It don’t worry me

It’s a tragedy that a few whackjobs with bombs managed to kill and maim so many at the Boston marathon. There’s no reason to believe that this is part of any trend, or that we need change our attitudes about diversity and inclusion. Ron Brownstein:

The 9/11 attacks unnerved and staggered the U.S. in many ways, provoking responses that politically divide the nation even now. But two very bad things that might have happened did not. One was a systematic backlash against American Muslims. Prejudice obviously exists: In a comprehensive 2011 Gallup Poll, Muslims were more likely than Americans of other religious backgrounds to report discrimination. But Muslims never faced anything comparable to the recoil against foreign communities in the U.S. during World War I or World War II; the examples of places resisting the operation of mosques, for instance, draw attention precisely because they are exceptions. (One 2011 study found more than 2,000 mosques operating in the United States.) The 2011 Gallup survey concluded, “A majority of Americans of every faith see Muslim Americans as being loyal to their country.” The poll also said that U.S. Muslims are as satisfied as Americans from other religious backgrounds with their lives today—and more optimistic about their prospects five years down the road.

[….]

One of America’s greatest strengths is its almost infinite capacity to include, absorb, and integrate new groups. It’s a revealing coincidence that the Boston attack took place on what Major League Baseball now observes as Jackie Robinson Day—celebrating the achievement of a racial pioneer whom many in his day scorned and resisted. In America, walls fall, sooner or later.

Our amalgamating capacity obviously doesn’t erase all of our differences. Our politics are ominously and stubbornly polarized along overlapping lines of race, generation, education, region, and religious faith. But a society forever absorbing the new dissolves alienation and disrupts radicalization. So long as the instinct to include remains common in America, attacks like the one in Boston will remain rare.

This is Jackie Robinson’s country, not Pam Geller’s.






270 replies
  1. 1
    scav says:

    “. . .if (we) can keep it.” (nearly) Benjamin Franklin

    .

    ETA. not saying it can’t be done. But the infrastructure must be maintained. it takes work.

  2. 2
    GregB says:

    I am worried.

    The last time around George W. Bush was President. Not this time.

    Let’s not forget that there have been large swathes of Americans who have been convinced that President Obama is part of a Muslim conspiracy to destroy America.

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    DougJ,
    GREAT last line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. 4
    shortstop says:

    Agree, Doug. But it’s so wearying that now we have to go through this “Muslims are out to destroy us” crap all over again, nonstop, world without end.

  5. 5
    c u n d gulag says:

    @GregB:
    GOP POV:
    AHA!

    Finally, one of you Libtards who’ll admit it!!!

  6. 6
    Scott S. says:

    Yes, love that last line. Pretty much planning on stealing it at some point…

  7. 7
    Sterling says:

    Looking at the suspects I’m put more in mind of Columbine and Newtown than 9/11. No politics behind it. Just destruction and horror for the sake of satisfying some dark urge.

  8. 8
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    This is Jackie Robinson’s country, not Pam Geller’s.

    Pam Geller and the rest of the 27% would beg to differ.

    It’s why I always trot out this quote from the late, great Steve Gilliard:

    “I’m not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions. I’m not interested in debating them. I want to stop them.”

    If we don’t strive endlessly against their efforts, the Pam Gellers of this country would have nothing but white folks playing baseball, etc., etc.

  9. 9

    @GregB:
    Assuming that these are Muslims and this is Islamic terrorism (people link to YouTube videos for the damnedest reasons), these Muslims are lily white. White Muslims do not exist in the wingnut mind. I expect to learn a great deal about racism and paranoia by how they deal with this information.

  10. 10
    aimai says:

    From your mouth to g-d’s ear. I remember turning to some Muslim acquaintances after 9-11 and saying “you can come here to hide if necessary.” I barely knew them, their toddler son played with our toddler daughter. I really thought we’d go right to prison camps after 9-11.

  11. 11
    oldster says:

    Good. This is the right attitude for the whole country to take, and we’d better start from here.

    Sexually-repressed psychopaths? Yawn. We don’t need immigrants to breed those–we breed enough of our own home-grown ones right here.

    The wackos you will have always with you. The only mistake is to over-react.

  12. 12
    aimai says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    That’s some kind of category error. This will not lead to too much restructuring of the wingnut imagination because they will either say “these guys look semitic/muslim/islamic” or “we knew our enemies were legion.”

  13. 13
    Brandon says:

    America also seems to have an infinite capacity to conveniently forget its misdeeds against minority groups. Ron seems to think that “systematic backlash” doesn’t include illegal, unconstitutional and intrusive surveillance of all muslims in the NY-NJ area (and probably all over the country), FBI ‘sting’ operations of muslims bordering on entrapment, NSA secret surveillance of communications of muslims in the US or anyone for that matter who may talk to a muslim in another country, etc, etc. What was internment if not very low tech surveillance of Japanese Americans? Ron doesn’t get it.

  14. 14
    RosiesDad says:

    This is Jackie Robinson’s country, not Pam Geller’s.

    Amen to that, DougJ.

  15. 15
    EconWatcher says:

    W will go down as one of the very worst presidents in U.S. history, but I do give him credit for one thing: He did a nice job of tamping down the anti-Muslim rage after 9-11. He probably prevented some lynchings.

  16. 16
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    Expect airports, hotels, train stations, etc. to be shut down consistently in the next few weeks over empty Starbucks cups and lone Hello Kitty purses left unattended.

    Travel is going to suuuuuuuuuuuuuuccccccckkkkkkkkkkkk.

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Damn right. And well said, DougJ.

  18. 18
    Jay C says:

    This is Jackie Robinson’s country, not Pam Geller’s

    .

    Unfortunately, Jackie Robinson’s voice has long been silent, while we are probably going to have to listen to Pam Geller’s grating shrieks for quite a while yet.

    The fact that the Boston bombers (robbers/murdererers/terrorists) have turned out to be Muslim Chechens will not doubt spark an instant (and disgusting) upswell of bile and hate from the usual sources. I hope you are right that basic decency will – this time, again – prevail. But it won’t be easy….

  19. 19
    jrg says:

    @aimai: Good thing it won’t lead to a category error here. I’m quite sure the next time a bombing happens, BJ won’t light up with more speculation about middle-aged white rednecks who hate them some Nobawmmer.

  20. 20
    SatanicPanic says:

    The Pam Gellers of the USA are dying out and they know it. That’s why they’re angry 24/7

  21. 21
    Punchy says:

    So did the younger brother run over his brother by mistake? Just heard that nugget.

  22. 22
    burnspbesq says:

    One wonders what sort of twisted logic leads to the conclusion that blowing up the Boston Marathon would advance the cause of Chechen independence (assuming that was the objective).

  23. 23
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jay C:

    “Basic decency” is a quality that the wingnut right does not have in any measurable amount.

  24. 24
    scav says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: Already been a briefcase of “non-explosive miscellaneous items,” on the Red Line in Chicago. 2+hrs, bomb squad.

  25. 25
    RoonieRoo says:

    Ugh, I hadn’t thought about travel becoming extra annoying again. We’re flying on the 26th. Bleh. Security theater ramped up to 11.

  26. 26
    beltane says:

    The suspect looks an awful lot like my Jewish/Italian kid which makes it really hard for me to drum up any kind of “Skeery brown Mooslem people” adrenaline rush. Just like with Adam Lanza, I’m left with incredible sadness and an unanswerable “Why?”

