Welcome To Bedwetter Nation

We are now officially a nation of hysterics:

Two people who sprinkled flour in a parking lot to mark a trail for their offbeat running club inadvertently caused a bioterrorism scare and now face a felony charge.

The sprinkled powder forced hundreds to evacuate an IKEA furniture store Thursday.

New Haven ophthalmologist Daniel Salchow, 36, and his sister, Dorothee, 31, who is visiting from Hamburg, Germany, were both charged with first-degree breach of peace, a felony.

***

Police fielded a call just before 5 p.m. that someone was sprinkling powder on the ground. The store was evacuated and remained closed the rest of the night. The incident prompted a massive response from police in New Haven and surrounding towns.

Daniel Salchow biked back to IKEA when he heard there was a problem and told officers the powder was just harmless flour, which he said he and his sister have sprinkled everywhere from New York to California without incident.

This is the real legacy of the last 7 years- a nation so whipped up into a frenzy over terrorism that you, me, anyone could be charged with a felony as long as some hysterical bedwetter somewhere thought we were committing an act of terrorism in our daily life. The Salchow’s are just lucky they are white. If they had biked back to the scene wearing brown skin and attempted to make their way through the crowd to talk to the cops, they probably would have been shot.

The fact that this sort of shit is happening with increasing regularity just emboldens politicians to make more laws, take more of your rights, and spend more of your hard earned money in the name of security. How many Americans have died due to terrorist attacks in this country in the last ten years?

Two thousand, seven hundred and forty-five. All related to 9/11, save five people that were killed in the anthrax mailings. There simply have been no other attacks- nothing. Nada. Zero. Zilch. The only other thing I can think of that comes close is the DC Sniper, and I can’t even remember his cause, so I am hesistant to call him a terrorist.

Again. 2745 dead. That is it. What is the US population?

According to the census, 302,703,731.

So 2745 out of 302,703,731 in the past ten years have died in terrorist attacks, and we are getting our knickers in a twist about an arrow made of flour in the IKEA parking lot?

It is absurd. You are safe. I am safe. This nation is safe. Quit being such a damned pussy. All of you.

*** Update ***

An update on 29 August. Long story short- this is a shakedown.

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158 replies
  1. 1
    stickler says:

    John, we’re scared because someone out there wants us scared. Law enforcement always loves a good security scare, because they get new laws and shiny new toys to use.

    More nefarious types want us scared so they can distract us from what they’re doing with the power we’ve given them (because we’re scared).

    Follow the money, as a wise man once said.

  2. 2
    Linda says:

    I think the DC sniper was just a couple of psychopaths who enjoyed shooting people, an older man and a younger kid maybe? It’s been so long since it happened, but I know it wasn’t terrorist associated, just evil people.

  3. 3
    IanY77 says:

    A-f*****g-men, John.

    And that is why I keep coming here.

  4. 4
    tballou says:

    Safety at all costs! We must be safe! There is nothing more important than safety and security! Safety is our highest priority!

    Had enough of this crap? I know I have. I want my liberty.

  5. 5
    Otto Man says:

    Well said, John.

    The saddest development is the discourse on the Republican side, where they seem to think that making us afraid and making themselves look tough go hand in hand.

    I wish the Democratic candidates could take the opposite tack. Wouldn’t you love to see someone running on a Bloombergesque “get a grip” platform?

    “Sack Up, America” would make for a terrific bumper sticker.

  6. 6
    TR says:

    Remember the GOP motto:

    If you’re not pissing your pants, the terrorists have already won.

  7. 7
    RSA says:

    Here’s what I hate most about this story: Sprinkling flour in a parking lot is not illegal. But the authorities screwed up by overreacting. Rather than admitting this, they find a vague law with which they can charge the Salchows and go after them financially. This is insane, because this could happen for any action someone takes in public that others might overreact to. I’m reminded of Jean Charles de Menezes, who, if he hadn’t been shot in the head, would probably warn against wearing a denim jacket in the London subway while being Brazilian.

  8. 8
    Dixie says:

    Last paragraph from the link:
    “You see powder connected by arrows and chalk, you never know,” she said. “It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. We’re thankful it wasn’t, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out.”

    Hysterical? It has stepped over the line drawn in the flour into paranoid insanity when a spokesperson says “it could be something more serious” than a terrorist.

    And restitution for the resources?! If these “flour powder” drug-imbibing, free-exercise libruls (hey, he rode his BIKE back over to see what was going on!) had called the cops to start the furor, sure. As it stands, a call for restitution is a freshly dropped turdblossom.

  9. 9
    Otto Man says:

    What really stuns me about the far-right nut jobs is just how much they truly believe that al Qaeda is not just going to attack us again, but that al Qaeda would actually win. (For example, check out idiot Melanie Morgan telling Naomi Wolf how she’ll look “super in a burka” when our Islamic overlords conquer us.)

    They really believe that a country that kicked the asses of the Nazis and the Japanese Empire at the same time, and then stood down the Soviet Union, is somehow going to be toppled by a bunch of cave-dwelling terrorists who got lucky — once — with an arms supply of box cutters.

    And these are the people who claim to be the super patriots? The one who thinks America is so weak it’ll crumble before the might of al Qaeda?

    I’ll say it again: Sack up, America.

  10. 10
    Duane says:

    I caught my wife sprinkling white powder all over the the counter in the kitchen. I tackled her and beat her pretty badly to subdue her. Then I told her to get her ass off the floor and stop enabling the terrorists by baking fresh biscuits.

  11. 11
    ATS says:

    In the end, sad as it was, losing people in the Twin Towers was just part of the cost of doing business. Especially the kind of business the US does in the Middle East these days.

    If we don’t get used to this, we shall be immobilzed by fear. Then too, a saner Middle East policy wouldn’t hurt— but Abe Foxman isn’t going to let the public entertain that notion. Hell, he won’t let a University even DISCUSS that notion.

  12. 12
    Ned R. says:

    What really stuns me about the far-right nut jobs is just how much they truly believe that al Qaeda is not just going to attack us again, but that al Qaeda would actually win. (For example, check out idiot Melanie Morgan telling Naomi Wolf how she’ll look “super in a burka” when our Islamic overlords conquer us.)

    Beat me to the punch there, Otto Man.

    Slight shift in subject but it seems to apply here: the whole ‘chickenhawk’ argument is a mug’s game that I try to avoid — I’ve had my moments but hopefully no more — yet sometimes I wonder a bit if all the hyperhysterics a la Morgan would ever follow the example of the International Brigades if the US said ‘hell with it’ and left Iraq. Because if they really were fearing the looming spectre of doom and all decided to go and fight on their own over there to prevent burkas appearing on catwalks, then over here would be a lot more relaxed, because they wouldn’t be bothering us with their nonsense.

  13. 13
    Pb says:

    Here’s what I hate most about this story: Sprinkling flour in a parking lot is not illegal. But the authorities screwed up by overreacting. Rather than admitting this, they find a vague law with which they can charge the Salchows and go after them financially. This is insane, because this could happen for any action someone takes in public that others might overreact to

    And, this is the exact same thing that happened with the 2007 Boston Mooninite scare:

    “They have been in place for two to three weeks in Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Parent company Turner Broadcasting is in contact with local and federal law enforcement on the exact locations of the billboards. We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger.” Some devices had been up in the cities listed for two weeks before the Boston incident occurred, although no permits were ever secured for the devices’ installation.[15]

    The marketing company responsible for the campaign, Interference, Inc., has made no comment on the situation and their website has also been down (restored as of 2007-02-03).[16] Berdovsky and Stevens, the individuals hired by Interference to install the signs, were arrested by Boston police during the evening of January 31, and charged with violating Chapter 266: Section 102A½ of The General Laws of Massachusetts, which makes it a crime to place a “hoax device” with the intent to panic the public.[6][17] Both were held at the State Police South Boston barracks overnight and were released on $2,500 bail from the Charlestown District Court the following morning.

    [edit] Fallout

    City and State officials have come to an agreement with Turner Broadcasting to pay for costs incurred during the incident. As part of a settlement that resolves all criminal and civil claims, Turner Broadcasting Systems and Interference Inc. have agreed to pay $2 million. $1 million of this will go towards the Boston police department, and $1 million will go towards homeland security. In addition, Turner released a statement to take responsibility and apologize for the incident.[18]

    Jim Samples stepped down from his 13 year position as head of Cartoon Network on 2007-02-09.[19]

  14. 14
    Ted says:

    And these are the people who claim to be the super patriots? The one who thinks America is so weak it’ll crumble before the might of al Qaeda?

    It truly is absurd. I don’t know what their order of events is in their nightmare scenario.

    1. The US is attacked again by Al Qaeda in some way; perhaps more airliners, perhaps something else.

    2. ?

    3. Sharia Law and a Caliphate that includes America.

    It boggles one to try to understand their thinking on this. Even the 1950s hysteria over a powerful internal communist movement was more rational than this, and that’s not saying much.

  15. 15
    rec says:

    It always fascinates me how the same people that wet their beds because of a single event six years ago thousands of miles away, trumpet a decrease in violence from twice-a-day suicide bombings to once-a-day suicide bombing as some sort of great breakthrough.

