A Domestic Terrorism Attempt in Washington

(Good stuff. - promoted by David)

Suspect Is Arrested in Spokane Bomb Case:

Federal agents arrested a suspect Wednesday in connection with the attempted bombing of a Martin Luther King Day memorial march in Spokane, Wash.

I’ve skimmed through several articles about this bomber, and so far haven’t seen any that tell us his religious affiliation.  None of them imply that his race, place or origin, or religion, have anything to do with his terrorism attempt.  Some of them draw connections to his possible associate with neo-Nazi or racist groups with violent ideology, but I haven’t seen suggestions that he’s connected with these groups merely because he’s white, or any talk about suspicion of white people’s radicalization and involvement in terrorism.

Not being a scary Muslim also means his attack isn’t treated as such a big deal, or part of a scary national security problem.  Though if it turns out he is part of neo-Nazi or white supremacist groups, then his attack actually would be part of a scary national security problem, unlike Muslims.

And a point I think we in Boston should pay special attention to:

In the aftermath of the great cartoon terrorist scare of 2007, when Boston was attacked by Mooninites hanging from bridges, I stated what should’ve been obvious: Cartoon characters hanging from bridges are much less likely to be terrorist bombs than most other objects we see everyday, because if someone really wanted to set off a bomb to kill people, they’d try to make it unobtrusive and less likely to draw attention.  I wrote:

If you want to cause death and destruction and terror with a bomb, you could put it in a backpack stuffed with papers and clothes. Dress up like a student, and go sit down in Harvard Square eating a sandwich. Get up, “forgetting” your backpack (you could receive a cell phone call at an appropriate moment if you want to dress up the acting), and walk away into the crowd. Nobody would notice anything suspicious, nobody would call the police.

Well, whaddya know?  This terrorist, who really did want the bomb to go off and kill people, left it in a backpack near the parade route.

Our national reaction to terrorism is so far beyond fucked up, calling it fucked up is a compliment.  Terrorism in the US is extremely rare, and kills far fewer people than many everyday things like car accidents, smoking, and poor health care.  Yet it has us worked up into a frenzy… focusing on all the wrong things!

Striking blows against quirkiness and playfulness and anything weird, demonizing religions and ethnic groups and spreading division and fear, giving up privacy only for to give authorities greater control with no benefits to us, walling off our country from the immigrants that would make us great if we’d only let them, and pretending that we need to do all these things for the sake of safety, so we can feel good about stabbing ourselves in so many ways.

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49 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Well said!

    The Patriot Act is the worst possible reaction to terrorism.  I had a conversation with a right wing radio host a while back, where he said there's basically two justifications for the PA:

    1.)  If it's a mistake, well, we've made mistakes before, as when FDR interred Japanese Americans during WWII.

    2.)  We need protection from death by terrorism.

    I replied that just because we've been wrong before, we shouldn't take that as license to be wrong again.  As to death by terrorism, I asked him how many people in this country died in the 9/11 attacks?  About 4,000, correct?  This was in 2009 - I then asked him how many people died from gun violence in just the past year, and yet we are willing to accept the risks of gun ownership under the 2nd Amendment.  How many people died in car accidents, and yet we accept the risks of driving?

    I'm glad they caught this guy in WA - I wish this case had more news coverage.  I wonder if the Patriot Act was used at all in his apprehension, or was it good old-fashioned police work?  From what I've seen, it looks like the latter...

    • not even that

      It wasn't really "police work" in this case.  It was just some temp workers, working on a job for the city to clean up the parade route before the parade.  They found the backpack, were going to remove it, and noticed the bomb inside.  Terrorist's mistake: Not being aware that the city sends extra people to clean up the streets when there's a parade expected.

      • Well, yes, that's how they found the bomb...

        ...but how did they find the would-be bomber?  I'd like to know if the Patriot Act was used, or if it was old-fashioned police work there.

  2. Timothy McVeigh

    was neither "Middle Eastern" nor "Muslim" yet he carried out an attack that was arguably even more heinous than the WTC attacks. At the very least, it is in the same category.

    Of the two confirmed terrorist attacks on American soil last year, the bombing of a mosque in May is almost forgotten, while the "Times Square" attempt was played on the news for weeks.