  27. 27
    Morzer says:

    @Punchy:

    He might have been trying to detonate an explosive device strapped to his brother.

    But it may all be down to a panicked teenager just trying to escape by the shortest possible route.

  28. 28
    DougJ says:

    @EconWatcher:

    I agree completely.

  29. 29
    AliceBlue says:

    Well, since the perpetrators are Chechens, we obviously have to bomb Iran!

    (Seriously, if the wingnuts haven’t already started making this “connection”, it’s only a matter of time).

  30. 30
    Mike E says:

    Tom Ridge showing every sq inch of his ass on CBS

  31. 31
    jonas says:

    @Sterling: I agree — this is of course armchair speculation, so YMMV, but this appears to be more a case of social alienation/anger/delusions of grandeur type psychopathy (a la Columbine) as opposed to professional religious/political terrorism.

  32. 32
    beltane says:

    @burnspbesq: Patriot’s Day isn’t quite the holiday in Moscow as it is in Boston. We may be looking at more nihilistic motives.

  33. 33
    EconWatcher says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Didn’t bin Laden once list the failure to help Bosniaks as one of his beefs against the U.S.? By the same twisted logic, I suppose we didn’t do much to protect Chechens from the Russians. Not saying that has anything to do with this situation. But apparently, “failing to help” can be crime enough.

  34. 34
    aimai says:

    @jrg:

    That actually goes under the heading “when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” Unless you think that the far right/white power/militia movement is entirely composed of fantasists and blowhards (which, admittedly, is a large portion of them) there is far more right wing violence, especially around tax time, than there is islamic violence and of course zero Chechen violence. People forget this shit but an angry white dude flew a plane into an IRS building at tax time a few years ago.

  35. 35
    jrg says:

    @aimai: “when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras.” Uh-huh. LULZ.

  36. 36
    jonas says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: White Muslims do not exist in the wingnut mind.

    Oh sure they do. See Reed, Richard, e.g. For nutjobs like Geller and Malkin, it just goes to show that it’s the Islam, not the person or the nationality, that’s the real problem.

  37. 37
    dww44 says:

    I just heard some “expert” on CNN trying to make a case that the Feds, and by default, the President, erred in judgement by allowing his attendance at the Boston Church service yesterday. Knowing what we now know, he said.

    Gee, CNN’s is really really desperate. Innuendo right from the Fox playbook. At least CBS and NBC aren’t engaging in that sort of crap journalism.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane:

    Yup, I think you’re on to something with this.

    We’ll never know completely what motivated the dead guy. Because he’s dead. His brother, otoh, as noted elsewhere, may have gone along because his elder brother was doing this. He may not have any more insight into what his elder brother was thinking than any of the rest of us do.

  39. 39
    kindness says:

    I don’t know that I would agree with the accessment as to who’se country this is. Today I forsee a field day for all the haters out there, particularly the Atlas Juggs types who loves to hate them some Muslims.

    Not looking forward to that.

  40. 40
    Morzer says:

    @dww44:

    CNN has been worthless for a long time. They just don’t produce quality news and are obviously desperately pandering to bigoted blue hairs just to get their ratings a tick higher.

  41. 41
    maya says:

    @jrg: ” I’m quite sure the next time a bombing happens, BJ won’t light up with more speculation about middle-aged white rednecks who hate them some Nobawmmer. ”

    Not when we have middle to old age white CEOs and shareholders of fertilizer plants who can take out way more of the population with just a little zoning, regulatory and profit line tweaking.

  42. 42
    MomSense says:

    What is all this about a Honda CRV with Mass plates that may now be in Connecticut with possibly an accomplice??

  43. 43
    Heliopause says:

    Yaaaaaaaaaay! We get to bomb Chechnya and Kyrgyzstan! It’ll be easy, we already have a base right there! Somebody pop the popcorn! Somebody call Kathryn Bigelow! Woo-hoo!

  44. 44
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @aimai:

    My first thought was that one of them looked Italian.

    Supposedly, these guys are all over social media, and one of them listed his world view as “Islam” but said his biggest priorities were “career and money.” Doesn’t sound like a Jihadist to me.
    But this may be the thing that the authorities fear the most: the “lone wolf” type of terrorist who doesn’t network with anyone, generates no “chatter” and doesn’t show up on anyone’s screen.

  45. 45

    Anyone need some good news right about now? It’s Good News Friday!

    Seriously, be safe everyone in the Boston area. You guys have my utmost respect and admiration. I owe y’all a beer.

  46. 46
    DougJ says:

    @jrg:

    There sure wasn’t much of this on the front page. And I don’t blame people for thinking that tax day/Patriots day might be a sign it was right-wing domestic terrorists.

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    I have to admit, this is a twist I didn’t expect. Yes, the Chechens are mostly (but not all) Muslims, but their violence and bombings in Russia have been tied to their independence movement/civil war and were not primarily religiously motivated.

  48. 48
    GregB says:

    Isikoff is now on MSNBC citing Bin laden’s exhortations about the Black Banners prophecy that entails a central Asian Muslim army bringing about the final battle of good and evil.

    Yes, this is going to end up being very bad.

  49. 49
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @dww44: If Obama hadn’t gone, he’d have been called a coward — by the same people.

  50. 50
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jrg:

    Dude, if you are going to claim that you totally guessed that they were Chechen rebels, I call bullshit.

  51. 51
    catclub says:

    @Brandon: “America also seems to have an infinite capacity to conveniently forget its misdeeds against minority groups.”

    I was amused by the NPR host who asked: “Gosh, why would Chechnyans have something against the good ole US of A and its uniformly innocent citizens?”

    The guy he was interviewing then said that Chechnya is probably the most anti-western place in the world, and the US did nothing (perhaps cheered) when Russia was rubblizing Grozny.

    Innocents Abroad.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Heliopause:

    Ahem.

    We NEVER bomb the country of origin. We bomb someone else.

    Iran is the obvious proxy, but why stop there? Paraguay or Fiji are filled with non-English speaking furriners too, who might very well pose an existential threat to the most powerful country in the world.

    I saw we bomb Andorra now, just to be safe!

  53. 53
    22over7 says:

    @RoonieRoo:

    Sigh. I’m flying on Sunday. Thanks for reminding me to get to the airport extra-extra early.

  54. 54
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I blame the 14th amendment for making us a better nation. It’s because the descendents of immigrants automatically part of the country that makes us assimilate so much better than other countries. Getting rid of that, creating a legal class of “others”, would completely ruin the one true exceptional thing about this country.

  55. 55
    Punchy says:

    @MomSense: I thought it was a train they’d stopped in CT….

  56. 56
    jrg says:

    @Mnemosyne: Honestly, I figured it was about 45/45 Islamist or right-wing whacko, with a 10% chance it was someone else.

    I just wanted to point out that both cases were pretty likely. Just noting that one possibility is celebrated by some of the commenters here, but the other is verboten.

  57. 57
    handsmile says:

    [Reading recent comments here on Chechnya, it seems germane to re-post a comment/link from an earlier thread]

    Excellent (informative) article from the Guardian’s former Moscow correspondent, Luke Harding, “Boston bombing link to Chechnya, if established, would be unprecedented”:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....recedented

    (Do appreciate the “if established” bit; how refreshingly measured)

  58. 58
    maya says:

    Suspects were born in Russia and Kyrgyzstan. We must avenge! Let’s see, which one has the most oil…..%$#&+= Die, Putin, Die!!!!