    Apparently if the “surge” means the chances of an Iraqi or one of his loved ones getting hurt in the upcoming year decrease from extremely high to very high then he should be content. On the other hand if the chances that you, your loved ones or anyone you remotely know would be hurt in the upcoming year increase from virtually non-existent to basically non-existent it requires nuking several countries and shredding the constitution.

    I lived in Israel most of my life, had buses I often take blow up and a suicide bomber explode not half a block from my apartment. Yet I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to be an Iraqi these days. The nerve these people have to discount the hell other people are going through as a direct result of their actions, while at the same time pretend to be the victims in some kind of paranoid fantasy inside their comfortable suburban heaven just boggles my mind.

  16. 16
    Otto Man says:

    It truly is absurd. I don’t know what their order of events is in their nightmare scenario.

    1. The US is attacked again by Al Qaeda in some way; perhaps more airliners, perhaps something else.

    2. ?

    3. Sharia Law and a Caliphate that includes America.

    I’m pretty sure step 2 involves the “Dhimmicrats” and Main Stream Media stabbing the Army in the back.

    That would be just like the Dhimmicrats, or so I’m told by the dancing clowns on Fox Noise.

  17. 17

    “They’ve got you running in every direction.
    You stand in line just to buy yourself protection.
    You can’t even figure out your own little scheme.
    Tell your leaders what you dream.”

    -from my song, “What You Dream”.

    “I think there’s a killer among us tonight.
    For your protection please step to the right.
    For your protection take two steps back
    and cover your eyes in case of attack.
    We don’t want a witness.
    We’re takin’ care of business.

    “Keep ’em nervous, it keeps ’em in line.”

    -from my song “Keep ‘Em Nervous”.

  18. 18

    And these are the people who claim to be the super patriots? The one who thinks America is so weak it’ll crumble before the might of al Qaeda?

    See, al Qaeda will win because of the treasonous liberals who will side with them against the “true Americans” as represented by Ted “suck on my machine gun, Obama” Nugent

  19. 19
    Ned R. says:

    I’ll say this much, I’m always happy to reflect on the fact that the paranoid right will all eventually die one day no matter what. It’s just kinda annoying that all the sane people eventually die as well.

  20. 20
    myiq2xu says:

    Jeez. Out here in California we have a lots of gays, but it looks like the East coast got all the pussies.

  21. 21
    Rudi says:

    Don’t forget the Boston litebrights terror plot. Before long it will be illegal to photograph BigMac in Michigan or ride ferries in the North West. Talking about riding ferries, they want to attack marriage too. But RudY G keeps on trying, marriage number three and counting…

  22. 22
    Jim Henley says:

    The DC Snipers’ cause was money. Cash, jack, rhino, stash / the long green, as our NEA director put it in his most famous poem. They sent unpublicized extortion letters to the authorities beginning quite early in their spree, demanding millions of dollars to stop shooting people. Their means of collecting the money – it involved transferring the cash to an account for which they had a stolen and deactivated ATM card – was impractical, but they were deadly serious about monetizing random murder.

  23. 23

    “When people overdo it about terrorism, terrorists actually win. You’re sort of like becoming agents and instruments of the terrorists.”

    Rudy Giuliani, 1999

  24. 24
    srv says:

    Anyone who hadn’t figured out America was a nation of bedwetters by 9/14/2001 wasn’t paying attention.

  25. 25
    ThymeZone says:

    “When people overdo it about terrorism, terrorists actually win. You’re sort of like becoming agents and instruments of the terrorists.”
    —Rudy Giuliani, 1999

    “Islamic terrorists are at war with us,” Rudy Giuliani told about 300 people at a synagogue in Rockville, Md., one evening in July. He likes to say it that way — that they are at war with us, not the other way around. “They want to kill us,” he warned a group in New Hampshire the same month. “They hate you,” he told a woman in Atlanta.

    Mr. Giuliani broadened that message here on Tuesday night, saying that Democrats “do not understand the full nature and scope of the terrorist war against us” and that if they were elected the United States would suffer “more losses,”

    Any questions?

  26. 26
    scarshapedstar says:

    “Islamic terrorists are at war with us,” Rudy Giuliani told about 300 people at a synagogue in Rockville, Md., one evening in July. He likes to say it that way — that they are at war with us, not the other way around. “They want to kill us,” he warned a group in New Hampshire the same month. “They hate you,” he told a woman in Atlanta.

    Yes, you, personally! They looked you up on Facebook!

  27. 27
    Otto Man says:

    Yes, you, personally! They looked you up on Facebook!

    “Navin Johnson.” Sounds like a real asshole.

  28. 28
    RSA says:

    The evidence also shows [Guiliani is a] great, gaping [asshole] weaknesses.

  29. 29
    Dave_Violence says:

    Thanks for further stigmatizing us bedwetters. I hope you’re happy.

    1. Is sprinkled flour really a good marker? Why not surveyor’s paint? It’s not like the running club had coordinated permission to use a private parking lot prior to their actions, is it?

    2. “How many Americans have died due to terrorist attacks in this country in the last ten years?” Dude, make it the last 15 years and it gets interesting.

    3. Americans overreact to all sorts of things. As long as no one is losing money, who cares? (the news reports made it appear as though the management of IKEA was spinning their reaction as some sort of pro-customer safety action – and thus you should buy from us as we’re good people…).

  30. 30
    Tulkinghorn says:

    Anyone who hadn’t figured out America was a nation of bedwetters by 9/14/2001 wasn’t paying attention.

    Oh yeah, that was the summer of the shark!!!

    and the missing intern!!!

  31. 31
    Ned R. says:

    Dude, make it the last 15 years and it gets interesting.

    The great Grunge Terror of 1992. How could I forget.

  32. 32
    BIRDZILLA says:

    And someone spills powdered sugar and the go into hystarics

  33. 33
    Mike says:

    The sprinkled powder forced hundreds to evacuate an IKEA furniture store Thursday.

    It wasn’t the powder that forced the evacuation.

  34. 34
    TR says:

    Even Birdzilla agrees this was overreacting. That’s a sign of just how far gone people have gotten.

  35. 35
    The Other Andrew says:

    Anyone remember the colorcoded terror alerts? Anyone? Bueller? Well, I’m sure they’ll be back for 2008…

  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:

    Those who trade liberty for security get neither.

  37. 37
    myiq2xu says:

    Has Steely McBeam been captured yet? He’s extremely dangerous.

    Football fans everywhere in the country (except Pittsburgh) are laughing themselves to death.

  38. 38

    Americans overreact to all sorts of things. As long as no one is losing money, who cares? (the news reports made it appear as though the management of IKEA was spinning their reaction as some sort of pro-customer safety action – and thus you should buy from us as we’re good people…).

    They were probably also outside selling the Ikea Jipodor flour remover.

  39. 39
    Mike says:

    And someone spills powdered sugar and they go into hysterics

    That would piss me off; you’d never get rid of all the ants.

  40. 40
    OhReally says:

    The last time I checked George Bush was still president; so I don’t feel safe.

    Note: White powders must be banned in the United States. In fact, all powders must be banned. Liquids too. And a lot of solids. How else can we be safe?

  41. 41
    dslak says:

    We should probably ban all matter, just to be on the safe side.

  42. 42
    Ross says:

    So 2745 out of 302,703,731 in the past ten years have died in terrorist attacks, and we are getting our knickers in a twist about an arrow made of flour in the IKEA parking lot?

    It is absurd. You are safe. I am safe. This nation is safe. Quit being such a damned pussy. All of you.

    If you average out those numbers over ten years, about 275 Americans die every year by terrorism. Over time I’ve compiled some numbers from CDC, NIH, and a handful of other sources on how many Americans die per year from other causes… just to put it in perspective. Unfortunately I didn’t save any links to references for the numbers, so take it all with a grain of salt and feel free to go look for yourself.

    Putting it all in perspective… average # of Americans killed every year.

    690,000…Heart disease
    224,000…Diabetes
    43,000…..Motor vehicle accidents
    31,000…..Suicide
    18,000…..Homicide
    3,800……Drowning
    776……..Accidental discharge of firearms
    275……..* * * TERRORISM * * *
    67……….Lightning

    Terrorism doesn’t seem so apocalyptic when you look at the actual numbers. Of course, reality has a well-known liberal bias ;)

  43. 43
    cpl says:

    This is like the Boston overreaction where Lite-Brites that had been in place for nearly a week got noticed by some panicy pant-soaker and launched a lockdown of Beantown.

    I’m not a bumper-sticker kinda guy, but “Sack Up America!” gets my vote.

  44. 44
    Leader Desslok says:

    Sack Up America

    Fucking Brilliant.

    And enough with the “Nation of Bedwetters” line and the chickenhawk argument. That shit isn’t working. It’s time to just come out and call people who fall for this shit pussies. They are pussies and should ridiculed daily for it.

    Go nuclear.

