Boston Marathon Bombing

The President(s) Who Cried Wolf

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White House stream

What to make of an intensely jarring week of news, in which terrorists killed at least four people in Boston and injured more than 100 others, a fertilizer-plant explosion ripped apart the sweet little Czech town of West, Texas, and President Barack Obama and his supporters screamed out a collective "Shame on you!" in response to Congress voting down a series of gun control measures?

I think there's one element that all three events have in common. Compared to the nightmare-world freakout of 9/11—with its four hijacked planes, anthrax attacks, 9/14 Authorization of the Use of Military Force, PATRIOT Act, war, and intense, prolonged anxiety—the unsettling events of this past week have brought forth a surprising, cross-partisan, and underappreciated exhortation to maybe calm the hell down before doing anything we might regret later.

I don't recall the great terrorism/security contextualizer Bruce Schneier being a go-to expert during the George W. Bush era of the GWOT (except in the pages of Reason, of course), but he's all over the damned place this week: Washington Post, The Atlantic, and so on. Twitter, while full of the usual partisan idiocy and gun-jumping, has also featured a huge amount of pushback against premature assertions and point-scoring (if anything, my feed during the initial Boston Marathon bombing erred too much on the side of stifling speech in the named of crowd-sourced Twitter etiquette).

What does this have to do with President Obama's petulant scolding of Congress and the rest of us who didn't support his long-preferred gun control measures? Well, like 9/11 itself and plenty of tragedies since, the president of the United States attempted to use raw (and understandable) emotion to ram through legislation that probably wouldn't have affected the underlying crime and in any case would expand government power and restrict individual liberty.

But after nearly a dozen years of this kind of governance-as-crisis-response, Americans seem to be in on, and weary of, the con. A Reason-Rupe Poll from January found 52 percent believing that elected officials were exploiting Sandy Hook for political gain. Other polls have shown public opinion on guns staying relatively stable in the wake of the deadly shooting and its subsequent high-profile politics. When Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) attempted to wave away Sen. Rand Paul's epic filibuster by scolding his colleagues for "no longer apparently think[ing] we're at war," an entire nation pointed and laughed. It's hard to imagine this act of foreign-born violence leading to no-really-I'm-serious defenses of nationality-based internment.

This sense of increasing national sanity could well evaporate if it turns out that the West, Texas tragedy was intentional. But my admittedly anecdotal impression is that after 11+ years of pretty damned crappy results, Americans have become deservedly skeptical of government claims that we MUST DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW. It's a shame, though no surprise, that a president who came into office campaigning against the excesses of post-9/11 freakouts would simply graft his predecessor's M.O. of constant panic—down to the "if we can save just one life" trope—onto any number of suspicious legislative packages.

I talked about some of these issues Wednesday on Fox Business Network:

NEXT: Gun Control Legislation, Boston Bombing Spurs Run on Ammo

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  1. And of course the biggest tragedy of the week, the lack of alt text

    1. I’m not good without the writing staff but here goes:

      The brightest of those three took a bullet to the brain.

      1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job Ive had. Last Monday I got a new Alfa Romeo from bringing in $7778. I started this 9 months ago and practically straight away started making more than $83 per hour. I work through this link, http://www.g00.me/Work

    2. They’ve been really bad. Even Welch and Suderman, both of whom were so great in the past.

    3. The look on Biden’s face suggests Giffords did, in fact, pull the president’s finger.

      1. He was his usual Smiling Joe self, when he noticed one of his advisers trying to let him know this was a solemn occasion by pulling a sad face. Monkey see…

    4. I’m not normally a huge “Where’s the alt-text” guy, but that picture fucking SCREAMED for some.

  2. (uh, Matt: “(expect for in the pages of Reason, of course))
    Other than that, I can only hope. The shoot-down of (what was credited to) Gifford in the WSJ was refreshing.

    1. Thanks!

  3. Never. Let. A. Good. Crisis. Go. To. Waste.

    Power hungry scumbags will always think this way, so the last number of years should be a surprise to no one. And humans, as a general rule, get accustomed to things. Including fearmongering. So they’ll just have to come up with a new power hungry scumbag tactic.

    1. Of course they will. The problem is they got greedy. You can only emotionally blackmail people so much before the blackmail starts to lose its effect. They were not smart enough to figure that out. So they have used the “we must do something” and “never again” lines so many times, people just tune them out.

      You can see the same thing happening with the racism charge. For about twenty years being called a racist was so serious and so detrimental that it ended any conversation. After four years of calling anyone who had any criticism of Obama a racist, no one really cares anymore.

      1. It’s the one true and utter failing of these fuckers: they cannot help but overdo it. Thank Jeebus they have that weakness.

        1. I mentioned this earlier today in a Bloomberg media quote about the people’s will be overturned when the gun control bill got killed: These statists, particularly of the leftist variety, claim to speak for the people and to know their will. They’ve gotten away with that mostly by manipulating people into thinking they agree or that a majority agrees.