  59. 59
    catclub says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): And most of the folks who talk about american exceptionalism do not bring that up. But I do!

  60. 60
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @kindness: How many internment camps did we create. There’s also a law on the books that allows us to deport people from any country we’re at war with; how many Iraqis, Afghans, and other Muslims did we deport?

    I still have to keep correcting some forms of racism, especially in my own family, but the official line is not to treat all Muslims the same.

  61. 61
    Heliopause says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    bomb Andorra now

    Don’t be a tease.

  62. 62
    Brandon says:

    @catclub: that’s not really my point. My point was that significant anti-muslim backlash did indeed occur in the US following 911 similar to the previous episodes Brownstein mentions, it is just that technology of subjugation and control has improved significantly since that time. Brownstein (and by inference DougJ) seem to easily pass over those issues and claim victory for tolerance when it was anything but.

  63. 63
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jrg: Celebrated? WTF?

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @catclub:

    moi aussi.

    That’s the great thing about this country…loyalty to it is not supposed to be a matter of blood, no matter what Pat Buchanan wishes.

    It’s supposed to be about an ideal.

  65. 65
    gene108 says:

    @Heliopause:

    Time to get that war on with Russia, we’ve been putting off for so long.

  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jrg:

    Just noting that one possibility is celebrated by some of the commenters here, but the other is verboten.

    Watch the reaction from the right wing for the next few days and ask yourself again why one reaction is verboten here. We’re about to be flooded by “Toldja so! Kill all the Muzzies!” trolls, and no amount of explanation about the complicated politics of Chechnya will distract them from “MUSLIMS IZ TEH EVILS!”

  67. 67
    Ben Franklin says:

    No doubt it’s some general jihadist gripes.

    “I don’t have any American friends. I don’t understand them”

    Chechnya?

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_new.....fight?lite

  68. 68
    cyntax says:

    I know the family of the suspects have got to be gobsmacked but saying stuff like this is not helping:

    The father warned, however, “If they killed him, then all hell would break loose.”

    “If they kill my second child, I will know that it is an inside job, a hit job. The police are to blame,” the father told ABC News. “Someone, some organization is out to get them.”

    Not exactly sure what this guy’s definition of hell is, but the events of the last week haven’t been a real picnic.

  69. 69
    Citizen_X says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: These guys had ethnic ties to the Caucasus region. So clearly, we have to ethnically profile any Caucasians!

  70. 70
    Chris says:

    @maya:

    No, you’ve also got to factor in which one can actually fight back. There’s a reason why, of the three axis of evil nations, the one we attacked was the one we’d already spent ten years beating to a pulp and not the one that had just exploded a nuclear weapon.

    Conservatives love risk free (from their POV) wars, but they shy away from those that carry a risk of serious defeat. Plenty of the people who were isolationist WRT Hitler in the 1930s were the same ones who had zero problem with all our colonial expeditions in the Caribbean, Central America or Asia.

  71. 71
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Citizen_X:

    There you go.

    Since Pam Geller is Jewish, I suggest she lead the charge.

  72. 72
    GregB says:

    Franic Townsend reporting her sources indicate that the tactics used were strongly indicative of someone from Afghanistan or Pakistan.

    More misinformation to follow.

  73. 73
    Ben Franklin says:

    @cyntax:

    How is this background info available so soon?

    It’s odd to me.

  74. 74
    shortstop says:

    @jrg: If you want to be a troll with staying power, you should get a more memorable handle. I won’t remember it in two minutes.

  75. 75
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @MomSense: Found in Boston

  76. 76
    Jay C says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “Chechen rebels”? From what we’ve found out so far about the Tsarnaev brothers, they both came to the US as kids (Dzhokhar T., the fugitive is only 19) – Tamerlan, the older brother was 26: and unless he was some African-style “child soldier”, it sounds unlikely that he had any direct participation in any actual action: their story is, seemingly, not that uncommon: their family left/was driven out of Chechnya, they went to Russia, then Kyrgyzstan, then (at least the boys) to the US as refugees about 10(?) years ago.

    Sadly, I have a feeling we won’t be getting much more in the way of explanation for their motives, Tamerlan Tsarnaev is dead, and it doesn’t seem like Dzhokhar is very likely to be taken alive….

  77. 77
    cyntax says:

    @GregB:

    Well, it was one of the seven ‘stans so better than they usually do…

  78. 78
    The Moar You Know says:

    @cyntax: The father is obviously an idiot. No wonder his kids moved here.

    Of all of the “least helpful” things you could possibly say in a situation like this, that was about the least helpful ever.

  79. 79
    gene108 says:

    @Brandon:

    I believe what Brownstein’s getting at is we didn’t have internment camps for Muslim Americans, unlike in WW2 and whatever anti-German backlash happened during WW1, which has never been reported like the Japanese internment camps but was pretty harsh.

    There were random acts of violence against any brown skinned person and several Sikhs got mistakenly targeted for violence, because they have beards and turbans “just like Osama did in his videos”.

    There wasn’t the sort of state sponsored assault on ethnic minorities that happened during WW1 or WW2.

    The people attacking the brown skinned folks were prosecuted to whatever extent they could be under the law and their actions generally denounced in the media and public places.

  80. 80
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @cyntax:

    Definitely not helping.

    Of course, this guy comes from a land where the authorities do not hesitate to do things like that. His expectations are based on that background.

    It grates on our ears precisely because we have different expectations of how the authorities behave. They want to capture these guys alive, because they want the wheels of justice to turn. Over in the Russian Federation, they dispense with the wheels and go right to the final act as quickly as possible, especially in the case of non-Russian rebel subject peoples.

  81. 81
    MomSense says:

    @Punchy:

    I think they did stop a train, surround it, search it, and then declared it “all clear”. Then I saw something about a gray Honda CRV and it is unclear whether it is a 3rd person or the white hat brother.

  82. 82
    cyntax says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Not sure what you mean. Do you think they don’t have the names right?

  83. 83
    dslak says:

    @The Moar You Know: Damn straight. I know I’d be far more circumspect when reacting to the news that my kids were responsible for mass murder, one was dead, and the other on the run. Can’t see how I might say anything that would look bad on TV.

  84. 84
    JPL says:

    The Globe has a live feed that is pretty good link

    Also, wcbv.com has a live feed to the local abc station. Both of the stations are trying to put down rumors quickly.

  85. 85
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Of course, this guy comes from a land where the authorities do not hesitate to do things like that. His expectations are based on that background.

    Precisely. In his life-experience, this is exactly the kind of stuff that happens. Even if it doesn’t happen, the institutions are held in such low regard, everybody naturally assumes the worst in any given situation.

    And to be blunt, always having a healthy skepticism of the police state isn’t such a bad thing to have. Of course, timing is everything when voicing that skepticism.

  86. 86
    Ben Franklin says:

    @cyntax:

    No. I mean there is a suspicious wealth of information at such an early stage.

  87. 87
    Face says:

    How long until MTV offers White Hatty a reality show?

  88. 88
    cyntax says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Seems like it was just tailor made for Gellar and Fox.

  89. 89
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Oh, and from a @_Happy Gilmore twitter feed:

    “Boston is probably the only major city that if you fuck with them, they will shut down the whole city…stop everything…and find you.”