  45. 45

    […] Let a thousand flours bloom: This is the real legacy of the last 7 years- a nation so whipped up into a frenzy over terrorism that you, me, anyone could be charged with a felony as long as some hysterical bedwetter somewhere thought we were committing an act of terrorism in our daily life. The Salchow’s are just lucky they are white. If they had biked back to the scene wearing brown skin and attempted to make their way through the crowd to talk to the cops, they probably would have been shot. […]

  46. 46
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that it was John and the other 51 million stupid motherfuckers who voted for George Bush in 2004 that caused this problem.

    So please shove your outrage in your ass.

  47. 47
    dslak says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that it was John and the other 51 million stupid motherfuckers who voted for George Bush in 2004 that caused this problem.

    You make a good point. We have yet to see pictures of John with self-inflicted stigmata to prove his contrition.

  48. 48
    ATS says:

    We need a “Terror Channel” to run along with the Weather Channel, one after the other, to keep people in a permanent state of fear, shopping for duct tape, toilet paper, plywood and Ruger Mini 14s at the same time.

    Beware of mud slides in the Bonneville Salts Flats, and dirty bombs on IsIe Royale. Batten down the hatches, even if you haven’t any. And, like Ari “Orwell” Fleischer said, “you need to watch what you say, watch what you do.”

  49. 49
    John Cole says:

    Richard Bottoms- After four years of putting up with your shit, I would like to extend you a personal message:

    Go fuck yourself.

    If only one person gets killed by terrorists in the next ten years, I hope it is you.

    I am so sick of your shit.

  50. 50
    Jill says:

    I heard a statistic a few months ago (don’t remember where) that said the total number of terrorism related deaths ever in the history of the world are less than 50,000. Why are we spending so much time, money and blood on something that proportionally causes very little death? Especially when there are so many other things like lack of health care, disease, and civil war that cause far more deaths every year.

  51. 51
    Dave_Violence says:

    Hijacking of subject…

    Ross said, ‘

    “Putting it all in perspective… average # of Americans killed every year.

    690,000…Heart disease
    224,000…Diabetes

    43,000…..Motor vehicle accidents
    31,000…..Suicide
    18,000…..Homicide
    3,800……Drowning
    776……..Accidental discharge of firearms
    275……..* * * TERRORISM * * *
    67……….Lightning”

    Add the suicides (assume all by firearms), homicides (all by firearms) and accidental discharge of firearms: 31,000 + 18,000 + 776 = 49,776. That’s more than the number of people killed by motor vehicles. And A LOT more than those killed by terrorists every year. I have to conclude that firearms are more deadly than cars, and terrorists.

  52. 52
    Richard Bottoms says:

    >I am so sick of your shit.

    No more so than I am of the moron you helped put into office. And if Bin Laden whacks me, I am most certainly going to come back and haunt you even worse than I do now.

    You made a mistake, you sincerely regret the deaths destruction that are the result of that mistake, and I don’t forgive you for it.

    If that’s the worst consequence of you helping to vote these brownshirts into office you are a damn sight better off than whatever PFC got shoved into a pine box this week.

  53. 53
    KC says:

    Amen, John. This is a post that needed to be posted.

  54. 54
    Beej says:

    Richard Bottoms:

    Geddovuhit!!!!

  55. 55
    Richard Bottoms says:

    You make a good point. We have yet to see pictures of John with self-inflicted stigmata to prove his contrition.

    And sometimes you have to work hard to be forgiven. Look me up January 10th, 2009. I’ll probably be more inclined towards such charity.

    I can’t seem to convey just how ashamed I am of my country, at how sick I am thinking that some 50 years in the future so kid is going to read in history books how allowed George Bush to slaughter thousands, to wreck an entire country.

    I imagine he will ask his father just as I asked mine how the world allowed 5 million people to be exterminated when they had the power to stop it before ti got started.

    John and others like him need to know how significant their change of heart really is and how it will be perceived in the decades to come.

    They need to know now how large their mistake will play in the scheme of things to come and that only by realizing the weight of that mistake can they be forgiven by history.

  56. 56
    ThymeZone says:

    Richard, old bean, can we take a step back? One of the rights of citizenship is the right to be wrong, and to change one’s mind and support something else.

    If we don’t give each other room for that, we have to shut the old American Experiment down, eh?

    Take a breath. John is not the cause of our train wreck and he is leading the charge against it.

  57. 57
    Helena Montana says:

    Speaking as a person of the female persuasion, do you think you could find another word to denote coward besides “pussy”?

  58. 58
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Take a breath. John is not the cause of our train wreck and he is leading the charge against it.

    And I want him to understand how vitally important it is for history’s sake that he understand the backers of George Bush may be as despised by history as the brownshirts from the 30’s. That people may 50 years hence ask with the same incredulity we have when asking Germans after the war, how could they not have known.

    This is torture, incarceration without appeal or hope of justice, surveillance by an unforgiving and unaccountable government.

    If things don’t change we may come to realize that this is the prequel to 1984 unfolding right before our eyes.

    It is that scary, that important, and the weight of responsibility to fight it falls to those who once supported the men now running our government.

    I can’t forgive him because we are still perched on a precipice and I don’t know which way we’ll fall yet. If we do become a totalitarian state do you think these words will go un-noticed?

    The change of heart John has had better have been in time or the future is going to be a dark one indeed.

  59. 59
    John Cole says:

    I want everyone to know what an overwrought penis you are. Fortunately, you do most of that for me.

  60. 60
    Rome Again says:

    Richard, isn’t it more important to be mad at those who would put the next wingnut in office?

    John has no intention of doing that. He has learned his lesson, he has angst over it, he has publicly written how ashamed he is that he didn’t listen to those of us who tried to tell him how this war in Iraq was going to turn out. Save your anger for those who are still planning to hit the next election lever for another wingnut.

  61. 61
    Helena Montana says:

    John Cole says:

    I want everyone to know what an overwrought penis you are. Fortunately, you do most of that for me.

    Thank you John, that nicely counterbalances the pussy thing.

  62. 62
    Richard Bottoms says:

    The smiling face on a drak future.

    Romney has also been mocked by liberals for his call to “double Guatanamo,” but that May GOP debate statement in support of lawless interrogation was no off-the-cuff remark. One of his chief foreign policy advisers is J. Cofer Black, a veteran covert operative who directed the CIA’s Counter-terrorism Center (CTC) from 1999 until May 2002, before becoming the Coordinator for Counterterrorism at the State Department during Bush’s first term. He is now vice chairman of the private military contractor Blackwater USA. Black has testified before Congress that, “[A]ggressive, relentless, worldwide pursuit of any terrorist who threatens us is the only way to go and is the bottom line.”

    The CIA’s CTC that Black ran is the division responsible for carrying out America’s extraordinary rendition policy through its Rendition Group. In 2002, Black told Congress, “After 9-11 the gloves came off.” According to The Washington Post’s Dana Priest: “Dressed head to toe in black, including masks, [members of the Rendition Group] blindfold and cut the clothes off their new captives, then administer an enema and sleeping drugs. They outfit detainees in a diaper and jumpsuit for what can be a day-long trip. Their destinations: either a detention facility operated by cooperative countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, including Afghanistan, or one of the CIA’s own covert prisons — referred to in classified documents as ‘black sites,’ which at various times have been operated in eight countries, including several in Eastern Europe.” After 9-11 this center grew from 300 to 1,200 people “nearly overnight” and became known as the Camelot of counterterrorism, according to the Priest article.

    Even as Romney preaches tolerance toward others, laying the groundwork for the general election, he also preaches intolerance to appeal to his base, or stands silent as they preach it on their own. There has been no statement too outrageous, no group too far to the right, that he has felt a need to condemn it. In March, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Romney cozied up to Ann Coulter right before she controversially called John Edwards a “faggot.” Over the summer, Romney posed for a picture with — and later signed the back of a photo of — a woman carrying a sign comparing Osama bin Laden to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. When Romney was asked to apologize, his aides said Obama and others needed to “lighten up.” When Romney was accused by Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, one of the contest’s longer-term social conservatives, of supporting gay Boy Scout leaders, Romney spokesman Kevin Madden in late July issued a statement in blatant contradiction to the feel-good antidiscrimination campaign trail statements I had heard the candidate make just weeks before: “Governor Romney has been the most prominent, leading advocate of the family values platform in this campaign. … Governor Romney has been a supporter of the Boy Scouts and has said he supports their right to decide scouting policies.”

    In Council Bluffs, at the fundraiser for the Iowa Christian Alliance where Romney was the keynote speaker, a man sidled up to me and asked about my name and background. When I told him my geographic background, he replied knowingly, “Ah, a cosmopolitan” — an ancient anti-Semitic code word for Jews. “We are hoping that whoever is elected will not forget this constituency,” said Christian Alliance president Scheffler as he introduced Romney shortly thereafter.

    Charades

  63. 63
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Richard, isn’t it more important to be mad at those who would put the next wingnut in office?

    I have simply stated I choose not to favor Mr. Cole with forgiveness yet and won’t until I am more certain the damage he’s done is on the way to being reversed.

