Schools

Ahmed Muhamed's Arrest: Clock Kid Truthers Miss the Point

Police response was unjustified no matter what.

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Dallas Morning News

Various voices on the right (and some on the left) are attempting to poke holes in the prevailing narrative that 14-year-old Muslim student Ahmed Muhamed was wrongly detained for bringing a homemade clock to school. Their criticisms—which smack of conspiracy—gained at least a semi-respectable adherent in left-leaning atheist intellectual Richard Dawkins, who humored the idea that Ahmed hadn't really invented a clock in series of Tweets:

Whether Ahmed "invented" a clock or merely reassembled the various components of what was already a clock is really beside the point. Frankly, it just doesn't matter. Of course a 14-year-old is going to use the word "invention" a little more loosely than the U.S. Patent Office. The relevant question is whether the school and police responses to the clock were appropriate—and they weren't, regardless of the boy's intentions with the clock. (Dawkins later clarified in subsequent tweets that he though Ahmed's arrest was "undoubtedly wrongful.")

Others opined that Ahmed had some sinister ulterior motive and may have even orchestrated this incident on purpose. Less extreme versions of this story claim that at the very least, the family has capitalized on Ahmed's treatment: Ahmed's father is vocal about the injustices American Muslims have faced since 9/11, these people claim, and Ahmed's sister coached him on what to say and promoted his story on social media as an example of Islamophobia.

It's true, of course, that the consequences of this ordeal are largely favorable for Ahmed. President Obama invited him to the White House, Mark Zuckerberg invited him to Facebook headquarters, various engineering programs and internships are eager to help him, etc. etc. Ahmed will make out well after all this is done, it seems.

Still, none of these details—whether they are true, false, or something in-between—have anything to do with the rightness of arresting Ahmed in the first place.

None other than atheist lefty Bill Maher has been most bold in offering a very lukewarm endorsement of the school's actions. Unlike the other takes on Ahmed—which attempt to discredit him and his family without offering any information relevant to the actual incident—Maher's is at least worth addressing. He said on his most recent show, "The people at the school thought it might be a bomb perhaps because it looks exactly like a fucking bomb." Maher eventually chastised the police for getting it wrong and said they should apologize, but he pushed back against the notion that it was totally crazy for the school to worry about an Islamic terrorist attack:

"We arrest him, put a kid after school for a couple of hours. This is not the end of the world….I would love it if one of the adults who has talked to him would also say, 'You know what, what happened to you was wrong, but maybe one of the reason it happened to you is because in our religion, we were responsible for 9/11, the Madrid bombings, the London bombings…"

Maher acts like routinely arresting kids out of some misguided paranoia about domestic Islamic extremism, or school safety in general, is no big deal. It's difficult to overstate just how incorrect this thinking is. Not every wrongfully detained high schooler is lucky enough to have his or her outrageous treatment immediately recognized by the media as such and parlay that into an invitation to the White House. In a great many cases, kids who break some silly rule, or cause a scene because they brought something to school that an overly cautious administrator construed as a lookalike weapon, are suspended, expelled, and even arrested, and that's it—no national blowback, just a young life ruined.

It's not so easy for kids to recover from the almost perfunctory criminal charges levelled against them for offenses that would ideally earn a mere slap on the wrist. Teens with criminal records are significantly less likely to graduate high school, for one thing, but the negative consequences follow them for the rest of their lives, impacting likelihood of college graduation, future employment, and income potential.

Consider the scope of the problem—often referred to as the "school-to-prison pipeline"—best explained by this Wall Street Journal article from last year:

Stephen Perry, now 18 years old, was trying to avoid a water balloon fight in 2013 when he was swept up by police at his Wake County, N.C., high school; he revealed he had a small pocketknife and was charged with weapons possession. Rashe France was a 12-year-old seventh-grader when he was arrested in Southaven, Miss., charged with disturbing the peace on school property after a minor hallway altercation.

In Texas, a student got a misdemeanor ticket for wearing too much perfume. In Wisconsin, a teen was charged with theft after sharing the chicken nuggets from a classmate's meal—the classmate was on lunch assistance and sharing it meant the teen had violated the law, authorities said. In Florida, a student conducted a science experiment before the authorization of her teacher; when it went awry she received a felony weapons charge. …

At school, talking back or disrupting class can be called disorderly conduct, and a fight can lead to assault and battery charges, said Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of the Advancement Project, a national civil-rights group examining discipline procedures around the country. Some of these encounters with police lead to criminal records—different laws for juveniles apply across states and municipalities, and some jurisdictions treat children as young as 16 as adults. In some states, for example, a fistfight can mean a suspension while in North Carolina a simple affray, as it is called, can mean adult court for a 16-year-old.

It's worth pointing out that these trends of overcriminalization and increasing police militarization in American schools have unfolded over a time period of decreasing violence—both within schools and nationwide. Indeed, school remains just about the safest possible place for kids. There's just no legitimate safety rationale for routinely detaining and removing students who perpetrate mild misbehavior or violate, in a technical sense, overly broad prohibitions against weapons in schools.

To the extent that Maher implied Ahmed's treatment was ever-so-slightly justified because of his Muslim faith, he's wrong. But liberals who claim Ahmed's treatment is solely the result of his Muslim faith are also wrong. As should be perfectly clear from the myriad examples I cited, Ahmed's religion may have impacted the flavor and overall likelihood of his arrest, but it's not remotely true that ethnic minorities are the only victims of zero tolerance-style school disciplinary measures.

These disciplinary measures, and the criminal charges that stem from them, are a bad solution to a problem that just doesn't exist. And that's true, regardless of the race or religion of a student who brings a ticking clock to school.

Read more on Ahmed's case from Nick Gillespie and Ed Krayewski.

NEXT: The Eternally Recurring Legend of a 'War on Cops'

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  1. Arresting him, and putting him in handcuffs was definitely over the top. But confiscating the ‘clock’ would be well within a rational response. Not every teacher or school official can be assumed to immediately recognize whether an electrical device is dangerous or not. And following up with some questions and perhaps even an interview with the parents could be warranted.

    Is it possible this was a ‘dry run’ for the father to blow up the school – and his genius son?

    1. No one can deny that possibility.

      1. Seriously? Without a shred of evidence yeah we can.

    2. Is it possible this was a ‘dry run’ for the father to blow up the school – and his genius son?

      Very unlikely. Could however be a deliberate troll job by the parents so they could do the “OMAGERD, WAR ON MUSLIMS!” bullshit dance.

      1. Well, you can’t complain too hard about being trolled when these people keep taking the bait.

        Don’t respond and they lose control of the narrative.

        1. Unfortunately, the option to not respond has long since been virtually eliminated by the policies of zero tolerance. When you have schools taking administrative action because a student nibbles a pop-tart into a ‘gun’, there’s no way you won’t be vulnerable to this baiting.

      2. No one can deny that possibility.

      3. Was my 1st thought too, that it was a troll job and the kid was being used as an instigative little shit.

      4. And that does matter somewhat, since if that was the case, they would try to construct a device that looked as much like a bomb as needed to maximize the chance of getting a response, while being just dissimilar enough to make authorities look ridiculous.

        1. Those Muslims are tricksy I tells ya.

          1. You mean Saul Alinsky was tricksy.

        2. Which – again – is not illegal.

          And if the ‘authorities’ didn’t freak out over stuff that’s not illegal – then people wouldn’t be able to troll them to make them look ridiculous.

          1. Exactly. Let’s say, just for argument’s sake since I’ve yet to see someone produce some solid evidence the kid was up to some trolling, that he was indeed doing that.

            Then you’ve got two things going on: a teen-ager trolling authorities (gasp!!!!) and a very heavy handed response by government authorities, teachers and police.

            It’s very interesting to see which of the two has who worked up around here. Maybe it’s crazy, but I would have thought that libertarians would be a bit more focused on and concerned about public school and police being heavy handed than a teen age kid trolling his teacher.

            1. Islam is not peaceful unless you choose to throw away the entire text of the Quran. Their Eschatology implies the wonton decapitation and destruction of all those who do not convert to Islam, to pretend anything else is delusional wishful thinking. So no i do not believe in the “trolling” concept unless it is to embarrass the officials into not responding when they do a real attack.
              I have read the English translation of the Quran, its just as vile as Mein Kampf, I spent time in the hills of Afg and learned firsthand about the “religion of peace” CAIR is the american front of the muslim brotherhood and we are all well and truly fucked if we don’t decide to discern for ourselves what Islam is and what Muslims actually support (they are of course allowed to lie about their religion and encouraged to do so in their scripture so there is really no point in believing anything a single one of them says)
              Allah is known as “the greatest of deceivers”, “the lord of the multitudes and demons”, “the master of all plotters” and a slew of other obviously satanic names.
              before you call me xenophobic or anything i ask you to actually read their fucking holy book and try to refute me with actual passages from their own holy text, you will be quite disappointed and frightened

              1. You’re full of shit.

                The Bible endorses the torture and murder of nonbelievers, too. Even in the NT. Currently, Xtianity is ascendant in enough places not to do so in large scale, but they still do in small scale.

                Islam has large issues, but most of them are between other Muslims. If all billion Muslims were violent, we’d be in much worse straits.

                It’s a very complicated subject that can’t be distilled down to two paragraphs.

                The fact is, it wasn’t a bomb, it looked nothing like a bomb,(If you think otherwise, it’s obvious your MOS did not include any explosive training) and it was about as much of a threat as a backpack or laptop, both of which have been used for bombs.

                Teenagers troll, and do silly stuff. I had the police called over a “bomb” I was making, which was a jar of rock candy crystals. What was my “intent”? No intent or motive whatsoever. I wanted to crystallize some sugar.

                Pussies like you are the problem with America, not teenagers playing around with cheap electronics.

                1. Maybe the Jews go by the Old Testament, but Christians don’t. The New Testament tells us to love, even, our enemies. We are not told to stone adulteresses or cut off peoples’ hands, like the Quran (written 500 years after the NT) does. So stop bringing up the crap the people did two thousand years ago and come back to the present. The present where people are having their heads cut off by followers of Islam! The thing was not the invention of a future engineer. He was a young man who could barely communicate in his news interview! The kids that went into engineering in the past, were the smartest, not some mediocre wannabe! If you had hooked a clock to those crystals…? I had a cousin who made crystals that exploded back in the late sixties. He did not take them to school to show his teacher, back then. Now is a much more dangerous time! The kid was trolling, or he would have listened to his “engineering” teacher and not shown it to anyone else. He chose to, to find someone to give him the desired response. Simple as that!