          But what happens when people realize that’s not true? The mask has come off so much that I think the next step really has to be an outright coup.

          1. I think that is why the media hates its increasing irrelevance: they no longer get to decide the terms of debate in this country

            1. ^This. It isn’t 1994 any more. When the anti-gun folks demanded a “dialogue” they forgot we have this internet thingy that lets us talk back.

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              (Go to site and open “Home” for details)

          2. That is what worries me. I think they are going to get killed in the 2014 midterms. And what if the Republicans manage to stumble to a win in 2016. A big if I know. But what happens when the leftists after all of the euphoria of 08, are totally out of power just 8 years later? My guess is a lot of them will give up on the entire Democratic process altogether. And that won’t end well.

            1. The open contempt for liberty and restraint makes it hard not to think that some sort of more flagrant power grab won’t come if the scam stops working. Which, of course, it will. If nothing else, the slowing economy will cause that.

              1. My worry is that if fear stops working, they will try to go full on class war. Like,violent, riots in the streets style

                1. They have wet dreams about that. Why do you think they are so keen on gun control? The mob only works if the populace is unarmed.

                  1. My worry is that if fear stops working, they will try to go full on class war. Like,violent, riots in the streets style

                    I had thought we were going to see that, right after that SEIU protest outside that BofA lawyer’s house. The one where the cops not only did nothing to stop the rioters from trespassing, but actually escorted them to the property.

                    And then that was it; the mob didn’t try it again. Lucky.

                    1. I had thought we were going to see that, right after that SEIU protest outside that BofA lawyer’s house.

                      I kind of have to wonder if maybe they thought that was going to spark some kind of mass uprising. IOW other like minded groups would stage similar “protests” outside of the homes of other bank executives and basically start a “full Bolshevik” uprising, and when that didn’t happen they figured they better slink back into the woodwork and bide their time a little longer.

                    2. I kind of have to wonder if maybe they thought that was going to spark some kind of mass uprising.

                      Could be. Mobs are going to mob—that’s what they do—but the most important part of that story for me was the active connivance by the police on the part of the protesters. We don’t have large scale political violence in this country for many reasons, but a big one is that we trust the cops to do their jobs and keep order without regard for the political views of the criminals. When the cops start picking sides, people feel that the State can’t protect them, and they start taking force into their own hands. That’s a very bad path to head down.

                      Re your last point, I think they come out of the woodwork when the money spigot dries up. A saving grace is that we will get to see how Europe handles it (or not) before we have to.

              2. Economic catastrophe has been an excuse used to sieze power by leftists in the past. And we are certainly careening toward one at full speed.

                Coincidence?

                1. Except that it’s getting clearer even to our dumber citizens that they’re the ones driving the economy off the cliff.

            2. They’ll fragment, scatter like roaches, reconvene and rehabilitate some flavor of progressivism for 2018. We tried the New New Deal in 2008, so maybe the catchphrase of the 2020 season will be the “Greater” Society. Because, and let’s be honest, even with a republican supermajority let’s not expect an economic turnabout.

              Hopefully I’ll be eating these words in six years.

              1. The problem for the GOP, when they take power again, is twofold: (1) they’re statist, socialist fucks, too, and (2) the steps needed to turn things around will almost certainly mean electoral problems for a few years, because those steps will be painful.

                1. And precisely why I can’t see anything remotely laissez faire undertaken by either political party (to the extent that a hands-off policy toward the economy can be classified an undertaking), whatever the GOP’s supposed free market bona fides. Some republican governers and senators make a show of dismantling unions and untangling bureaucratic maresnests, but as a party they’re still Statist control freaks. And that’s compounded by the inevitable reversals after the next election.

                2. The main problem for Republicans is that they’ll take a Second Amendment electorial slaughter of Democrats as a “mandate” to jump back on their anti-gay anti-abortion anti-drug anti-etc “family values” crusade.

                  Which will backfire, again.

      2. I think its because they nostalgically look at the other times a crises got them what they wanted (New Deal, War on Drugs, drinking at 21, Great Society). The difference is that with those criseses, there were only a handful of newspapers, tv stations, etc. They dictated what was an acceptable view to hold on crises es, and they,as members of the elite, thought more statism and more power for their fellow elites.

        With gun control, all the establishment media has been telling us is how evil and scary and crazy guns and gun owners are. But they no longer control the discourse because gun owners have the internet and can organize easily and make their case directly. Social media has also helped this- people believe their buddies more than papers

        1. That is a big part of it. The best way to succeed if you hold a minority view is to convince the majority they are not the majority. That is a lot of what the media does for the Left. They try to set conventional wisdom and the scope of mainstream thought so that anyone who is outside of that thinks they are alone and out of step, even if in reality they are not. The internet allows people of like minds to realize they are not alone and greatly diminishes the media’s power to do that.

