The Search

Like many people last night my wife and I watched the live television coverage of the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger of the two immigrant Chechen brothers suspected of being behind the bombs that killed three and maimed and injured so many more at the finish line of the Boston Marathon earlier this week:

The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing remained hospitalized with serious injuries this morning as the hunt for answers goes full tilt to discover why the alleged terrorists turned against a country they once embraced.

Police captured Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Friday night, ending a tense, five-day drama that gripped Massachusetts with fear and rekindled the specter of terror across the nation. He and his brother Tamerlan Tsarnaev, killed in an earlier gun battle with police, are Chechens who came to the U.S. and – for a time – seemed to want to succeed in America.

“I’m in complete shock,” said Rose Schutzberg, 19, who graduated high school with Dzhokhar and now attends Barnard College in New York. “He was a very studious person. He was really popular. He wrestled. People loved him.”

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, was found about 8:45 p.m. holed up in a covered boat stored in the backyard of a Watertown, Mass., residence. He was led to an ambulance and driven to a hospital, where he is listed in serious condition.

Although at a thousand miles’ distance the evidence against the surviving brother looks pretty damning we don’t know whether he was, in fact, responsible for the bombs, whether he and his brother were the only ones involved in the attack, or, if they were those solely responsible, why they did it. The search for answers goes on.

For some that the two brothers were, evidently, devout Muslims is explanation enough. Or that they were ethnic Chechens and that Chechnya has been wracked by war, extremism, and terrorism for decades. The Wall Street Journal explains their actions this way:

But the patriarch of the family, a talented auto mechanic named Anzor Tsarnaev, struggled to make a living. Tamerlan, his eldest son, failed to make a career out of boxing, dropped out of community college for lack of money and struggled to find work.

Living on public assistance in a multifamily house in Cambridge, the family began to fray, friends said. The parents separated. Anzor Tsarnaev returned to Russia, battling illness.

Along the way, Tamerlan’s attitude seemed to sour. “I like the USA,” he told the Lowell Sun newspaper in 2004 while competing in a boxing tournament shortly after arriving in the U.S. “America has a lot of jobs.” But a caption accompanying an online photo of him a few years later reads: “Originally from Chechnya, but living in the U.S. since five years…I don’t have a single American friend, I don’t understand them.”

Ruslan Tsarni, an uncle of the two brothers, told reporters outside his Maryland home Friday that his nephews were “losers” who were unable to settle into American life “and thereby just hating everyone who did.”

In the words of the WSJ, their lives unravelled. If lives that have unravelled are a sufficient explanation for committing gruesome acts of terrorism, we’re in a world of hurt. Today millions of Americans have had their lives unravel.

It has emerged that the older of the two brothers had been questioned by the FBI for his ties to terrorism, motivated by tips received from a country that has not been identified (I suspect Canada) and that an arrest for domestic violence was sufficient grounds for his deportation. If this case does not figure in our deliberations over immigration reform, we really need to question our priorities. I think that an immigration policy should be tailored to the needs of the American citizenry rather than the needs of the immigrants. Present policy does not do this.

Yesterday the city of Boston was, literally, shut down by the manhunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Today the search goes on. Now we’re looking for answers.

57 comments… add one
  • jan

    The most entertaining tweet was this:

    So lockdown is lifted because they can’t find the suspect…which allows boat guy to leave his house…and find the suspect.

  • jan

    Also, another related commentary to the past 5 days of terror-induced paralysis in Boston is this: The Boston manhunt and the MSM’s gun-control blind spot.

    Put simply, millions of Americans don’t want to depend only on the police for protection. They think about the inevitable interval between calling 911 and the arrival of the cops, and they don’t want to wait helplessly for the good guys to arrive. Events like this one reinforce deeply held public beliefs about the dangerous world we live in and the limits of the state’s ability to protect the people from the bad guys.

    As many before have pointed out, police action is oftentimes displayed in putting up the yellow perimeter tape around a crime scene, not necessarily arriving in time to save a person’s life.

  • michael reynolds

    Jan:

    Honestly, are you nuts?