    We are one dirty bomb away from the Bill of Rights being flushed down the toilet. His new outlook is just a little too late to ease my mind.

    You call me overwrought, yet could you really imagine the United States of America would ever be the guardians of detention centers into which any person on Earth could vanish? That the CIA would employ skilled torturers to milk confessions from anyone they deemed a threat?

    I would have called such a thing liberal paranoia and hyperbole myself six years ago. Now, anything is possible.

    The society of Winston Smith didn’t happen overnight. There had to be a time when the government didn’t have supreme power, before that path was taken.

    We are at that point now and it wouldn’t take a lot more than one Hiroshima sized event to send us down that road, perhaps never to return as a country.

    The people capable of bringing our existing precursors of such a nightmare vision into a full blown reality are now running the country thanks to John.

    So it’s not anger. It’s fear.

  64. 64
    Punchy says:

    Because a bunch of thirty-something crackers on bicycles and probably spandex fits the AQ modus operandi to a “T”…

  65. 65
    Barrasso says:

    ‘I want everyone to know what an overwrought penis you are.’ I also hate to see too much decorative iron work on a penis.

  66. 66
    CaseyL says:

    I want everyone to know what an overwrought penis you are.

    Did anyone besides me picture a Baroque-style dildo, with lots of curlicues and fleur-de-lis and ribbons?

    No?

    Alrighty, then…

  67. 67
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Did anyone besides me picture a Baroque-style dildo, with lots of curlicues and fleur-de-lis and ribbons?

    No?

    Alrighty, then…

    Just means it’s long, black, and hard biatch.

  68. 68
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Richard Bottoms- After four years of putting up with your shit, I would like to extend you a personal message:

    Go fuck yourself.

    BTW, all this serves to show is that more than a year before the 2004 elections I was already telling you George Bush was a dangerous, incompetent, lying sack of shit.

    But you voted for him anyway.

    So suffer.

  69. 69
    the dryyyyyyy cracker says:

    “The smiling face on a drak future”

    Nice Enemy Mine reference. And IIRC, Dennis Quaid’s character’s name in that movie translates as “penis” in Louis Gosset Jr.’s character’s language, so you kinda tied everything together there.

  70. 70
    Richard Bottoms says:

    And IIRC, Dennis Quaid’s character’s name in that movie translates as “penis” in Louis Gosset Jr.’s character’s language, so you kinda tied everything together there.

    No problem. Here to help.

    Of course in the post-Brokeback era, Louis wouldn’t already be pregnant. Now there’s a thought picture for you. Talk about being an officer and a gentleman.

    Think I’ll go wash my mind with bleach right now.

  71. 71
    jake says:

    1. Is sprinkled flour really a good marker? Why not surveyor’s paint? It’s not like the running club had coordinated permission to use a private parking lot prior to their actions, is it?

    The flour is or should be mixed with dye (usually surveyor’s paint) so runners can tell the difference between the big splot of flour marking trail and splots of anything else and since a few run ins with the cops, people who use just plain flour are subjected to ridicule and beer.

    So yes, people were pissing their pants over big handfuls of red or green or day-glo orange powder that they somehow imagined was a big handful of weaponized anthrax.

    Two reasons this story made me angry:

    1. New Haven has a kennel. I know those assholes have encountered the cops before because several dozen people drinking and acting goofy in public draws complaints.

    2. There are three (maybe more) Kennels that run every damn week in and around DC. Yes the cops do come, but again it’s in response to the drinking, goofy behavior, noise. Immediately after the Anthrax attacks started there was one SWAT team response to some guys laying trail in DC (another reason not to use white powder).

    A few months after that there was a far less vigourous response to guys laying trail in Virginia. But that was still around the time of the anthrax mailings. Since then everyone has calmed down and its back to being idiots in public complaints. And guess what? People in DC have far more reason to be nervous about suspicious behavior than anyone in damn New Haven. But the Depends crowd will look at the festering pit that is N.H. and think “If terrorists might have possibly struck there, then my home town of Bumsniff must possibly in danger too!”

    Anything to feel anyone gives a fuck I guess.

  72. 72
    Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop says:

    New Haven, Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia

    Yeah, those Republicans sure are bedwetting girlymen.

    ?

    I mean, the twelve or fourteen Republicans who live in those cities combined.

    Besides, everybody knows the only proper thing to wet your bed about is Global Warming Climate Change!

  73. 73

    My actual experience with hashing or orienting was in a former Soviet republic (Latvia) and was lead by Brits. They used wood shavings. My memory of that was when does this damn trail lead to a bar. The Scot who dragged me off on that Saturday morning adventure and I eventually found a bar, drank vodka and shot pool and made merry with the locals. It ended my affair with vodka (unable to sleep, unable to relieve myself, I spent the night on the bathroom floor miserable).

    The local Depends crowd seems to be moving more to the desperation level, wanting to shoot illegal immigrants and pit bulls and anyone/any creature that pisses them off. Living in Texas has its hazards. My point is that in some places, people call the cops. In my hood, people just shoot. Cops included.

    The stats upthread would be inhanced with the number of times police have just killed someone rahter than deal with them — a growing problem in Houston.

    Sorry to go off topic.

  74. 74
    DougJ says:

    You just don’t get it, John, do you? 9/11 changed everything. Americans need to watch what they say, watch what they do. In pre-9/11 America, sprinkling flour in a parking lot just meant you were a weirdo, someone to be avoided. Now it means you want to kill us all and establish your own personal caliphate.

    Sure, it was just flour. But what if it hadn’t been? What if it had been powdered plutonium or polonium? What if it had been concentrated essence of Sadam’s WMDs? What if that was how we got them across the Syrian border, by grinding them up into something that looked like flour? And what if that’s what this was? You wouldn’t be laughing then, would you? No, you’d be digging yourself out of the wreckage of a crater that used to be a city.

    You disgust me.

  75. 75
    DougJ says:

    Go ahead. Call us bedwetters. Dry sheets don’t mean much when you’ve blown up by a flour bomb.

  76. 76
    Rome Again says:

    So it’s not anger. It’s fear.

    But John isn’t going to pull the lever for a wingnut next time, so what is your fear based on?

    People make mistakes, people sometimes learn from them. If I were you, I’d be more inclined to be angry, fearful, whatever at those who haven’t learned the lesson. That’s all I’m saying.

  77. 77
    Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop says:

    …the DC Sniper, and I can’t even remember his cause, so I am hesistant to call him a terrorist.

    …I know it wasn’t terrorist associated, just evil people.

    …The DC Snipers’ cause was money

    I can’t blame you guys for not knowing. It’s not like Big Media would go out of its way to publicize that there are actual Islamic terrorists here in America. I mean, that would be playing right into Rove’s hands!

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/c.....hibits.htm

    “Exhibit 65-006: A self-portrait of Malvo in the cross hairs of a gun scope shouting, ‘ALLAH AKBAR!’ The word ‘SALAAM’ scrawled vertically. A poem: ‘Many more will have to suffer. Many more will have to die. Don’t ask me why.’

    “Exhibit 65-016: A portrait of Saddam Hussein with the words ‘INSHALLAH’ and ‘The Protector,’ surrounded by rockets labeled ‘chem’ and ‘nuk.’

    “Exhibit 65-043: Father and son portrait of Malvo and Muhammad. ‘We will kill them all. Jihad.’

    “Exhibit 65-056: A self-portrait of Malvo as sniper, lying in wait, with his rifle. ‘JIHAD’ written in bold letters. . . .

    “Exhibit 65-067: A suicide bomber labeled ‘Hamas’ walking into a McDonald’s restaurant. Another drawing of the Twin Towers burning captioned: ’85 percent chance Zionists did this.’ More scrawls: ‘ALLAH AKBAR,’ ‘JIHAD’ and ‘Islam will explode.’

    “Exhibit 65-103: A lion accompanies chapter and verse from the Koran (‘Sura 2:190’): ‘Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you and slay them wherever ye catch them.’

    “Exhibit 65-109: Portrait of Osama bin Laden, captioned ‘Servant of Allah.’

    “Exhibit 65-117: The White House drawn in crosshairs, surrounded by missiles, with a warning: ‘Sep. 11 we will ensure will look like a picnic to you’ and ‘you will bleed to death little by little.’ . . .

    “Exhibit 65-101: Malvo’s thought for the day: ‘Islam the only true guidance, the way of peace.'”

  78. 78
    whippoorwill says:

    Oh! Oh! You forgot the master terrorist who was gonna bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with a blow torch. I really like this blog!

  79. 79
    DougJ says:

    EEEJ is right. Why does the MSM ignore the contact the I-95 sniper had with Saddam? It’s all there in Stephen Hayes new book.

  80. 80
    whippoorwill says:

    The other night i dreamed i was shot out of really long cannon and i landed smack dab in Dick Cheney’s lap. Does that make me a terrorist. I am so afraid.

  81. 81

    EEEJ is right. Why does the MSM ignore the contact the I-95 sniper had with Saddam? It’s all there in Stephen Hayes new book.

    Contact? He was clearly trained by Saddam as a mole.

    EEEL – What size Depends do you wear? I’ll send you a new box for x-mas.