                2. “…it looked nothing like a bomb…”

                  http://www.google.com/search?q=images…..t+training

                  Texas law, Sec. 46.08. HOAX BOMBS.

                  (a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly manufactures, sells, purchases, transports, or possesses a hoax bomb with intent to use the hoax bomb to:

                  (1) make another believe that the hoax bomb is an explosive or incendiary device; or

                  (2) cause alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies.

            2. Indeed.

              I’ve been reading Reason for quite a while and must say I am a bit surprised that the comments in this thread lean more towards “authoritarian paranoia rather than reason. Didn’t expect paranoiacs who called in the storm-troopers of the state because they were scared of a Muslim kid with a clock to get much support here. Well…

              Islamophobia isn’t a liberal fiction…these people are quite literally afraid of Islam. They scour the internet for facts (or “facts”) and quotes to prop up their irrational and unreasonable fears. It’s classic psychology 101 fear of the unknown. What next, prohibiting Muslim kids from bringing cell phones to school because they can be used to remotely trigger bombs?

              If the people shitting their pants over scary clock-wielding Muslims got to know some actual in-the-flesh, human American Muslims, instead of hiding in their internet echo chambers and busting out the same tired old tropes and stereotypes, they would gain some much needed perspective and slowly come out of their seriously paranoid and deluded stupor.

          2. That’s what I was thinking. Even if it’s a complete troll job it required school and police authorities to overreact like caricatures out of Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay. A lot of the defenses of authorities remind me of the ACORN defenders after the O’Keefe pimp videos.

          3. Texas law, Sec. 46.08. HOAX BOMBS.

            (a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly manufactures, sells, purchases, transports, or possesses a hoax bomb with intent to use the hoax bomb to:

            (1) make another believe that the hoax bomb is an explosive or incendiary device; or

            (2) cause alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies.

      5. Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking.

        Dry run, or false flag?

        1. Dry run, expect to see more…

          1. Yes, you will see more teenagers arrested for the over-reactions of paranoid pussies like yourselves.

            1. You are not paranoid if they are, really out to get you.
              As VicRattlehead says, from experience, THEY ARE!

            2. Very fine line between prudence and paranoia. It would be paranoid if Muslims weren’t actually a problem.

      6. Again, no evidence and NO reason to jump to any such conclusion.

        What the hell people? You wonder why liberals are touchy.

    3. Are you serious? Are you serious?

      Not every teacher or school official can be assumed to immediately recognize whether an electrical device is dangerous or not.

      Hey – we better have the cops confiscate your phone and car – can’t immediately tell if those are dangerous or not without some dismantling and an ‘expert’ inspection.

      You do know that we operate, in this country, on the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, right? That means you don’t get arrested until the police can be certain you’re not guilty of something – they need a decent amount of evidence *before* they act.

      And the possession of electronic paraphernalia, even when possessed by a Muslim, is not sufficient proof, on its own, to justify *any* of these actions – not even the confiscation.

      Sure – he *might* have done this as a provocateur – and then these people when and played right into his hands bay acting as they did.

      1. Have you never seen an episode of 24? That “clock” looks exactly like what the Fox prop department would mock up to look like a bomb on TV. And they’re probably using science.

        “TELL ME WHERE THE PENCIL BOX CLOCK IS!”

        1. The guys at 24 loved the 24 parody on South Park so much that their props guys made a Hillary Clinton snuke for Matt ‘n’ Trey.

          I kinda want one

        2. Fuck that.

          Have you ever seen an ied?

          They’re exactly like that ‘clock’ except that they have some explosives wired up to the speaker leads.

          1. IOW, not like it at all…since he had no explosives…and it would have had to have been plugged into the wall…and the teachers should have called the bomb squad, not played with it.

            You have a cell phone. That looks EXACTLY like an IED, except for some plastique wired out the back.

            You have a penis. You look EXACTLY like a rapist.

            If you own a gun, you look EXACTLY like the beltway “sniper.”

            Grow up.

            1. Isn’t that the point?
              The fact that there were some loose wires hanging out of an electronic device – something I have never seen in one, out of the box – indicates it is going to be used for something other than what it was designed for.
              An overreaction, maybe, but a slight one.
              Look at what a couple of young muslims did with some legally bought fireworks and pressure cookers.

    4. Not every teacher or school official can be assumed to immediately recognize whether an electrical device is dangerous or not.

      An engineering teacher or a police officer should be able to distinguish between a bomb and a clock. If they can’t, they should get fired.

      1. You’ve clearly had no experience with IEDs, so just omit yourself from this conversation until you get some training of your own.
        C4 putty is not a complex compound for an amateur to make and can be shaped into anything (including the inside of a clock) needing only 12 VDC to detonate a blasting cap or you can use the filaments and a model rocket engine and then you only need 3VDC to bring it up to temp. it would have enough force to wipe out a 15 yard radius even if it were in a clock that size let alone the BBs that he could have set into the putty as well to make a shrapnel effect.

        1. Wow. All I’m going to say is, your explosive training must come from watching “24.”

          1. I am continually surprised by how deep the paranoia runs. Nothing is too crazy or deluded when it comes to “proving” Muslim = intrinsically dangerous.

        2. Kindly give us some indication of where in the picture of the clock was something that might have been C4. Or any other explosive.
          If he just took the innards of a Radio Shack clock and transplanted them into a case like the clockphobes say, then what part of the innards of a Radio Shack clock look like explosive? Rather than components which you can buy at Radio Shack?
          If you wanted to build a bomb and not get caught, wouldn’t you put explosive into the actual Radio Shack clock, then go through this whole idiocy?

      2. Allegedly he first showed the device to the engineering teacher who told him not to show it to anyone else, but instead he took it to English where the device beeped. Once confronted, he failed to bring back the Engineering teacher to vouch for him, choosing instead to escalate the confusion.

    5. The school? He just got invited to show the President a device that has been mistaken for a bomb. A little kid has done accidentally what sophisticated international terrorist organizations could only dream of.

      1. I imagine the Secret Service will go over it with a fine-tooth comb. And then they’ll test it for explosive compounds.

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      1. By dismantling clocks and taunting the authorities?

    7. If anyone actually thought it might be a real bomb, then why was there no precautionary evacuation for safety’s sake? If anyone actually thought it might be a hoax, then why was there no one who heard him say anything other than it was a clock? Those, in and of themselves, ought to prove that no one really thought it was even possibly a danger. Given that obvious conclusion, the rest of the story is one big example of over the top ZT.

      1. Because they weren’t thinking clearly. They panicked or had other motives for bringing in the cops.

    8. Why would you have a dry run, instead of just doing it? Is the idea that next week he will blow up the school with a real bomb,, and nobody will be able to figure out who did it?

      1. Did you miss all of the reports of dry runs being done before the 9/11 attack? Get serious.
        Dry runs happen.

        And if this kid is such a fucking genius, is there a language deficiency here that makes him repeatedly call the ‘item’ HIS INVENTION? Or a cognition problem in not knowing that folks like me were assembling digital-readout clocks back in the 1970’s?

        There’s things missing here that all y’all are NOT thinking about…

    9. IF they really thought it might be a bomb, why was there no evacuation for the safety of the students and faculty?

    10. If there was reasonable cause that this indeed was a Hoax Bomb, then he should have been handcuffed and arrested.

    11. Yeah that’s kinda stupid. If anyone wanted to get a bomb in they could. They don’t have to actually SHOW any electronics to test the system. If you want to test out whether a place can have a bomb smuggled into it, they would do the dry run without anyone knowing about it. That’s the whole point. Of course why anyone would bother with a dry run given the lackluster security any school has is beyond me. If there aren’t armed guards and metal detectors you can bring anything into school you want. When has school security stopped a shooting spree? Really think before you post.

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  4. Whether Ahmed “invented” a clock or merely reassembled the various components of what was already a clock is really beside the point. Frankly, it just doesn’t matter.

    CLOCKTRAILS!

    1. It isn’t his fucking clock ! He took apart an old digital clock and put it in a fucking box. I made more advanced electronics when I was 7, WTF did this kid do that was so amazing ? He gets scholarships for putting clock parts in a fucking box ?!?!?! How low we have set the fucking bar !

      …oh, and this all was a fucking Islamite troll to show how racistsz we all are.

        1. Worked, didn’t it?

          Yeah, that was the bonus.

          Never mind the lesson on how we’re now ruled by easily terrified and shallow thinking idiots.

        2. Both the clock and the “trolling.” This kid definitely deserves a scholarship.

        3. It didn’t work.

          He was arresting for trolling.

          Creating a hoax bomb is both a threat and fraud. Both violations of NAP. The English teacher is the only one who was threatened, everyone else just saw the fraud angle.

          According to the ppl involved (cops) and the reported facts, this kid is an instigator. According to the presstitutes analysis and Obama, he is a victim of racism.

          Who do you believe and why?

          1. A “Hoax” requires the intent or presentation.

            To whom did he say it was a bomb?

            Oh, wait–he did exactly the opposite.

            1. “To whom did he say it was a bomb?”

              Since Ahmed didn’t clarify his intention to anyone at school, his insistence that “it’s just a clock” didn’t really clear him. If someone left a suspicious looking package near the white house and insists that it’s not a bomb, he’ll go scot free?

              Ahmed reserved his side of the story (that he brought a clock to impress his teacher) ONLY to the media.

  5. So, let me get this straight: bring a suspicious package to school, refuse to answer straightforward questions about your motives, and its perfectly all right? The police did EXACTLY what they should have done, and it didn’t matter whether the kid was Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or Wiccan.

    1. A box of electronics is not a ‘suspicious package’.

        1. No, that picture is not debatable at all.

          Looks like a couple of printed circuit boards and some connectors. The guts of some piece of electronic appliance.

          That’s it.

          There’s *nothing* suspicious about it at all except for the claim that he ‘invented’ this. OTOH – he’s 14. 14 year olds, especially nerdy tech inclined ones, tend to live in their own fantasy world.

