Morning Reads for Friday, April 19, 2013

Here:
Field of Dreams for former UGA outfielder.
– Yikes. Peach Punditeer’s group mug shot spotted on ThatsJustPeachy.com. Along with the radical idea that Republican isn’t just another bad word.
– Vampires and zombies mean big bucks for Georgia.
– Former UGA Coach Jim Donnan indicted for alleged ponzi scheme.
Flint River is #2 on the Endangered Rivers list.
– Sunshine is a great disinfectant. Or the tale of twists and turns getting supposed “Open Records” out of Georgia Perimeter College.

There:
– RNC turns away grassroot supporters. “Let them eat cake.” Or something.
– BigBadHairCut vows sneak attack. He really should fire his barber first.
– Well, Bless Her Heart.
– Athens runners in the Boston Marathon relay their thoughts.
– CIA staffers lawyering up over Benghazi.

Random Everywhere:
Hirsute Presidential Power Rankings.
– The case for coming home.
– PP is still taking suggestions for bastions of porky goodness to grace with our collective presence-es. No peas need apply.
Ahhh-choooo! Bless you! Now somebody go wash my car. Please.

141 comments

    • John Konop says:

      This is a wake up call Muslims are all over the word……..the radical Muslim issue is not only about the Middle East…..that is why we really need to re think our foreign policy……we cannot declare war on Muslims across the globe when the issue is the radicals……without corporation from the world we cannot contain this issue…..we need lees of a footprint and more special ops with global corporation. ART of War you never want to be perceived as occupying a country….. mobile devices combined with Internet has made it easier for the radicals to communicate. If we improve the infrastructure and combined with technology we are less than10 years away from ever needing any Middle East oil……that should also be a major focus…… Nation building dollars across the globe would be better spent on domestic infrastructure, paying down debt……..also it would lower tensions..,…..less footprint….,,,

  1. Lea Thrace says:

    From the RNC/grassroots link above:

    “Rev. C.L. Bryant, a fellow at FreedomWorks, spoke to the security guards, but was unable to get any answer from them. “Let them see a black face,” Bryant said as he approached the door, telling the guards, “We want to come in. We need to come in. We want to come in.”

    What the hell does he mean “Let them see a black face”?

    Someone explain.

      • Lea Thrace says:

        I got that part very clearly. I’m more confused as to why he thinks this will get him in the door over the other activists. Just seemed a very odd statement to make.

  2. John Konop says:

    I am confused about this grass roots debate in the GOP. If a presidential candidate gets the majority of votes should not the delegates vote for that candidate unless we have tie breaker issues? If the delegates can vote any way they want, less tie breaker issues, why even have an election? Am I missing something? Do the grassroots activist want them picking the candidate over the people voting in primaries?

    • bowersville says:

      When I first began watching this live feed, police were escorting(running) residents from homes surrounding the home of interest. The SWAT truck arrived and police moved the camera man further back from the scene. The initial feed had an excellent vantage point, but must have been in harms way by being too close. Police have located an uncle that made a public plea for suspect to surrender.

    • bowersville says:

      Maybe why not much more information from the Willow Park-Watertown, MA scene being reported.

      Boston Police Dept. Boston Police Dept.Verified account ‏@Boston_Police

      #MediaAlert: WARNING: Do Not Compromise Officer Safety by Broadcasting Tactical Positions of Homes Being Searched.

    • bowersville says:

      Twitter account of suspect Dzhokhar A Tsarnaev:

      https://twitter.com/Dzhokhar_

      Notice the second entry of—- 17 Dec, open the view photo. Despite the suspects being foreign descendants there is room for this to based on domestic issues. Let the facts lead us before we conclude.

    • bowersville says:

      Look at Dzhokhar’s twitter entry on 18 Dec….references Sandy Hook and links a Brietbart report on a conspiracy theory.

    • bowersville says:

      From The Weekly Standard. Home of neo-con William Kristol.

      This, of course, does not make the brothers al Qaeda operatives. It does increase the likelihood that Tamerlan Tasarnaev, if this is indeed his YouTube page, was at least sympathetic to the same underlying ideology.

      http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/boston-bomber-posted-video-black-flags-khorasan_718071.html

      My emphasis: “…IF THIS IS INDEED HIS YOUTUBE PAGE,…” Not much confidence in the source. But that doesn’t stop the neo-cons.

      • mpierce says:

        Possible Tamelan Amazon wishlist.

        UPDATE: Justin Hart located Tamerlan’s Amazon wishlist. Among the hits:
        – How to Make Driver’s Licenses and Other ID on Your Home Computer
        – The I.D. Forger: Homemade Birth Certificates & ​Other Documents Explained
        – Secrets Of A Back Alley ID Man: Fake Id Construction Techniques Of The Underground
        – The Lone Wolf And the Bear: Three Centuries of Chechen Defiance of Russian Rule
        – Organized Crime: AN INSIDE GUIDE TO THE WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL INDUSTRY

        And, of course…
        – How to Win Friends & Influ​ence People

      • mpierce says:

        Are you trying to assert there is something wrong with what Graham said? Or anybody else for that matter?

      • Noway says:

        Bowers, I am detecting a “protect a Muslim at all cost” mentality running through your thread. Why are you getting onto Krystol or others who might be commenting on the known radical terrorist actions of Chechen operatives?

        • bowersville says:

          “I am detecting a “protect a Muslim at all cost” mentality running through your thread. Why are you getting onto Krystol or others who might be commenting on the known radical terrorist actions of Chechen operatives?”

          Jump to conclusions much? Speculate much? DAM#

          • Noway says:

            Are you going to answer my question? You’re busting people’s ass for speculating I just want to know why?

            • bowersville says:

              Trying to slow people down from jumping to conclusions based on speculation on this incident. The facts may turn out exactly as speculated, but we are not there yet. Kristol I don’t trust. Basically he assured the country we would be in Iraq for two months. Two months. (among many other neo-cons)

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nONm4myKwY8

              Many jumped to premature conclusions on Benghazi, which still needs investigating. But now, how credible will a Congressional inquiry be viewed? Many jumped to conclusions on Iraq, me included. But no more.