    You think Boston would have been better off with a bunch of untrained, paranoid NRA members running around with AR 15s?

    And how dare you trash the Boston authorities who brought this to a very quick and satisfying conclusion?

    Blind spot? Look in the mirror.

  • Andy

    I watched a lot of TV coverage as well as twitter and other internet sources. Can’t say I was very impressed with the media coverage, TV in particular. Local stations were better than the national outfits Twitter was the best for me, but that’s probably because I’ve long followed events related to central Asia and terrorism so I knew who the credible sources were. There was certainly a lot of crap on twitter too.

    Overall it was a field day of confirmation bias and armchair psychological profiling. The truth is likely to more complicated than the simplistic narratives put forth by our so-called elite politicians and media personalities.

    BTW, I think this from Registan is a pretty good take on some of the issues.

  • sam

    “Honestly, are you nuts?”

    Honestly, yes.

    One of the neighbors, a young man, reported seeing part of one of the firefights from his upstairs window. Ask yourself what would have happened had he had an AR 15 and decided to “help the authorities” by taking a shot at the “bad guys”. Imagine you’re a police officer engaged in a firefight and observe a flash of gunfire coming from that window…

    Honestly, she’s stupid and nuts.

  • michael reynolds

    I don’t see the relevance of this matter to immigration writ large.

    It seems we have ethnic Chechens who were not born in Chechnya. Shall we bar people by ethnicity alone? Shall we refuse asylum to refugees in the future? Most of the family seems to have done reasonably well in the US.

    These were fundamentally American kids, it seems. They were raised in the US, attended American schools, had fairly typical American problems. IIRC the younger one had been in the US since his eighth year. Do you think if my daughter goes nuts and starts shooting up Boston it will be because she spent her first four years in China?

    They were immigrants, yes. One may have had his incipient radicalization validated or accelerated by an overseas visit. But they found their guns — the guns they used to kill the MIT officer — thanks to the NRA and their masters at Colt and Winchester and Glock. If they used commercial explosives those explosives were untagged and less traceable because of the NRA. If they felt they had no prospect of future employment then that grew from American failure, not Chechen.

    Shall we blame Chechnya or Vladimir Putin because an immigrant kid went off the rails? Are Chechnya and Putin also to blame for Newtown?

  • steve

    Interesting. We would change public policy due to four deaths from terrorists, but not for dozens of school kids or thousands of deaths yearly.

    Steve

  • The older brother presents a special, specific case. He was a non-citizen resident alien. He was here on sufferance. He also had connections to terrorism and had been arrested for a violent crime.

    I’m not blaming Chechens or Muslims or immigrants, generally. But there is no right of immigration. It’s a privilege. It seems to me that he was a perfect case for deportation.

    The relevance to immigration policy is determining which immigrants should be allowed to stay here. I think the very least we should demand of immigrants is that they keep their noses clean. This guy had obviously failed that minimal standard.

  • jan

    You think Boston would have been better off with a bunch of untrained, paranoid NRA members running around with AR 15s?

    As usual Michael, you totally missed the point to inflate another pet POV of yours.

  • michael reynolds

    Jan:

    I missed nothing. You took a cheap shot at men and women who’ve been risking their lives to catch this guy and implied that what we needed instead was a bunch of fat-ass gun cultists instead. And you did it to advance an agenda and with disregard for the facts.

  • PD Shaw

    I think the rough answers are pretty clear.

    1. The crime suggests the criminal. This was terrorism, an act of horror contrived for optimal t.v. viewing, with particular insight into Boston.

    2. The numbers suggest the frame of a motive. One person suggests suicide revenge spree, but two (or more) means a motive external to any one person (such as madness). Ideology or profit create a combine.

    3. The power of religion. The uncle, presumably a Muslim, recognizes extremism in his faith. Radical Islam provides answers and cures, it creates a with-us or against-us paradigm that isolates fellow Muslims, and creates a moral framework to justify horrors. I’m not surprised that people that they were good people, the adopted moral framework doesn’t preclude that.