  90. 90
    Raven says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage: hence, 2nd amendment
    Remedies

  91. 91
    maya says:

    @Chris: You’re right. I yield. Granada, here we come! (Again)

  92. 92
    cyntax says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Uhh.. it’s called the internet; you’re soaking in it.

  93. 93
    MomSense says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Thanks. This is all so bizarre.

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, I will take this opportunity to officially apologize to the guy I was arguing with about using the “chickens coming home to roost” metaphor, because it looks much more apt in this situation now than it originally did.

    I still somewhat doubt that this is tied directly to our actions in the Middle East, but obviously it’s more closely tied than it would have been if it had been white American dudes.

  95. 95
    shortstop says:

    Is there a mom or other adult relative residing in the U.S.? Contra to Moar You Know’s theory, I doubt this man’s children emigrated to the U.S. by their lonesomes.

  96. 96
    EconWatcher says:

    @cyntax:

    The Russians committed massive human rights violations in Chechnya, not excusing them. But one factor that has made peace hard to achieve is the very deep tradition of vendetta in Chechnya, requiring retribution for the killing of a family member. Hard to shut off a cycle of killing if there’s always a debt left to be paid.

  97. 97
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Face:

    His odds of getting one are much higher if he has no musical talent whatsoever.

  98. 98
    GregB says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    There’s this thing called the internet that allows millions upon millions of people to access vast amounts of information at a moments notice.

    That is one possibility.

  99. 99
    Cacti says:

    Sounds like white hat was previously a “model immigrant” so to speak. He attended Boston Latin and had been awarded a college scholarship from the City of Cambridge.

  100. 100
    shortstop says:

    @Mnemosyne: Didn’t that guy sit in the thread for hours being the online equivalent of someone tapping people on the shoulder, then looking away when they turned around? Or was that another socially stunted chicken-roosting commenter?

  101. 101
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @shortstop:

    But it’s so wearying that now we have to go through this “Muslims are out to destroy us” crap all over again, nonstop, world without end.

    Poor thing…so tired it makes you? Take a nap perhaps.

    Meanwhile, in the real world and with no regard to your fee fees, there are lots of muslims who do wish to destroy the U.S. It’s just a fact, and it’s good to be aware of it.

    More personally for me, many Muslims don’t want me to have music, booze, ladies who dress as they please, and lots of other things that make life nice. It’s good to remember that too.

  102. 102
    GregB says:

    Msnbc bobblehead just quotes the dead brother as saying:

    “I don’t have a single American friend, I don’t understand them.”

    Then the bobble head says: So we see that these suspects have assimilated into American life…

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jay C:

    it sounds unlikely that he had any direct participation in any actual action

    Sorry, didn’t mean to imply that. I’m more trying to point out that “Aha! Muslims!” is way, way, way, way oversimplifying the disaster that is Chechnya. It’s like saying, “Aha! Christians!” if they had turned out to be Basque.

  104. 104
    Cacti says:

    @gene108:

    There were random acts of violence against any brown skinned person and several Sikhs got mistakenly targeted for violence, because they have beards and turbans “just like Osama did in his videos”.

    Here in the Phoenix area, a local Sikh man was gunned down outside the gas station he owned.

  105. 105
    Ben Franklin says:

    @GregB: @GregB:

    Like we did on Monday?

  106. 106
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    But dude, if you bomb Andorra second-rate soccer teams are going to have to look elsewhere for easy wins and that means more fixtures against Team USA.

  107. 107
    Cacti says:

    Older brother seemed like a loser. Had a domestic violence arrest in 2009. I’m sure he was the one who hatched the plan to get revenge on a crowd of innocent people.

  108. 108
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    requiring retribution for the killing of a family member. Hard to shut off a cycle of killing if there’s always a debt left to be paid.

    This is being mentioned by the pundonts. They expect this younger brother to go out in spectacular fashion with as many cops taken with him as possible as revenge against his brother’s death.

  109. 109
    J.D. Rhoades says:

    @shortstop:

    According to the Globe’s live blog, the mom was arrested last year…in Lord and Taylor.

    http://natick.patch.com/articl.....hes-stolen

    Hmmmmmm….

  110. 110
    Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage) says:

    Between this and the fertilizer plant, it’s like the turn of the (last) century all over again.

  111. 111
    Morzer says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Even Charlemagne played the scary Muslim card against the Basques. Remember Roncesvalles!!!

  112. 112
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @aimai:

    I really thought we’d go right to prison camps after 9-11.

    Of course you did. Were you disappointed that did not happen?

  113. 113
    shortstop says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: That’s just…what?

  114. 114
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    More personally for me, many Muslims Christians don’t want me to have music, booze, ladies who dress as they please, and lots of other things that make life nice.

    Obvious FTFY. And a number of them, here and throughout the world, also kill.

  115. 115
    Comrade Mary says:

    The uncle (kindly identified by some parts of the media) was just interviewed by a swarm of reporters on the WHDH live stream. I just caught the last part. He says that the boy’s father wasn’t an influence, the family wasn’t an influence, they worked hard. Motive? He thinks the boys were just losers striking out.

  116. 116
    cyntax says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Yeah, I doubt that nuance is going to make it through to the average American. And even if it does, the obvious question would be, when did we do anything to Chechnyans?

  117. 117
    Morzer says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    It’s good to remember that you are a fact-free whackjob with no artistic talent.

    Just adding my little bit of data to the pile, bless your heart.

  118. 118
    Comrade Mary says:

    “We’re not requiring forgiveness. He put a shame on the entire Chechen ethnicity. Turn yourself in!”

    Live feed: http://www1.whdh.com/video/7newslive

  119. 119
  120. 120
    Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage) says:

    @Mnemosyne: I don’t know, still sounds more like Columbine to me. Frankly, their motivation doesn’t mean shit to me. They’re a couple of shitbags and it’s too bad we didn’t get the opportunity to lock the older one up in solitary for the next sixty years. Shitbags are always itching for a reason. It doesn’t have to mean all that much.

  121. 121
    Comrade Mary says:

    Uncle: Ready to meet with families of victims, kneel in front of them, beg their forgiveness.

  122. 122
    Ben Franklin says:

    Patsies?

    “My son is a true angel,” the elder Tsarnaev said. He said his son was “an intelligent boy” who was studying medicine.

    “We expected him to come on holidays here,” he said.

    “They were set up, they were set up!” he exclaimed. “I saw it on television; they killed my older son Tamerlan.”

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article.....true-angel

  123. 123
    👽 Martin says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Meanwhile, in the real world and with no regard to your fee fees, there are lots of muslims Republicans who do wish to destroy the U.S. It’s just a fact, and it’s good to be aware of it.
    More personally for me, many Muslims Republicans don’t want me to have music, booze, ladies who dress as they please, and lots of other things that make life nice. It’s good to remember that too.

    Indeed, that is good to remember.

  124. 124
    patroclus says:

    I like the uncle. “They’re losers! I love this country! Turn yourself in! Beg forgiveness from all of the victims and their families! They have brought shame to the entire ethnicity of Chechnyns!”

  125. 125
    Punchy says:

    @Morzer: Not to mention, if you bomb Andorra, you’ll have to take out Swiper, the monkey, and the Latino boyfriend.

  126. 126
    Raven says:

    The uncle of the two Boston Marathon bombing suspects told CBS that the men “do not deserve to live on this earth.”