          1. They try to set conventional wisdom and the scope of mainstream thought so that anyone who is outside of that thinks they are alone and out of step, even if in reality they are not.

            Newsweek literally did this for years with their silly “conventional wisdom” chart that showed certain people or institutions going up, down, or sideways depending on what the editors wanted people to believe was the level of public support for them.

        2. Which crisis gave us the WoD, 21 drinking, and GS? Those were just the result of slow buildup of frustration.

          1. Johnson pretty much waved Kennedy’s bloody shirt, and the fact that EVERYONE knew it was the fault of evil right wingers, to win his election and get the majorities needed to pass GS programs. Hel, as I recall, recall, they even held up things like the Watts riots as evidence that we need to do something about poverty

          2. And the Watts Riots were often given as a justification for the need to do something about poverty.

          3. Which crisis gave us the WoD

            Reefer madness.

            21 drinking

            The drunk driving epidemic.

            Of course, both of those were bogus crises.

            The latter was at least somewhat real, but MADD handled it thru:

            1. Strengthening DUI laws
            2. Changing the culture so that drunk driving wasnt funny

            There was no need for the drinking age change too.

  4. But after nearly a dozen years of this kind of governance-as-crisis-response, Americans seem to be in on, and weary of, the con

    From your lips to God’s ears, Mr. Welch.

  5. The fertilizer plant explosion very much struck me as some sort of “industrial accident”, so I’ll definitely be surprised if it was an intentional act. Fire starts in a place with highly-volatile materials…and then gets to the materials? Happens….not all the time, but it happens. Grain silo explosions from heat, the oil refinery explosion in TX a while back (BP IIRC??)…shit happens.

    Now, if i’m wrong, well….then….shit.

    We’ll see.

    PS Fuck Obama. I’m so far past not being able to listen to him. Unfortunately caught a number of his duplicitous and straw man statements this week – dude’s just outright lying, constantly. LYING. Not stretching it – not saying things that are suject to interpretation – LYING. Fuck Obama.

    1. Well, at least his heart’s in the wrong place.

      1. his head too, right up his enormous asshole

    2. Yeah. Has there been any serious suggestion that this was intentional?

      Even then, I would assume insurance scam gone wrong or something

    3. Obama ni swahili kwa mwongo.

    4. Fire starts in a place with highly-volatile materials…and then gets to the materials? Happens….not all the time, but it happens.

      Remember the Pepcon solid rocket fuel plant explosion?

      IIRC, that plant was producing Ammonion Perchlorate while the plant in TX was producing Ammonium Nitrate. Both are highly explosive, of course.

      1. Discovery managed to produce a halfway watchable show not starring Anthony Bourdain.

    5. Fire starts in a place with highly-volatile materials…and then gets to the materials? Happens….not all the time, but it happens.

      It happened, in Texas, exactly 65 years and one day earlier, when a ship loaded with fertilizer blew up in Texas City.
      http://www.khou.com/news/local…..11931.html

  6. Yeah, I wish. I think he vastly over-rates the voting public.

    1. Dammit that was supposed to be in response to Brett above.

  7. Oh, also, fuck Gabby Giffords and her shit stain fucktard husband and whoever’s writing her shitty “speeches” (cause it ain’t brain-damaged her).

    We need to hear your prattling nonsense like we need a…hole in the head. Fuck you, you useless cunt.

    1. TIWTANFL!

      /Ken Schultz

      1. ?? I can’t even get Bing or Google to tell me…

        “That Is What They….Are…Not..Florida…Lucy…”

        1. This is why there are no…

          1. duh – thank you 🙂

            1. I figured it really ought to be acronymed by this point, like TANSTAAFL or TEOTWAWKI.

              1. Very good point

                *logs into memory banks*

    2. I heard Gabby banks $6320 a week working from home.

      1. I wish SugarFree would write some pron about Barney Frank hate fucking the hole in her head, and how the cum gradually heals the wound….

        Jesus, what have I become…

        *retreats in horror*

        1. You have become a self-squeezing orange. You are complete.

          1. Self-licking ice cream cone?

            1. And people say I have a dirty mind. Just being so jealous of your pets.

              1. If it’s filth you wish to see,
                then just call up SugarFree.
                Experience his perversion,
                and witness your conversion
                to endless, gruesome, perfidy.

                1. lalalalalalalala

            2. BTW, LTC John, were you affected by the flooding? Hope not.

      2. no it’s from renting out the large vacant volume bewteen her ears

    3. Given what happened to her and the state she’s in, I’m not going to hold her responsible for what she says or does at this point. It’s a miracle she’s even still alive.

      The people who are exploiting her on the other hand? The scum of the earth.