    The questions remaining are the degree of outside influence, whether training, money or ideological support. I’m not quite sure that will be that interesting. The immigration angle is that we need to consider assimilation issues, particularly among poor, unskilled or non-English speaking.

  • Andy

    I know definitions of terrorism vary, but IMO, terrorism is characterized by political violence for a political purpose. What is the purpose here? We don’t know for sure yet, but the target was unusual in that it is such an apolitical event. One can understand the symbolic power of attacking the twin towers, or any number of federal government targets, or military personnel, but a marathon?

    I think this attack bears more resemblance to the beltway snipers than an attack springing from “radical islam.” It’s not like many in the islamist community have embraced this attack – most groups have, so far, tried to distance themselves. Again, for these groups, target selection is extremely important.

    Finally, with regard to radicalization, I think there is a chicken-egg argument to be made – in other words is the anger and violence a product of radicalization or were these two (or at least the older brother) drawn in because they were angry and violent and sought an outlet?

    All this is speculation, of course, but IMO this attack doesn’t fit the MO for a islamist based terrorist attack.

  • The immigration angle is that we need to consider assimilation issues, particularly among poor, unskilled or non-English speaking.

    Particularly if the future is that the poor stay poor. In the past there have been paths for escaping poverty: hard work or education, just to name two. With the large number of people with higher education unemployed or underemployed, education clearly isn’t the escape it used to be. Its prohibitive cost presents another barrier.

  • jan

    Michael,

    You are obviously reading what you want from the link to Walter Mead’s Blog and my brief comments, and then promoting your own agenda vis-a-vis a verbal volley of misdirected, misguided, blistering indignation.

    Nonetheless, the news these days has bits and pieces of immigration reform-in-the-making, gun control legislation, and two horrific incidents of mayhem and death — in Boston and Texas — all in the headlines. There are bound to be commingled musings regarding all these topics. Even Chris Wallace openly made the following comment:

    “All the people in that Watertown neighborhood, hiding, doors locked,” Wallace began. “How many of them, do you think — and worried that this guy might get into their home, maybe take them hostage — how many of them, do you think, might like a gun? To be able to protect themselves and defend their homes.”

    There is nothing wrong in these considerations, nor is there any untoward implications towards ‘the men and women’ involved in the Boston bombing. This is all in your own interpretation and mind set. However, what is troubling is the absurd bias shown towards the NRA:

    You think Boston would have been better off with a bunch of untrained, paranoid NRA members running around with AR 15s?

    Nothing could be further from the truth, in painting people having membership in this organization with such a broad brush of ignorant, inflammatory rhetoric. The core tenets of this long-established organization (established in 1871) encompass gun safety, education, firearm respect, and training both those in law enforcement and laymen about responsible gun ownership . These are the people you want to have armed, rather than the mentally ill, those with criminal intent, or those who have never handled a firearm before. It’s too bad you can’t drop what amounts to gun bigotry, and simply address all angles of violence in this country with more open-mindedness.

    BTW, probably some of those very men and women you kind of praised for doing a good job in Boston, participated in training programs/exercises sponsored by the NRA, gingerly called ‘fat-ass gun cultists’ by you. If there are any cheap shots to be noted, they are excerpts coming from you.

  • jan

    “All this is speculation, of course, but IMO this attack doesn’t fit the MO for a islamist based terrorist attack.”

    From the continuous feed of information spilling out about these brothers, their Jihad MO seems similar to the Fort Hood one — cultivated through internet missives, video, their own writtings, and possibly even a supportive overseas mentor. The older brother did have an edgy enough background, though, to spark an overseas warning about him, back in 2010.

  • jan

    On the other hand: Boston bombers: FBI hunting 12-strong terrorist “sleeper cell” linked to brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

    There is some advanced speculation going on here:

    A source close to the investigation said: “We have no doubt the brothers were not acting alone. The devices used to detonate the two bombs were highly sophisticated and not the kind of thing people learn from Google.

    “They were too advanced. Someone gave the brothers the skills and it is now our job to find out just who they were. Agents think the sleeper cell has up to a dozen members and has been waiting several years for their day to come.”