  82. 82
    Richard Bottoms says:

    But John isn’t going to pull the lever for a wingnut next time, so what is your fear based on?

    I don’t fear John pulling the lever for a Bush clone on 2008. I fear a downward spiral into totalitarianism should we fail to really reverse the trends that have manifested since 9/11, if a large scale terror attack on the order of Hiroshima were to occur.

    My fear is based on an infrastructure that has been put in place that is the precursor to a police state courtesy of John’s ill-considered vote in 2004.

    There is no technological impediment to surveillance on the scale of the fictional 1984. There is no inclination on the part of those currently in power to show restraint on curbing or civil liberties should a sufficiently large terror event occur.

    No rational person would have been believed if had predicted on 9/10 what has in reality been done since that fateful, awful day. Not the secret prisons, not the renditions, the arrogation of power into the White House, none of it.

    I am not predicting a police state.

    I am saying that the elements for one exist, and that the messianic fool in the White House would have no qualms taking us down that road if circumstances were deemed dire enough by the Cheney 1%’ers.

    People make mistakes, people sometimes learn from them. If I were you, I’d be more inclined to be angry, fearful, whatever at those who haven’t learned the lesson. That’s all I’m saying.

    In a world where the government can place a choke hold on your means of communication and access to your wealth through a few electronic roadblocks the margin for error is pretty damn small.

    The powers that be haven’t turned their power towards sifting through every message, transaction, and communication of Americans yet. With near limitless computing power and storage the only impediment to doing so at the moment is lack on an order to make it happen.

    If Skokie were vaporized tomorrow do you doubt the order would come from president flight suit?

    Imagine Google cubed with a million bureaucrats, augmented by intelligent software dedicated to sifting through that data. Hard to do? Just ban private servers, require all communication through web interfaces and store that data forever. You’ll still have email, things will look pretty much the same when you gossip with grandma, but it won’t be America as you know it now.

    I am not afraid of the terrorists but their actions have made one thing clear, human rights will revolve in the 21st century around privacy and government’s willingness to respect all, part, or none of yours and mine.

  83. 83
    DougJ says:

    Contact? He was clearly trained by Saddam as a mole.

    They met in Prague, as Williams Safire has explained. But imagine how much more damage he could have done if he’d had access to flour.

  84. 84
    DougJ says:

    You know, with all these meetings in Prague, sometimes I’m not sure if I’m reading intelligence reports or the next Ethan Hawke novel.

  85. 85
    jake says:

    “Exhibit 65-117: The White House drawn in crosshairs, surrounded by missiles, with a warning: ‘Sep. 11 we will ensure will look like a picnic to you’ and ‘you will bleed to death little by little.’ . .

    Yeah, if they’d completed the final mods on that Crown Vic it would’ve turned into a 20-story tall Transformer Decepticon and stomped DC flat.

    It’s not like Big Media would go out of its way to publicize that there are actual Islamic terrorists here in America ^coming out of the U.S. military.

    I’m actually surprised M. President doesn’t go on about those dickheads at every given opportunity. They’re brown, the brains of the operation was a member of a black supremacist group with the word Islam in the title, their actions certainly made life in the ‘Burbs way too fucking exciting. And compared to dorks like the Miami 7 or the Kill JFK Again idiots, they were actually a danger to the public. In fact, I recall seeing Moose on TV everyday but I’m drawing a blank on Bush.

    Some possible reasons for the silence:

    1. They were apprehended by the police and tried in a criminal court. No wiping of asses on the Constitution was necessary, therefore it’s too boring to mention.

    2. Too much talk about domestic terrorism might make people realize there’s no way to completely prevent terrorism and ask if a never-ending war and wiping of asses on the Constitution is necessary.

    3. It might cause people to ask about the other terrorist attack on US soil, much of which occurred in the President’s ‘hood (like the Beltway attacks) and why the person(s) involved haven’t been caught.

    4. He loves the troops so much he doesn’t want to so much as give the impression he might criticize any soldier or veteran.* This would also explain his silence on McVeigh.

    *Unless the vet is running for office as a Democrat.

  86. 86
    Richard Bottoms says:

    1. They were apprehended by the police and tried in a criminal court. No wiping of asses on the Constitution was necessary, therefore it’s too boring to mention.

    Hard to maintain that we are fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here if we are, you know, fighting them here.

  87. 87
    John Cole says:

    The funny thing about Richard is that he seems to think that if a Democrat were president, and 9/11 occurred, none of the hysteria would follow.

    I find that to be a dubious assertion.

    True, I do not think the terror index and security apparatus would have been as misused for political purposes by Democrats as it has been by Republicans, but I do believe MUCH of the same stuff we are currently going through would have happened with a Democratic leader. Many of the post 9/11 changes were little more than the dusted off wish list Clinton pushed for (and was denied- by Republicans) after Oklahoma City. DHS was proposed by Democrats an co-opted by Bush.

    And, if history is any lesson, were the Democrats in charge, they could possibly have run to the right of the GOP on terror issues and things could be WORSE. It isn’t too far-fetched to think that is a possibility- ever heard any Democrats talk about the Drug War? Some of them are straight up frightening. And the Republcians would be right there with them- egging them on.

  88. 88
    DougJ says:

    And, if history is any lesson, were the Democrats in charge, they could possibly have run to the right of the GOP on terror issues and things could be WORSE.

    Could you give some examples of how they might be worse? I’m curious. Not ruling it out, mind you, I’d just like to know how much worse things could be, just so I’ll feel better about how bad things are right now.

  89. 89
    ThymeZone says:

    It isn’t too far-fetched to think that is a possibility- ever heard any Democrats talk about the Drug War? Some of them are straight up frightening. And the Republcians would be right there with them- egging them on.

    You’re right. We need the Higglytown Heroes!

  90. 90
    John Cole says:

    Shit. Punchy- I accidentally deleted all of them. You had so damned many up I deleted one too many.

    Could you give some examples of how they might be worse? I’m curious. Not ruling it out, mind you, I’d just like to know how much worse things could be, just so I’ll feel better about how bad things are right now.

    You are right. I overstated the case. It is hard to imagine how it could be worse.

    I do think that it is not unreasonable to think that many of the same things might have happened, especially when you combine the behavior of spineless Democrats convinced they have to be tougher than the Republicans and the morally bereft and ethically challenged Republicans egging them on.

    That doesn’t deem that far-fetched at all. You did just watch the majority party legalize Bush’s previously illegal warrantless surveillance. I didn’t imagine that, did I?

    What I am saying is not crazy speak covering for this hopelessly corrupt administration. I just think that absent the Democrats electing Dennis Kucinich or Russ Feingold or someone else concerned with civil liberties, it is easy to imagine a Democrat President enacting much of the same legislation.

  91. 91

    […] It’s a true story, and it caused a freaking terrorism scare. […]

  92. 92
    Rome Again says:

    What I am saying is not crazy speak covering for this hopelessly corrupt administration. I just think that absent the Democrats electing Dennis Kucinich or Russ Feingold or someone else concerned with civil liberties, it is easy to imagine a Democrat President enacting much of the same legislation.

    What we need is congresscritters who care about constituents and the Constitution. The current lot of Repubs don’t seem to have any of those, Dems seem to have at least a few. Unfortunately, it seems to me, unless a candidate rubs elbows with CFR and such, they don’t have much of a chance of getting elected.

  93. 93
    Rome Again says:

    The powers that be haven’t turned their power towards sifting through every message, transaction, and communication of Americans yet. With near limitless computing power and storage the only impediment to doing so at the moment is lack on an order to make it happen.

    Do you have any idea how many man-hours and how much money that would take? And they would have to sift through so much benign information to find anything worthwhile.

    I’m not saying I want the government sifting through our private communications, but, I am not so afraid that they would have the ability that you think they would.

  94. 94
    Mike says:

    Haven’t you complacent fools ever heard of a flour bomb? This was obviously a dry run for an attack on New Haven’s large collection of grain silos.

  95. 95

    […] Update: John Cole at Balloon Juice says it better than I could. Where is this rugged individualism and “These Colors Don’t Run” strength that we’re all supposed to have? […]

  96. 96
    otmar says:

    Land of the frightened,
    home of the paranoid.

    Yes, this is really how it feels when you travel from Europe to the US.

  97. 97
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Do you have any idea how many man-hours and how much money that would take? And they would have to sift through so much benign information to find anything worthwhile.

    When money and manpower is no object the paradign shifts we can’t look at everything to why miss anything.

    I do think that it is not unreasonable to think that many of the same things might have happened, especially when you combine the behavior of spineless Democrats convinced they have to be tougher than the Republicans and the morally bereft and ethically challenged Republicans egging them on.

    Sorry if I tend to think my party ultimately is better than yours. The difference is we have seen the GOP exposed for the theocratic extremist assholes we Democrats have been telling you they are for 25 years.

    Yes, there are quite a few deficient Dems we’ll be working to replace over the next couple of decades. The dreaded far left commie Kossacks and others like him will be leading the charge.