      1. I keep asking this–wasn’t she pretty much pro-gun rights before she was shot? I could swear that was the case.

        1. That’s what I thought too, but I’m not certain.

        2. She was. Sadly, Loughner obviously struck the “logic” portion of her brain.

      2. This. I’d be ashamed to trot my injured, brain-damaged wife out in front of the world as some kind of political prop. How her husband sleeps at night is beyond me.

        1. On top of a pile of money, with many beautiful ladies.

        2. Probably on a big pile of money surrounded by many beautiful ladies.

          1. I was first. You suck.

            1. Well, yours was more accurate.

      3. I remember how pissed off I was when her husband and Wasserman-Schultz trucked her out to do the theatrical final vote that got the debt ceiling raised.

        Here’s Giffords, being applauded like a rock star for showing up to cast a vote for further fiscal shenanigans, and she’s shaking and swaying like she’s about to topple over any second from a lack of equilibrium. Disgusting exploitation of a woman who’s health clearly wasn’t good, all to make the fuckers in the House feel better about themselves, especially that poodle-haired yenta DWS.

  8. We get, the guy’s a fucking lying, decietful parasite. Report on something else all fucking ready.

    1. SRSLY, why is a political news site wasting so many pixels reporting on the President? gall.

    2. They spent all summer toecutting Mitt Romney, aren’t you happy?

      1. Tulpa – he knows who I am. I am the ROMNIAC! I am the chosen one. The mighty hand of vengeance, sent down to strike the unroadworthy! I’m hotter than a rollin’ dice. Step right up, chum, and watch the kid lay down the rubber road, ride to freedom!

        1. I’m a fuel-injected, non-caffeinated suicide machine!

          1. I am the night rydah!

    3. Sadzzzzz!

  9. When one attempts to lead with fearmongering, distractions, and lies, they are not a leader, they are an opportunist.

    We do not have a leader, we have an opportunist in chief.

    When, oh when do the impeachment proceedings begin?

    1. Leading by fearmonger and distractions only works so long. As people get used to the distractions, you have to come up with more and more of them until eventually people just tune you out.

      1. My only worry is that in less… rights respecting… regimes is that when the fear mongering fails, they tend to start stuff like the Cultural revolution

    2. When the Master governs, the people
      are hardly aware that he exists.
      Next best is a leader who is loved.
      Next, one who is feared.
      The worst is one who is despised.

      If you don’t trust the people,
      you make them untrustworthy.

      The Master doesn’t talk, he acts.
      When his work is done,
      the people say, “Amazing:
      we did it, all by ourselves!”

      – Lao-tzu

      1. Worst. Sonnet. Ever.

  10. “Twitter, while full of the usual partisan idiocy and gun-jumping, has also featured a huge amount of pushback against premature assertions and point-scoring”

    Perhaps gassy, bloviating media idiots have grown weary of having their asses handed to them after years of jumping the gun on breaking news items only to turn out to be exactly wrong once the facts emerge.

    Nah, that can’t be it.

    1. As long as you get the narrative right, the facts don’t matter.

      1. They don’t even care about getting the narrative right.

        BELIEVING and FEELING the right things, and WANTING the right things – for others, of course. That’s the thing.

    2. Some asshole on another forum I visit wanted the guy with the phony Dzhokar Tsarnaev Twitter account arrested.

      The last time I mentioned Peelian principles on that board, most of the posters reacted as though I’m some sort of freak.

      1. I imagine because they believe, with glassy-eyed reverence, that Peel’s principles are already SOP for officers. Except for a few bad apples. And anyone who suggests otherwise is a bomb-throwing anarchist.

  11. 9/11 was so bad, and the first of its kind so bad for a generation, that subsequent bad things can’t freak us out like that. There’s really only one thing that can be worse than 9/11 on the freakout-worthy scale, and that’s an alien attack.

    1. Of course you went FULL ROLAND EMMERICH. Of course you did. You are, honestly, worse than Michael Bay.

      1. The fact that it’s possible for you to call someone worse than Michael Bay may be worse on the freakout-worthy scale than an alien attack.

      2. Roland Emmerich would have been me talking about 2012. And don’t get me wrong, when that year rolls around and the world ends, I’ll be laughing all the way to Earth’s molten core.

    2. No, a nuke or a chemical attach would freak us out worse. And really what happened in Boston is not new. Lone nuts have been planting improvised bombs in public places since the anarchists in the 19th Century. Every few years some loser blows a gasket and does it. This attack is exactly, down to the type of bomb, what Bill Ayers wanted to do at a Soldier’s dance at Fort Dix.

      1. Even a Fukushima/Chernobyl-style nuclear accident might freak us out worse than 9/11. People are already irrationally terrified of newcular radiation.

      2. I think John is right. Also, the Boston Marathon bombing joins other examples of domestic terrorism. Here are two examples:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wall_Street_bombing

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L…..es_bombing

      3. Are you saying that aliens are planning a nuke or chemical attack on the United States? Do you have information about this? If you see something, say something.