  • TastyBits

    @jan

    … gun bigotry …

    You obviously do not understand those who have ascended and attained enlightenment. I will go slowly, and hopefully, you can finally understand your errors.

    The Enlightened cannot be bigots, and your concepts of bigotry do not apply. The Enlightened understand that the only way to end bigotry is to categorize people into separate groups and to establish a hierarchy among them. When you make claims to not see differences and to treat all people the same, this is proof of your bigotry.

    “Othering” is another concept that is never applicable to the Enlightened, but it is doubtful you would be able to understand. For the Enlightened, your simple concepts do not apply. The Enlightened have ascended your logic, science, morality, etc. You think that “1 + 1 = 2”, but this does not constrain the Enlightened. For the Enlightened, “1 + 1” equals whatever is appropriate at the time, and the answer need not be consistent.

    The Enlightened are like rubber, and you are like glue. Whatever you say bounces off of them and sticks to you.

  • michael reynolds

    The tenets of the NRA are quite simple. They believe in profit for Colt, Winchester, Glock et al. That is all they believe in. Profit. Money. They don’t care where they get it. They don’t care if that profit comes from deer hunters or murders.

    The rest — the paranoid cult they promote, the hysteria about the constitution — is all theater designed to promote that core goal: money.

    The NRA is not its members. 70% of NRA members favored the minimal gun control measure in the Senate but the NRA nevertheless fought it tooth and nail. Why? Because nothing must be allowed to endanger the profits of Colt, Winchester and Glock.

    The NRA is a shill organization. The “members” are suckers. The real game is profit. Profit by any means. They would happily sell guns to Tsarnaevs tomorrow.

  • steve

    @Andy- Agreed. We stil dont have an agreed upon definition for terrorism, but most agree that there is some political motivation. Based upon what we know, not much so far, this seems more like nihilism.

    Note- The younger bomber was a weed smoking, party kid. Most of those carrying out attacks are not devout or religious in any conventional sense, like going to church or mosque. They often dont know much about their religion. Alienation first, then religion seems to be the norm.

    Steve

  • steve

    @jan- People in Boston can buy and own guns if they want. If the background checks had passed, they could still buy and own as many guns and have as much ammo as they wanted.

    At present, many states only check for a history of a criminal conviction. Fugitives, say someone who had just killed a bunch of people and were on the run, would be able to legally buy weapons since they would not have been caught and convicted yet.

    Steve

  • Red Barchetta

    Michael

    You as usual are full of shit. You’d do better to direct your invective at me. I’m used to it. jan writes some of the most thoughtful comments here. Pick on me, not her, I’ll give it back in spades…..

    The point was simple: people have the right to self defense. As with your racist rants, you have to go to the extreme with ridiculous notions of 2013 Jim Crow or AR15’s, because you cannot make a coherent argument. So you devolve into stupidity. What next, MSNBC and Chris Mathew’s inane stuff??

  • jan

    Tasty

    I concur with your comments about being enlightened. They were “enlightening.”

    My world, though, runs on common sense. And, I dislike sweeping good/bad categorizations or generalizations, as much as knee-jerk evaluations of others, usually reflective of that person’s own PC bias.

    Steve,

    I find myself scrolling back up to verify what was so sensationally ‘awful’ in what I posted, because of the odd backlash it generated. The conversation I was having was in the framework of “for every action there is a reaction”. Therefore, bringing up gun ownership ramifications was prompted by a curiosity as to the reaction this bombing might provoke across the country. After all, it was only in the aftermath of Newtown that the cry for stricter gun control went to the top of Obama’s ‘to do’ list, after nary a mention in his recent campaign rhetoric. Might then the latest tragedy turn that page, spotlighting other concerns, in the opposite direction?

    For instance, would people, in the aftermath of Boston, have greater concerns in how to manage their own self-defense and safety of their families? In doing so, would this also make them more likely to be looking into the long term effects of the small print in the recently proposed gun control measures? After all, rules and regulations have a tendency to grow from seeds of benign legislation, despite the fact that there is currently relatively free access to firearms. Much like Will Rogers said, “When Congress makes a joke it’s a law, and when they make a law, it’s a joke.”

