was talking to a friend with another CREAM OF WHEAT brain. The bet was. Watch this, I'll bet you dinner that when I hit the "Publish" button, I'll get a response from a MR Anonymous in a few days. I told her I have no idea who you are, but you'll say something stupid. She took the bet and tonight she'll pay it.

Thanks in advance for dinner and a good laugh.

I don't use Miss Erin's blog as a play ground, but I couldn't resist a free meal. You crack me up. Seriously.

Erin O'Brien said...

At my advanced age, the designation of "Miss Erin" is more than generous, Yabu, but thanks for the vote of confidence just the same.

Bill said...

Radical Islam is not a threat. Is that the point? OK. Oh, wait. The President is speaking at the Planned Parenthood fundraiser. Gotta catch that!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jobu.

You make up stories with as much oleaginous dexterity as you assert non-existent 'facts.'

Perhaps your invisible friend can help you with your research project.

By the way, for variety, you can sprinkle some brown sugar or cinnamon on the pretend cream-of-wheat with which your invisible friend pays off your hypothetical wager.


Anonymous said...

@ Bill @ 11:24A:

That's your takeaway? That's uncanny. It's like you're a...*banal whisperer*...


Bill said...

Yep. My takeaway is that there are a lot of 'in denial' libs. Speaking in a loud voice now: "get your heads out of your asses!" Oh. That campus cop was killed with a gun. I'm sure there is some law that could be passed to have prevented that? Banal. Isn't that that the company that Romney ran? Banal Capital?

Anonymous said...


Trying to communicate with you is already like trying to tell Rain Man that Target's got a great sale on underwear. Stringing together additional non sequiturs helps nothing.


Bill said...

Not a problem, MR. I won't be hurt if you ignore me.

Sarah Keller said...

Amen Sistah!