    And what shock to hear that some Democrats are saying things they don’t believe to be competitive against far right whackos in an political atmosphere poisened by your former cohort Karl Rove.

    What we won’t ever be is a party of flaming dickheads like Rudy G. and Mitt “Winnebago” Romney.

    Certainly the party right now that is working hardest to end torture, secret camps, and strip mining of our rights, how ever feebly you may think, damn sure doesn’t have GOP in their name.

    So screw that “The Democrats are worse” horseshit.

  98. 98
    Justin says:

    John, I don’t think the GOP would be egging them on. The only thing the GOP is afraid of more than brown people and gays are Republicans. So if they think a law is actually NECESSARY to protect our country from brown people (or gays), but it would empower Democrats, they’d check their “who do we hate more list” and oppose the law.

  99. 99
    Andrew says:

    Do you have any idea how many man-hours and how much money that would take? And they would have to sift through so much benign information to find anything worthwhile.

    I’m not saying I want the government sifting through our private communications, but, I am not so afraid that they would have the ability that you think they would.

    So, there’s this bunch of folks called the NSA and they have this little toy called Echelon…

  100. 100

    Did anybody else catch that Gonzalez is Gonezo?

    I want to use this as evidence to refute DougJ’s point that it can never get worse.

    The Republicans this morning were talking about Ted Olsen as a possible replacement. How do you like them apples?

  101. 101

    Wait a minute. Gonzalez is having a Press Conference now and he’s announcing that he does not recall resigning.

  102. 102
    Cassidy says:

    If things don’t change we may come to realize that this is the prequel to 1984 unfolding right before our eyes.

    Not all bedwetters are Conservative, apparently.

    Certainly the party right now that is working hardest to end torture, secret camps, and strip mining of our rights, how ever feebly you may think, damn sure doesn’t have GOP in their name.

    False faith. Don’t kid yourself with any sense of altruism. These positions equal votes right now. If the popular consensus was to string all terrorists up by their toenails and lighting them on fire, Hillary would be lighting the torch.

    What we need is congresscritters who care about constituents and the Constitution.

    Not intending to get into a pissing match as we have before, but this kind of statement is the heart of the problem. Your version of a Congressman/woman who cares about the Constitution is a gun-grabbing anti-Constitutionalist to me, and vice versa. What we really need is a Federal gov’t who is willing to let states and communities run themselves as they see fit, within some broad Federal guidelines. Of course there are some exceptions to this scenario (civil unions, abortion, etc.), but I truly beleive the bulk of our problems would dissipate if the inhabitants of states and lower level communities were allowed to make decisions for themselves.

  103. 103
    Ellison, Ellensburg, Ellers, and Lambchop says:

    EEEL – What size Depends do you wear? I’ll send you a new box for x-mas.

    Sorry, I didn’t realize that being knowledgeable about recent history and informing those who aren’t so much meant I wear Depends. Usually, people just say something like, “Thanks, I didn’t know that, and now I do.”

    What an enlightened, Progressive bunch of fifth-graders you are.

  104. 104
    Jake says:

    And, if history is any lesson, were the Democrats in charge, they could possibly have run to the right of the GOP on terror issues and things could be WORSE.

    I thought I was the only one who remembered the early squeaking from the White House: It would’ve have been worse if Gore was in charge!

    Apparently I’m not, but this is the first time since 2002 that I’ve heard a person seriously espouse the idea that Democrats would have been worse than the current cabal of traitors that have been running the show for six years, especially when “worse” would now involve … uh. Hmm.

    You know, I can’t imagine what worse would look like without stomping on Goodwin’s Law and I’m in a good mood over GoneZo, so I’ll give John the benefit of the doubt and assume he meant to post that piece of drivel under one of his many nom de spoofs.

  105. 105
    LITBMueller says:

    More fun with statistics:
    @3,300 people die per year due to suffocation (usually by choking on food or some other object)
    @3,700 people die per year due to fire, smoke inhalation, and burns
    @4,000 people die per year due to drowning (boating, swimming, etc.)
    @14,900 people die per year due to falls (off of ladders, off of buses, through windows, etc.)
    @43,200 people die every single year due to a car wreck

    An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a study of 37 million patient records.

    Common prescription medications like antibiotics & medicines used for gastrointestinal complaints, are responsible for approximately 15,000 deaths/yr. in the U.S. and Europe by causing problems with the human heart.

    Leading causes of death:
    Alzheimer’s disease (49,558 in the year 2000)
    Firearms (29,000 in 2000)
    Tobacco (435,000 in 2000)

    Total number of people who died in the whole wide world in 2004 due to international terrorist attacks, according to the State Dept.: 1,907
    That’s 0.4% of the number of people who died from using tobacco products in 2000.
    That’s 6.6% of the number of people who were killed by a gun in 2000.
    That’s 3.8% of the number of people who died from Alzheimer’s disease in 2000.
    That’s 4.4% of the number of people who are killed in auto accidents every year.
    That’s just over half the number of people killed every year by a fire in this country.

  106. 106
    Cassidy says:

    jake, you didn’t read all the way. He corrected himself and said that it wouldn’t be worse, but he doubts that the abuses of power and over-reaching of our Federal Gov’t, wouldn’t have been that different.

  107. 107
    Z says:

    I recall a survey done maybe a year ago, I wish I could remember where to link. Basically, it found that people in the cities (who are more at risk for a terrorist attack) were less frightened of being attacked than people in rural areas and the suburbs (who probably have no chance of being attacked). That result is certainly echoed in my own family. I live in a mid-sized city. My parents live in the rural south. I can’t tell you how many times my father has raised his voice and passionately told me, ‘But they want to KILL YOU!!!’. And he takes my non-reaction as an inablility to understand the danger. What he doesn’t seem to get is that I am so much more likely to get shot walking to my car than to die at the hands of terrorists. Sure they want to kill me, but they are going to have to take an f**king number and get in line.

    I am perfectly willing to take my chances. I want more freedom. I want these security thugs to get their hands off the Constitution. I don’t care if it ups the chances of another terrorist attack. Some things are more important. But, how do you tell your Dad he is being a coward? Chaulk up my respect for my father as another casualty of republican ‘Family Values’ politicians.

  108. 108
    Jake says:

    jake, you didn’t read all the way.

    You’re right, I didn’t read his later post further down. Thanks.

    I do think that it is not unreasonable to think that many of the same things might have happened, especially when you combine the behavior of spineless Democrats convinced they have to be tougher than the Republicans and the morally bereft and ethically challenged Republicans egging them on.

    Yep. I remember how the Clenis ran rough-shod over the Constitution after the OKC and WTC bombings.

    There’s precedent for how Democrats (and Republicans) respond to terrorist attacks but John’s been smoking Tunch’s fur or something and has forgotten.

  109. 109
    Matt Sandy says:

    You could probably tack on a few more hundred and add another 10 years to those numbers…. ~3245 out of 302,703,731 in the past 20 years. Also factor in new people that have come into the wolrd since then which is around 15k a year… which adds another 300k for 20 years… ~3245 out of 302,733,731 in the past 20 years.

  110. 110
    Art says:

    Think of the children!

    No, not like that you pervert.

  111. 111
    Pappy O'Dannon says:

    I says, these boys are here by pardon’d

  112. 112
    Alt says:

    Didn’t you know? Flour can be used as an explosive. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flour_bomb
    The police should have hauled Mr. Salchow off as a terrorist on the spot.

  113. 113
    sk says:

    Thank you John, for putting into words something I have been feeling for years and years.

  114. 114
    HasherDale says:

    “It could be a terrorist, it could be something more serious. We’re thankful it wasn’t, but there were a lot of resources that went into figuring that out.”

    I googled “Flour Markings” and got one website about bread and the rest about Hashing around the world. Maybe I can bill the Mayors office for my extensive research and resource usage!

  115. 115
    skeptic says:

    “Two thousand, seven hundred and forty-five. All related to 9/11, save five people that were killed in the anthrax mailings.”

    Are you forgetting Oklahoma? Or the U.S.S. Cole? I totally agree with the whole hysteria thing, but just sayin…

  116. 116
  117. 117
    Penguin Pete says:

    The sad thing is, the end result of all this fear is to give the terrorists exactly what they want. “Oh, look, it worked! The infidels are so filled with fear, they are attacking their own!” How much more effective would it be if we played it down? “Yes, we were attacked, but we brushed them aside without too much trouble. Let’s get on with our happy lives of liberty now.” Guess we’ll never know.

    It’s just the international equivalent of “feeding the trolls”.

  118. 118
    john says:

    Richard bottom
    why are you so outraged at the conduct of bushco?…You seem to think that this is the first time in american history that such terrible injustices have been committed…it’s nothing new, it’s business as usual. Welcome to the real world. Today’s angry young man is tomorrow’s self righteous politician, bringing “freedom and democracy” to another third world nation.

  119. 119
    ZugZug says:

    why are we scared? this link tells you why..

    http://www.tnr.com/docprint.mh.....udis082707

    because you were reminded of your mortaility. Therefor everyone needs to be punnished. Don’t let logic get in the way of making decisions.