    Ruslan Tsarni told the station that he’d lived with suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev in Cambridge for about 10 years. In an emotional interview, he said he realized that his nephews may be responsible after reading a report on AOL.com. Tsarni was also shocked but “not sympathetic” to learn that 26-year-old Tamerlan had been killed.

    “Unbelievable — he absolutely deserved this,” Tsarni said between heavy breaths. “I always told those two, Islam has always been there, just do your business. Work, go to school, be useful. Know why you came to America … I am not sympathizing with them.”

    He also described Tamerlan as a “loser.”

  127. 127
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @GregB: I’m pretty assimilated into American life and I don’t understand us, either.

  128. 128
    Cacti says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    “My son is a true angel,” the elder Tsarnaev said. He said his son was “an intelligent boy” who was studying medicine.

    Older brother was a girlfriend beater, DV arrest in 2009.

  129. 129
    Raven says:

    @patroclus: shame is going to be the least of their problems

  130. 130
    Eric U. says:

    Columbine with funny accents.

  131. 131
    Violet says:

    @patroclus: Yeah, the uncle is great.

  132. 132
    Ben Franklin says:

    . Chechen groups also have traditionally focused their ire on Russia rather than targeting the United States. Finally, given their lengthy residence it is difficult to discern what — if any — ties or sympathies the two brothers have to Chechen terrorist groups.

    http://thinkprogress.org/secur.....-chechnya/

  133. 133
    patroclus says:

    @Raven: And woe be unto all those Andorrans.

  134. 134
    BGK says:

    Aside from it always being about diminishing the president with those sh!theels, what reason would Fox News have for putting scare quotes around “terrorists” and “bombers” in the chyron text of their stories? I noticed it around 8:30AM ET.

  135. 135
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Cacti:

    I saw that. Not making my bones on what the Dad says, but I do wonder how all these particulate details are ready for our consumption

  136. 136
    PurpleGirl says:

    @dww44: And if President Obama hadn’t attended the service, they’d be complaining about that. President Obama can’t win no matter what action he takes.

    ETA: Personally, I’m glad he attended the service. His presence must show that life can return to something closer to normal.

  137. 137
    aimai says:

    @jrg:

    There’s a downside for the entire country to it being, in some sense, “judged” to be islamic and that is that we will once again go off and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people because of some theory of blood guilt. In the case of rightist/white power violence we have extremely good evidence that either 1) nothing will be done or 2) the allies of rightist violence in the NRA and the Republican party will work hard to keep the whole country moving right along with absolutely no disturbance of our public sphere and certainly no “collective guilt” meted out to random white people. In other words: one kind of speculation is harmless, the other harmful.

  138. 138
    Ben Franklin says:

    @aimai:

    There’s a downside for the entire country to it being, in some sense, “judged” to be islamic and that is that we will once again go off and kill hundreds of thousands of innocent people because of some theory of blood guilt.

    Xactly ! Cui bono.

    It feels like deja vu.

  139. 139
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Surprise, surprise, surprise, it appears that these were complicated young men, with apparently complicated motives that haven’t been explored, and probably won’t be ever fully known, and yet everyone in our media is eager to shove them in a ready made character slot to ease the advance of the storyline.

    Don’t think, don’t reflect, just emote. NOW.

  140. 140
    aimai says:

    @Raven:

    This is going to come down to one issue, and only one: the older boy could not assimilate and didn’t see the bright future the younger brother had in the US and he chose to drag his younger brother down into a Columbine like destructive death spree in order to avoid that pain–the pain of being a loser, of being anonymous, of being flotsam and jetsam in a world that had accepted and even embraced his brother.

  141. 141
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    Without questioning Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, it’s hard to say if him and his brother being Muslim is more than an incidental fact. Plus, you forgot to mention the fundamentalist Christians who begrudge you your pleasures — there’s plenty more of them in America, and some of them can be just as violent.

    But hey, you know what else is good? You reminding the rest of us that you’re a bigot, in addition to you other flaws.

  142. 142
    Raven says:

    @aimai: rots a ruck

  143. 143
    EconWatcher says:

    @aimai:

    We’ll find out more, but it kinda looks that way now. What a sickening waste.

  144. 144
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    THIS !!!

  145. 145
    catclub says:

    @Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage): There was a huge fertilizer plant explosion in France, ten days after Sep 11, 2001.

    I also learned that the biggest US industrial explosion was ammonium nitrate in Texas City, Texas in 1947.

  146. 146
    Raven says:

    @Ted & Hellen: hey asshole, thought I ‘d say hi since the pie doesn’t work on my iPad. It has benn really great not having to read your bullshit lately.

  147. 147
    cyntax says:

    @Amir Khalid:
    More to the point, those fundies have a whole lot more influence on policy here than any Muslims.

  148. 148
    EconWatcher says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Well said.

  149. 149
    catclub says:

    @Eric U.: You and Charlie Pierce. And me.

  150. 150
    aimai says:

    @Raven:

    I forgot to send my best wishes to you and your bride in the hospital. I hope there’s someplace open there where you can get a cup of tea and a good cookie. I remember staggering into Boston Children’s Hospital cafe and just falling on something like that when I was there with my daughter after a night in the ER. Ambrosia.

  151. 151
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Because these young men are part of the generation that joined in the participatory panopticon. An uncommon name combined with a search engine can yield lots of results based on an information footprint. The Newtown killer had a tiny footprint as he appeared literally antisocial. Whereas the ricin terrorist had a rather large footprint replete with connections to all the finest outrage merchandise.

    The conspiracy is how we choose to participate in an increasingly transparent space.

  152. 152
    smintheus says:

    Is this authentically the dead brother’s Amazon wish list.

    Several books on fake IDs, on the Mafia, and on the Chechen wars. Also, How to Win Friends and Influence People.

  153. 153
    Mike E says:

    @Raven: Mmm, could be, bunny rabbit…facts should not get in the way of a media cumfest, that’s fersher.

    Tho, had we only experienced this level of socially interconnected media about 10 yrs ago…

  154. 154
    EconWatcher says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    “participatory panopticon”–very nice. did you coin it?

  155. 155
    Chris says:

    @aimai:

    Exactly this. I didn’t think they were right wing extremists, personally; I didn’t think ANYTHING, other than “wait and see what the cops drag in.” But I read quite a few people saying they HOPED it was a white rightie because that way you knew there wouldn’t be any excessive backlash. That, at least, I found hard to disagree with.

    Taken from a Lebanese friend’s Facebook:

    “White privilege is knowing that even if the bomber turns out to be white, no one will call for your group to be profiled as terrorists as a result, subjected to special screening or threatened with deportation,” writes author Tim Wise. “White privilege is knowing that if this bomber turns out to be white, the United States government will not bomb whatever corn field or mountain town or stale suburb from which said bomber came, just to ensure that others like him or her don’t get any ideas. And if he turns out to be a member of the Irish Republican Army we won’t bomb Dublin. And if he’s an Italian-American Catholic we won’t bomb the Vatican.”

  156. 156
    White Trash Liberal says:

    On NPR they had a brief interview with a young man who interned/worked at the Boston Globe. He was friends with the younger bomber throughout high school and described him as a thoroughly decent and good person. He last saw him on winter break.

    How quickly and tragically bad ideas and dark intent can unfold and swallow impressionable minds.