    The problem isn't someone's religion or their ethnic heritage. It's their willingness to kill people when they can't get what they want at the ballot box.

    • To be fair though...

      ...I seem to recall after the OKC bombing there were several feature stories in news magazines and other sources about the rise of anti-government militancy, with a good dose of white supremicism thrown in.  It was heinous and clearly an act of terrorism, though at least in terms of body count it did quite a bit less damage than WTC.  I can see it not being treated as national security because it didn't have a foreign origin, which at least is what comes to my mind when I hear the words "national security".

      • There was

        some coverage of the militant movement, but I recall some bit of it being somewhat sympathetic. Or at least trying to explain why someone thought it was necessary to declare war on the US Government.

        The difference between then and now is that domestic terrorism was considered just another crime to be prosecuted.

        • That is the difference.

          I don't recall the sympathetic tone, but there were explanations, just like there were plenty of attempts to explain "why they hate us" after 9/11.  There is I think a difference in appropriate response between incidents of domestic and foreign origin.  McVeigh and Nichols didn't have a foreign power to back them up.  Al-Qaeda had Afghanistan.  There was plenty of overreaction in the civil liberties and Bill of Rights department, but in terms of scale, 9/11 was alot closer to Pearl Harbor than it was to OKC.  We declared war on the folks that brought us Pearl Harbor.

          • I disagree

            Pearl Harbor was a massive surprise attack by the military of a foreign nation. Japanese military aircraft attacked a major military installation with waves of bombers and fighters. Multiple ships were hit and sunk. It was planned and ordered by the government of a sovereign nation with whom we had formal diplomatic relations, and was supported by the full military might of that nation.

            The WTC attack had three targets, the WTC, Pentagon and (allegedly) the White House. It was perpetrated by civilians who hijacked civilian aircraft. While 4,000 people died in the WTC, that was because that's how many people were in the iconic landmark the terrorists struck. All of the 9/11 perpetrators were Saudi's, yet we did not declare war on Saudi Arabia.

            The inept decision to frame the 9/11 as an act of war, rather than a terrorist attack, is the single largest strategic failure of the Cheney/Bush administration in dealing with AQ and Muslim terrorism. Our response has done more to empower AQ, recruit terrorists, and strengthen the radical Muslim movement than anything they might have accomplished on their own. We have been spiraling downward in a self-inflicted power-dive since then, all because our decision makers have tenaciously held onto this failed WWII analogy.

            There is no "enemy" remotely comparable to the Axis powers of 1941. There is no path to "victory". Our "war on terror" is an auto-immune disease that is inflicting far more harm on our economy, our culture, and our place in the world than any act of any foreign entity.

            The various terrorist attempts on US soil have far more in common with the many native American attempts to interfere with railroads and wagon trains in the 19th century than with any episode from WWI or WWII.

            We are, and continue to be, our own worst enemy today.

            • When I said scale I was talking casualities

              2350 for Pearl Harbor per Wikipedia, almost 3000 on September 11th.

              I hate having to refight historical revisionism, but these guys were harbored by Afghanistan, not Saudi Arabia.  I didn't need Bush-Cheney's help to frame this as a war.  After the USS Cole, the African embassies and others over the years my reaction was it's about time.  Not the government of Afghanistan?  Might as well have been.  The Taliban were in control and gave al-Qaeda safe harbor even after we asked them to turn over the perpetrators, and no, I'm not going to say the 19 hijackers all died so nobody to bring to justice.  9/11 was absolutely an act of war on the scale of Pearl Harbor.  If you think otherwise we'll just have to disagree.

              • $quot;Historical Revisionism$quot;?

                I fear you are projecting again. The only historical revisionism is your own, as you turn handsprings to avoid the long-lived and pervasive ties between Saudi Arabia and the "war on terror". Are you aware of the deep connections between the Saudi Royal family and the Bush dynasty (and its financial satellites)? Are you aware of the role that the CIA (and George H. Bush) played in creating, training, and funding Osama Bin Laden when he was fighting the Soviets during the eighties (why am I reminded of Ho Chi Minh)? You keep attempting to force this into a WWII-style good-guys versus bad-guys morality play, when the ugly truth is far more ambiguous.