              • Noway says:

                Let me ask you this, based on what we know right this second, is it logical to think there may be a Chechen/terrorist/radical Muslim component to this?

                • bowersville says:

                  It’s logical for the authorities (FBI, CIA, Congress, etc.) to investigate for a connection. Thinking is one thing. Drawing hard conclusions based on speculation is fool hardy.

                  • Noway says:

                    Alrighty then….
                    Bowers, Krystol, even qualified his statement and did not make a “hard conclusion” about anything. And the cops are using their logical thinking to continue to find the hard conclusions you speak of. I guess I’m not understanding your being upset with either Krystol or Graham.

                    • bowersville says:

                      Who’s upset with Graham about his statement? I emphasized the disclaimers. Both of them. Me. I did that. This blog covers all of GA. I emphasized it for a reason. The casual readers following along.

                      Maybe it’ll make a dent.

                    • mpierce says:

                      So “But that doesn’t stop the neo-cons.” was just a pre-emptive dig for “The casual readers following along” and not in reference to anything relevant to the issue being discussed?

                    • bowersville says:

                      No so to it. The reference to William Kristol was for you. Do you believe Kristol, who never admitted Saddam had no connection to 9/11, who believes President Bush didn’t go far enough in 2004, who has never backed away from his neo-con regime change views, who writes of Nazis attempting to send us into the dark ages and follows in the same writing that the marathon bombers were attempting to send us into the same dark ages as the Nazis isn’t relevant to this conversation?

                    • mpierce says:

                      I don’t pay attention to what Kristol says. You brought him in to the conversation. AND YOU STILL HAVEN’T POINTED ANY WRONG WITH WHAT KRISTOL WROTE IN THE ARTICLE YOU LINKED. YOU STILL HAVEN’T SHOWN ANYTHING NEOCONS ARE DOING IN RELATION TO THE MARATHON BOMBING THAT NEEDS TO BE STOPPED.

                    • bowersville says:

                      Good, maybe more people won’t pay attention to what that neo-con says. You haven’t pointed out what Kristol said was right or wrong and haven’t expressed why you have such a burning desire for me to point out what was wrong while dodging it yourself. If all you want is to ask questions, make demands to your satisfaction and troll you have no point. You are mighty demanding and I didn’t know it was a prerequisite to post on this blog to your satisfaction.

                    • mpierce says:

                      I saw nothing wrong with his comment. Again, you brought his comment into the conversation and followed it with “Not much confidence in the source. But that doesn’t stop the neo-cons.”

                      I’m merely asking you to clarify what issue you took with his statement. I think it should be obvious to the reader by now that you now real point other than your disdain for conservatives.

                      As far as asking questions, isn’t that an integral part of what this blog is about? Oops, another question, I am so demanding. It seems to me that questions to help clarify other’s POVs is a valuable part of conversation. No? (Damn I just can’t stop, NEOCON, DEMANDING, STOP!)

                    • John Konop says:

                      Mpierce,

                      The roots of the neocon movement can even be traced back to socialism ironically……traditional conservatives are not for nation building……and in fact the Powell doctrine was created from the Reagan administration after failed policy in the Middle East..,..if you think President Reagan is a liberal…….than your statement would be true……

                    • bowersville says:

                      What should be obvious to the reader is clear Mpierce is that you are a neo-con. Many conservatives do not support your neo-con views. As Konop pointed out. Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell and others do not support your Neo-con view.

                      As for your question of what’s wrong with Senator Graham’s statement. It has never been what’s wrong. That’s you jumping to conclusions. As for my disagreement, Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw said it better than I can so I’ll share it with you:

                      http://hotair.com/archives/2013/04/20/closing-a-chapter-but-only-one-chapter/

                      Michele Malkin’s former blog, now edited by Ed Morrisey is hardly liberal. The blog has been described as fiscal conservative and socially centrist. If there is no room for Michele Malkin, Ed Morrisey and Jazz Shaw (who wrote the attached article) in your view of conservatism, I can see why you are so loose with your label “liberal.”

                    • mpierce says:

                      if you think President Reagan is a liberal…….than your statement would be true

                      John,

                      I would be happy to respond if I knew which statement you are referring to.

                    • mpierce says:

                      Many conservatives do not support your neo-con views.

                      What neo-con view are you referring to? I am a libertarian-leaning independent who votes mainly libertarian. I don’t believe it is our job to police the rest of the world much less develop it.

                      I can see why you are so loose with your label liberal.

                      What label??? You are the one jumping to conclusions and name calling.

                      You still ignoring the question of what neocons were doing with the marathon bombing that needed to be stopped. You brought up statements from Graham and Kristol, but have yet to point out any of those “hard conclusions based on speculation.”

                    • bowersville says:

                      Mpiere, not worth my time. It’s nice outside and I plan to enjoy it. Argue with your self for a while. If you don’t know Senator Graham and Senator McCain, both patriots with patriotic concerns lean towards the neoconservative movement, I can’t help you.

                    • mpierce says:

                      bowersville,

                      Still ignoring the original question. (Change subject, straw man, straw man, change subject, …) In the end, no answer just vitriol.

                    • bowersville says:

                      @mpierce. Probably one of the most important national security policy issues of the day involving the Boston Marathon bombers. Enemy combatant vs. public safety exception.

                      While I dragged my heals and finally got around to my disagreement with Senator Graham there was no comment on the issue from you. Instead you wish to continue in trivial pursuit. I do not. I’m done.

                    • mpierce says:

                      Friday Timeline
                      12:16pm You: “But that doesn’t stop the neo-cons.”
                      1:35pm Your mention of Graham
                      4:10pm Noway: “I guess I’m not understanding your being upset with either Krystol or Graham.”
                      4:36pm You: “Who’s upset with Graham about his statement?”
                      7:00pm Tsarnaev captured
                      7:17pm Graham: issues enemy combatant statement

                      Sunday
                      You “As for my disagreement, Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw said it better than I can so I’ll share it with you:”

                      Only Graham reference in article was the statement issued hours AFTER you voiced your criticism and had NOTHING to do with “hard conclusions based on speculation” which you also brought up hours BEFORE Graham’s released statement.