          1. See, Agammamon, your problem is that you know how electronics work. I bet you can’t even get 10 minutes into an episode of CSI before rage quitting.

            1. So, SG, should we base policy on the ignorance or misconceptions that the average Joe or Jane has of electronics? Anything that looks like what the Fox prop department might put together, using enough schlock science to convince the average Fox viewer, should be deemed suspicious, and be confiscated?

              Mechanical clocks were invented centuries ago; digital clocks several decades ago. So no, Mohamed didn’t “invent” a clock. But he might have assembled one from parts that he had lying around, parts that might not ever have been meant to be a clock, and that’s an act of creativity, if on a small scale.

              1. If my kid went to that school, i would be happy with the response that was administered aside from the handcuffing. If the pop-tart gun got a kid suspended then a bomb look alike should at least be investigated to ensure its not a bomb. If i had ever brought something like that into school i would expect to be at least questioned about the nature of my device and to allow someone to inspect it for safety.

                1. Yeah, but it should be investigated by the bomb squad, not an English teacher.

              2. “So, SG, should we base policy on the ignorance or misconceptions that the average Joe or Jane has of anything beyond primary school science, geography, economics or any other complex subject?”
                FTFY and yes, of course. Why do you hate democracy.

          2. It’s true that it doesn’t have any explosives, but isn’t is possible that the authorities’ suspicion was not that the device was inherently dangerous, but that he was practicing how to make a device that was?

            Granted, it was more likely to be a troll job, but a bomb without the bomb would work a lot better for that than, say, an unloaded gun.

            1. It’s true that it doesn’t have any explosives

              If you had stopped writing at that point, you’d have looked a lot less stupid.

              1. no, its only true it doesnt have explosives because it was inspected and found to not have them, there is a million places to hide plastic explosive putty on that device and there is no way that a school administrator would know where to look or what they are looking for. Sure he most likely caused fear due to his religion but honestly these days what would you expect?

                1. Here’s your sign.

            2. A bomb without a bomb. You’re slaying today!

            3. “that the authorities’ suspicion was not that the device was inherently dangerous, but that he was practicing how to make a device that was?”
              And why would he need to take such a device to school? If it works at his desk at home it will work at school, unless the school is really, really cold and the fuse mechanism freezes. That happened to a British bomb used by a German general to try to kill Hitler.

          3. and that he took it to school on his own initiative, the first school day after 9-11

          4. “There’s *nothing* suspicious about it at all except for the claim that he ‘invented’ this.”

            Well, both the “clock” and Ahmed drew suspicion because

            1. He brought it without telling anyone beforehand.

            2. It did not look like look a conventional clock whatsoever, so no one had any idea what it was.

            3. He plugged it in at his English teacher after his (less than impressed) teacher told him to put it away, and it started to beep.

            4. Common perception of bombs (as often depicted in popular culture) involves suitcases, lots of wires and beeping noises, and Ahmed’s clock hit the trifecta.

            Some kid was suspended for submitting an inert bomb for a school project AFTER it was cleared by his teacher. That’s zero tolerance policy gone wrong. This is about a kid who got in trouble for being intentionally obtuse. The kid was briefly detained under suspicion of building (not charged as I previously though) a hoax bomb. Now he’s free as a bird.

            1. If it had been a bomb the sound they heard would be “BANG!” not beep. I mean really who TAKES OUT A BOMB AND SHOWS PEOPLE? Seriously, you’ve exceeded your stupid limit for the next month.

        2. I guess we’ve been trained by Hollywood to think that anything with wires might be a bomb, but bombs have other parts too that are even more important. For example, where in that case could there possibly be anything, you know, explosive?

          1. To be clear, I’m willing to let the teacher, and maybe the school staff slide on this one (do we really expect them to know anything about technology or bombs?), but the police officers should have known better. On arrival, they should have been able to tell, at a glance, that there was nothing dangerous here. They should have left the clock in the front office until the end of the day so he could pick it up and take it home. They should have counseled him not to bring such things in the future without teacher approval. They should NOT have arrested him.

            1. This is how I feel about it. The teacher or principal is not sure what to make of it? OK. But why would the police arrest first and then figure out if something wrong occurred? And the following suspension by the school was pretty terrible.

              1. But why would the police arrest first and then figure out if something wrong occurred?

                I think we all know the answer to that one. Knee-jerk reaction followed by desperate search for some remotely plausible justification.

              2. A hoax is a crime so maybe that was why.

                1. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

                2. I think it’s a threat, whether backed up or not, that’s a crime. What did this guy do to rise to a threat?

            2. I’m not.

              If you can’t look inside that box and immediately see that its basically electronic junk – I wonder how you can walk and breath at the same time.

              What should have happened is the teacher looked inside, saw that it was garbage, put it in his desk and had little Ahmed pick it up after school. No need to even get the principle involved.

              1. That’s how the terrorists win Agammamon.

                What real resolute leadership called for was to have the kid droned immediately (after a completely fair determination by an executive authority) and then have a wall built around the kid’s family and America.

                1. SIGNATURE STRIKEZ!1!

                  And best part, no collateral damage.

                  After all, all the other people in the school were old enough to be classified as ‘militants’.

              2. If you can’t look inside that box and immediately see that its basically electronic junk…

                …then you are qualified to be a public school teacher.

              3. Exactly. And had little Ahmed brought a hand-crafted gun to school, the appropriate response would also be to check that it is unloaded (after all, a gun in and of itself is just some fancy pipes and levers — it isn’t dangerous without explosives either) and then go on their way. Certainly calling the police to investigate would be an overreaction.

                1. This is a laughable comparison. At least unlike Maher you’re funny.

                2. At least a handcrafted gun is a weapon.

                  An alarm clock rigged to run on a battery and stuffed in a pencil box . . . is not.

                  Unless you’re advocating for arresting *anyone* with an alarm clock – as all you need to make a bomb then is some explosives.

                  1. But it looks scary.

                    It’s funny how much these people sound like the gun control nuts who freak out at attachments to weapons which are no danger but which they think make the gun look scarier.

                  2. It seems designed to evoke the appearance of a bomb. He was investigated for having a hoax bomb, not a real bomb. “Hoax” is in large part going to be a judgement of a person’s intentions, and with what we now know about his family, it’s a lot easier to believe his intentions were not innocent.

                    1. Uh, no – its not about ‘intentions’. Its about what he did with it.

                      And he did nothing with it except make the alarm go off in his bag.

                      Bombs don’t have alarms that go off to get the teacher’s intention. Not even hoax bombs.

                      Next you’ll be jumping in to defend the response of the Boston PD to the Moonininte menace.

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ 2007_Boston_Mooninite_panic

                    2. “and with what we now know about his family, it’s a lot easier to believe his intentions were not innocent.”

                      I think our government authorities should not be able to use coercion on someone based on the standard ‘with what we know about his family, it’s a lot easier to believe his intentions were not innocent.’ But maybe that’s me.

                    3. +1 ant1sthenes. It’s clear to me that this was a set-up, in a sense another fake hate crime.

                    4. Fairly sure when asked about the device the kid said it was a clock. He never attempted to convince anyone otherwise or portray the item as anything else. That’s hardly a hoax.

            3. WRONG

              The school had an Engineering teacher, that is the guy Mohammad claimed he was trying to impress with it.

              The English teacher who sent him to the office can be excused for maybe thinking it was a bomb (more on this in a second) however once referred to the principals office a 5 minute call to the engineering teacher would have instantly revealed it was not a bomb.

              Now, about that English teacher.

              He can be excused for thinking maybe it was a bomb, what he cannot be excused for is his abysmally poor response if he did think it was a bomb.

              See, when you suspect a student has brought an explosive device to school you do not send said student with said device to the principals office, YOU EVACUATE THE FUCKING SCHOOL.

              The fact that at no point was the school ever evacuated indicates that at no point did anyone at the school ever believe that it even might have been a bomb

              1. See, when you suspect a student has brought an explosive device to school you do not send said student with said device to the principals office, YOU EVACUATE THE FUCKING SCHOOL.

                The fact that at no point was the school ever evacuated indicates that at no point did anyone at the school ever believe that it even might have been a bomb

                Excellent point.

              2. See, when you suspect a student has brought an explosive device to school you do not send said student with said device to the principals office, YOU EVACUATE THE FUCKING SCHOOL

                Exactly. The fact that this never happened indicates that they didn’t actually think it was a bomb, they were just using the cops to scare the shit out of and humiliate this kid.

                I think what a lot of people are missing in the big picture is that it’s perfectly reasonable to point out that 1) the “clock” was just something he bought at Radio Shack, took apart, shoved the parts in a suitcase, and claimed he “built” it; 2) that his dad has a history being a media whore and it’s not outside the realm of possibility that this was done for attention, because the engineering teacher told Ahmed “don’t carry that around or people are going to freak out”, which the little shit deliberately ignored; and 3) the school and the police reacted in all the wrong ways, because if they really thought it was a potential bomb, the school would have been emptied and a bomb squad called.

            4. do we really expect them to know anything about technology or bombs?

              Bombs, no; technology? Hell, yes! My high school had an industrial arts department that offered a class in electronics. I think it highly likely that this school had one as well. Why didn’t they just ask the teacher who teaches electronics or something similar to look at it before calling the cops?

              1. Know anything about technology? I would freaking hope that an adult American would know what a professionally manufactured PCB and a battery looks like.

                Ain’t expecting them to be able to change the oil on their car or anything *difficult*.

            5. A minimally competent engineering teacher should have gotten bothered by the way the power was hooked up in this device, and he should have criticized the boy for claiming to have “invented” something that’s clearly made up out of existing parts.

              But a minimally competent engineering teacher should have been able to tell that this was not a bomb.

              1. Never heard of any school with an engineering teacher. Another misrepresentation by the media?

            6. and reportedly when the police did arrive to ask WTF was up, Ahmed chose to be uncooperative

              1. Smart kid. Anything you say when Muslim will be used against you when deciding if you’re a terrorist.

            7. If anyone in the school even thought there was any possibility that it was actually a bomb, then why was there no evacuation?