  157. 157
    shortstop says:

    Aw, come on, y’all, Ted & Hellen doesn’t actually believe what he said about those dangerous Muslims hoping to cover up a gender to which he says he’s not sexually attracted, or prevent him from consuming the alcohol he insists he no longer drinks, thereby interfering with the “nicety” of his life.

    The advantage of having no principles whatsoever is that when you follow your only life’s work — being universally contrarian regardless of the ludicrous contortions it puts you into — it doesn’t sting a bit when you constantly write stuff that makes everyone else burst out laughing.

  158. 158
    DFH no.6 says:

    On that deal from jrg early in the thread regarding some alleged proclivity of folks hereabout to speculate that shit like this Boston bombing is likely the work of “middle-aged white rednecks”, let me say this:

    In my experience reading all sorts of stuff, watching the stupid TV, and talking with people, I have found it much more common that rightwingers of all stripes look to blame their “enemies” (before the facts are in, and often even after – Jared Loughner was a libtard!) such as Muslims and “the left”, than the converse.

    Yeah, sure, “the left” is not perfect in this regard, and unwarranted speculation (including right here on this very blog!) that some heinous act (such as this bombing) could have been perpetrated by “white rednecks” does occur. And those of us on “the left” should be careful to, you know, not do that.

    But it’s orders of magnitude different. Rightwingers are far, far worse (as they are with everything, being fascist fucks and all).

    Tell me, jrg, who is “the left’s” version of Pam Geller? Some random commenter on Balloon Juice?

  159. 159
    Ben Franklin says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    I can accept that as an explanation. But I do think it cascaded pretty fast. This article was filed at 5 am eastern time.

    http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_new.....fight?lite

  160. 160
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @EconWatcher:

    http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/002651.html

    No, it comes from this essay. I was studying Foucault’s Discipline and Punish for a paper on surveillance and stumbled across it. Very prescient.

  161. 161
    shortstop says:

    @White Trash Liberal: So strange…I had that very book in my hands last night when I was trying to weed out the library. That one stayed.

  162. 162
    Amir Khalid says:

    @White Trash Liberal:
    That seems to be the consensus on Dzhokhar. (Whose name, by the way, is usually rendered as Johar or Johari around my neck of the woods.)

  163. 163
    cyntax says:

    @White Trash Liberal:
    Exactly.

    To wonder about accuracy of the data or whether it’s being filtered by our media to present view of the men that is prepackaged for mass consumption are all fair sorts of questions, but to wonder about the availability of the data seems to miss some fundamental points about how our world is structured.

  164. 164
    Ben Franklin says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    How quickly and tragically bad ideas and dark intent can unfold and swallow impressionable minds.

    I hope the 2nd brother is taken alive. We need to know what led to their transformation.

  165. 165
    EconWatcher says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    I had read Foucault’s description of Bentham’s panopticon many, many years ago, but the “participatory” adjective makes for a very nice description of the internet and social media.

  166. 166
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Looks like NBC followed police dispatch, interviewed witnesses, had more than once source inside the BPD, and had a solid writer put that together.

    How much of that article is legitimate? That remains to be seen.

  167. 167
    EconWatcher says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Plus, whether they had any help.

  168. 168
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @DFH no.6:

    It’s probably me. I keep calling for tumbrel parades, after all.

    Of course, I have accomplices…

  169. 169
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    They want to capture these guys alive, because they want the wheels of justice to turn. Over in the Russian Federation, they dispense with the wheels and go right to the final act as quickly as possible, especially in the case of non-Russian rebel subject peoples.

    So you’re kind of purposely pretending the whole alleged Bin Laden raid and execution didn’t happen?

  170. 170
    shortstop says:

    @cyntax: Perhaps Ben is quite aged.

  171. 171
    Punchy says:

    They’re evacuating UMASS Dartmouth based purely on the reason that he is enrolled there.

    This is becoming ridiculous. Will they order Sprint to shut down because he contracts with them? Does his workout gym have to close now, too? What about the shoe store he purchased his sneaks at?

  172. 172
    GregB says:

    So a few other matters that will come to the fore.

    Where did these men get their guns?

    Where did they get the explosives?

  173. 173
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    I call BS on this uniquely American trait to assimilate. Human populations all around the world do that. And for people like me who were in the USA, it does not seem specially “assimilative” or anything at all. Where I live in India, if you travelled 300 km on any direction, there is a completely different language, and history and customs and food. That is the case, I think, in most of Europe; or Africa or Central Asia. That is the way humans roll, and this “unique” propensity of America’s ability to assimilate always seemed non-unique to me.
    You don’t have frequent pogroms, sure, but that comes with a long history.
    I think America’s greatness comes from her founding as a constitutional republic, governed by laws. That made her an economic powerhouse, and that makes her an attractive destination. Nothing to do with any specific assimilation.
    Second generation kids in US all seem to lose their “native” language. Not so where I live, and I suspect most of the rest of the world. There goes your assimilation.

  174. 174
    Morzer says:

    @Punchy:

    And if he bought books on Amazon or watched CNN to get news.. well, I could get behind the second part of that.

  175. 175
    aimai says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    Ten years later is a rush to justice?

  176. 176
    beltane says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: Until the 1960s there were frequent pogroms against African-Americans.

  177. 177
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Chris:

    But I read quite a few people saying they HOPED it was a white rightie because that way you knew there wouldn’t be any excessive backlash. That, at least, I found hard to disagree with.

    That was my wife’s exact statement to me, and rationale for it, about this Boston bombing and manhunt.

    Same thing when Gabby Giffords and all those others were shot down the road in Tucson (particularly with that being a political rally for a Dem).

    I strongly sympathize with the thought, and especially the reason – to minimize backlash against innocents – but I don’t go there myself because I think such speculation overall is not helpful, and I’m surrounded by fucking rightwingers who do this every time (much gloating at the office today that these Boston assholes are Chechen, cuz jihad and Islamofascism, and we told you, etc.).

  178. 178
    Morzer says:

    Anzor Tsarnaev spoke with The Associated Press by telephone from the southern Russian republic of Dagestan after police said one of his sons, 26-year-old Tamerlan, had been killed in a shootout and the other, Dzhokhar, was being intensely pursued.

    “My son is a true angel,” the elder Tsarnaev said. He said his son was “an intelligent boy” who was studying medicine.

    “We expected him to come on holidays here,” he said.

    “They were set up, they were set up!” he exclaimed. “I saw it on television; they killed my older son Tamerlan.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....-watertown

  179. 179
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Morzer:

    It’s good to remember that you are a fact-free whackjob with no artistic talent.

    Giggle.

    The best part is cashing checks from all the people who agree with you that I am talent free and yet mysteriously, buy my work anyway. Oh well.

  180. 180
    MomSense says:

    The thing that all religions have in common is that they are created and practiced by people. People are capable of good, evil, indifference, kindness, love… People delight and depress me all the time.

  181. 181
    Ben Franklin says:

    @shortstop:

    Perhaps Ben is quite aged.

    Ignorance is not just the provence of youth, but naivete is certainly not that of the aged.

  182. 182
    Morzer says:

    @aimai:

    Remember that the troll works with a timeframe that insists the Civil Rights legislation was precipitate and untimely.

  183. 183
    Morzer says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    I bet you have to give the money back to your mom afterwards. The poor woman is probably tired of paying transaction fees to support your fragile ego.