                I wrote: "All of the 9/11 perpetrators were Saudi's, yet we did not declare war on Saudi Arabia." I said nothing about who harbored them, that's your invention.

                Here are the nineteen 9/11 perpetrators, by nationality:


                • Mohamed Atta

                United Arab Emirati:

                • Marwhan al-Shehhi,
                • Fayez Banihammad


                • Ziad Jarrah

                Saudi Arabian:

                • Waleed al-Shehri,
                • Wail al-Shehri,
                • Abdulaziz al-Omari,
                • Satam al-Suqami,
                • Mohand al-Shehri,
                • Hamza al-Ghamdi,
                • Ahmed al-Ghamdi,
                • Hani Hanjour,
                • Khalid al-Mihdha,
                • Majed Moqed,
                • Nawaf al-Hazmi,
                • Salem al-Hazmi,
                • Ahmed al-Haznawi,
                • Ahmed al-Nami,
                • Saeed al-Ghamdi

                Fifteen of nineteen perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks were Saudi Arabian. Osama Bin Laden himself is Saudi Arabian. If you want to wage war with somebody, then Saudi Arabia is the target — not Afghanistan and not Iraq.

                War is not a temper-tantrum, it is not something a nation does out of frustration when bad things happen. "War" is something that happens between nations. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end. A war ends in victory or defeat for each side. Just as "murder" requires motive in addition to a decedent, "war" requires nations as participants.

                What we have had since 9/11 is not "war", it is instead an Orwellian delusion that serves to keep the populace scared, military budgets high, and the same handful of wealthy old men firmly in control.

                • If you're arguing...

                  ...that we're a bit too tight with the Saudis I'd be inclined to agree, but you don't target a country based on ethnicity; you target based on actions.  SA tends to co-operate with us whereas the Taliban didn't.  You're argument that we go after a nation just based on national origin is a very unprogressive notion.  War I think does require nations.  In this case Afghanistan for all intents and purposes attacked us; therefore the participating nations are USA and Afghanistan.  Don't forget NATO invoked the attack-on-one-is-an-attack-on-all doctrine for the first time on our behalf.  I'm not having a temper tantrum.  I am realizing that only force works for some.  You're right - I was the one who talked about harboring because you didn't and you should have.  Yes, I know we helped the Afghan insurgents against the USSR that became al-Qaeda.  Doesn't mean we shouldn't fight back when they turn on us.

                  • Spiraling further into insanity

                    You wrote:

                    War I think does require nations.  In this case Afghanistan for all intents and purposes attacked us; therefore the participating nations are USA and Afghanistan.  Don't forget NATO invoked the attack-on-one-is-an-attack-on-all doctrine for the first time on our behalf.

                    The Taliban is the agent that supported AQ in 2001. The Afghan government failed to rein in the Taliban mostly because the Afghan government is so completely dysfunctional that it was powerless. We've already defeated that Afghan government, it took about fifteen minutes of attacks from the air.

                    Now, we are "helping" Afghan President Karzai "rebuild" Afghanistan, while struggling to resist a resurgent Taliban being supported by Pakistan — another "ally" who's behavior looks more and more erratic, in part because our own behavior in the region continues to be so inept.

                    We are spiraling deeper and deeper into a collective and self-destructive insanity about all this. To the extent that this was a "war", we've already "won" it — the government that "harbored" OBL and AQ is defeated. But this insane "war" continues unabated. How crazy does it have to get before you admit that this is all simply wrong?

                    This simply is not a war in anything except a metaphorical sense. Our track record in metaphorical wars — the "war on drugs" and the "war on poverty" come to mind — is absolutely abysmal.

                    Furthermore, even in the context of this failed framing as a "war", it is a war we are losing. We are being bankrupted, just as the Soviet Union was bankrupted, by this absurd "war" in Afghanistan. The more we ratchet up our involvement, the more new terrorists we recruit. Our refusal to prosecute the war criminals of the prior administration, together with the decision of the current administration to continue at least some of the egregious practices, cements and reinforces the perception that we are the "evil oppressor". We don't know who the good guys are, who the bad guys are, who we should support and who we should defeat, who we should shoot or who will shoot us.