              Use a little common sense. No one thought it was a bomb and no one can point to any reason they thought it might even be a hoax bomb. He certainly never tried to pretend it was. The first thing he did in the morning was take it to show it off to a science teacher.

              For crying out loud, it was a little pencil case box, not a briefcase. It needed to be plugged in. There was nothing resembling any sort of explosives.

          2. In some alternate universe, Alternate Ahmed brought a pencil-case bomb to school and killed a dozen classmates.

            Over at Alternate Reason.com, incredulous writers and commenters are excoriating the incompetent government school teacher for not recognizing it as a bomb. “Come on, you dumb fucks. It looks EXACTLY LIKE a bomb on 24. The only way it could look more bomb-like is if it was a black sphere with a lit fuse that said “TNT” on it. Fucking morons. That’s what you get from statists, though: neither liberty nor security.”

      1. *** looks at Agammamon’s box of electronics ***

        “I just needs to check your asshole.”

        /TSA

        1. This is why I never fly without my box o’fun stuff.

          And why I have so many frequent flyer miles.

      2. Hmmm…and that’s kind of the problem I have here. Let’s say the boy wasn’t Ahmed Muhamed, but Jeff Smith, a lily-white kid. And let’s say Jeff Smith brought the exact same package into school. And let’s say the school’s reaction was the same “EHEMAGAHHHDD!!!11!! A BOMB!!!ELEVEN11!! ” (certainly plausible in today’s zero-tolerance world). What would be the media reaction? Would little Jeffy be getting the same scholarship offers and White House invites that little Ahmed is getting? Hell, would he escape charges on creating a threat?

        1. Of course the media reaction is predictably based on foolishness. But I think the libertarian response should be the same whether it’s Ahmed or Jeff Smith. Teenagers trolling people by going to the edge of what’s forbidden is not as worrisome as the heavy handed response, involving coercion, of teachers and cops.

          1. And of course Obama’s reaction is his usual carefully calculated, cynical, unprincipled self. He saw a polarizing cultural debate over which he had no actual business and carefully inserted himself (via the uber millenial Twitter no less) into it. He thrives off of roiling the culture wars.

            But why should what Obama or the media or what SJW’s determine anyone else’s response? The proper response is to evaluate the situation and the players in it according to the hopefully non-Obama, non-MSM etc., determined principles one lives by. By that standard I can’t see how anyone who even pretends they’re centrally concerned with the use and abuse of coercive governmental authority being more focused on what this teen did than the response by teachers and cops.

          2. Just because zero-tolerance is an idiotic policy doesn’t mean that “tolerate everything” is a better one. Schools are theoretically designed for a purpose besides just warehousing children, and they have the right and obligation to prohibit behavior that interferes with that purpose. Pointing fingers and maliciously eating pop tarts does not go that far, but putting hoax bombs in your backpack is crossing a line. Yeah, given the age of the person involved, it probably warrants suspension or expulsion instead of handcuffs, but we wouldn’t be so lenient to someone who stuck a countdown clock on a bag with wires coming out at the Boston Marathon.

          3. …the libertarian response should be the same whether it’s Ahmed or Jeff Smith.

            Yes, it should. And that’s why we shouldn’t jump on the “EHEMAGAHHHDD!!!11!! TEH RACIZMS!!” bandwagon. It’s something that happens all too regularly, regardless of race. And pretending the problem was that those mean old racists were picking on poor Ahmed only helps to evade a much more extensive problem.

          4. What did he do that constitutes “trolling?” He showed it to a science teacher first thing in the day. He never said it was anything else but a clock. He didn’t volunteer it to the English teacher, she asked him. I could see a teacher taking him aside and explain why it wasn’t a good idea in this day and age to bring something like that to school. I could even maybe see them taking it away at the office until he left to go home. Maybe. At worst.

    2. refuse to answer straightforward questions about your motives

      Actually, he did. He said that it was a clock when he was asked.

      Can I assume you are a professor of education?

  6. aIn Wisconsin, a teen was charged with theft after sharing the chicken nuggets from a classmate’s meal?the classmate was on lunch assistance and sharing it meant the teen had violated the law, authorities said.

    Oh, FFS! The authorities had better be making damn sure the classmate eats *every morsel* of assisted lunch zimself from here on out.

    1. They’re allowed to throw uneaten food into the trash. That’s a good use of taxpayer dollars.

      Allowing the kid on assistance to share the food is waste, fraud and abuse.

      1. Moreover, throwing food into the trash helps with the sanitary engineering jobs; and sharing the food contributes to childhood obesity.

  7. Some say Public School Teachers are heroes.
    Some say Police creatures are heroes.
    Some say smarty pants Muslims are heroes.
    .
    I say we focus on the true hero in all this – Barack Obama – for inviting an actual muslim with bomb-making skills to the Whitehouse.

    1. I bet Ahmed would have no trouble bringing his ‘clock’ into the Whitehouse.

      1. You can’t even bring a purse into the Whitehouse, with or without wires.

        1. It’s a *manbag*, some guy.

      2. Would be funny if they made a “time-bomb” exception for this kid.

  8. Make no mistake that Dawkins is also piling on the kid because he’s a Muslim. The World’s Village Atheist may be a condescending dick to Christians, but he has gone Full Retard on Islamophobia.

    1. It is nice to know every religion has it’s unthinking fundamentalists, including atheists.

      1. Bo Cara Esq.|9.22.15 @ 8:39AM|#
        “It is nice to know every religion has it’s unthinking fundamentalists, including atheists.”

        Nice to know ignoramuses continue to confuse non-belief with bleef. In your case, I presume it is willful stupidity.

        1. Nice to see a strong defender of the faith championing the first and most important religious tenant of atheism: Even though atheism philosophically answers the exact same questions as every other religion, never call it a religion.

          1. Zunalter|9.22.15 @ 3:08PM|#
            “Nice to see a strong defender of the faith championing the first and most important religious tenant of atheism: Even though atheism philosophically answers the exact same questions as every other religion, never call it a religion.”

            “Even though atheism philosophically answers the exact same questions as every other religion, never call it a religion.”
            What a sack of bullshit.
            One more lame bleever hoping reasonable people are as stupid as he is. Keep your superstition to yourself; you won’t look quite the ignoramus you are in public

          2. Religious people are dumb.

            Sevo is smart. What Sevo thinks must never be associated even by implication with that which is dumb.

          3. And rather than wait for ‘you didn’t address my stupidity’, here it is:
            Whatever atheism hopes to address, it does so by appealing to evidence; repeatable tests that yield the same result.
            Superstitionists hope to have truth ‘revealed’ top them by some mythical being.

    2. At least he is consistant, even if he is a crank.

  9. Others opined that Ahmed had some sinister ulterior motive and may have even orchestrated this incident on purpose…Still, none of these details?whether they are true, false, or something in between?have anything to do with the rightness of arresting Ahmed in the first place.

    If he was deliberately instigating a response from authorities, that is relevent to the discussion – because the next step is escalation (indeed, some sources of unverifiable reliability already say this was not the first “clock” he brought to school). Whether or not the authorities reacted properly cannot be judged without the context.

    1. You might think that the only thing relevant to whether anyone is arrested ever should be whether they’ve done something worth being arrested for. If someone purposefully does something that is not worthy of arrest once, twice, or ten times in a row it doesn’t warrant an arrest.

      1. Building a fake bomb meant to intimidate others is an arrestable offense. And that’s what Ahmed was arrested for.

        Will that charge hold up in court? Probably not.

    2. Seemed to be trolling to me. The four or so other teachers didn’t bite, but when it started making noises during class he got his reaction. I could be wrong.

    3. If he was deliberately instigating a response from authorities, that is relevent to the discussion – because the next step is escalation. . .

      I don’t even understand this.

      If he was ‘instigating a response from the authorities’ and they take the bait, why would he need to escalate?

      If this is to prove a ‘government is racist against Muslims’ thing and then the government goes nuts over a Muslim kid with a circuit board – hasn’t he just proved his point?

      Dude trolls you on the internet and you start screaming at him – who’s the arsehole in this situation.

      1. While the “Government is Racist” is the narrative they’re attempting to spin, the reaction from authorities does not strike me as particularly different from the obnoxious shit they pull on anyone else (When the kid’s white ‘zero tolerence’ is to blame, but when he’s muslim it’s suddenly ‘Islamophobia’?)

        And the escalation comment was not that hard – if this didn’t get a reaction they were clearly going to push the ‘legal but miming questionable activity’ schtick until they got the reacton they needed to parade the kid in front of the cameras. The fact that they asked the police to leave the handcuffs on for the walk out of the station so the sister could take that picture was pretty convincing that they were just going to keep provoking until something happened.

        1. . . . the reaction from authorities does not strike me as particularly different from the obnoxious shit they pull on anyone else . . .

          Well, when the government pulls that shit on everyone and then gets baited by someone who’s able to play the race card – maybe the government should think twice about these things being the standard reaction.

          if this didn’t get a reaction they were clearly going to push the ‘legal but miming questionable activity’ schtick until they got the reacton . . .

          Well, you don’t know anything of the sort. *I’d* try to get a picture of my kid in cuffs to illustrate the absurd lengths these people go in responding to ‘threats’.

          In any case a) let them keep pushing the legal but questionable boundary – its your right as an American and I think more people should do this. Deference to authority and making that authority’s life easier by staying away from those boundaries is one of the major reasons why this shit happens in the first place. Push back and they’ll get tired of pushing you. There are more of us than them.

          b) if you don’t give them the reaction they’re looking for, they lose control of the ‘government is anti-Muslim’ narrative.

  10. Typical cosmouckian response.

    1. “Cos-mook….?

      A mook? What’s a mook? You can’t call me a mook”

  11. It’s difficult to overstate just how incorrect this thinking is.

    I don’t care for the use of the word “incorrect” here. It smacks of thought policing. Having said that, Maher in incorrect on just about everything. But at least for a liberal he’s consistent in his hate of religion. He doesn’t just hate the Conservative right and give Islam a pass.

    1. Incorrect could just mean ‘wrong.’ We don’t have to retreat to a relativism where everyone’s opinions are valid and good to avoid falling into thought policing.

      1. It’s the word in the context. The lexicon of the day has that phrase telling me that someone is shunfully wrong. Maher’s opinion on this (and much) is wrong; I have no problem with that.