  184. 184
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Hey genius, I don’t like fundamentalist Christians either, but I’m pretty sure that has nothing to do with what’s going down right here in Boston today, does it?

  185. 185
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: Sorry, but someone of, say, Japanese ancestry, let’s even say unmixed, whose grandparents came to the US 50 years ago, is an American. Someone of American ancestry, whose grandparents moved to Japan 50 years ago, and whose parents were born there, is an American, not Japanese.

  186. 186
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    Second generation kids in US all seem to lose their “native” language. Not so where I live, and I suspect most of the rest of the world. There goes your assimilation.

    Umm, dude (dudette?) that is assimilation (or at least it’s most obvious indication).

    Not “unique” to America, no. But very important to what is “America” and, I think, more prevalent here than anywhere else I know of (nowhere else in the modern world has had such an influx of voluntary immigration of people from everywhere).

    And, what Gin & Tonic said just above me.

  187. 187
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @shortstop:

    Unlike you, I actually enjoy the existence of freedoms that I may not, myself, practice.

    Idiot.

  188. 188
    MomSense says:

    @Punchy:

    I think there is some concern that they may have planted IEDs in multiple places.

  189. 189
    ericblair says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    Second generation kids in US all seem to lose their “native” language. Not so where I live, and I suspect most of the rest of the world. There goes your assimilation.

    Um, that is the “assimilation” bit. If they didn’t, that wouldn’t be assimilation. US law and (secular) culture really doesn’t have the concept of group rights, like in other countries including Canada. I’m qualifying it with secular, because to me the Christian fundies sure seem to think that there are group rights: gay marriage is bad even though we as individuals don’t have to participate because it attacks our group’s beliefs and the like.

    I’ve got a problem with group rights in general, since from what I’ve seen you have a real problem with how official groups get defined. God help you, too, if you’re a minority group within a minority group, because the bigger minority’s demanded rights usually include trampling on smaller minority group’s rights.

  190. 190
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @aimai:

    Ten years later is a rush to justice?

    Oh, I’m sorry…did I miss the whole trial, presentation of evidence, and conviction?

  191. 191
    Skepticat says:

    @Mnemosyne: Which adds such an odd little twist to the fact that this happened on a day commemorating the first real battle of our own little separatist war.

  192. 192
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @shortstop:

    Aw, come on, y’all, Ted & Hellen doesn’t actually believe what he said about those dangerous Muslims hoping to cover up a gender to which he says he’s not sexually attracted, or prevent him from consuming the alcohol he insists he no longer drinks, thereby interfering with the “nicety” of his life.

    That’s why it’s easier to tell the truth. You never have to remember your lies.

  193. 193
    👽 Martin says:

    Sounds like the NatGuard is coming in to help a bit.

  194. 194
    Morzer says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    And let’s face it, Teddybear is still in denial about the goats, despite graphic evidence of his behavior being readily available.

  195. 195
    Svensker says:

    @cyntax:

    Judging by the comments from first the uncle (who said the kids deserved to die) and now the father, the family doesn’t sound like the place where calm philosophical discussions of right and wrong took place around the table.

  196. 196
    Ben Franklin says:

    A convenience store robbery is a petty crime (even if often a violent one). It’s Criminality 101, easy to pull off, or at least attempt. It can even, as in the instances above, be a bit of a picaresque crime. It’s a crime we understand, one that we think of as associated with people so down-on-their-luck as to be desperate, not people who have pure evil in their hearts. And that’s why it’s so jarring to think of these young men who carefully plotted to murder so many innocents as being convenience store robbers—just as it’s jarring to realize that whatever their ideological allegiances might be, they have lived in the United States for at least ten years, attended schools here, won boxing tournaments. We thought we were reading a John LeCarre book; we are surprised by the Elmore Leonard details.

  197. 197
    Ben Franklin says:

    @👽 Martin:

    Strangely, the Mils have stayed clear of this, until now.

  198. 198
    shortstop says:

    @Ben Franklin: Mmmm, Provence. Lavender, delicious dishes, lovely architecture. Did you know you can see pictures of it on your computer screen even though it’s clear across the ocean? What will these crazy inventors come up with next!?

  199. 199
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    Second generation kids in US all seem to lose their “native” language. Not so where I live, and I suspect most of the rest of the world. There goes your assimilation.

    Uh, what? I think you may need to review the definition of “assimilation.” Second generation immigrants losing their native language is a textbook example of assimilation.

  200. 200
    Morzer says:

    @Svensker:

    Apparently the brothers had been at odds for a decade or so and had stopped speaking to each other. Calm philosophical silences might have been the maximum expectation.

  201. 201
    Ben Franklin says:

    @shortstop:

    Ted and Helen? Nice sock-puppet.

  202. 202
    Ramiah Ariya says:

    That some of you define losing of your parent’s language as assimilation is revealing – did it occur to you someone can talk more than one language?
    Assimilation is not the losing of your language or customs entirely, but adopting one more; and the ability to juggle multiple identities.
    I live around people who have spent 500 years in my state; have not lost their native language, but claim my own as theirs too.
    Unless assimilation has some negative meaning, I don’t see how losing your native language for English is something to look forward to.
    And to Gin & Tonic, “American” is not an ethnic identity to you, but it is to many people elsewhere.

  203. 203
    jrg says:

    @DFH no.6: The left has no equivalent to Geller. No one that I know of is even in the same ballpark.

    I was just making a point, in the “he who cast the first stone” sort of way.

  204. 204
    shortstop says:

    @Ben Franklin: Don’t quit your day job hoping the writing thing will work out. They needed money fast because they were on the lam.

  205. 205
    johnny aquitard says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    How quickly and tragically bad ideas and dark intent can unfold and swallow impressionable minds.

    Makes me wonder — his age is about when certain psychotic episodes begin to manifest.

    I once knew a young man when he was at just about that age, he had been the sweetest easy-going high school kid you could meet, and in the span of 6 months he become troubled and moody and upset by recurring thoughts of someone following him.

    No he didn’t become a mass murderer, he never hurt anyone, let alone even use foul language. But if someone had *agreed* with him, reinforced his paranoia, told him that his bad thoughts were real, I could see how he could have been very easily manipulated into believing ‘X’ was responsible for the stalking he thought was happening.

    Alas, the thoughts troubled him so greatly he eventually tried to commit suicide. He was found before the poison he took killed him. I don’t know whether that was fortunate or not. He was robbed of his personality, of who he was; more than a few of us would rather die than lose our self. That was the last I’d heard, which was a dozen years ago.

    Edit: So I guess he did try to hurt someone, but that someone was himself.

  206. 206
    Jay C says:

    @GregB:

    So a few other matters that will come to the fore.

    Where did these men get their guns?

    Where did they get the explosives?

    Dude, that’s probably going to be the least of the questions about the Tsarnaev brothers! They probably got their terror equipment over the Internet – or over-the-counter at a sporting goods store. Just like everybody else in America….

  207. 207
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Mnemosyne: Feeling slight animosity but not enough to start up pograms is another. Yes, we have a large faction that would like the state to, say, round up muslims and deport everyone, but how far does that movement get?