                    We need to stop this insanity, now.

                    • So which are you arguing?

                      I have actually come to the conclusion that it's probably time to wrap things up in Afghanistan for many of the reasons you cite.  I adamantly believe, however, that we were entirely justified in going in when we did for the reasons I have already mentioned.  It is possible to hold both opinions simultaneously.  My complaints about historical revisionism are mostly about seeing our actions in 2001/2002 through the prism of some less defensible things that have happened since then, which is not an appropriate use of hindsight.

          • Scales

            At Pearl Harbor, the US lost 2,402 military personnel, with another 1,247 injured. We also had 4 battleships sunk and 4 damaged, 2 destroyers and 3 cruisers were sunk, and 188 aircraft were destroyed. But Japan was a known belligerent and empirical country, having already invaded Manchuria, China, Mongolia, and the USSR. In fact, we were in peace negotiations with them when the attack was launched. We were also attacked in Guam and Wake Island, as well as the Philippines on the following day.

            On 9/11, some 2,752 were killed in the WTC. Another 184 were killed at the Pentagon.

            In OKC, 168 people were killed, including 19 children. Over 800 were injured.

            The differences between the three are stark, and I think lumping them together sort of does injustice to each of them. However, the attack at OKC, in my mind, is exceptionally heinous because of the view of a daycare center simply being "collateral damage." And if the death count was lower, it wasn't because he didn't try.

            I think there was a difference between the "why they hate us" investigations and the view, in some quarters (far outside the mainstream), that McVeigh's actions were legitimate because of Waco and Ruby Ridge. No one tried to justify 9/11.  

      • That was then...

        I think at the time, we treated the Oklahoma City bombing more or less appropriately, though unfortunately with what at the time counted as a severe overreaction in antiterrorism legislation (the 1996 bill seems so mild now that we've seen the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act).  But that was before America "discovered" the great Islamist terrorist threat which now overshadows all else.  Since 9/11, Oklahoma City's import has been pushed into the background, while our overreaction to 9/11 overshadows it.

        • We certainly didn't discover Islamist terrorism on 9/11

          There were several events going back years, such as the first attempt on the WTC in 1993.  It was on people's minds enough that there were people who assumed at first (I'll admit I was one of them.) that OKC was the work of those with jihad on their agenda.

          • I think we did

            If be "we" you mean the median America voter, I think 9/11 was the discovery of Islamist terrorism.  For many Americans, it was also the discovery of Islam.

            sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
      • Protecting the $quot;Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic$quot;

        is the official goal of the uniformed branches of US national security.

        The US military Oath of Allegiance, both in its enlisted and commissioned variants state this.

        I'll not go into the enabling statutes and domestic policies of the various domestic civilian agencies, except to note that that overseas vs domestic origins are false distinctions (however often they're used) in the context of American national security policies - and the abuses thereof - going back to the Alien and Sedition acts.

        The mosque bombers and Spokane white supremacists were, in my opinion, operational traitors, pure and simple (whatever the legal definitions of their acts), in the tradition of Civil War Doughfaces or the 1930's Bund.

        A thought experiment: Would a violent premeditated act, with the overt purpose of killing American citizens to foment discord during time of war meet the legal threshold of treason established in Article Three of the U.S. Constitution?

        • I'm not a lawyer...

          ...but my instinct regarding your thought experiment is that it would be treason if and only if a connection can be made between the perpetrator and a foreign government.

          • $quot;Aid and comfort$quot; to a foreign enemy

            ...doesn't always imply direction by that enemy.  Neither the Doughfaces, nor their first cousins the Copperheads were directed by the Civil War Confederacy.

            If the substantive result, as defined by the courts, advances the cause of America's enemies in time of war - and I'm not saying that it is or will be so defined - we may be talking a distinction without a difference.

            That said, I'll defer to the Constitutional bar for expert opinion.