        1. I don’t think we should give up on or be automatically suspicious of words that have long established ‘non-fishy’ meanings because some partisans and pr types are using them in silly ways. I have some confidence that Nick isn’t using it to mean something silly but rather the usual old ‘wrong.’

          1. Yes, but this is Rico, and he’s of that generation.

            1. OK, this is by Soave? Well I’m actually less likely to see that from him than from Nick.

              1. Soave and Brown – while still doing stellar work in general – are still slightly infected by the SJW disease.

                It doesn’t affect their overall work, but you’ll see it pop up in little asides and minor backstepping where they give marginal grievancemonger’s arguments slightly more due than they deserve.

                Hmm, I don’t want to be insulting to them or give the wrong impression – its really more a *stylistic* choice in their writing than serious influence on their work.

                Soave more than Brown though.

                1. I don’t see that in Soave. He’s kind of the point guy around here re excesses of campus feminism, right?

                  1. Sure – as a major theme. But read his work and there’s some hemming and hawing on the side about how this guy or that guy sort of kind of maybe has a point regarding some grievance-monger thing.

                    1. Here we go.

                      https://reason.com/blog/2015/09/17/ students-claim-provocative-art-project-i#comment

                      I don’t blame the students for being disturbed by the signs; they would have disturbed me as well. There’s a strong argument to be made for revisiting America’s legacy of slavery, of course),

                      Stuff like this.

                    2. I’ll have to pay more attention to that, though if its there I’m thinking some of it might be explained by the fact that he’s writing for an audience that he hopes is broad enough to include some people who might be initially unsympathetic to his conclusions but who could be otherwise convinced if not turned off beforehand.

      2. I agree with Fist here.

        I hate it when the word ‘Pproblematic’ is used – its just too SJWy nowadays. Both those words, nowadays smack more of ‘wrongthink shaming’ than their actual definitions.

        1. Using the word “problematic” is not ok.

          1. You’re saying using the word “problematic” is problematic?

      3. I thought you died or something Bo….

        1. Being busy is actually kind of the opposite of that.

          1. Doubt it

            1. Your doubts and suspicions about all kinds of things are one thing not in doubt.

              1. You really in law school ? It must be Cooley. Your mind does not appear to preform as a lawyer’s should…..or a sane person for that matter.

                1. Mr. Conspiracy Theory doubts my sanity. Delicious.

                  Somewhat related, sorry about Walker btw (he imploded, rather than exploded).

                  1. His own fault. Immediately after jumping into the national race he started flip-flopping all over the place. Distancing himself from hard (and smart) decisions and policies he did as governor in a blatant attempt at vote pandering.

                    At least Trump can stay on message.

                    1. Way back when he declared I pointed out that Walker, despite being the Great White Knight hopeful to so many here, just wan’t ready for prime time. A lot of people were blown away by his ‘won three times in a purple state!’ line without using any critical thinking about it (the guy won off year elections and a recall where the petty petulance of the unions was so obvious). Apart from winning politics the man had done nothing praiseworthy in his life, someone with an ideology at odds with those who loved him so here would have been seen through in a second by the same people. Their wishes became reality.

                  2. Conspiracy theory ? Nah, just most likely. See after I completed lawyer school at a far better school than you I went back to the military to kill moar people. I’m in an officer course now and we plan out the most likely course of action for those we may fight. It becomes fairly easy if you IQ is over 100 to see why people do certain things. You are just a lame troll.

                    1. “I’m in an officer course now”

                      Truly I must avert my eyes at your great success in life, lest I be blinded. Lol.

                      More to the point of our discussion here, you don’t have any real evidence, just a sneakin’ suspicion that that Muslim who’s supported by so many leftists must be up to somethin’. As I guessed.

                    2. As I said, you are a lame troll. Good luck counselor lol !

                    3. Should I salute you as you go? I’m not sure the proper deference to one of your high rank and accomplishment.

                    4. Whatever works for you counselor !

                    5. Well, to properly reflect your sense of importance, just imagine that I’m saluting with a single tear of admiration rolling down from my eye, there’s a bugle playing and the American flag flapping nobly behind me. That should do it.

                    6. Sorry counselor, my sense of self importance extends far beyond that, attending a good lawyer school will do that to a guy.

                    7. Yes, I can only regret that my educational choices haven’t put me in the envied position of…joining the military *after* college.

                    8. Hey now. No offense intended, but you have no idea what ‘joining the military’ means.

                      Its not a dead-end job for no-hopers (though we get a fair share of those).

                    9. I considered joining the military *before* college to get the support they provide, but not *after.* Seems to me the wrong order the other way. Having said that, I don’t think the military is any worse (or better) than most other careers, just responding to Res’ idea that he’s somehow demonstrated how great he is by parlaying his law degree into becoming an officer there.

                    10. Oh, he’s kinda made me a bit embarrassed about our officer class. Both for the trolling and the kneejerk ‘OMG it must be the actions of an agent provacateur’ thing he’s got going on in this thread.

                    11. Hmmm, probably won’t be noticed now, had to go to work, but IOT advance to a lofty rank these days Officers and Senior Enlisted need advanced degrees. I didn’t attend laws school then enter the military, I entered the military as an enlisted Soldier, attend UT Austin, then commissioned, then returned and earned a law degree.

                      As for the agent provocateur, the kids father is simply playing from the standard SJW playbook, nothing special, make others feel racist.

  12. I am starting to think it was a hoax to further his father’s political ambitions and they got the response they wanted.

    1. Starting to ? It has been pretty obvious from day one. I note that the coverage of the brilliant scientist kid who put fucking clock parts in a box and was proclaimed a genius has dramatically been curtailed the last couple days in the MSM, they figured it out too, and now will pretend the kid doesn’t exist.

      1. Do you have a link that summarizes evidence why one should think that? Just curious.

        1. Yes I do.

          1. Top secret classified then?

            1. Oh, I see counselor, you were not just asking me if I had one, you wanted me to share it ? You are going to be eaten alive in court, but doubt you make it that far.

              1. Your autistic pedanticism has truly scored one for you this morning!

            2. Look – two lawyers fighting. Is is wrong to hope for a Hamilton/Burr outcome?

              1. Is one of us going to be put on the 10 dollar bill and then ultimately replaced with Huckabee’s wife?

                1. I’ll take that trade-off

                2. Replaced… on the ten dollar bill or in Huckabee’s bed?

              2. Thank you. That got an actual out loud laugh 🙂

        2. I think one look at the picture of the ‘device’ at the very least smashes the narrative that this was a the work of an electronics prodigy.

          Its pretty obviously a piece of consumer electronics taken out of its holder.

          I could certainly believe it was a piece of deliberate trolling. Only I don’t have sympathy for the people who played right into the troller’s hands.

          1. OTOH, the kid could just as likely have been a nerd playing around. Its not like I didn’t like to pretend I was in Starfleet at that age.

            1. At his age I’d have been very embarrassed to bring a piece of crap that bad and show it off. He actually appears a bit slow in all the photos, no idea how he is in real life. The nerds I knew brought complete computers they built at his age, not a digital clock in a box. I just initial assumed he was in a “special” class and that was the best he could do. When I heard about his father I moved to the troll idea.

              1. At his age, I was building radio transmitters and guitar amps. But I wasn’t a refugee from Somalia with a nutty father. He strikes me as a bright and nerdy kid who hasn’t really had the advantages that I did (And I would guess you as well) of a family background of serious readers and thinkers, encouraging me to learn and experiment.

  13. It’s worth pointing out that these trends of overcriminalization and increasing police militarization in American schools have unfolded over a time period of decreasing violence…

    BREAKING NEWS: Reason contributor agrees that policy militarization works!

    1. “The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm…”

  14. Nice to see that there’s an issue that can unite Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, and the religious right. As usual, bipartisanship means that rational thinking people get royally fucked.

    By the way, I’ve seen that picture of his device floating around all over the web, including the original clock truther post, but has anyone actually verified that is really a picture of the device in question?

      1. Sorry, I guess maybe you were referring to this with “original clock truther post”. Missed that. But he does provide a pretty thorough explanation on how deduced what it was.

  15. If the reassembled components did something more than the original clock, that’s creative. If not, it looks like hoax http://t.co/bBcaWoJpbd

    ? Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) September 20, 2015

    IT’S BALLOON BOY ALL OVER AGAIN

  16. It’s clearly a non-portable bomb.

    You have to plug it into the wall outlet to make it go boom.

    1. As evidenced by the 9V battery connector, no doubt.

  17. I gave Ahmed a ride to school the other day and he forgot his clock in my backseat. I’m afraid to stop so can some call the airport and clear some space for me until Keanu arrives?

    1. It’s just an illusion. You can either unplug yourself from the fantasy, or imagine yourself in black leather with an Uzi trying to kill Hugo Weaving

  18. Oh, for the love of Allah. Look at that picture of the ‘clock’.

    It’s pretty damned clear that Ahmed built something that looked like a TV bomb.

    You don’t build or re-assemble a clock with wires sticking out unless you want it to look that way.

    And I go bsck to what I originally said. Ahmed built a fake bomb just for shits and giggles–because he could. He took it to school to screw around–because kids do this kinda stupid thing all the time. He got busted, again, like kids do all the time.

    Depending on the school reaction, the thing can be taken away, the kid can get a talking to from the principal, from the principal and the parents, some ISS/detention, suspension, expulsion, or even have the cops called.

    Normally, we don’t hear about many of these cases. Usually, when Reason takes one up it’s so egregious there’s no question–like that kid whose pop-tart was declared to have been ‘bitten into the shape of a gun’.

    1. It’s pretty damned clear that Ahmed built something that looked like a TV bomb.

      Here’s your education degree. Teachers’ lounge is right down the hall on the right, faculty bathroom is on the left. You’ll have to use the parking lot for smoking.

  19. con’t from above<<br /
    We’re only hearing about this one because Ahmed Mohammed brought a fake bomb to school.

    Had it been nearly any other kid no one would think it odd that the device had gotten him in so much trouble. One look at it tells you the look the kid was going for.

    The kid made a dick move–bringing a fake bomb to school–and got called on it. He’s doing an admirable job sticking to his ‘clock’ story.