  120. 120
    James says:

    It’s only a matter of time before another terroist attack occurs on our soil. That doesn’t mean I’m willing to let out poorly run democracy completely erode away our personal freedoms because of a fear based mentality.

  121. 121
    China Tattler says:

    I do believe many Americans aren’t so much fearful of actually becoming a Terrorist’s victim, but rather the beneficiary of the fallout from percieved threats.

    Every body at the Ikea shop should get themselves a good lawyer and sue these two jokers with the flour for the emotional distress they caused.

    Can you say class action suit and victim compensation fund?

  122. 122
    The Agitator says:

    Hashers Arrested

    Longtime readers will know I once hashed in the D.C. area from time to time (okay, about five times). Hashing…

  123. 123
    Fred says:

    I’ve relayed this story to many of my conservative, pro-law enforcement friends and they all support the charges and the reaction of the cops. The response is generally something like, “Why were those people doing that in the first place without previously notifying the police?”, or, “No one knew what was going on. The police had to respond that way. Better safe than sorry.” Blah blah blah…

  124. 124
    Hmm says:

    I completely agree with your critique of American hysteria. But as another commenter pointed out, we shouldn’t forget Oklahoma City.

    More importantly, we shouldn’t forget that terrorists can be Americans with causes that have nothing to do with all the religious and ethnic issues we are so xenophobic about.

  125. 125

    most sobering comment of the day…

    From msnbc: Two people who sprinkled flour in a parking lot to mark a trail for their offbeat running club inadvertently caused a bioterrorism scare and now face a felony charge. And the soboring response comes from Balloon Juice: It…

  126. 126
    Jordan Lund says:

    I was on a train and sat watching a homeless guy slowly covering himself in cocoa powder. He’d take the little scoop, put it in the can, then empty it over his head. He did this repeatedly until he, the seat and the floor were covered in brown powder.

    I called 911 because, first the guy obviously needed help. But also because I didn’t want someone thinking the train had been anthraxed.

    “911”

    “Um, yeah, you aren’t going to believe this, but I’m on MAX train xxx Westbound and there’s a guy covering everything in chocolate powder.”

    “What kind of chocolate powder?”

    “Um, I think it’s Nestle Quik.” (WTF difference does it make the little voice in my head screams!)

    I don’t know what happened because I had to get off and go to work, but I didn’t hear on the news that they stopped the train and started hunting for anthrax or some crap.

  127. 127

    […] “So 2745 out of 302,703,731 in the past ten years have died in terrorist attacks, and we are getting our knickers in a twist about an arrow made of flour in the IKEA parking lot?” – John Cole on this story. […]

  128. 128
    desu says:

    To the article writer: stop whining

  129. 129
  130. 130
    momma says:

    Why should they bother with another 9/11 or other terrorist attack, really, we’re sending our troops to them, kill Americans w/o travel expenses, that sure does make it much easier doesn’t it.

  131. 131
    NoJoker says:

    I know what I’m gonna do: Going out to the mall parking lot tonight and leave me some arrows done in flour. Then I’ll do it again in >

  132. 132
    Eric says:

    I stumbled across this website and I am relieved to hear such frank and honest discussion about how utterly insane things are, and the realization of how much more insane things may become.

    You see, I live in Canada, am a Canadian, and somehow we elected a leader that we call ‘Bush’s lapdog’. He was elected to serve up a measure of punishment to the former democrats for wrongdoing. He is in a minority government position. He tries to pass himself off as a moderate republican to garner votes from the left, but those of us who know better, know he would like nothing more than a theocracy – and he STILL fully supports the war in Iraq and refuses to bring home Canadian troops in Afghanistan, despite making no progress what-so-ever.

    Unfortunately, it’s been a long time since a conservative government has been in power here, so those who voted for him refuse to be confused by the facts and staunchly support OUR idiot leader, who bears a striking resemblance to yours, if not physically, then ideologically.

    I can only hope that America can find a way to extracate itself from the difficult situation it finds itself in before the Bill of Rights is erased from existance and a police state ensues.

    Good luck and best wishes,

    Your neighbor.

  133. 133

    […] And here are some excerpts from Juan Cole’s entry at Balloon Juice: This is the real legacy of the last 7 years- a nation so whipped up into a frenzy over terrorism that you, me, anyone could be charged with a felony as long as some hysterical bedwetter somewhere thought we were committing an act of terrorism in our daily life. The Salchow’s are just lucky they are white. If they had biked back to the scene wearing brown skin and attempted to make their way through the crowd to talk to the cops, they probably would have been shot. […]

  134. 134
    martha says:

    I read this story yesterday on reddit. The employee in ikea SAW them putting down the flour – why the hell didn’t they just walk out there and ASK them what they were doing? its not just the terrorism shit, it’s the successful total isolation of people inthe public domain that allows this kind of crap to happen. people can’t even speak to a stranger in broad daylight!

  135. 135
    mclaren says:

    You people are just not getting it. The Salchows should not only have been charged, they should have been shot on sight! Think about it, people! Someone sprinkles powder in a parking lot, another person slips on it and falls. Someone nearby also falls against the IKEA building. This dislodges a brick onto a gopher’s head. The gopher runs into the ground, dsiturbing a rotting two by four in the wall of IKEA furniture store. The IKEA store collapses. Nearby buildings fall. The temblor opens up a geologic instability in a nuclear reactor close by, the reactor melts down, the entire EAST COAST IS DESTROYED BY A RAIN OF RADIOACTIVE DEATH, AND MUTANTS WITH MELTING FACES ROAM THE COUNTRYSIDE IN SEARCH OF HUMAN BLOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It’s so obvious. Don’t you see it???

  136. 136
    Art Artman says:

    I don’t know if it is so much the terrorist “thing” as much as it is the police running rapant. Anything that will give them a thrill. Everyday, in Portland, Oregon, as well as, I am sure, across the country, daily killings are being “perpatrated” by the police. Unarmed High School football stars???? Naked drug addictics??? Come on! Then the police officers that did the killings gets suspended leave with pay??? Shit, that is a vacation in my book. Kill an innocent person go on vacation, wow what a concept. Or a mass tackle on someone, oh what fun. I have seen the police waiting in their cars in parking lots for any call so they can kick some ass. Who actually is in charge of keeping the police in check? No one that I know. And when did the police become no longer a servant of the people? In todays age, the police have many non-lethal weapons at their disposal. Pepper spray, tasers, rubber bullets, beanbag shot,tear gas,just to name a few. Why are they still killing unarmed citizens????? If it wasn’t so frightening it would be laughable. My great-grandparents were born here in the U.S. as was my grandparents, my parents and I. I have loved the United States until these last few years. Now I fear for my life, but not from criminals but from the people that are suppose to protect me.

  137. 137
    Wayne says:

    This is hilarious on so many levels. (1) Drunk people running through an IKEA parking lot. (2) College students buying crappy particleboard furniture. (3) Sheeple getting whipped up into a frenzy over flour. (4) What used to be “littering” is now “bioterrorism.” Now this part is not at all funny: the day is fast approaching in Amerika when my NRA bumpersticker will cause someone to be “scared” and I find myself face down on the pavement handcuffed by the jackbooted criminals in charge of keeping us all “safe” because there is some possibility that I am licensed to carry a registered, concealed firearm. If we allow this to happen with flour, what’s next?

  138. 138
    Narziss says:

    HUH?
    So 2745 is inconsequential?

    So since people die anyway, it doesn’t matter that terrorists roam around killing people, and hence we are safe. Right?

    Are you bonkers?

  139. 139
    ZappaCrappa says:

    “You are safe. I am safe. This nation is safe. Quit being such a damned pussy. All of you.”

    LOL I think I’ll get that printed on a T-shirt!!!! Well said sir.

  140. 140
    HyperIon says:

    You are right. I overstated the case. It is hard to imagine how it could be worse.

    i recall the Flash Gordon song by Queen: “this morning’s unprecedented solar eclipse is no cause for alarm.” these days i say to myself: “well, at least we are not experiencing an unprecedented solar eclipse”. i think that would be worse. and it would take our minds off global warming.

  141. 141
    JC says:

    You have no clue what a terrorist is. The DC snipers went around shooting people at random (inspiring terror) and then asked for a ransom to stop.

    THEY WERE FUCKING TERRORISTS AND THE FACT YOU CAN”T ACKNOWLEDGE THAT MAKES YOU AN ASSCLOWN.

  142. 142
    bob bruman says:

    “This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.” ~ FDR

  143. 143
    Hamburger says:

    I’m a hasher. Many of my compatriots have vocally and actively supported our bedwetting administration in its actions against anyone they perceive as a threat based on their religion and national heritage. I’m hoping now they understand the power of this poem:

    First they came for the Jews
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a trade unionist.
    Then they came for me
    and there was no one left
    to speak out for me.

  144. 144
    Fdog says:

    It’s all bullshit. They have you wasting your time arguing about yet another triviality. A police over-reaction is just what they want you talking about. Flour? C’mon!