  • PD Shaw

    @Andy, I think you interpret what is political from your own p.o.v. and from the view of what might be succesful. Here is a passage from the Koran that is popular among modern Jihadist:

    “Such are the times; we alternate them among the people, so that Allah may know who are the believers and choose martyrs from among you. Allah does not like the evildoers! And that Allah might purify the believers and annihilate the unbelievers. Or do you think that you will enter Paradise while Allah has not yet made evident those of you who fight in His cause and made evident those who are steadfast?”

    The jihadist seeks to purify himself and change society in accordance with divine will. Its only nihilistic because you don’t think and you operate from a non-religious framework.

  • PD Shaw

    I found this passage in a book about the type of people that can be recruited into the techniques and tactics of contemporary jihad:

    “In general, radical Islam has proved to be most effective among marginal Muslims — newly religious Muslims, especially second-generation immigrants or those originally from a semisecular background, converts, or those Muslims who have been compromised in their faith — and among Muslims who feel the humiliations of the modern world very strongly. This latter group often includes the well-educated, especially those who have come from a Muslim society to a Western country for the purposes of education or temporary employment. Often these people feel more keenly the dramatic disparity between their societies and Western societies and have a desire to do something about it.”

    David Cook, Understanding Jihad.

    The brothers here, particularly the eldest, seems of the precise type, but when I read this book a few years ago, I thought of second generation Muslim immigrants to Europe, not the U.S.

  • michael reynolds

    Red:

    It would be nonsensical don’t you think for me to suddenly attack you for something Jan wrote? I pay her the respect of assuming she’s a grown-up. Maybe you should try doing the same rather than leaping into it uninvited in a ridiculous parody of chivalry.

    And of course the further problem with you is that you never actually engage in debate. You don’t seem capable of it, while Jan is willing to engage in back-and-forth. All you ever do is bluster. You got no game, due.

    But, I respect Jan’s willingness to engage on an issue. Maybe you should consider offering her that same sort of respect. She’s a woman not a child, and this is 2013 not 1952.

  • jan

    But, I respect Jan’s willingness to engage on an issue.

    I also respect your willingness to engage in issues. However, I’m not as much of a flame-thrower as you are Michael. And, that’s where we not only part company, but are also unable to openly discuss oppositional POVs, as the name-calling takes precedence, putting the brakes on civility and furthering hopes of achieving anything more than useless, colorful barbs.

    IMO, Congress often uses the same closed thinking loop as you do, and consequently gets nowhere fast, to the detriment of ever reaching a compromise on anything.

    BTW, dealing with that gun control bill, I have no objections to reasonable background checks. However, I think the way Obama went about trying to emotionally coerce the votes, using the Newtown families as a human back drop for speeches, getting handlers for them, flying them around on Air force 1, and then trying to push new legislation through on the heart strings of their suffering, was nauseating, and probably did more harm than good. Simply using the power of his presidency to work out a deal with all sides in Congress, by-passing the usage of emotional crow bar tactics, IMO, might have had a better chance of passing limited but trustworthy and acceptable changes dealing with gun ownership. But, ratcheting up the language, like you just did, made everyone go into their partisan corners and vote accordingly.

  • TastyBits

    @michael reynolds

    … She’s a woman …

    On the internet, nobody knows if one is a steroid enhanced ferret impersonating a poodle.

  • steve

    “But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such a one as goeth on still in his trespasses. The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea: That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.” (Psalms 68:21-23)

    Deuteronomy 13:6-10

    6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

    7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

    8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

    9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

    10 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away from the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.

    There is no shortage of verses in the Bible threatening death to unbelievers or to the chosen who do not correctly follow the faith. The Koran is not special in that regard.

    Steve

  • steve

    @jan-Because what you said made no sense. If people in Boston want guns they can have them. The background checks won’t stop them either. If the full gun control bill, including the assault weapon ban and the limit on magazine size had passed, people could still have dozens of guns in their homes if they wanted. It was disingenuous to even imply that the gun control bill would have left people defenseless. If you are worried about the police ” not necessarily arriving in time to save a person’s life.”, the gun bill was not going to stop you from owning guns.