    But no one who’s into electronics, or into prop building, has any doubt that he built a fake bomb–not a clock.

    Now, did the school and the cops overreact? Absolutely. A good talking to and a couple of days suspension is all that should have happened.

    1. “But no one who’s into electronics, or into prop building, has any doubt that he built a fake bomb–not a clock.”

      vs.

      “If you can’t look inside that box and immediately see that its basically electronic junk – I wonder how you can walk and breath at the same time.”

      You know, I’m betting both Azathoth and Agammamon know a bit about electronics, and the different conclusions here can be traced to Azathoth’s need to fit this story into a right and authoritarian mindset and Agammamon needing to fit into something more…libertarian.

      1. I agree about people’s narratives driving their response to this story. And generally my narrative would drive me to support this kid. But I can’t. He (and his family) are fucking assholes. They did this shit knowing what the response would be, and the media and everyone else played right into it.

      2. Further, while his action is legal it’s the same level of assholery as throwing a lit pack of firecrackers near a recently discharged soldier suffering from PTSD. Or walking into a crowded mall, dropping a duffel bag, and running. Or busting through your bedroom window at night while your wife (who has been raped) is sleeping.

        This kid is more than a troll. He deserves to be shunned, not celebrated.

        1. A bomb hoax is both fraud and threat, 2 speech violations of NAP.

    2. But no one who’s into electronics, or into prop building, has any doubt that he built a fake bomb

      I’m an engineer. I see a clock with the housing removed, put in a box. So did his engineering teacher, the first person to whom he showed it. The more you know about electronics, the more it looks like a clock, not the other way around.

      As the article says, I can see the English teacher reacting as she did, but the cops completely mishandled this.

      1. But no one who’s into electronics, or into prop building, has any doubt that he built a fake bomb

        Bullshit. I got my First Class Radiotelephone license in 1968 and write for two different electronics magazines. It’s a fucking circuit board in a pencil case.

        1. His statement has nothing to do with the actual “fucking circuit board in a pencil case”. It has to do with using a “fucking circuit board” into a “pencil case”.

          Ahmed took something normal, made it available to muslim terrorist interpretation, and then pretended he “invented it”.

          He didn’t do much work transferring a premade device into a pencil box, but he did make efforts to get attention in class by rigging the thing to start beeping.

          Follow the trail of effort. Invention vs attention.

          He is more than willing to be open and cooperate with media, but when the cops showed up he refused to cooperate and explain his motives.

          Follow the trail of communication. Who he is pandering to.

          1. made it available to muslim terrorist interpretation

            This says far more about you than it does about the kid.

            when the cops showed up he refused to cooperate and explain his motives.

            Good! He had already explained to the teachers when asked. I hope that his parents taught him what every kid should know- when cops ask questions, don’t answer, just keep asking for us and for a lawyer.

    3. But no one who’s into electronics, or into prop building, has any doubt that he built a fake bomb–not a clock.

      Anyone into electronics would recognize it for what it was.

      Anyone into prop building would have asked ‘where’s the explosives supposed to be?’

      1. after opening a closed beeping case perhaps, but if i were the teacher i would be nervous.

        1. Bombs beep? Jesus fucking christ on a pogo stick.

          1. Well duh, haven’t you ever seen 24 right before they go to commercial?
            Beep, Beep, Beep…

  20. Not to quibble but it doesn’t look like he disassembled and reassembled the clock, he simply took it out of its casing put its guts in a little suitcase and set it so it would start beeping during class. Then he refused to tell anyone what it was until the media got involved. That sounds like trolling to me. Granted the ridiculous, paranoid environment in the schools were ripe for this sort of exploitation. But it does look like exploitation. Which means both parties are wrong.

  21. Still, none of these details?whether they are true, false, or something in-between?have anything to do with the rightness of arresting Ahmed in the first place.

    True, but they do seem to be interesting facets of the story that bring into question the motivation of Ahmed and his family. I don’t think you should focus on the school and police response without questioning the role Ahmed’s family’s politics may be playing into this. It seem a little convenient that this would happen to them and that that they may have been trying to provoke this response. Like a lot of situations, it looks like all the parties are assholes and Soave shouldn’t ignore that possibility just because this situation allows him to ride his favorite hobby horse.

  22. a lot of the people who declared others got trolled still haven’t figured out they’ve been trolled.

  23. Why the fuck anyone cares what Dawkins has to say outside of the things where he’s an expert (evolutionary biology) is beyond me.

    1. Because, without the persistent ‘defeating of God’, his work in evolutionary biology is actually pretty shitty?

      I think Dr. Phil has done more good for the psychological community than Dawkins has done for… whatever community he is a part of.

      1. Ah, an advocate of higher order selection are you?

  24. Honestly, I do suspect that this was a set-up on the part of Muhamed’s family. The fact that the son of a prominent Muslim activist just happens to get arrested for bringing in a “suspicious-looking” clock to school is just a little too convenient.

    That said, so what? If it was a set-up, the authorities fell for it hook, line and sinker.

    1. This is your attitude towards fraud?

      1. It’s his attitude towards someone who understands that the authorities are jackbooted, intolerant assholes, and who figured out how to get them to react that way on command in order to demonstrate those tendencies, as well as to use the resulting publicity to his own ends.
        You demonstrate the authoritarian instinct of the principle in Dirty Dancing.

  25. Time to get back to dog piling and cuffing kids who bite off all the parts of their sandwich that aren’t a firearm.

  26. As Jesse Walker himself once said to me, one of the worst things about holocaust revisionists is that they give revisionists a bad name – it’s always good to improve your facts.

    IMHO, it would be pretty reasonable for the school to say “We’re not that smart, and what smarts we do have, we spend on education, so don’t bring stuff that looks like bonds or guns to school without checking first, because it wastes a lot of time.”. If they wanted to give the kid a warning or even a detention, they would have gotten away with it. But an arrest was easy or of line.

    I think it’s worth pointing out that the clock wasn’t much of an invention, and that it looked like aa miniature movie bomb prop. The school obviously thought the kid was trolling them. All of that is relevant context, but arresting a kid to teach him a lesson was still out of line.

    1. I suspect that you have the same crappy windows os that my phone has, that costs me hrs a week fixing whatever random crap the auto spell inserts, and dealing with the bs caused when an email is sent with an incorrect word you didn’t mean to use in the first place…
      Windows: Bringing all the joys of your ancient PC to a phone near you!

  27. Some people here need to read this comic…

    http://jasonboisvert.blogspot……y-101.html

    Given the basic, correct responses to the discovery of a bomb, and that the Irving school that had someone arrested for exposed electronics made every worst decision they could manage if they really believed the electronics were a bomb, the only logical conclusion is that they lied about their belief. Whether it was religious or racial bigotry, or just assuming that anything that breaks their routine is dangerous because public educators are brick-stupid, it doesn’t matter.

    What matters is that the claim that the school or the police genuinely believed there was a bomb is bull.

    It is immediately and obviously clear that at no point in ANY of this did anyone every thing that the device even had the slightest possibility of being a bomb. It is absolutely entirely possible that the entire thing was a set up by the kids father (and I very strongly believe it was), the problem with it was that the school and the police basically proved him 100% correct.

    The ONLY correct course of action would have been to confiscate the clock and call the parents in for a meeting then have them and Mohammad sign a contract agreeing to not bring any more of his “projects” to school without receiving prior permission and that said projects would remain in the engineering classroom for the entire day so as not to disrupt the other classrooms.

    1. Then the next time daddy wants to use his son to troll you and gather evidence of islamophobia you can just safely suspend the kid with documentation that he is being suspended for violating the terms of the contract that the kid and the parent signed.

    2. It is absolutely entirely possible that the entire thing was a set up by the kids father (and I very strongly believe it was), the problem with it was that the school and the police basically proved him 100% correct.

      The best summary of this whole sorry mess. The school and the cops got trolled by a politician/PR professional, complete with a prop and staged photos.

  28. It’s true, of course, that the consequences of this ordeal are largely favorable for Ahmed. President Obama invited him to the White House, Mark Zuckerberg invited him to Facebook headquarters, various engineering programs and internships are eager to help him, etc. etc. Ahmed will make out well after all this is done, it seems.

    We now live in an “elevate-status-by-maximizing-victimhood” world.

    “Hey, did school officials give you a hard time? Can we pretend there’s a racial component? Well, you win an appointment with the Leader of the Free World and some scholarships, for the sake of the sheer equality of it all!”

    This is what happens when the government realizes that it’s bullshit objectives and optics start colliding:

    1. We want kids to go into STEM!
    2. We want to make sure administrators (and kids) are safe in school, with zero tolerance and maximum security!
    3. Oh, shit! Terrified school officials arrested a minority kid for a science project!

    The government goodness optics align to magnify the bullshit: their zeal for securitah just pushed them to engage in both racism and trampling the government-approved dreams of a child.

    So, we fix it with some field trips to visit powerful people. Throw in some scholarships, and it’s all fixed. It’s all bullshit, too, but most of the dimensions of that are ignored.

    I wonder how this will play for the kid. I suspect he’ll go victimhood-maximization as a life strategy.

    1. Don’t forget a few grand in Swag…

      http://microsoft-news.com/ahme…..osoft-ceo/

      1. How fucked up is this?

        Seriously, the kid’s going to look back at his life and think:

        “Gee! In terms of recognition and admiration, I peaked back in middle school, when I was the victim of abusive authority and arrested for a stupid clock.”

        Enjoy your life, kid.

  29. To be clear, the problem isn’t that they questioned the kid in the first place. If anyone brings an obviously homemade, ticking device with wires protruding out of it into a public place that is synonymous with terrorist attacks around the world (i.e., a school), then the authorities damn-well better investigate it, and quickly.

    The problem is how the authorities reacted after they determined that what the kid made was not in fact a bomb. What they should have done is tell him that they were proud of his engineering skills, but that he wasn’t to ever bring something like this in again without permission from school officials.

  30. You clock truthers are embarrassing. You know that right? I mean, all the yokel shit you normally engage in is retarded, but this is going way above and beyond. Why are you idiots here, anyway?

    1. Why are you idiots here, anyway?

      For the gainz.