                      You now: “While I dragged my heals and finally got around to my disagreement with Senator Graham there was no comment on the issue from you.”

                      Spare me your BS. If you can’t even have a halfway honest conversation, why do you even bother commenting?

                    • mpierce says:

                      I’m sure you can find similar statements all the way back to John Walker Lindh. But that has nothing to do with hard conclusions based on speculation with regard to the marathon bombing.

                    • bowersville says:

                      Good morning Mpierce. Senator Graham has held strong neoconservative views and has been a strong advocate for enemy combatant status for years. Even for Americans. It isn’t a giant leap to think the Senator would not change his views. Your quote: ” I am a libertarian-leaning independent who votes mainly libertarian. I don’t believe it is our job to police the rest of the world much less develop it.” The Libertarian platform doesn’t support the neoconservative viewpoint either.

                      The Libertarian platform also is strong on protection of civil liberties, individual protection of the Bill of Rights, and individual Constitutional protections for Americans. Suspect 2 at the Boston marathon bombing, “white hat,” the younger Tsarnaev that is in custody is an American citizen.

                      Do you support Senator Graham’s view that the suspect, an American citizen, should be declared an “enemy combatant” or do you support the Administration’s position to not declare the Tsarnaev brother an enemy combatant?

                    • bowersville says:

                      This is a quote from Senator Paul Rand’s filibuster:

                      Paul began by laying out his goal: “I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA. I will speak until I can no longer speak. I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.”

                      This is a quote from Senator Graham:

                      “It’s a battlefield because the terrorists think it is.” Referring to Boston, he observed, “Here is what we’re up against,” and added, “It sure would be nice to have a drone up there [to track the suspect.]”

                      Conservatives can disagree without having disdain for conservatives. Me, I agree with Rand Paul and think we are on a slippery slope.

                    • bowersville says:

                      Nobody thinks President Obama is going to kill Jane Fonda. That’s not the point. The point is that we must observe the rule of law. And the point is that if we grant the presidency carte blanche authority to drone “suspected” terrorists, with no questions asked, what’s to stop some future president from abusing the power?

                      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/03/07/praise-for-rand-paul/#ixzz2RCgcXW4Q

                      I agree and it’s a slippery slope.

                      “It’s different overseas than it will be here. It’s different in the battlefield than it will be here,” Mr. Paul told Fox News earlier this year. “Which gets precisely to the argument I have with some other Republicans who say, well, ‘the battlefield is everywhere, there is no limitation.’ President Obama says this. Some members of my party say the battle has no geographic limitations and the laws of war apply. It’s important to know that the law of war that they’re talking about means no due process.”

                      Quote of Rand Paul in direct conflict of Senator Graham. I agree with Senator Paul.

                    • mpierce says:

                      Again Graham wants a court trial, not a military tribunal. He wants him to have a lawyer and doesn’t want evidence gained outside of miranda to be used at trial.

                      Drone strikes on US soil are a separate issue, but since you brought it up. Obama and Holder both believe they have that right. I wouldn’t put either one of them in the neocon category. I think there should be judicial review. I have no idea where Graham is on that issue, but again that is separate from declaring Tsarnaev an enemy combatant. You are purposely conflating the issues.

                    • bowersville says:

                      The issues are not conflated. How do we drone “terrorist suspects overseas, even American citizens?” Everybody knows the answer to that one. Graham defended the use of drones by the Obama administration.

                      If one believes the war on terror we fight over seas has come to our soil, eventually we’ll conduct the war on terror the same here.

                    • bowersville says:

                      BTW, the drones in question were operated by the CIA at the time of the new CIA directors confirmation hearing. His recommendation was the the drones be handed off to the Department of Defense.

                      That’s why it’s not conflating the issues. We are not talking about law enforcement.

                    • mpierce says:

                      If one believes the war on terror we fight over seas has come to our soil, eventually we’ll conduct the war on terror the same here.

                      If one believes the war on terror we fight over seas has come to our soil, eventually we’ll conduct the war on terror here.

                    • mpierce says:

                      You are conflating. Obama’s use of the drone, Graham’s support of the drones, and deciding which agency operates the drones all have something in common. They are irrelevent to declaring Tsarnaev an enemy combatant.

              • mpierce says:

                Where are these conclusions you are trying to slow? Kristol and Graham both made reasonable qualified statements. You pointed out there qualifications yourself (WITH EMPHASIS).

                • bowersville says:

                  The emphasis was for you. You must have got it. You wrote:

                  “Keep in mind we have not convicted anyone, closed the borders, armed everyone, gone to war in Checknya…”

                  But you finished it with…”at this point.” Does that mean that based on what we know now you are expecting those steps to be taken? I hope not.

                  • mpierce says:

                    1) You are ignoring the question
                    2) No, I am not expecting those steps to be taken (with the exception of convicting Dzhokhar if he is captured).

                  • mpierce says:

                    FYI,
                    “at this point” was in response to “We’re not actually sure any clause in that sentence is actually true yet.”

                  • Noway says:

                    All right, Bowers. Have a good evening. I think we all can logically realize that there will be a radical Muslim agenda/grievance/motivation to this act when all is said and done. Sorry that Krystol and others offended your sensibilities by suggesting the possibility of a radical Muslim angle, that is looking more and more as the minutes pass, like it will be a fact.

                    • John Konop says:

                      Norway,

                      In reality the world has close to 2 billion Muslims……and we do have an issue with radicals Muslims……the aggressive anti Muslim approach by the Neocons is making the problem worse……as I said President Reagan’s administration came to the same conclusion……

                      The irony it has been liberal democrats traditionally that have called for intervention in Africa………the real issue is do you really think we should be in the nation building game or should we use a special ops/ off shore low footprint strategy……History tells us nation building does not work……..