    Steve

  • michael reynolds

    Jan:

    I’m not ratcheting anything, I’m just speaking plain English.

    This is the truth: The NRA is not about its members, if it were it would not have defeated background checks. It defeated background checks because it serves its true masters: gun manufacturers and retailers.

    That’s not flame-throwing, it’s obvious. It’s indisputable.

    The NRA shills for gun makers and gun retailers like Wal-Mart. And it is quite clear that gun makers and gun retailers give not two shits about who buys guns. Not only would they have sold guns to the Tsarnaevs, they fought tooth and nail for the ability to sell guns to the Tsarnaevs.

    Tamarlan Tsarnaev had been accused of domestic violence end denied citizenship. But the NRA, Colt, Glock and Wal-Mart all just fought with their bought-and-paid-for Senators to ensure that people like that have guns.

    Why? Why do you think? Money.

    This has never been about constitutional rights, this has always been about profit.

  • PD:

    I found this passage in a book about the type of people that can be recruited into the techniques and tactics of contemporary jihad…

    A propos of that if you haven’t already read it you might want to take a look at a moderately lengthy passage I quoted some years ago from Ernest Gellner’s excellent book Book, Plough, and Sword. I think it’s relevant to what you quoted above.

  • jan

    On the internet, nobody knows if one is a steroid enhanced ferret impersonating a poodle.

    Actually, Tasty, I’ve misplaced my oil can causing my mechanics to freeze and my terminals to short out. Otherwise, the poodle facade, in place, is doing just fine.

    this is 2013 not 1952.

    The latter (1952) is when Eisenhower was elected, ending the mixed bag of the New Deal era. This new beginning of leadership resulted in important foundational work being done directly leading to the passage of the 60’s Civil Rights Act. It was actually a constructive period, much more so than the strife and bridge-burning we are experiencing under the 2013 leadership.

    There is no shortage of verses in the Bible threatening death to unbelievers or to the chosen who do not correctly follow the faith. The Koran is not special in that regard.

    That was a very strange correlation, Steve. A question to be asked, about current day behavior, is how many heads are removed for showing any criticism of the Bible, versus what is done when criticizing or taking issue with the Koran and/or it’s spiritual leaders?

    Drew (I prefer calling you that to “Red”),

    Your kind comments were appreciated.

  • PD Shaw

    @steve, your opinion has nothing to do with whether the brothers were motivated by an existing and documented ideological framework.

  • jan

    @jan-Because what you said made no sense.

    You act like I was bringing up specific aspects about gun control — somehow discounting or disagreeing with what the people in Boston could or could not do in purchasing firearm paraphernalia right now. I wasn’t!

    I was merely contemplating, in a very general way, how Boston’s terror-induced event might alter people’s perspective on future gun control legislation. As noted, Newtown’s incident raised gun control bills to the forefront of some states passing new bills (New York, for instance), as well as the federal government immediately jumping on the band wagon in their attempts to further tighten gun laws. My inquiry was directed at the recent chaos in Boston, wondering if it will now have any effect, one way or the other, on people’s thinking? If I had wanted to say more, or be confrontational about it, then I would have done so…but, that was not my point. You and Michael, though, seem to want to make it a point.

    It was disingenuous to even imply that the gun control bill would have left people defenseless.

    I was recounting media/blog comments circulating around about the possibility of people feeling a need to arm themselves, in lieu of this traumatic event. How you or I feel about being defenseless or not, shouldn’t stifle conversations about how others might interpret and response to shutting down a city while a bomber is on the loose.

    If you are worried about the police ” not necessarily arriving in time to save a person’s life.”, the gun bill was not going to stop you from owning guns.

    Again you are injecting more your POV than mine. It’s a fact, for instance, that the police arrived 20 minutes after the Newtown shooting took place. They estimated it took 5 minutes to kill the children. That’s why I cited, what is common knowledge, that police, more times than not, arrive after a crime has been committed. I think, though, most people hope a 911 call will save them from an intruder’s malevolent intentions. However, like most things which spontaneously happen to people, it is often times one’s own resources and resiliency that they must rely on to guide and save themselves.