    2. Now imagine if they had detected traces of Ebola on the PCB.

    3. I’ve got no place else to go! /crying Richard Gere tears.

  31. _______ brought a small brief case with clock parts to school and got in trouble. Read this sentence several times and think about it. Don’t add that his dad is an activist or that the kid refused to answer questions about it. +72 virgin troll for sure.

    1. that the kid refused to answer questions about it.

      How much longer will this lie be peddled? THE KID TOLD EVERYONE WHEN HE WAS ASKED THAT IT WAS A CLOCK.

      1. It’s not a lie – you guys are just taking about different things.

        What the school said was that he wouldn’t explain why he brought it.

        I think that’s consistent with my guess – that he said “I thought it was cool and wanted to show my teachers,” but then when they asked “Why is it cool to take the shell off a clock and put it in a pencil case” and “Why didn’t you take out the battery so it wouldn’t beep in class” he said “I don’t know.”

        (He’s 14, so that’s what I would expect. In one of the stories, when one of his takeovers asks him why he’s paying with the Koran, he says “I don’t know.”

        1. What the school said was that he wouldn’t explain why he brought it.

          Bullshit. From the school’s spokesman:

          “He kept maintaining it was a clock, but there was no broader explanation.”

          Asked what broader explanation the boy could have given, the spokesman explained:

          “It could reasonably be mistaken as a device if left in a bathroom or under a car. The concern was, what was this thing built for? Do we take him into custody?”

          1. Yeah, that’s what I said.

  32. Ok, maybe he didn’t “invent” the contraption and just rearraigned the original parts. He just had not had the chance to modify it yet by adding the homemade C5 so get off his case.

  33. Why assume that people who point out that Ahmed may have orchestrated events are doing so to excuse school authorities and the police? It’s often the case that both parties in a dispute are wrong.

    1. No Marshal. You have to pick sides. Hasn’t anyone explained to you how the internet works?

      1. No shit, what an idiot. Look Marshall: There’s team red and team blue, either pick one or be quiet.

    2. Fraud (and threat) is a violation of NAP.

      Stop being indifferent to a malicious intent to create a bomb hoax.

      If someone uses fraud on you, and you gullibly fall for it, there is no fault for you. Stop victimblaming.

      This is like blaming scantily clad sluts who get hammered and then dateraped.

      Their actions are imprudent or naive, but not a cause of fault. You’ve got an actual violation of NAP, and you make a false equivalence.

  34. You know, I’m betting both Azathoth and Agammamon know a bit about electronics, and the different conclusions here can be traced to Azathoth’s need to fit this story into a right and authoritarian mindset and Agammamon needing to fit into something more…libertarian

    It’s so weird. I’m not excusing the school for it’s actions–and I’m definitely not excusing the police. Yet, just because I can look at the ‘clock’ and see exactly what Ahmed was doing I’m getting crap.

    I don’t think he was ‘trolling’. And I don’t think it was some kind of weird terrorist test.

    But, just because it looks deliberate to me, and I think the kid wanted to cause a little havoc I’m ‘authoritarian’.

    Again, do ANY of you remember being kids?

  35. It wasn’t an invention. He was asked by 6 teachers to put it away. He refused. Had he NOT been Muslim, a cop would have been called the first time he refused to comply. Total BS. The same happened with the guy breaking into his own home. He was enraged. I’d have been grateful… and embarrassed, and have a sense of humor. Dan Rather was too self-important to understand the cabbie had to go in for a shift change: another cabbie had paid for the shift. So he claimed “kidnapping.” In all cases (except Rather) cops were wrong and a WH invitation came. People are nervous but in fact, let Muslims get away with things others wouldn’t get away with. Why do French police allow regular blocking of traffic for Muslim prayers? People are confined to their homes: that’s closer to illegal confinement than Rather’s case. If Nidal Hasan had not been Muslim, would they have ignored him til he killed all those people at Fort Hood?

  36. “Their criticisms?which smack of conspiracy?gained at least a semi-respectable adherent in left-leaning atheist intellectual Richard Dawkins, who humored the idea that Ahmed hadn’t really invented a clock in series of Tweets:”

    Uh, it seems to me that there are two entirely separate issues here.

    One, that lauding the kid for any creativity or engineering skill is entirely misplaced.

    Two, that detaining the kid for making his toy-clock was incredibly stupid and reactionary.

    There is no reason to see #1 as relevant to #2, unless you’re of the mindset that “Criticizing the kid” somehow undermines “Criticism of the school and authorities”.

    I think that latter mindset is moronic. It demands that we treat the kid as somehow faultless and idealized *for the sake of * empowering our criticism of authorities.

    That sort of insistence on a one-dimensional reality is the kind of bullshit that helps no one.

    1. Is anyone even advocating that he should have been detained? I’ve read that conservatives (and “yokeltarians”) are all reacting like he is a terrorist, but I haven’t actually seen anyone advocate treating him like one.

  37. Have none of you ever had a prank backfire?

    Have none of you ever stood by a quick lie to avoid a harsher punishment? especially if the ‘lie’ was technically true?

    1. No, Azathoth, the slightest infraction will be met with overwhelming force, to teach the young one proper respect for Authority.
      Just because it’s a child does not mean that any mercy or sense of proportion will be used.

  38. The idiocy coming from both the left and right on this makes me happy to be a libertarian and therefore in neither camp.

    In any case, I never saw this story as being an example of “islamophobia” so much as it is an example of school officials being utterly retarded and the police being dumbly willing to go along rather than chastising a principal for creating a false alarm.

    This is no different than the kid who was arrested for chewing a pop tart into the shape of a gun, or the boy who was prosecuted for writing a short story about shooting his next-door neighbor’s dinosaur.

    They used to say that those who can’t do teach, but it’s gone beyond that. Now it seems those who can’t THINK teach.

    1. “Now it seems those who can’t THINK teach.”

      They really should call it a ‘zero intelligence’ policy.

    2. “No different”?

      Not any different at all?

  39. Well said, thanks Robby.

  40. If the kid was white the same people defending him would be applauding the school and police. Stop deluding yourselves. It was some planned hoax all along to get the response they wanted. His father has done this multiple times.

    1. So then there are multiple guilty parties.

  41. Great points in the article. And by the way, Richard Dawkins has once again shown himself to be a moron.

  42. Robbie, I think you botched this argument.

    For one, you conflate the dissimilar terms “detained” and “arrested.”

    From http://criminal-law.freeadvice…..ention.htm

    “The differences between a detention and an arrest are important because your rights change drastically from one to the other. In a detention, the police only need reasonable suspicion to stop an individual, and a reasonable person would feel as though they could leave in a short amount of time. … the U.S. Supreme Court has held that 20 minutes or so is a reasonable timeframe for detaining someone.

    When Detention Leads to Arrest
    To arrest an individual, law enforcement officers need probable cause. An arrest is characterized by the idea that a reasonable person would not feel free to leave due to the actions of the law enforcement officers. … A law enforcement officer has probable cause to make an arrest when there are objective circumstances that lead a reasonable officer to believe that there is a high probability or substantial chance that the individual has been involved in, or will be involved in, criminal activity.”

    cont’d

    1. Second of all, thus, the cops did not actually do anything wrong. They detained Ahmed because there was a reasonable suspicion he had a bomb (the clock unquestionably looked like a homemade bomb). After the initial 20 minutes was up, the cops had not yet determined whether this was a bomb (due in no small part to Ahmed’s waffling and noncooperation which gave probable cause), they HAD to arrest him to buy more time to examine the clock. Even if Ahmed had insisted to them “it’s not a bomb, it’s a clock” from the beginning, over and over, the police would have had to have brought in experts to verify this claim, and that takes time.

      Ahmed was going to be detained and then arrested no matter what due to the appearance and appearance of complexity of the device. It looks like a bomb, and bombs require experts to handle–voila, it’s going to take over 20 minutes.

      1. To contrast, here is an example of an illegal detention. In my small town, we have a cop that is infamous amongst the locals for pulling people over first, then looking over the vehicle for things to cite them for (like a broken taillight, etc.). This is an illegal detention because there was no reasonable suspicion to pull the driver over. The cop had her suspicions, but they were not reasonable.

        But Ahmed gave the teachers, school administrators, and cops reasonable suspicion on a platter. By bringing in something that looks like a bomb (at least what movies have trained the American public to think a bomb looks like) and behaving uncooperatively, he cleared the already easy-to-clear hurdle of reasonable suspicion, justifying his detention.

        After that it was a chain reaction to the (justifiable) arrest due to the complex appearance of the clock electronics and the need to wait for bomb experts to arrive.

  43. Bombs beep? Jesus fucking christ on a pogo stick.

    They do in movies and on television.

  44. I haven’t read any of the other comments yet, but let me add this –

    Yes, the response was somewhat over the top, but it wasn’t because of racism or Islamophobia. This crap has been going on for schools for years in the name of ‘Zero Tolerance’ aka ‘Zero Common Sense’.

    Ahmed and his father knew this and counted on that reaction so that they could claim their victimhood.

    1. This bomb hoax was done the next school day following 9/11.

  45. Ahmed was arrested for building a HOAX bomb. And that happened only after Ahmed neglected to mention the now familiar story that he brought an “invention” to impress his science teacher. This seems to be a point that a lot of people are missing.

    No one seriously thought (although the possibility wasn’t completely ruled out) that the deconstructed clock was a bomb. The principal and the cops didn’t evacuate the school or call the bomb squad. But since Ahmed brought in a suspicious looking device that wasn’t part of any school project and then plugged it in at English class (made beeping noise) after being told to put it away, it was reasonable for the principal to ask him what he intended to do with.

    None of this might have happened if Ahmed was transparent during questioning. Or if the told the science teacher what he planned to do. You can say arresting the kid was an overreaction, but it was self inflicted wound.

    In my mind, this is a lot less outlandish and less worthy of outrage than your typical zero tolerance incidents, in which the kids were punished for minding their own business.

  46. I’m pretty sure that anyone who has played with one of those programmable Lego robotics sets has done more advanced stuff than what this kid did.

  47. “The relevant question is whether the school and police responses to the clock were appropriate?and they weren’t, [regardless of the boy’s intentions] with the clock.”

    Regardless his intentions? Are you kidding me? Reason. Run your articles across an editor’s desk first, yeah?