                • Noway says:

                  I was actually hoping to hear him screech “Neo-con” for the 40th time..LOL! It’s like a two year old who just learned a new word.

  3. Michael Silver says:

    If these guys are truly from Chechnya as claimed, we got BIG security problems. Chechnya muslims committed the school massacre at Beslan Russia. Chechnya Muslim’s first attacks were on open public places then they moved upward toward bigger and more bold attacks, ultimately to the school massacre.

    Look at the level of effort needed to capture just these two guys. Imagine if the terrorists deploy 32 men across the US or against a couple of schools. There is no way Law Enforcement could handle the situation.

    Our gun-control laws result in our schools having no or very little protection against terrorists. Our children are extremely unprotected and vulnerable if a committed person wanted to harm them. We need to start allowing background checked Georgians to carry in k-12 schools so they can function as a last-resort defense in case of an attack like Beslan.

    • xdog says:

      Jesus, just train the kids to handle firearms already. Pre-K would be the appropriate place to introduce marksmanship. Make rifling the 4th ‘R’. I say a armed 6 yo is a happy 6 yo.

    • George Chidi says:

      Seriously. Can it. Let’s at the very least figure out if these are the right guys, and what they’re up to, before leaping to sweeping pronouncements about the state of security in America?

    • Lea Thrace says:

      I had a conversation with a colleague this morning. He said, “you watch. gun control people will come out and use this as a lightning rod to get what they want.”

      I said there was no way anyone would see this as any thing but a terrorist attack. I said no one would be stupid enought to try to twist this to their agenda.

      I’ll have to let him know that he had the motivations correct. Just that it was the gun advocates that twisted it.

      Sheesh.

      • Michael Silver says:

        For the record, people like me and law enforcement have been warning of Beslan School style of attacks for a long time and how our gun laws leave our children unprotected. If we keep our eyes closed and continue to “fail to imagine”, we will eventually be hit and hit hard.

      • mountainpass says:

        Lea the war on the law abiding gun owner never ends.

        Senator Lautenberg stated he will move to regulate gunpowder on Wednesday.
        http://www.lautenberg.senate.gov/newsroom/record.cfm?id=341435&

        “Lautenberg will introduce the “Explosive Materials Background Check Act,” which will:

        · Require a background check to purchase black powder, black powder substitute, smokeless powder, or any other explosive, in any quantity”

        I do like this one from the presser:
        “Make it illegal to manufacture homemade explosives without a permit. ”
        That’s already illegal.

    • Ellynn says:

      Let’s take a deep breath here.

      There are at least a dozen known Chechyn radical groups. They even fight each other. The group that took the school hostage was a different group then the one that took the Moscow movie house hostage. They all have different motives from Nationalism, anti -Russian, radical Christians to radical Muslim. Trying to explain who does what and why would be on the level of someone in Asia saying all American radicals are alike.

        • Ellynn says:

          I didn’t say violent, I said radical. There has been know Russian Orthodox fundamentalists in the older Terek Cossacks communities (Naurskaya, Shelkovsky)which sided with Moscow during both Cheychen wars. As more restrictive Sunni based Islamic traditions and laws are being placed on the books, Along witha growing minority in the federated states to nationalize the ROC within the whole of Russia (which the church is against) protests by pro-orthodox people have taken place. In point of fact most have been either stopped or threatened by both radical nationalist and Islamic groups.

          • Ellynn says:

            For back ground may I suggest reading “Burdens of the Third Rome” . It was printed 1998 originally in a Christian – Muslim relation paper, but was making the rounds in 2008 durning McCains campaign.

            • sockpuppet says:

              If they aren’t violent, what is it that makes them radical, especially in this context? I am just reacting to the “Christians do it too!” theme whenever there is an act of Muslim terror. While they may have views that you do not agree with, if they’re not flying airplanes into buildings and detonating bombs on city streets, they are not relevant to this discussion.

              Oh yes, and if Muslims were able to intimidate these people from organizing and expressing themselves politically with threats of violence, how is that a good thing? That is just more Muslim terror. No different from how the KKK used violence to stop blacks from voting.

        • George Chidi says:

          Or … two idiots decided to try to blow up people on the marathon route. Because that’s exactly the same thing as the entire nation being under threat and subject to the security theater and jingoistic chest-beating foolishness I keep hearing.

          • Noway says:

            George, do you have a problem with posters here speculating on what has happened in Boston and who might be responsible and what their motivation might be? They may or may not be correct but the opinions offered here are helpful as to what might have happened. So, when you tell people to “can it” or call people fools or “flaccidly stupid” what are you trying to accomplish? I think Charlie called out one of the posters here not to long ago for such condescending behavior!

            • George Chidi says:

              Yeah. Fair enough. I shouldn’t make it personal. My apologies. I should not have referred to Michael Silver as either flaccid or stupid. I’m in a bit of social media overload at the moment.

              But I do have a problem with certain kinds of speculation, or, more the point — the use of speculation alone as a justification for a call to action. We think that two young men, Muslims, from a war-torn area of the world riven by Islamic terrorism, blew up part of the Boston Marathon route. We’re not actually sure any clause in that sentence is actually true yet. We have no idea why they might have acted. No one has credibly claimed responsibility for the bombing yet, or offered an explanation for motive. We don’t know if they were acting alone or not, or as part of an established terrorist organization or not.

              Based on nothing, people are already clamoring to use this as justification for this ideological response or that. “Arm everyone!” “Disarm everyone!” “Close the borders!” “We’re on the same side as the Russians now!” “Question all Muslims!” “It’s a false flag operation!”

              The fervor has been fueled by some of the worst breaking news coverage, in terms of reportarial accuracy, that I have witnessed in my lifetime, and I’ve been a professional journalist since before I could legally drink. Instead of being more skeptical, people are retreating to their ideological biases and seeking conclusions that reinforce those biases … and then pushing them into the echo chamber to be amplified by social media.

              Yeah. I’d like everyone to shut the hell up until the heat has died down a bit and we can examine things like reasonable citizens.