  • steve

    Cool. Then you acknowledge that the gun bills, specifically background checks, would not limit a person’s ability to defend themselves?

    Steve

  • Red Barchetta

    Nice try, Michael. No sale. I notice you didn’t even attempt to debate. Just your usual flinging of feces.

    I can debate around you in my sleep. OK, Mr. Mathews?

  • Red Barchetta

    jan

    Micheal, once again had to devolve to patheticaly attempting to argue about “chivalry” because he can’t make an argument. His stock in trade. He just has emotionally based views.

    The truth is, I have tremendous respect for him. You should look up his work. And I have a friend familiar with him.

    My issue is when he refuses to go toe to toe on an issue and next thing you know you are a “racist” or now, a “chivalrist.” Its a fundamental weakness.

    My words were sincere. I just screw around here. You make great attempts to elucidate points.

    At the risk of sounding arrogant, don’t make the mistake that happens at OTB these days, which is getting shouted down. Michael once told me he got more thumbs up there than me, so he was right. That’s good for a real big belly laugh. As Don Imus would say. “You can’t make this shxt up.”

  • Red Barchetta

    jan

    Oh, and yes, its still Drew, not Red (Rush reference) but Mr Dodd and Mr Frank have raised their heads….

  • jan

    Cool. Then you acknowledge that the gun bills, specifically background checks, would not limit a person’s ability to defend themselves?

    I never said background checks would limit one’s self-defense, Steve. That was your own translation of my comments. However, I did voice caution about not looking into the long-term effects of such bills, in which they might eventually grow into unforeseen greater restrictions. We’ve seen that in the way government intrudes, starting out benign and small, and then growing incrementally where it eventually becomes overpowering and abusive. But by the time people are aware of this, it frequently is seen as the new norm, becoming too late to pull it back.

    Public vigilance and skepticism, IMO, is always the simplest preventative medicine to avoid such abuses in the first place. And, that’s also what keeps the fulcrum of this country pulling to the center, whenever one side or the other gets too full of themselves.

  • You think Boston would have been better off with a bunch of untrained, paranoid NRA members running around with AR 15s?

    Whoa! No just a damn minute there. LAPD were not in Boston!

    And how dare you trash the Boston authorities who brought this to a very quick and satisfying conclusion?

    They were made to look like fools. One item I saw reported was that the younger brother made and ATM withdrawal. It didn’t occur to them to call various financial institutions and get all that shit turned off? Really?

    A 19 year old kid avoided the police for hours…and Jan’s initial tweet is rather amusing…but also true.

    And keep in mind the FBI considers taking photos in public a suspicious behavior…but that is exactly what they were looking for to try and find the suspects early on.

    I missed nothing. You took a cheap shot at men and women who’ve been risking their lives to catch this guy and implied that what we needed instead was a bunch of fat-ass gun cultists instead.

    This is a myth by and large. Police do not risk their lives in doing their jobs.

    We Need to Stop Exaggerating the Threat to Cops

    I’ve pointed out a number of times that the job of police officer has been getting progressively safer for a generation. Last year was the safest year for cops since the early 1960s. And it isn’t just because the police are carrying bigger guns or have better armor. Assaults on police officers have been dropping over the same period. Which means that not only are fewer cops getting killed on the job, people in general are less inclined to try to hurt them. Yes, working as a police officer is still more dangerous than, say, working as a journalist. (Or at least a journalist here in the U.S.) But a cop today is about as likely to be murdered on the job as someone who merely resides in about half of the country’s 75 largest cities.

    Police Fatality Statistics Show 2012 On Pace To Be Safest Year For Police In 60 Years

  • This is a myth by and large. Police do not risk their lives in doing their jobs.

    I’ve published the statistics previously: the homicide rate for residents of Chicago is substantially higher than it is for Chicago cops. Said another way, if Chicago police officers are at risk, it’s because they live in Chicago rather than because they’re cops.

  • PD Shaw

    Yikes, Steve V., you are one of the last people I would have predicted to argue for the state to confiscate the public’s access to their money. It must have been a tough week for libertarians.