        1. It’s the only way to be sure.

    3. HITLER!!!
      HITLER!!!!!

      YEAH, I SAID IT!

    4. Pshaw. We’ll just hack their mothership.

      1. What do we do if they use completely alien protocols and hardware?

        1. Not likely.

    5. This reminds me. Don’t ever read “Out of the Dark”. Fucking trash. I picked it up (for free, thank god) and read it without reading any reviews. Big mistake.

    6. There’s really only one thing that can be worse than 9/11 on the freakout-worthy scale, and that’s an alien attack.

      9/11 times 2356.

  12. Cuomo says:

    “It’s a terrible situation in Boston. And, unfortunately, ? one gets the sense that this is more reflective of the ‘new normal,’ if you will,” he explained. “So much of society is changing so rapidly. We talk about a ‘new normal’ when it comes t0 climate change and adjusting to a change in the weather patterns. ‘New normal’ when it comes to public security in a post-9/11 world. Where these random acts of violence, which at one time were implausible, now seem all-too-frequent.”

    Would have been quicker and easier to just say “I’m an idiot who believes stupid bullshit.”

    1. He really seems to be stupid. Not mistaken or craven, but low IQ, never would have graduated junior college had his dad not been governor stupid.

      1. The tomato doesn’t fall too far from the vine.

      2. I believe you are correct. Stoopid Cooomow.

        1. Sorry I screwed up the pronunciation.

      3. He’s not stupid, he just hired Gabbi Giffords as his speechwriter.

        1. And that proves his intelligence how?

          1. Well, the rhetoric of Brain-Dead Gabbi’s “ME GAB-BEE. ME NO LIKE GUH..GUH…NO LIKE GUN!” is an improvement over the Mumbler-in-Chief.

    2. That’s that the dumbest thing I’ve heard said about this yet. That’s quite an accomplishment.

  13. Am I the only one who didn’t experience “intense, prolonged anxiety” after 9/11? The only thing to be anxious about at that time was government overreach, but I wasn’t paying enough attention to politics back then for it to really sink in.

    1. No you are not. I was pissed off about 9-11 But I didn’t feel any anxiety. The only person I know who had real anxiety was a friend who was literally next door to the WTC and watched the building collapse being caught in the dust cloud. But she had a pretty good reason, PTSD and all.

      1. That’s understandable. No matter how rational a person is it’s going to be hard to move on from being that close to something so traumatic. But you can easily rationalize your way past something you saw on TV.

        1. Exactly. Being in real danger does affect you afterwards. Watching something on TV, not so much.

      2. I worked with a guy who freaked out when we heard the 9/11 news. He was afraid that we would be hit with a plane as well and I was all like, yeah, the WTC in NY, the Pentagon in DC and the Hennepin Center for the Arts in Minneapolis. Riiiiight…

        1. Same, except I was in the Strawberry Capital of the World, Plant City, FL.

          Better evacuate the school and send everyone to the football field in the blistering hot Florida September sun… dem terrorists are gonna crash into the strawberry fields next!

    2. *raises hand*

      I was PISSED for a couple weeks. Then it subsided.

      “anxiety?”

      None. Never.

      1. Angry and a little concerned about how we’d react. In some ways, not as bad as I feared; in some ways, much worse.

    3. You are not. I experienced intense anxiety until finally getting through to a family member and make sure they were all okay (my dad was at the Javits Center that morning). I was living out of the country at the time and was completely shocked, though, when I would return every few months and find out that many other people apparently were experiencing such anxiety. I was like uh, guys, that was like, months ago.

    4. It only took me about three days before I started feeling rage toward the people freaking out.

      The NCAA basically left it up to the various conferences whether they were going to have their football games that weekend. I would have been willing to watch college football, since I didn’t have cable at the time and was sick of the news coverage on broadcast TV. Most of the conferences decided not to play, except for the SEC. That is, until the right thinkers in the media had a conniption fit and bullied the SEC into canceling its games.

      I wanted to get back to normal, and there were people who actively wanted to prevent it.

    5. If you didn’t know anyone who was actually killed in 9-11 or were not actually there and placed in danger that day, isn’t it in some ways kind of disrespectful to the actual victims to claim some kind of long term effects because of it?

      1. Like the kids who always come out on the local news claiming a close connection to the latest high school car crash fatality when really all they did was bully or ignore him?

    6. I was in rural northern Vermont. I was pissed, but not anxious. No one was going to bother attacking there.

    7. Well i was for a bit, but I was about 13, was from a community where everyone worked in NYC,and knew kids who lost their parents on 9/11

      1. Then you were connected with the tragedy.

    8. The problem is not an individual or group of individuals having anxiety about a traumatic experience, even 12 years later. The problem is that those people force others to feel the same anxiety by not allowing people to move on with their lives.