            • Nor were they traitors

              Doughfaces were northern politicians who defered to the South in their views.  Copperheads were opposed to the Civil War.  The most extreme discussed, but never engaged in violence.  My 21st century mind finds both views distasteful, but hardly treasonous.  I assume you don't believe that people who oppose a given war or see issues differently than the prevailing view are traitors.

      • $quot;Radical Muslems$quot; were initially blamed for OKC

        When the Oklahoma City attack first hit the airwaves, it was accompanied by claims that "radical Muslims" were the perpetrators. It took days for the media to figure out that the terrorists were home-grown right-wingers.

      • $quot;National Security$quot;

        When I took my oath of enlistment, I promised to "uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

        National security is domestic security. If someone is trying to destroy our government, it doesn't matter if they speak English or not.

  3. Over-reaction?

    New York Terror Plot 2004


    Los Angeles area Terror Plot 2005


    New York Terror Plot 2006


    New York Terror Plot 2007


    New York Terror Plot 2009



    Transatlantic-Detroit Terror Plot 2010


    New York Terror Plot 2010


    I think you and I will have to agree to disagree on this one.  You want people to think that the big bad US is over-responding to anything fun and full of "quirky playfulness."  I don't.  I see a country that needs to be alert to the danger that extremism of any ilk poses to it.  

    • Determined to miss the point

      Leaving aside your cherry-picked litany of plots (which itself reinforces my point about what we over-focus on and what we pay less attention to, as well as reinforcing my point about how very little harm has actually been done by this supposedly major threat compared to the amount of effort we spent on it), I think you undermine your attempt at seriousness by either not realizing, or pretending that you didn't know, that my comment about quirky things was clearly on the topic of "focusing on all the wrong things!" - I wasn't referring, in that remark, to terrorist plots, but to the fact that a large part of our response to terrorism has been to attack harmless-yet-wierd things that bear no resemblance to terrorist plots, such as a girl wearing a computer chip board on her shirt, or the Mooninite incident I explicitly noted.

      I find in your comment not an agreement to quietly disagree, but a profoundly insulting and simpleminded point of view that represents (because it so widely held) one of the biggest threats this country's future faces.  I hope I've expressed my anger well enough that you may understand where it is coming from, but it is real anger.  Terrorists, I don't really fear.  You, and what you represent, I do fear, and endeavor to struggle against.

      • Here's the thing

        You can take this anyway you like.  You may not feel the need to fear terrorists.  I happen to think extremists of any ilk are a threat, be they Islamists, rightwing wackjobs or left wingnuts....anyone, and I do mean anyone, who takes up arms, weapons, and the tools of terror to achieve a political goal is a threat to this country, its ideals, it's security and freedom.

        That said - I don't give a rat's patootie about your self-righteous "anger."  You have an unusual way of measuring "little harm" when one considers how many people, mostly civilians, have died at the hands of extremists in this country.  It's measured in thousands.    You cherry pick a couple of incidents where there was no threat...which pales mightily in comparison to my list of real threats that have resulted in convictions.  

        Sneer if you must, cherub, but public safety officials will do their best to keep everyone safe...even smug little snots like you.  They won't make everyone happy....but they will do their best.  

        • A different frame

          You wrote:

          Sneer if you must, cherub, but public safety officials will do their best to keep everyone safe...even smug little snots like you.  They won't make everyone happy....but they will do their best.  

          I think the rub happens when efforts to "keep everyone safe" inevitably conflict with the basic human rights and constitutional liberties that we hold dear. We surpassed that point somewhere around the time that we first passed the "Patriot Act".

          An unavoidable consequence of this conflict is our need to balance the risks that all of us are exposed to against the cost of sacrificing our basic freedoms. In my view, we have gone far too far into big-brother territory, especially when we are so inappropriately focused on Muslim terrorists and so utterly unconcerned about homegrown American crazies.

          Your list probably exaggerates the role of Muslim terrorists, and understates the role of everyone else. Our own home-grown right-wing religious crazies are not pursued with the same vigor as those with last names like "Siraj" and "el-Shafay". Thus, you won't find them when you compile lists such as in your initial comment.

          I would far prefer to see my government investigating and prosecuting the war criminals who formulated and executed official policies of abuse, kidnap, torture, and murder. I am far more concerned about the on-going casual disregard of flagrant abuses of privacy, fourth amendment rights, and progressive militarization of our culture than about any threat from Muslim terrorists.