              • mpierce says:

                “We have no idea”
                “Based on nothing”

                Really? I suppose the FBI picked their names out of a hat? I’m sure the carjacking and shootout were just random coincidence and in no way should be cause for any suspicion. No, there is not a lot we KNOW at this point. But to say there is nothing known is also wrong.

                Keep in mind we have not convicted anyone, closed the borders, armed everyone, gone to war in Checknya, or whatever at this point either.

          • Michael Silver says:

            I’m suggesting security theater is what makes us vulnerable to attacks. Gun-free zones are nothing but pretend gun-free. They in fact endanger our kids.

            Sandy Hook happened because the safety and security of those children was left to an unarmed teacher in an unsecured building. Do you really think the terrorists did not pay attention to what happened at Sandy Hook? That they didn’t notice how long it took Law Enforcement to respond and begin their tactical response? How the children were protected by a woman with an education degree.

            Throw together Sandy Hook, killers from Chechyna, and a Saudi National with extensive family ties to Al Queda, and its not a far stretch to think our risk of a Beslan type of school attack is very possible.

            • George Chidi says:

              Gun-filled zones are more dangerous by every meaningful statistical measure. You might cut down on the death toll in a mass shooting situation — there’s insufficient data to make a conclusion either way. But you almost certainly will increase the number of deaths at schools in ones and twos in ordinary homicides, suicides or accidents. The correlation between the availability of firearms to young people and the rate of death is quite clear.

              And arming teachers is itself an act of security theater. They’re not cops. The likelihood of them being helpful is far less likely than them losing control of a weapon and causing more problems than they solve. Plus the idea of turning schools into armed camps is unbelievably absurd to the vast majority of teachers, many of whom will simply leave the profession if this becomes an expectation of service.

              • Michael Silver says:

                You and I don’t want teachers acting as cops. That’s not what I’m proposing.

                They are armed as a last resort defense, when the poopy is hitting the fan and Law Enforcement is minutes away.

                Not all teachers will carry, actually very few will. But enough will that the terrorists will move onto other states where there isn’t a risk of armed defense. Active Killers and terrorist seek defenseless targets and will bypass potentially defended targets.

                • ugalawman says:

                  But this was the point of my earlier comment – you say that arming teachers will deter killers and terrorists from targeting those schools with armed teachers. In Boston you had armed police officers on the scene providing security. Yet these terrorists still targeted the marathon. If a terrorist will target a marathon with lots of well trained, armed police officers on scene; why wouldn’t they target a school with some armed teachers?

                  • Harry says:

                    Dealing with a surreptitiously planted bomb isn’t the same as a live school shooting, and you know it. Why is it that so hard to admit? You law enforcement types can’t be everywhere at once.

            • ugalawman says:

              The Boston Marathon finish line wasn’t a “gun-free zone”. There were armed police officers all over the place.

              • Michael Silver says:

                You could say the same about Columbine and Virginia Tech. LE was there with guns. The problem is that the bad guys go where you aren’t (I’m assuming by your handle that you are a LEO)

                You could be right outside the doors like No.Illinois and Aurora and still alot of people will still die. Sadly, it doesn’t take much time to harm a lot of people, especially when they have no means to respond.

                You can call me Flattuencely Stupid all you want (I actually know a lot about this topic). I’d counter with a request that you take off the rose colored glasses and look at the world as it is and has been. Start thinking … What If. When you do, you’ll realize how truly vulnerable America is to terrorism and its impact. We unfortunately have alot of recent examples.

                • Lea Thrace says:

                  What do hell do guns have to do with this bombing? More armed officers/people would NOT have stopped this attack. Just like less guns would not have stopped the attack. They used BOMBS for goodness sakes.

                  How the heck are you trying to connect the two?

  4. Dave Bearse says:

    I’m not informed on the pros and cons, but the GOP blasting the Obama plan simply to CONSIDER the sale of the Tennessee Valley Authority is a demonstration of the paramount principle of the party of no trumping privatization.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/ap/energy/role-reversal-gop-blasts-obama-plan-to-sell-tva/nXM7m/

    Leading the opposition are Alabama and Tennessee conservatives representing TVA service areas. They have reason to be most concerned, but you gotta figure its the typical GOP focus on “other guys.”

    • Harry says:

      Maybe 80 years ago the TVA was necessary to spur development but no longer. Assuming there is no hidden agenda, I agree with Obama on this. It should be sold and the proceeds used to pay down the debt.

      • saltycracker says:

        HEY, sell it to Southern Co. (leverage for us) and then let’s find a way for GA to buy some water……

      • sockpuppet says:

        The TVA was not needed or used to spur development. It was needed to provide basic services (electricity and telephone) to people. That being said, many of the other agencies the government used to provide similar services have been privatized. The only reason why Alabama and Tennessee conservatives are fighting to preserve TVA is because losing it will cost them jobs, and political leaders in those areas haven’t done enough to grow the economy in those states, and particularly to replace the agricultural and factory jobs lost in those areas. But in any case, this is just another incident that proves that conservatives only support less government when it results in fewer jobs and services for the other guy, not themselves. That is why most GOPers want the majority of cuts to affect urban and minority constituencies that predominantly vote Democrat. Of course, Obama wants to dump TVA for the same reason: it negatively affects states that didn’t vote for him. The issue is that Obama is not a small government conservative. Obama is a big government conservative who believes that the government should replace the private sector in some areas (i.e. to keep people from being locked into low wage jobs with a combination of government jobs and social programs) and should guide or drive the private sector in others. So other than using TVA as a jobs program or to develop alternative energy, he has no political or ideological use for it. No news there. The real question is why allegedly small government conservatives haven’t lifted a finger against TVA or any of the other government programs that provide jobs and services to red state America. And that is why Romney’s 47% comment was so politically devastating: lots of GOP voters are part of the 47% who rely on government jobs and services. And that is precisely why so many of those voters stayed home on election day, even if none of them will publicly admit it.

  5. saltycracker says:

    Boston bombings: Best to just watch, let the law do their thing and learn from what is revealed.