  • jan

    A 19 year old kid avoided the police for hours…

    I thought the police, at times, resembled well armed, Darth Vader-like images running around, completely overpowering the areas they searched by their sheer numbers, massive armaments, including black hawk helicopters & military humvees etc. — all to find one skinny, wounded 19 year old Jihad-inspired man. It reminded me of the old ET movie when the government moved in on ‘Elliot’s’ family home to capture one stranded alien.

    And, In an almost anti climatic ending, it was an old man stepping outside to smoke a cigarette, after authorities reluctantly lifted the curfew, who ultimately found the guy. It’s the kind of scenario that one could imagine SNL having a lot of fun exploiting in a future skit.

    Nevertheless, it makes me wonder how any more fear could have been injected into a situation, even if a hundred terrorists had parachuted into the city armed with suicide vests. Does it seem like we are becoming a deer-in-the-headlight society, freaked out and frozen in place, unless there aren’t lots and lots of a black uniformed personal around to protect us?

  • Yikes, Steve V., you are one of the last people I would have predicted to argue for the state to confiscate the public’s access to their money. It must have been a tough week for libertarians.

    Typical lawyer move…I wasn’t saying terminate the public’s access, but to terminate the suspect’s access. When you are suspected of a crime you don’t have the same rights that a non-suspect has. You of all people should know this.

  • Red Barchetta

    Jan

    As an afterthought, as usual Michael makes very weird assumptions. My comments re: you had nothing to do with “chivalry.” I assume you are perfectly capable of defending yourself.

    Rather, I come here a dish it out pretty aggressively. Naturally, I expect to get it back as such. Its just sport. Hence, when I saw them going after you “are you nuts? BS – – in my opinion – in that stupid ganging up thumbs up/down like at OTB I had a reflexive reaction.

    Stick it right up their……….oh, wait, you a polite person.

  • Andy

    Steve V.

    Typical lawyer move…I wasn’t saying terminate the public’s access, but to terminate the suspect’s access. When you are suspected of a crime you don’t have the same rights that a non-suspect has. You of all people should know this.

    Considering the police didn’t have the suspect’s name until, at the earliest, Thursday evening, I’m not sure how they could have turned off his ATM account before that. Also, the only ATM withdrawal I’m aware of occurred when the brothers forced their carjacking victim to withdrawal money from the victim’s account. Third, there are good reasons not to turn off a suspect’s account especially if the suspect believes the police aren’t onto him yet.

  • PD Shaw

    Steve V,

    Andy alludes to my understanding, that the ATM card was the victims, maybe its not clear. I really do not have any developed thoughts on this, but I understood you as suggesting that all ATM access be shut down, and that’s usually not your style.

  • PD Shaw

    Other than shutting down all of Boston, when it appears that the search was more properly targeted to Watertown, it seems like restrictions on liberty were largely maintained to the extent one can reasonably expect. I’d like to know more about how the younger brother escaped.

  • Andy alludes to my understanding, that the ATM card was the victims, maybe its not clear. I really do not have any developed thoughts on this, but I understood you as suggesting that all ATM access be shut down, and that’s usually not your style.

    When I first heard about the ATM withdrawal it wasn’t apparent it was the carjacking victims. Yeah, in that case the Feds had probably already turned off their ATMs. No, turning off everyone’s would do nothing to help catch these guys.

  • jan

    Drew,

    Nothing wrong with chivalry, IMHO. And, anyway, you offered an opinion about a comment Michael made — nothing more, nothing less.

    That thumbs up and down over at OTB was kind of novel at first. But, eventually it gets to be old-hat, as you know ahead of time who is going to get what. For instance, Tsar makes many articulate comments. But, they represent ideas on the other side of the social progressive tracks. So, he is a regular thumbs down fellow, and derided to boot. All someone with the social progressively approved mindset has to do, though, is post a glib one-liner and they get double digit thumbs up. These kind of predictable responses gives the ratings a ‘fixed’ kind of stigma, IMO, and such a place becomes a futile if not boring place to post.

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