  48. I make up to $90 an hour working from my home. My story is that I quit working at Walmart to work online and with a little effort I easily bring in around $40h to $86h? Someone was good to me by sharing this link with me, so now i am hoping i could help someone else out there by sharing this link… Try it, you won’t regret it!……

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  49. Soave, you have perfect pitch on this issue. Thanks.

  50. The revelation that Ahmed did not in fact build that clock is disastrous. He didn’t come up with his own design, put together a kit, or even disassemble an existing product to see how it worked – he just took the innards out of an old Radio Shack clock and dumped them into a pencil box.

    I would have expected him to be sheepish when the story got big, fearful that people would start asking detailed questions about the clock. Instead he beamed with pride, talking about how he planned to patent another invention, go on “Shark Tank,” visit luminaries around the country, and one day attend MIT. This just looks horrible.

    We started with a bright young inventor who was treated like a terrorist for showing off his latest project at school. Now we have a kid who put the guts of an ordinary alarm clock into a scary box and programmed it to start beeping during English class. The best strategy at this point is probably to have Ahmed politely decline the White House invitation, return the donations, pull the lawsuits, and let the story die as quickly as possible.

  51. Is it not also possible that after a generation of schools behaving as a law into themselves where NO assault or criminal behavior was ever treated as such that they are finally responding in a more reasonable fashion albeit they go overboard in the other direction?

  52. It’s not often I find an article at Reason so wildly head-up-your-ass wrong. If something looks like a bomb, you HAVE TO ASSUME IT’S A BOMB until it’s proven otherwise. This is not like suspending a kid for making a vague gun shape out of a Pop-Tart. That’s bureaucratic moral posturing about how zero-tolerance you can be, on the people-of-Wal-Mart sort of assumption that it’s a slippery slope from Pop-Tarts to Glocks, and look how easy it is to prove how serious we are. This is like wrestling a kid to the ground because his toy gun looks a lot like a real gun, and hurting him and hurting his feelings in the process. And if that kid is black, or this kid with the bomb-like clock is Muslim, and they get suspected a little faster because of their race or ethnicity, well, that’s just a clearer-than-usual example of the dilemma involved in certain groups being much, much more likely to commit certain crimes than your average kid.

    Hurting people’s feelings with profiling isn’t a good thing. It’s just not bad on the level of criminality. But if it takes profiling to prevent the crimes in question, then that’s what we’re gonna do, liberal wailing be damned.

    1. I agree with most of this, but not the beginning. The authorities never evacuated the school, which proves that they never thought it was s real bomb.

      1. If somebody thinks there’s a bomb in a backpack at school, this is what they do: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09……html?_r=1

  53. Actually it is very illegal to manufacture or display a device that looks like a bomb for the purposes of causing fear or distress in others.

    This is exactly what the kid was doing when he became confrontational with the teacher and refused to answer questions from the police.

    personally I think the cops should have gone all the way, processed the little bastard and submitted it to the DA for prosecution. Let the kid know his little hoax was going to keep him out of any American University. If you followed the case the kid is great about answering questions except about why his did this then His father or older sister step in.

    Perhaps the name should change from Reason.com to irrational.com.

    Hate to say it but if someone walked into my work place with the same “clock” they would be lucky to not get shot.

    1. Please describe to us how confrontational the kid was. What did he say? Did he get physical with the cops? I assume you have some evidence to back up what you assert as fact.

  54. The whole story reminds me of the “flying imams” which was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. If you subsidize something, you get more of it.

  55. “It’s worth pointing out that these trends of overcriminalization and increasing police militarization in American schools have unfolded over a time period of decreasing violence?both within schools and nationwide.” – R. Soave
    I see Reason make this similar point in nearly every article about law enforcement, crime, and punishment but am not sure that, as stated, this argument makes the point they intend. While I am sympathetic to this argument it can easily be turned around to argue that so called overcriminalization and increasing militarization of police in America has directly led to decreasing crime and violence. Why not? The drop in crime and the increase in law enforcement pressure and punishment have happened incrementally over time and in the exact same time period. So it isn’t too tough to argue one led to the other and likewise, going back will take us back to the higher crime rates of the past.
    By extension, lower rates of violence in schools could also be attributed to stricter enforcement. For myself, based on real experience with my kids school, kids in inner city schools are out of control, and the crap they do is constantly being swept under the rug due to ridiculous sensitivities to false beliefs that the system is the root of the problem. When they do finally face real punishment it typically after many incidences and not because teachers or administrators lacked cultural sensitivity training to better understand the reasons for their terrible behavior.

  56. I dislike how Reason seems to constantly want to do what I call “repaint the issue” so that it may find ground to provide criticism.

    My concept of Reason as being an honest libertarian magazine is fading into a view of political crap like that made against Dr. Carson for his statement.

  57. “The relevant question is whether the school and police responses to the clock were appropriate?and they weren’t, regardless of the boy’s intentions with the clock.”

    It was a clock for this presentation then. Did they know at the time that’s all it was ?

    If not, then Reason is being deceitful in the wording itself ! …. It is crap !

  58. You need to fire this jerk Robby Soave and replace with a real libertarian like myself 😀

  59. Bonus points to the kids and his family, if they figured out this trend of “overcriminalization and increasing police militarization in American schools” and sought to capitalize on it.

  60. Though I think the arrest frivolous, he was not arrested because he made a bomb. He was arrested because possessing a “hoax bomb” (a device that could reasonably be thought by an observer to be an actual bomb) is legally defined in Texas law as possessing an illegal weapon. Stupid yes, but it is an offense you can be arrested for.

    I’n Austin, on 6th street, on Halloween, I once saw a man in a suicide-bomber costume arrested for the exact same reason. Granted, his bomb was more convincing than Ahmed’s.

  61. The saddest part of this is that the Daily show is between seasons.

    http://boingboing.net/2015/09/…..n-des.html

    That’s not a bomb; this is a bomb. http://i.huffpost.com/gen/2815…..-570.jpg?5

  62. British bomb evidence: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ErpI…..ktower.png

  63. “the clock unquestionably looked like a homemade bomb”

    Have you even looked at it? A tennis shoe looks more like a bomb than that pencil box. And if they actually thought it was a bomb, the stupidest thing they did was look at it. The whole thing reminds me of Inspector Clouseau.

    I am stunned by the lack of common sense from the commentors here that seem to think this clock looked dangerous! Really? How do you even get out of bed in the morning, with that clock bomb next to the bed? Do you start your car each morning remotely because the kids at the bus stop all carry pencil boxes? Do you avoid all stores where they sell clocks and pencil boxes (especially Radio Shack and Walmart where this pencil box was purchased)? Do you really trust all those idiots on the freeway not be be suicide drivers carrying pencil box bombs? Are you constantly worrying about planes carrying clock bombs falling from the sky and crashing on you? Are you afraid to walk down the sidewalk where there might be buried pencil box bombs? Are you afraid of people who still use pencils because the pencils may just be a clever ruse for them to carry a pencil box? Do you all advocate bans on pencils, pencil boxes, digital clocks, and digital circuit boards? Do you only associate with people who wear analog watches? Are you willing to submit to cavity searches each time you enter a public building? You sound that insane.

    1. Yes, No, Yes, No, No, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, No.

  64. But the actions of both the police and the teachers show they did NOT really think it was a bomb. If they had, they wouldn’t have taken it with them when he was arrested and the school would have been evacuated.

    So their actions prove they’re lying when they said they thought it was a bomb.

    This is not to say that in their vast non-experience of dealing with bombs, they didn’t think that it might look like a bomb. But there’s a vast difference between being a bomb and speculating that it might look like one if they knew what one looks like…

    1. It looks like you didn’t get the memo. It is now generally understood that Ahmed’s family engineered this entire stunt, and the goal has shifted to sparing the Islamic communities involved as much humiliation as possible. What a train wreck.

  65. Where was the lefty outrage when someone with a tiny metal shape of a gun on a charm bracelet got suspended? Certainly something that looks like a bomb (even if a tech person would laugh at it..) would qualify under the zero tolerance policy. His attitude towards the English teacher when asked about it certainly qualifies as adding a reason for consequences. Police do a lot more to people on the street for being non-responsive.

    I’m not condoning those policies — just pointing out that the response was.. proportionate.

    One of the reasons for zero tolerance policies is that it removes the potential for bias from the teacher — they have to report *all* cases. Obviously it is counterproductive for the left to now attack teachers for doing *exactly* what they told them to do. Not that I’m defending teachers — they tend to want these type of policies to remove their share of the responsibility.

    On the Author — I hate Maher.. But in this case he was well reasoned, and reasonable. Just like the author said. And then the Author attacks Maher for his blase attitude towards arresting random children for being muslim. Not only do you argue both sides here, but the argument that isn’t in support of Maher and of course is the one you settled on is so one sided and myopic that I find my libertarian self dismissing it out of hand. It isn’t thought provoking — it’s anti-thought.

  66. I am stunned by the lack of common sense from the commentors here that seem to think this clock looked dangerous! Really? How do you even get out of bed in the morning, with that clock bomb next to the bed?

    Allow me to respond that little bit of retardation thusly:

    1) I bought my alarm clock at Target, not Bombs-R-Us, making it quite unlikely to be a detonation device.

    2) Further adding to my peace of mind is the fact that my clock is not a tangled mass of exposed wires and printed circuit boards shoved into a makeshift container for no apparent reason by an amateur.

    No, I’m not saying that little Ahmed’s bullshit attempt to claim that he “built” a clock (let alone “invented” anything) would fool me into thinking it was a bomb, or that the responding cop didn’t go over the top by arresting the kid. But I am saying that it’s not really beyond the pale for an average English teacher, who we have no reason to expect to know jack shit about electronics or bombs beyond what he/she has seen in the movies, to be concerned at the sight of such a device, especially given the “see something, say something” climate combined with the boy’s apparent lack of engagement in terms of explaining what the thing was and why he had it.

    1. I’m also not saying that there’s good reason to conclude there’s some sort of conspiracy or other sort of orchestrated nefariousness afoot. But if the boy’s behavior AND his father’s political history don’t suggest at least the reasonable possibility of such a thing here then, well…I’d say the lack of common sense is all on your side.

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