    What we can speculate with a high probability is that some in responsible positions ignored or missed red flags and most concerning, some close to the perpetrator(s) had clues and kept silent.

  6. MattMD says:

    This just embarrassing. Here we have a major American city shut down over one douchebag.

    Yes, it’s tragic but damn, get a friggin’ grip.

    • Harry says:

      The Holy Bible New Testament exhorts one to achieve soul redemption, life fulfillment and attainment of heaven through acts of charity towards nonbelievers and apostates such as expressed in the life of Jesus Christ, together with faith and hope for one’s salvation. The Holy Koran exhorts one to achieve soul redemption, life fulfillment and attainment of heaven through acts of violence towards nonbelievers and apostates such as expressed in the life of Prophet Mohammed, together with faith and hope for one’s salvation. Is this a correct statement? Which of these is obedience to God? The answer may vary depending on the individual’s free will.

  7. sockpuppet says:

    @George:

    Liberals always accuse conservatives of indulging in extremist, hateful, provocative speech that makes discourse impossible, and you are on here hurling personal insults and attacks right and left. Also, whenever a catastrophe happens that can advance a liberal policy agenda – whether it is gun control, gay marriage, hate crimes laws, etc – the left insists that we talk about it as often as possible. But whenever something happens that is harmful to the liberal policy agenda, the response is to “wait until the facts come out” and “now is not the time for speculation.” You are still demanding that no one say anything of substance after these guys:
    A) killed a police officer
    B) hi-jacked a car
    C) heavy munitions were found in their homes
    D) one was killed in a firefight
    E) the one who was wounded in said firefight was found hiding and bleeding
    By contrast, there were calls for specific gun control legislation less than 24 hours after the Newtown, Aurora and Columbine shootings.

    You guys aren’t responsibly waiting for facts to come out (and any fact that does come out gets challenged by you guys anyway). Instead, you are wanting for this to blow over because A) the bombers were Muslim (not evangelical Christians as some liberals have openly rooted for), B) this bombing was consistent with the pattern of Muslim terrorists worldwide, C) these brothers were allowed to emigrate here from an area that no responsible immigration policy should allow because of its history of violence and radicalism. If these guys were Neo-Nazis (or even better, Southern Baptists) you would be screaming from the rooftops. But since the actual events don’t suit your political agenda, you are using personal attacks and insults to try to shut off debate. Sir, that is absolutely despicable behavior and a wide clear window into the contents of your own character or lack thereof.

    • George Chidi says:

      Respectfully, the “you guys” bit, referring to me, might be a reference to my role as the liberal guy here. But it would also be accurate to describe me as a former Bostonian. I walked on the very spot of that bombing three or four days every week for years. I have been watching my Facebook feed explode with friends and family describing the scene from Watertown by looking out their windows and listening to their police scanners — their actual scanners, not the Internet version. I confess to a personal, emotional component to my view of events yesterday, and as that plainly leaked into my commentary, I apologize for it without reservation.

      That said, I have also watched political ideologues here in the Atlanta area snark about how they bet folks in Boston “wished they had guns right now,” or noises to the effect that all of this was somehow reflective of the city’s Democratic political culture. Because, as conservatives like to quote repeatedly from a liberal Democrat, never let a good crisis go to waste. Right?

      I would have been one of the people making the not-all-Southern-Baptists are murderers argument, had one been responsible. My first comment on Facebook, upon seeing the photos Thursday at 5:59 p.m., before we had any idea that they might be radicalized Muslims, before they hijacked a car, killed a police officer or any of the rest of it, was this:

      “Alright. I’m now going to say EXACTLY what I was going to say about the FBI’s photos released of the suspects, regardless of what they looked like: assume nothing. Do not assume that the FBI have identified the right people. Do not assume that everyone that looks like these two guys has something to do with the bombing. Do not assume that you can infer anything about the motives of the attack from the appearance of the suspects.”

      And then later that afternoon in comments, this:

      “… The moment that they were identified, the rush to judgment would begin. We don’t know if it was them. We don’t know anything, except that the FBI wants to talk to them. You know the kind of speculation that is beginning. Maybe they’re Christian religious extremists. Maybe they’re anarchists. Maybe their Muslim fanatic converts. Maybe they’re anti-tax zealots. Whatever.

      My point is simple. Suppose they HAD looked like stereotypical jihadis. The Muslim doctor assaulted yesterday would be the tip of the iceberg. Principled liberals, like myself, would be reminding people that the majority of Muslims and people of Middle Eastern descent are peaceful, law-abiding, non-radical people and it is evil to profile people based on their ethnic appearance. And it’s inappropriate to make assumptions about what someone thinks based on their confessional choices.

      To fail to make the same argument now that they look like a couple of UMass frat boys who might normally be expected to be drinking a bar dry on Mission Hill instead would be deeply hypocritical. My view of civil liberties applies equally, to everyone.”

      I was not one of the people clamoring for new legislation in the wake of the Newtown shootings. While I happen to believe that background checks make sense, I thought the capacity restrictions were questionable and assault rifle ban an overreaction, and I noted how the legislative moves appeared to stem from political calculation — crafted in expectation of failure in order to generate liberal outrage ahead of mid-term elections. If you’re looking for some hypocrisy here from me, you’re going to come up empty.

      My disgust with speculation during fast-breaking news stories stems from a long-held professional view about how it screws up the fact finding process. People want a narrative, and will relentlessly fill one in regardless of prevailing evidence. The drive for narrative causes us to believe things that are fundamentally untrue. I fight for the truth.

      This was my very first post about the bombing, at 4:11 p.m., 82 minutes after the attack occurred. The Very First One.

      “Stupid things are going to be said about the explosion at the marathon today. Speculation will be made, much of which will be wrong, as will much of the early reporting. Resist the urge to draw conclusions, just absorb information, and be skeptical of even that. Those who died deserve both your sympathy and your wits.”

      You’re questioning my character. I’m not afraid of that. I have a record and I’m proud of it.