      The majority of society should not have to bend over backwards so that an anxious few feel safer.

  14. Violent Islamists Matt Welch. Violent Islamists. Get your facts straight.

    Thank you.

    1. Fuck off, idiot.

      1. How am I an idiot again. Why don’t you get very specific.

    2. Violent Islamists

      What? Are you saying that this is your bands name?

      1. Pretty sure it’s “Idiot Bigots”

        1. Come again? Who am I bigHow am I an idiot?
          oted against?

          1. Type harder! Type angrier! Moron.

            1. I’m texting, not typing. Still waiting for some kind of cogent argument from you.

              As of now you argue like a progressive.

              1. I’m texting, not typing.

                ?

                Maybe I’m just an old man, but what’s the difference?

                1. There’s a big difference! GRRRR! HATE MUSLIMS! SO ANGRY!!!

                  1. What are you talking about? I don’t hate Muslims. Again, you argue like a progressive. Just call him a hateful bigot. Pitiful.

                2. Freaking phone technology?

                  1. You’re still pressing keys though, right?

                    1. IT’S DIFFERENT!

                      Also – MOOOOOOOOOOOOZLMSSZZZZ

                    2. Well if it is a phone he could be dictating into it

  15. It would be nice if people would just come to terms with the fact that most events don’t have any greater meaning. Most events are what they are. Whenever something really bad happens, the worst part about it is the pointlessness of it. People naturally want to find some kind of positive to take from any bad event. Some kind of meaning and why that they can carry forward. This allows them to tell themselves “sure that was terrible, but we learned (X) because of it and we are better people for that even if the event was horrible”. Well the fact is most events are not like that. Most tragedies and especially the worst are pointless utterly unexplainable.

    Newtown is a great example of this. There are not greater lessons to be learned. Those kids’ deaths will never serve any higher purpose or being anything but a completely pointless and horrible tragedy. And that, if you do not have any personal connection to the kids, is the worst part about the entire thing. And people hate that and try to pretend it is not true.

    1. Which is why they are so pleased to work themselves into such a frenzy… so that they can feel good about feeling bad.

    2. Some of your longer rants about what people feel/think are not very accurate, but this one seems pretty close to the mark.

      1. I guess a backhanded compliment is better than no compliment. I think.

        1. Well, at least I don’t think they are all just you attacking liberals.

    3. Newtown is a great example of this. There are not greater lessons to be learned. Those kids’ deaths will never serve any higher purpose or being anything but a completely pointless and horrible tragedy.

      Exactly what John Kerry is saying about Benghazi; and just as invalid.

      If I slip and fall in my kitchen and get a bump on my head, I’m going to try to figure out how to prevent that from happening again. Are you insinuating that 20 dead children is less of a problem than me getting a bump on my head?

      Maybe some of the proposed solutions will be (a) ineffective, or (b) likely to produce worse problems than they solve. But please don’t posture and say there’s no problem with what happened in Newtown.

      1. But please don’t posture and say there’s no problem with what happened in Newtown.

        There was a big problem at Newtown. His name was Adam Lanza and he is dead. And there were no breakdowns in the system that caused it other than our inability to accurately predict which freak is going to go bizerk and start killing people.

        In contrast, the Feds leaving American diplomats to die because rescuing them would create political embarrassment during an election, does seem to be a problem and the sources of that problem are unlike Adam Lanza are alive and well and some in positions of power.

        Just because some or even most tragedies are pointless and unexplainable, doesn’t mean all tragedies are.

        1. See, you’re going into deep detail about the Bengazi thing and ferreting out motivations that are not entirely agreed upon, which is good. You’re not saying “the problem was the people who fired the rockets and breached the embassy and that’s it” as you are with Newtown.

          The problem is that a mentally deranged kid (who was known to be mentally deranged by people around him) got ahold of some seriously powerful weapons, and met no resistance at the school he targeted. There are mentally deranged kids still out there, they’re not all dead; how can we prevent one of them from doing similarly?

          Now, after a thorough analysis it may be concluded that any solution to this problem would cause worse problems. BUT IT IS A PROBLEM.

          1. There are mentally deranged kids still out there, they’re not all dead; how can we prevent one of them from doing similarly?

            No, the question actually is “Are the actions needed to prevent one of them from doing similarly too injurious to our liberty to consider?”

          2. The problem is that a mentally deranged kid (who was known to be mentally deranged by people around him) got ahold of some seriously powerful weapons, and met no resistance at the school he targeted. There are mentally deranged kids still out there, they’re not all dead; how can we prevent one of them from doing similarly?

            Not unless you know who they are. Again, there are no great lessons to be learned. And no one said there were great lessons to be learned from Bengazi. There are just living breathing people who ought to be held accountable for their failures.

            You are confusing “meaning” and larger lessons with “accountability”. And of course trolling.