    Think of this: Soon you’ll have your Democratic president, just in time for the “zero-interest-arm” that is Iraq to “reset” and the stagflation/hyper-inflation of Gee-dubya will be blamed on the liberal policies of the Dem prez (or maybe John Kerry didn’t contest Ohio b/c he and Howard Dean are smart motherfuckers and intended the GOP incredible, long-term, self-inflicted damage?).

    Venezuela (remember the failed 2002 coup?) has already moved it’s assets from dollars to euros, Iraq threatened to do so (see where that got Saddam, eh?), Iran is threatening, as are a host of other OPEC nations. The loss of faith in the dollar should be a genuine source of fear for citizens in the U.S.. But the propaganda (Brittany, Paris, the purely fictional “dirty bomb,” et al) used to control the message is a very basic psy-ops technique that is being used to keep tax-payers distracted as pension funds are vacuumed and the musical chairs that the banks WILL win is played with the real estate market. All these forclosures are NOT an unforseen “correction.” The banks will own the forclosed properties, and they’ll own them for nothing.

    But which will happen first (a new “New Pearl Harbor” or the collapse of the dollar) is the big game going on here… who is the bigger pussy (or cock) is immaterial. I bet nobody called the police… particularly since they do it every single week, post photos and schedules up on the web, and were wearing spandex and looking like total sprocket-heads.

    No, these fascists have absolute power and unlimited resources and they are using them fully to their advantage to extract the resource that will give them the greatest bottom-line return: They’re harvesting your assets, your taxes, and your FUTURE labor.

  145. 145
    Lynn Lightfoot says:

    Children, children. Time for a time out. Come back when your heads are cooler and your speech is sweeter, well, civil anyway.

  146. 146
    Anon123 says:

    Just give up. You’re all screwed, and we’re all screwed. Europe is usually just a few years behind, so at the moment we’ve caught up with the post 9/11 thing, and we’re getting raped by our pussy governments as well.

    Train station being evacuated and random baggage getting blown up by the bomb squad instead of being dropped off at the lost and found. Handing in water bottles at airports while dumbfuck security doesn’t spot 20″ rambo knives on a regular basis. It’s fucking madness!

    You know.. fuck this shit.. I think I’ll just move to some poor country where I can bribe the entire local police force and be done with the irrational paranoid bomb scares for good.

  147. 147
    cherylincanada says:

    That childhood monster has crawled out from under the bed and from in the closet for Americans. How sad. What a way to live.

  148. 148
    Klipper says:

    If anyone wants to email the New Haven Mayor and tell him to drop the charges against these people, do so here:

    MayorDeStefano@newhavenct.net

  149. 149
    chuck says:

    Those hashhound harriers have been linked to the CIA. at least in comspiratorial circles. very dangerous with their flour trails to the pub to do some drinking and socializing at outposts round the world.

  150. 150
    Plisko says:

    Lets just face it.

    The terrorists have nearly won already. We can beat the Germans and the Japanese with our armies but our civilians are frightened little sheep when the danger comes home to effect them personally.

    I am ashamed of my country.

  151. 151
    capnmike says:

    It’s Hash House Harriers, an International Running Club founded in 1938, which has many thousands of members all around the world. They refer to themselves as a “Drinking club with a running problem”. Runs are typically done with a “hare” who leaves a trail, usually marked by flour now that leaving scraps of paper is illegal littering, and the “hounds” have to follow, figuring out which parts of the trail are “checks”, or false leads. After the run, everybody refreshes themselves with a few cold beers. This is Fun! This is also “terrorism” to a Nation of fucking candy-ass whimps who call themselves the “home of the Brave” when they’re not busy cowering under the bed. Forget the “Land of the Free”…that is just buzzwords and bullshit these days.

  152. 152
    pinche2 says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you, John Cole and the other commenters who support reason and not over-reaction. I don’t know why but I am most bothered by the commenters who support these “security” measures and want everyone considered a terrorist first thing and thrown into the pokey. Maybe they are mad. Maybe they are scared. But one thing is for sure-their comments and logic make me mad and scared. I take comfort only in knowing that they will be the ones crying the loudest from the pokey! :)

  153. 153
    Nancy says:

    Uhmmm….did anyone ever stop to consider that this may be just a political propaganda story…you know; the like the religious kind of propaganda stories a certain t.v. news preacher spins a likely common news story into a tall tale to support his theocratic world-veiws? ( his moth-eaten ‘holy’ wallet?) Into votes for certain politicians who think in ‘certain’ ways that would enrich all their pockets? Because well, I have to consider the source, msbn, well, they ARE a conservative property, aren’t they? hmmmm…..

  154. 154
    SWO says:

    How long have Bush’s Republicans controlled the city government in New Haven?

  155. 155

    […] 2. In the words of John Cole, with whom I’ve lately become fascinated: “It is absurd. You are safe. I am safe. This nation is safe. Quit being such a damned pussy. All of you.” […]

  156. 156

    […] Au contraire, mes amis . . . a lot of what we do is illegal, depending on how big an asshole the Man decides to be.  We litter.  We drink in public.  We disturb the peace.  We effing jaywalk.  Anywhere in the USA – most anywhere in the world for that matter – a hasher who pisses off the wrong cop could wind up in just as much trouble, or even worse.  As one non-hashing blogger noted, if the New Haven hashers had been anything other than white, the cops might just have shot ‘em! […]

  157. 157
    JeffFinance says:

    Ross said, ’

    “Putting it all in perspective… average # of Americans killed every year.

    690,000…Heart disease
    224,000…Diabetes

    43,000…..Motor vehicle accidents
    31,000…..Suicide
    18,000…..Homicide
    3,800……Drowning
    776……..Accidental discharge of firearms
    275……..* * * TERRORISM * * *
    67……….Lightning”

    OMG!!!! 67 by lightning!!!! We must have a “War on Weather”. The weather has been killing innoncent civilians far too long. We must tax the population and spend at least 1 trillion dollars of taxpayer money (going to private no-bid contractors of course) to once and for all fight this battle against the evil “weather terrorists”. One day, lightning might kill thousands, no..millions of people with one deadly bolt. And of course, Al Qaeda is involved with this “weather terrorism”.

    The “war on weather” begins now. Please give up your personal freedoms for the cause!!!!

    As we know, liberals are “soft” on weather related terrorism . Don’t trust them.

  158. 158

    […] I’ve been meaning to write a blog entry generalizing my feelings about the hysterics that seem to grip we Americans from time to time, but John Cole beat me to it: It is absurd. You are safe. I am safe. This nation is safe. Quit being such a damned pussy. All of you. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] I’ve been meaning to write a blog entry generalizing my feelings about the hysterics that seem to grip we Americans from time to time, but John Cole beat me to it: It is absurd. You are safe. I am safe. This nation is safe. Quit being such a damned pussy. All of you. […]

  2. […] Au contraire, mes amis . . . a lot of what we do is illegal, depending on how big an asshole the Man decides to be.  We litter.  We drink in public.  We disturb the peace.  We effing jaywalk.  Anywhere in the USA – most anywhere in the world for that matter – a hasher who pisses off the wrong cop could wind up in just as much trouble, or even worse.  As one non-hashing blogger noted, if the New Haven hashers had been anything other than white, the cops might just have shot ‘em! […]

  3. […] 2. In the words of John Cole, with whom I’ve lately become fascinated: “It is absurd. You are safe. I am safe. This nation is safe. Quit being such a damned pussy. All of you.” […]

  4. […] And here are some excerpts from Juan Cole’s entry at Balloon Juice: This is the real legacy of the last 7 years- a nation so whipped up into a frenzy over terrorism that you, me, anyone could be charged with a felony as long as some hysterical bedwetter somewhere thought we were committing an act of terrorism in our daily life. The Salchow’s are just lucky they are white. If they had biked back to the scene wearing brown skin and attempted to make their way through the crowd to talk to the cops, they probably would have been shot. […]

  5. […] “So 2745 out of 302,703,731 in the past ten years have died in terrorist attacks, and we are getting our knickers in a twist about an arrow made of flour in the IKEA parking lot?” – John Cole on this story. […]

  6. most sobering comment of the day…

    From msnbc: Two people who sprinkled flour in a parking lot to mark a trail for their offbeat running club inadvertently caused a bioterrorism scare and now face a felony charge. And the soboring response comes from Balloon Juice: It…

  7. The Agitator says:

    Hashers Arrested

    Longtime readers will know I once hashed in the D.C. area from time to time (okay, about five times). Hashing…

  8. […] Update: John Cole at Balloon Juice says it better than I could. Where is this rugged individualism and “These Colors Don’t Run” strength that we’re all supposed to have? […]

  9. […] It’s a true story, and it caused a freaking terrorism scare. […]

  10. […] Let a thousand flours bloom: This is the real legacy of the last 7 years- a nation so whipped up into a frenzy over terrorism that you, me, anyone could be charged with a felony as long as some hysterical bedwetter somewhere thought we were committing an act of terrorism in our daily life. The Salchow’s are just lucky they are white. If they had biked back to the scene wearing brown skin and attempted to make their way through the crowd to talk to the cops, they probably would have been shot. […]

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