        • George Chidi says:

          Profiling is common sense when you can get it to work right. We profile right now. But any profile that catches every terrorist will deeply damage everyone else’s civil liberties, and any profile that respects those liberties appropriately probably won’t catch every terrorist.

          I think we’re closer to the second case today: it looks like these guys didn’t line up. I call it a consequence of living in a free society. It pleases me, actually, that folks appear to be acting like grown-ups about this and we’re not seeing a hyper-freak out.

          • Noway says:

            Nothing is absolute, George. Profiling works because it is based on logical, deductive reasoning. Nothing will get everyone but it’s the best system we have.

  8. Noway says:

    And actually, after Colorado, the left was accusing that the killer of being from the Tea Party…
    Fine time to “wait for the facts” before defaming an innocent guy with the same name. Wonder how he felt?

  9. Noway says:

    I am still mystified as to why folks, whether on this blog, or just in general, are so damned afraid of offending Muslims. Seriously, with only a few exceptions like European groups like the Red Brigades, Baader Meinhoff and Tim McVeigh and I believe, the Norway murderer, all of the terrorist actions of the last generation and a half have been done by Muslim radicals. Whether it be Pam Am 103, ( I lost two agent colleagues on that one…) Achille Lauro, the Mid East hostage takings of the mid-80’s (Terry Anderson), the murder of station chief William Buckley, 9-11, sawing the heads off of hostages on the internet, Benghazi, I mean the list is quite exhaustive, it has all been either carried out by, funded by, encourage by…wait for it…Muslim extremists.

    These animals hate the West and the US. They have demonstrated that they will attack us whenever they find a way to do it.

    Yet, we no longer call terrorism “terrorism.” Major Hassan at Ft. Hood is not called a terrorist? 13 dead and “Ali Akbar” is hollered as he’s killing people? Seriously? Seriously, this isn’t a terrorist act? It defies any logical thinking. “Work place violence?” To quote John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious!!”

    What are we so afraid of? Is it that these folks are so motivated that if we are perceived as pissing them off, the attacks will continue in greater numbers? If that is the reason, please be honest and tell us. Are we not able to combat their actions? I truly want to know. Surely it isn’t just ‘political correctness.”

    Yall, we are in a literal world of hurt. I say recognize that and fight until the bastards are pulverized. Does the West have the will? I’m not sure we do.

    • Michael Silver says:

      My neighbor has one of the “coexist” bumper stickers on her car. Its the one with all of the symbols of the religions. Take a look at it. The Muslim crescent is the biggest one and of course at the front.

      I mentioned this to her and told her it was a good idea. If the crescent was smaller or not in the front, the Crescent guys would behead her for blasphemy.

      • David C says:

        Dear lord. Really? The Crescent is at the front because it makes up the C in the word Coexist. The cross is at the back for the same reason. And plenty of “crescent guys” I know have the exact same bumpersticker.

    • David C says:

      So, with the exception of a whole lot of terrorists who have killed a whole lot of people, all recent terrorists are Muslim? OK…..

      • George Chidi says:

        Indeed. Let’s not discuss the Troubles between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland, then. Or the weird stuff happening in sub-Saharan Africa with the Christian child armies. Or ethnic cleansing of Muslims by Christians in Bosnia. Shining Path in Peru. The terrorist groups of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Aum Shin Kyu in Japan. The state terrorism of China in Tibet, Burma, North Korea …

        Or, to present a provocative thought … our own acts which might be perceived as terrorism by those on the receiving end. An estimate from Colombia Law School suggests that 36 civilians are killed in Pakistan by American drones for every one legitimate military target. You hear a drone overhead in northern Pakistan, and you run for cover … and it doesn’t matter if you’re as decent a human being as exists or Bin Laden’s poker buddy. I would describe that as a terrorized civilian population.

        I’m not stupid. Most terrorism in the world appears to be conducted by Muslim extremists. I’m less concerned about giving offense than I am about having an accurate view of the world and an honest use of the language.

        What does it mean when one uses the term “terrorist?” One who terrorizes — a criminal with the goal of inducing fear in the public? I’ll buy that. But suppose the bombers had turned out to be “Die Hard” level bank robbers instead of (what appears right now to be) Muslim extremists. Would the response have been especially different? Would Boston have been any less terrorized?

        More to the point: suppose the guy who kidnapped firefighters in Gwinnett the other day been a Muslim extremist and not a standard-issue crackup. The results would have been the same, or should have been. Perhaps, ironically enough, a greater effort would have been made to preserve his life for intelligence value, but that’s all.

        The term “terrorist” is a political label. And that’s OK. But I question how wise it is to have two sets of rules about how we behave as a society based on labels like this, the same as one might question the designation of a “hate crime” as worthy of different treatment based on nothing more than the state of mind of the criminal.

        The law has been broken. Let him have the measure of our justice, without passion. This is what distinguishes us from our enemies.

        • mpierce says:

          “An estimate from Colombia Law School suggests that 36 civilians are killed in Pakistan by American drones for every one legitimate military target. ”

          Is that the report which used the Open Society Foundation’s Afghanistan office for it’s primary research and believes the media has biased reporting that significantly and consistently underestimate civilian casualties?

  10. Noway says:

    George, amazing Google search to find the other non-Muslim terrorist groups that have committed atrocities. I am well aware of the IRA, the Shining Path and have personally been a target for kidnap of the FARC…twice, not to mention being threatened by the Mexican Drug Cartels.

    It was a nice come-back on the fact that “there are too others besides Muslims…yes there are, yes there are, yes there are!!!!” Bravo.

    I was speaking of the vast majority of terrorists who have targeted the USA, whether here or overseas. Just as you wrote, most terrorism committed in this world is committed by those of the extreme Muslim variety, just the same as those who were killed and captured in Boston over the last several days and not of some hypothetical Die Hard goons.

    These particular folks have the West in general and the US in particular in their sites and have for the last 50 years. More Americans have been killed by Muslim extremists as opposed to any others you listed and they are the ones that pose the most danger to us.