            1. And of course trolling.

              Mostly this. Fuck you, tulip.

          3. ” You’re not saying “the problem was the people who fired the rockets and breached the embassy and that’s it” as you are with Newtown.”

            You are misdiagnosing the issue with Benghazi. The problem there was not that there was a successful attack on an American Consulate in an unstable nation, it was that US military and political officers had the capability to send aid in time to at least interfere if not thwart the attack and chose not to. In the future embassies of ours will be similarly attacked and there is nothing we could do to stop that, we can however hold out politicians to a standard that American lives come before political expediency.

            “There are mentally deranged kids still out there, they’re not all dead; how can we prevent one of them from doing similarly?”

            You can’t. Oh sure you could implement a lot of security theater and maybe even stop one or two specific attacks from happening, however you could not ever put a stop to the general threat and all the security in the world will not prevent future mass killings

          4. got ahold of some seriously powerful weapons

            By way of theft and murder, but please, continue pretending he went to the local gunshow and got them gift-wrapped on the way out.

            met no resistance at the school he targeted.

            Few murder victims are aware that they are about to become murder victims until it is too late for them to do anything about being murder victims.

            You’re setting the cart in front of the horse, Tulpy-poo.

            There are mentally deranged kids still out there, they’re not all dead

            And….?

            how can we prevent one of them from doing similarly?

            Summary execution, I suppose. Lebensunwertes Leben, right, Tulpa?

        2. “And there were no breakdowns in the system that caused it”

          Yes there were, John. The police were shorthanded that day, so instead of having a cop at the school like they usually do, they elected to have him try to catch speeders instead.

      2. The problem in Newtown was that the teachers weren’t armed…or anyone else in the school for that matter.

        1. There are issues with that solution as well.

          If Armed Teacher #1 engages Lanza from outside in the hallway, and Armed Teacher #2 arrives in the same hallway a few seconds later knowing nothing other than that someone is shooting people, how does Armed Teacher #2 approach Armed Teacher #1? It’s not like TV where everybody knows who the good guys are.

          1. That is some top-shelf dipshit right there.

            1. Isn’t his argument the same basic one that was trotted out at the beginning of states adopting CHLs? And has been shown to almost entirely not exist? In that example, at least, the CHL holders don’t know each other, so you can understand some confusion about who’s the bad guy. But in his example, don’t the two Armed Teachers work with each other, and not the stranger with the AR?

              Dude, hand the manager the baseball and go take a shower. It’s O.K.; you’ll troll us better on your next start.

              1. Blood in the streets!

          2. I’m just guessing here, but assuming that AT2 arrived at the *exact* moment of contact they would support the known collegue with a pistol versus a stranger with a rifle.

          3. If Armed Teacher #1 engages Lanza from outside in the hallway, and Armed Teacher #2 arrives in the same hallway a few seconds later knowing nothing other than that someone is shooting people, how does Armed Teacher #2 approach Armed Teacher #1? It’s not like TV where everybody knows who the good guys are.

            1. Shoot the person who is shooting unarmed teachers and kids.
            2. Don’t shoot anyone else.
            Duh.

  16. I dislike Bush and his governance as much as Obama and his but (please correct me if I’m wrong):

    his predecessor’s M.O. of constant panic?down to the “if we can save just one life” trope

    That trope strikes me as much more of a TEAM BLUE progressive sort of thing. Sure, Bush was a center-right progressive-leaning communitarian but did he, or anyone in his administration, or his press/pundit defenders ever actually say that?

    1. “If it saves just one life” was the chorus of torture apologists for the Bush administration.

      1. No. That is not true. The argument was that if it stops an attack which due to the increasingly lethal nature of terrorism could be thousands of lives.

        No one ever said “if it just saves one life”. In fact the argument was the opposite of that. It was that terrorism has gotten so deadly that the risk to life had gotten so high that risks that were once acceptable no longer were.

      2. First page of google results for the phrase is rightwingers mocking/parodying leftards for saying it.

    2. It’s especially bizarre given his nonchalant treatment of the lives lost in drone attacks.

    3. I didn’t review every use of variants on “if it saves just one life” but I can’t find a quote, or even someone other than Welsh, attributing this to the Bush Administration.I searched a date range of 9/11/2001-1/20/2009. It appears most common in anti-gun arguments followed by emotional appeals to some public health measure.

      Biden quoting Obama saying “if it saves just one life…”

  17. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. All the facts aren’t in yet. This new-found skepticism could be nothing more than a fart against the breeze.

    1. There are people on this board who are recovering victims of Steve Smith. I think it was pretty cruel of you to put that link up.