          I don't want 19 year old children walking around public gatherings in military garb carrying high-power automatic weapons. I don't care whether you claim that they are "doing their best to keep me safe" or not — I don't want them there.

          • Ah....

            Different town....same old Tom.  Good to see you again.

            Call my list what you will...it is EXACTLY what you purport to want the government to do, in your words "I would far prefer to see my government investigating and prosecuting the war criminals who formulated and executed official policies of abuse, kidnap, torture, and murder."  It is a list that had identified threats and convictions of extremists who "formulated and attempted to execute policies of murder."  I'm not sure how one goes about discerning "official" policies of abuse, kidnap, torture and murder...but nonetheless, there are extremists are engaged in trying to murder and torture.  Right wing, left wing, whatever religion - we can't afford to be naive.  And you know as well as I do that this Administration takes the threat of right wing extremists very seriously.  http://www.washingtontimes.com...

            As for your concern about the "casual disregard" for freedoms...I guess you need to take that up with our Democratic president and his handpicked appointees and advisors.  Of course, in their defense, they're openly criticized when they err on the side of freedom anyway, so it's "damned if you do, damned if you don't."  The reason we have the extra love at the airport is due to the ever-evolving ability of extremists to evade detection with their explosives.  


            We would be stupid if we ignored it.  Perhaps if we had truly paid attention after the first bombing at the Towers in 1993, perhaps there wouldn't have been a second.  The murder of 3,000 people, most civilians, and the continuing threats (see list) nearly every year demands vigilance and I think public safety officials (federal, state, municipal) are doing what they can.  Even the T has their "see something, say something" program.  Is this an over-response, given that that extremists target public transportation all over the world, most notably the UK and Russia.  I think not. http://travel.state.gov/travel...

            And just for clarity - what public gathering did you participate in that had 19-year old children in military garb with high power automatic weapons or is this your nightmare scenario?  

      • And one more thing...

        The event that changed the way we access the Capitol Building was the shooting and killing of 2 DC Capitol guards by a very disturbed, mentally unstable man in 1998.  


        It was after this event that the Capitol instituted security measures, which until that point, had been fairly non-existent apart from a few guards.  Although tragic, the event helped officials get smarter about their gaps in security, regardless of where the threat came from.  

        You may not care for the priorities of public safety officials, but it generally takes one terrible tragedy to make most people up.  Evidently, not you...but most people.  

  4. Classy

    Promote a discussion about a racially motivated terrorist attempt by including a snide comment about a hysterical reaction to a prank.  Maybe a thread about Columbine could be accompanied by a graphic of a clown getting pied in the face.

    sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
    • It's part of the response

      That's my point: Our hysterical reactions to pranks are a big part of our national overreaction to terrorism.  Your dismissal of that connection is itself snide, but unlike mine, I can't see why you're doing it.

      • It's conflating two seperate events

        And thereby introducing some equivalency.   The Men from Mars scare is qualitatively different than an aborted attack.

        sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
        • Maybe so -

          but I don't think it's Cos doing the conflating. The BPD reacted as though the Mooninites were a terrorist threat. The MSP reacted as though a college student's "art installation" sweatshirt was a terrorist threat. They're the ones diluting the seriousness of real threats.  

  5. Non Muslims don't fit the script. (Not yet.)

    Since before the collapse of the WTC towers we've been told to fear Muslim people. The government targeted Al Qaida and the Taliban, formerly supported by US funds, as the perpetrators as the Towers were yet to fall. Maybe they were responsible. Maybe not. The story of German troops dressing as Poles to attack German positions to start WW2 still rolls around in my head.

    But true or not, our government was set to demonize a group of people through the Department of Homeland Security. This time it isn't Japanese. It's Muslims. Any information to the contrary just doesn't count. The government has to focus the people's attention on a clear target. As I write this, Congressman King, a former IRA supporter, now heads the investigation into "Muslim Terrorism"

    Once they finish beating the drum for action against Muslims, who will be next in line? You?