  11. Noway says:

    And the innocent civilians that have been killed in drone or bomb strikes were killed, for the most part, because the big, bad, brave terrorists have deliberately housed themselves in the midst of densely populated civilian locations and neighborhoods.

    Don’t you love the valor of these people? You know, the ones who strap bombs to children to blow up targets? I admire their value of human lives.

    • George Chidi says:

      I don’t absolve the terrorists in northern Pakistan of their war crimes, of hiding within the civilian population. But ethical examination of our own conduct in war requires the acknowledgement of double effect. A drone strike has two effects — it can kill terrorists and it can kill civilians. Is the value of one worth the cost of the other? Is it worth killing 10 children to kill one terrorist? What are the chances we’ll actually kill the terrorist? What are the chances we’ll kill the terrorist? How much does the likelihood of a terrorist attack that might kill 10 of our children decrease when killing that terrorist?

      The rest of the world can see how little effort we’ve expended wrestling with these moral questions … because we’re not talking about it here all that much. For all the applause Rand Paul earned last month with his drone filibuster, it was because he was arguing that there should be no circumstances under which we release this kind of hell upon ourselves. Wouldn’t it be nice if we at least examined the effect of these policies on others as well.

      • mpierce says:

        Drone kill data

        I’m not seeing a 10:1 child to terrorist ratio. Personally I think they are overused because Obama doesn’t want to capture them (avoid Gitmo issue). I would much rather have captured terrorists to gather intel.

        As far as not talking about it much: good. The more we publicly debate it, the weaker they will think we are, the more emboldened they will be, and the more children they will surround themselves with.

        To answer your question: No, I don’t think killing 10 children for every terrorist would be worth it.

          • mpierce says:

            Already looked at that. Furthering my comment from above, I don’t consider the Open Society Foundation a credible source.

            • George Chidi says:

              Aside from the fact that they tend to be on the other side of the political spectrum from you, can you cite instances where they have provided inaccurate analysis of data? We are talking about a project of Columbia Law School here — not exactly on the fringe, if you get me.

              • mpierce says:

                From the report:
                “It is important to note that despite the great care we took in reviewing the data and original media sources, our recount does not purport to be reliable or an accurate indicator of the actual number of civilian or “militant” casualties of U.S. drone strikes.”

                The data is highly subjective. They admit that there are many conflicting reports and classifying those killed varys.

                Also I didn’t see in your link a ration fo 10 children killed for each militant nor did I see a 36:1 ratio of civilian to militant.

                Pakistan 2011 numbers from the report:
                “After recalculating the tracking organizations’ estimates based on a strike-by-strike review, we reviewed the media sources the tracking organizations relied upon, and came to an independent count of individuals killed:
                o Total: 456 to 661 total killed
                o Alleged militants: 330 to 575
                o Alleged civilians: 72 to 155”

              • mpierce says:

                “The primary author and researcher was Chantal Grut”

                Open Society Foundation
                Open Society Afghanistan
                August 2012 – November 2012

                “We analyzed the tracking organizations’ data collection for strikes in Pakistan during 2011 and found that while their estimates are useful, they necessarily reflect the biases and flaws of their media report sources, i.e., the news stories about particular strikes which they aggregate to arrive at their own estimates.”

                “Furthermore, where the tracking organizations’ estimates significantly undercount the number of civilians killed by drone strikes, they may distort our perceptions and provide false justification to policymakers who want to expand drone strikes to new locations, and against new groups.”

                It seems to me that there was already a pre-determined narrative from the Open Society Foundation. While they may or may not be right about bias from the tracking organizations, there is likely no less bias (the other way) in their own numbers.

  12. Noway says:

    George, do you not think our people do a casualty assessment of the possible civilians/non combatants that might be harmed before they launch a drone strike or any other assault type action? I am assured by people that actually do these types of things they do.
    They do the kind of calculus you discus above to see how many kids or women or little old ladies might be affected. Everything that you rightfully list in your first paragraph is factored in to the equation. Actually, Clinton didn’t go after Bin Laden the chance he had because of the risks involved.
    I will give Obama all the credit on the planet for taking the opportunity he had to get Bin Laden. Good job, Mr. President! True kudos to you and the SEALS that did that job. I was also kinda ticked when he ordered the killing of those Somali pirates a couple of years ago. I am personal friends with members of various SEAL teams, including 6, and they are the most careful and caring folks you’d ever meet. “Salt of the Earth” is the phrase that comes to mind. Kind of like the guy who helped ice Bin Laden going through the late night drive through at Taco Bell once he got back to his stateside base. I mean that’s like Opie Taylor and Normal Rockwell all rolled up into one. Their ideas of honor are unimpeachable. At least the ones I know. The idea of their killing non-combatants is sickening to them. Whatever your thoughts, I think, I know, that we are the good guys in this equation. Thanks for the good discussion over the last couple of days.

    • George Chidi says:

      I am assured that some G-2/G-3 shop is doing these assessments, too. Let’s see them.

      I know, I know, “operational security” and all that. When the civilian-to-target ratio is 39 to 1, there’s a public policy question raised that’s worth sacrificing some of that security, especially since the whole point of using drones in the first place is to limit exposure of our people to return fire. I think the higher, strategic rationale can be challenged given the results. We’re in “we burned the village down to save it” territory here.

      I trained at the Defense Language Institute with SEALs while I was on active duty in the Army. I have a similar impression of their personal characteristics. Generally thoughtful, sincere, dutiful and quite cognizant of the higher-level moral and ethical questions we’re discussing.

      We’re not talking about the honor of SEALs at all. We’re not even talking about the honor of the CIA guys and junior-grade officers in the Air Force wearing flights suits in a TOC who are making the operational decisions, or that of the general staff officers in Virginia making strategic decisions. We’re talking about the guys in suits working for the National Security Council making political and diplomatic decisions, and of our own honor. When Lt. Snuffy mans a joystick in Florida, we’re responsible: the decision to kill derives from the masses’ mandate. It is our responsibility to examine how that power is being used. We ignore it at risk to our honor.

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