      1. You’re right.

        TRIGGER WARNING

      2. I bet you’d think differently if your kid got suspended from school for wearing a Steve Smith shirt.

      3. There are other people on this board who pine for the return of the warm embrace of STEVE SMITH

    2. Were I not pear-shaped I would totally roll out in the first one.

  18. I did notice, as I posted here a couple days ago, that all around the web, in the day of and after the bombing, most peoples biggest fear seemed to be that the government will over react to this, and start passing more civil liberty killing legislation. Even on the left, that seemed to be the case.

  19. I wish that I could believe that people are actually starting to wake up, but I fear that we Reasonoids are now starting to live in our own echo chamber… or maybe just that I have the misfortune to live in Taxachusetts where the political correctness remains that government can solve all of your problems and take good care of you.

    1. They really do believe that they’re leading the rest of the nation out of darkness.

      1. You can’t really expect snity from Lovecraft Country.

        1. *sanity

  20. Why is Biden making that “Somebody stoled my bike” face?

  21. “Americans seem to be in on, and weary of, the con. ”

    I think you mean “on to”, not “in on”, the con.

  22. Bloomberg seems quite happy to stick with their favorite go-to terrormonger* for “analysis” of every national security crisis.

    *I have blocked his name from my memory. every time they bring him on I change the channel.

  23. How does this theory square with the city-wide lockdown in Boston?

    1. That seemed to me to be an appropriate response to the immediate events.

      The issue would be if MY town went on lockdown b/c of what’s happening in Boston and environs.

      But the Boston area? I gotta go with Anon Bot on this one – “seems like a pretty solid plna to me, dude.”

  24. You have to admit it was pretty shocking to learn that there hadn’t been an inspection at the fertilizer plant in 20-odd years, and that OSHA, with a budget of $10 million, has virtually a ceremonial role in safety since it has no ability to get to even a decent fraction of hazardous workplaces on any kind of regular basis. Add that to the fact that nobody in West knew they were living next door to a massive bomb, and that story, at least, is a libertarian’s nightmare.

    1. Fuck you Krugman. Go back to your day job of deconstructing Rogoff-Reinhart.

    2. Gee if you weren’t fucking up health care, and adding 70,000 pages to the Federal Register annually, giving away Obama phones while delivering AR-15s to Mexican drug cartels maybe this would be an area where you and TEAM LIBERTARIAN might find common cause. But since all those things are just okie dokie with the pole smoking Okie I’m guessing not.

    3. Add that to the fact that nobody in West knew they were living next door to a massive bomb, and that story, at least, is a libertarian’s nightmare.

      Right, because libertarians are the ones who implemented the moral hazards of state-limited liability, and not the state. In a libertarian free market, businesses in dangerous industries would surely have no interest to self-regulate when the owners might lose every single penny they own due to an accident like this.

      1. Also, because industrial accidents never happened in, say, Soviet Russia…

    4. Sad Tony haz another Sad…

    5. Maybe if we weren’t spending 3.9 trillion dollars largely on wealth redistribution and warfare we’d have more money for effective safety regulation.

      This is what I love about liberals. You spend money on fucking everything, and it is then impossible for government to actually do the things that government is actually supposed to do.

      Then you blame your own incompetence on the opposition.

    6. And by the way, the Fire Department likely caused the explosion by spraying water on burning anhydrous ammonia for 20 minutes before the explosion. If the plant had just burned to the ground, the explosion probably wouldn’t have happened.

      So technically isn’t this a nightmare for statists who think well-intentioned government can fix any problems without side effects?

    7. Gee, how shocking that a government entity has no compelling reason to actually do its job. Guess how OSHA will be punished for failing. They’ll get a bigger budget and more power. If this company had been regulated by their insurance company or some other private inspector, everyone involved would be going bankrupt right about now.

    8. Here is their budget, Retard…

      In order to ensure that all employers provide safe workplaces to their employees, the FY 2012 budget request for OSHA is $583.4 million and 2,387 full-time equivalents (FTE), an increase of $24.8 million and 52 FTE over the FY 2010 level.

  25. the unsettling events of this past week have brought forth a surprising, cross-partisan, and underappreciated exhortation to maybe calm the hell down before doing anything we might regret later.

    Meanwhile, the Boston police are forcing everyone to cower in fear.

    Why legislate in a panic when they you impose police state martial law anytime you want.

  26. If you think Richard`s story is nice, , four weaks-ago my mom basically also made $4739 grafting a 20 hour week in their apartment and they’re best friend’s mom`s neighbour done this for 8-months and got a cheque for over $4739 part-time on their computer. the instructions from this site http://www.wow65.com
    (Go to site and open “Home” for details)

    1. they’re best friend’s mom`s neighbour

      Anonbot’s becoming its own parody.

      Oh, the self-referentiality…

  27. up to I saw the bank draft that said $7146, I accept that…my… brother woz actualie bringing in money parttime from there new laptop.. there uncle has been doing this for less than eight months and at present cleared the loans on their villa and bought a great Lancia Straton. we looked here,
    http://www.big76.com

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