    "You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do."  --Anne Lamott

    • I'm pretty sure al-qaeda took responsiblity for 9/11

      Paranoid much?

      • First denied.

        Which would be odd for a terrorist organization to deny terror acts. Then an underling supposedly admits to the attack. The FBI's 10 most wanted doesn't mention the WTC as an act directed by bin Laden. I don't know what the truth is. Because the government people say it doesn't make it so.

        I wasn't always so paranoid. I believed the government when we were told nuclear testing was safe. I believed the Maddox and Turner Joy were attacked on the high seas by the North Vietnamese. I believed we were in Vietnam to help the people. I started to doubt when a president had to tell us he was "not a crook". By the end of the 20th century I got a bit paranoid. I even doubt Saddam had nukes.

        What is an opposite of paranoid?



        "Only the paranoid survive." --Andy Grove

        • Just saying...

          ...you sometimes come across as only slightly saner than Lasthorseman:)

          • I comment whilst under stress.

            I must wait 'til the staff vacate the nurses' station, then creep in and type like a house afire before they come back. Right now the whole staff is trying to hold down Jack Torrance so they can sedate him. (He's always this way.)  

            Opps, I hear the footsteps coming back down the hall.  Gotta go.

            "Perhaps a lunatic was simply a minority of one."  --George Orwell  

          • kirth must really disagree...

            ...or not notice the smiley at the end indicating some lightness to my comment.

            • Indeed.

              Gave me zeros.  It's all good though.  There are "none so blind as those who will not see."

              • You earned a zero

                If you're talking about this comment, where in response to someone disagreeing with you, you rolled out condescension and insults. Keep it up. It says a lot about you.

                • Of course

                  The original post and follow up commentary from Cos wasn't insulting or condescending in the least....only if you're a fencepost.  

                  • In fact, it was not

                    He did not call you names, as you did him. He addressed your POV and arguments. That he called your POV "simple-minded" is in no way on a par with your calling him "cherub" and "smug little snot." That you apparently don't see the difference is all the more telling.

                    Of course, you take the opportunity to start calling me names, too. Classy.

                    • So clever

                      and so willing to excuse the offensive to support a weak argument.  You're going to need steel beams, laddie, to support that one.  You two must be "related."  Bless your heart.

            • Yes

              I really disagree. If you insult someone, it's not much less of an insult if you're smiling when you do it. We get enough insult from the Others here; you don't need to further cheapen the discourse.

              • Well...

                ...HLN does have some rather "interesting" takes sometimes, and they DO at least occasionally remind me of Lasthorseman.

              • You mean this $quot;discourse$quot;

                I'm not sure anything could cheapen it any further:

                Our national reaction to terrorism is so far beyond fucked up, calling it fucked up is a compliment.  Terrorism in the US is extremely rare, and kills far fewer people than many everyday things like car accidents, smoking, and poor health care.  Yet it has us worked up into a frenzy... focusing on all the wrong things!

                I'm the wife of a firefighter....I'm originally from NYC. I had family running for their lives on 9/11.  Of course I find rubbish like this offensive.  and really, how cute - profanity.  By all means, we need to protect this level of discourse, eh Kirth?  

                And no apologies for calling out this slightly warmed over, left-over, rerun, heard it all before drivel from a wannabe member of the faux intelligentsia set....for what it is.  

    • Please don't do that

      Maybe they were responsible. Maybe not.

      I want to distance myself from this sort of remark unequivocally.

      There is absolutely no doubt, not even a tiny sliver, that 9/11 was carried out by al Qaeda, and motivated by their extremist ideology.  Mixing remarks casting doubt on that, with discussions about how we shouldn't unfairly target all Muslims for al Qaeda's sins, is harmful to the cause of not unfairly targeting all Muslims for al Qaeda's sins.  I urge you to not do so.

      • I understand your concern.

        Many people like neatly wrapped packages of good & evil situations. Stories wrapped up in 60 minutes minus the commercial breaks. Good people, bad people as easily identified as the characters in a Disney animation.

        Some people have to question. Maybe it's a curse.

        So much easier to accept.

        "Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it"  --Adolf Hitler

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Thu 30 Mar 8:36 PM