  208. 208
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    Again, you seem to be using a very strange definition of “assimilation” that doesn’t seem to match anything I’ve ever seen:

    Cultural assimilation is the process by which a person or a group’s native language or culture come to conform to those of another group. The term is used both to refer to both individuals and groups, and in the latter case it can refer to either immigrant diasporas or native residents that come to be culturally dominated by members of another group. Assimilation may involve either a quick or gradual change depending on circumstances. Full assimilation occurs when new members of a society become indistinguishable from older members. Whether or not it is desirable for an immigrant group to assimilate is often disputed by both members of the group and those of the dominant society.

    Please explain what your definition of “assimilation” is since it does not appear to be the same as the standard definition that most people recognize.

  209. 209
    Ben Franklin says:

    @shortstop:

    On the lam, from Boston? They could never expect they would be identified.

  210. 210
    DFH no.6 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    No, no.

    Saying that “the Village” needs to be guillotined (or put up against the wall, or whatever’s handiest) is perfectly fine.

    Doesn’t make you the “Pam Geller of the left”. Don’t even think that.

  211. 211
    beltane says:

    @Svensker: It does seem to be a family which celebrates Festivus whenever they get together, at least the airing of grievances part.

  212. 212
    DFH no.6 says:

    @jrg:
    OK, got it.

    I’m with you on that.

  213. 213
    shortstop says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: I don’t think anyone here is arguing against the value of speaking more than one language. We’re just trying to figure out why you think losing your parents’ native tongue means you’re not assimilating into the adopted culture. This is pretty close to the standard understanding of the term in the U.S.

  214. 214
    shortstop says:

    @beltane: No word yet on the feats of strength part.

  215. 215
    beltane says:

    @shortstop: Being that the older brother was a boxer and the younger one a wrestler, feats of strength would be a given.

  216. 216
    shortstop says:

    @Ben Franklin: If only there had been some way to get their faces out there, some way to widely publicize what they look like to as many people as possible so they could be identified and know that people were now going to recognize them. Huh. Ah, well, no luck. We’re limited to face-to-face conversations and “Wanted” posters printed on your old mimeograph machine with the purple ink.

  217. 217
    Ben Franklin says:

    @shortstop:

    That’s hilarious (fap)

  218. 218
    shortstop says:

    @beltane: Ah, good point.

  219. 219
    Ben Franklin says:

    @shortstop:

    Even funnier…carry on.

  220. 220
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    “American” is not an ethnic identity to you

    And that’s precisely the point. You can come here from anywhere and by coming and adapting you can become an American. My parents came here from elsewhere. I speak multiple languages; they spoke more. I have an ethnic identity, but I can call myself an American and hold a US passport and nobody can disagree. If I move to Japan and my children are born there they can’t call themselves “Japanese,” but what are they? American, due to my passport? Or something else, due to the non-english language I speak with them?

    You can’t “become” Japanese or Sinhalese; you can become American.

  221. 221
    shortstop says:

    @Ben Franklin: You’re not pulling your weight here, old fellow. Usually you can go for hours with the florid paranoia before you subside into impotent flailings of a word of two.

  222. 222
    Chris says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    Assimilation is not the losing of your language or customs entirely, but adopting one more; and the ability to juggle multiple identities.

    Um, no, it’s not. Assimilation means adopting the language and customs of the local language; it does NOT mean the ability to juggle multiple identities. It CAN mean that; there’s no reason why a person can’t assimilate by learning English and all the other cultural quirks of the U.S.A, while remembering their tradition’s language and culture as well. But that’s not a requisite, either.

    ETA:

    And to Gin & Tonic, “American” is not an ethnic identity to you, but it is to many people elsewhere.

    You’ll forgive me if I place more stock in the opinions of Americans than people who live “elsewhere” when it comes to whether or not “American” is an ethnic identity.

  223. 223
    Bobby Thomson says:

    The banality of evil. (If legitimate.)

  224. 224
    jrg says:

    @Ben Franklin: Right? And I’m the troll…

  225. 225
    Joel (Macho Man Randy Savage) says:

    @DFH no.6: My thoughts exactly.

    The search for “reasons” is almost always fruitless.

  226. 226
    Ben Franklin says:

    @shortstop:

    Har ! Falling for every cover story is your provence.

  227. 227
    shortstop says:

    @Ben Franklin: Provence again? Why not mix it up with Brittany or Alsace-Lorraine? You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you?

  228. 228
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: But do Rightwingers accept Chechens as White? There are some Whites who don’t consider “swarthy” Europeans such as Portuguese or Italians as “White”. Race can be a strange construct sometimes.

  229. 229
    Ben Franklin says:

    @shortstop:

    Your provence is to the East of the West bank, which makes you right.

    But shall I stop there? Do you know what I’m talking about?

  230. 230
    shortstop says:

    @Patricia Kayden: They won’t this time, at least.

  231. 231
    Chris says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Though this is, indeed and as Ramiyah said, not exclusive to the U.S. – a lot of Latin American countries have a similar melting pot thing going on with immigrants from all sorts of backgrounds (didn’t one of them recently have an ethnic Japanese leader?)

  232. 232
    TooManyJens says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    But shall I stop there?

    God, if only.

  233. 233
    shortstop says:

    @Ben Franklin: Oui, vous devriez aller sur, Madame Malaprop.

  234. 234
    EconWatcher says:

    @Chris:

    Peru. Fujimori.

    While we’re not perfect, I do think we’re generally more accepting of immigrants than any other country. My immigrant wife (from a majority-Muslim former Soviet republic, FWIW) thinks so too.

  235. 235
    El Caganer says:

    @Chris: Fujimori in Peru. Dude got himself in a world of shit, too.

  236. 236
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Chris: Alberto Fujimori in Peru. Who fled to Japan when it looked like he was going to be prosecuted. His resignation was the most shameless one I’ve ever heard of. He faxed it in. Last time I checked he was trying to go back to Peru to run for President again.

  237. 237
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    On the lam, from Boston? They could never expect they would be identified.

    We have a large Eastern European (Armenian) immigrant population in the small city I live in. If they have a DUI or a hit-and-run, it’s not uncommon for them to turn up in Mexico trying to get a flight back to Armenia.

    So, yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if they needed cash to try to fly to Europe (probably Germany where their father is rather than Chechnya, but who knows?), so they decided to knock over a convenience store. It sounds like they may have panicked when their photos were released by the FBI.

  238. 238
    Ben Franklin says:

    @shortstop:

    You seem confident you’ve won some sort of argument.

    I blame your yoot.

  239. 239
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Your provence is to the East of the West bank, which makes you right.

    I thought Provence was in France.

    You learn something new every day.

  240. 240
    ericblair says:

    @Chris:

    (didn’t one of them recently have an ethnic Japanese leader?)

    Sure, Fujimori of Peru. I know some Peruvians, and it is a bit of a novelty to most Americans listening to someone with Japanese ancestry speaking native-level Spanish.

  241. 241
    shortstop says:

    @Mnemosyne: But how could those photos be released so quickly? It takes a minimum of 24 hours to develop film from an Kodak Instamatic camera (unless you pay extra), and then you have to mail them to police departments all over the country.

  242. 242
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It sounds like they may have panicked when their photos were released by the FBI.

    Yes they are too young to know about surveillance cameras and facial recognition. They also had no TeeVee to see their mugs on for the last 2 days. They couldn’t imagine anyone recognizing them in such close proximity to the blasts, because they were hiding in plain sight. They didn’t plan an escape and so had no money, so they decided to take a low profile and leave the City quietly.

  243. 243
    scav says:

    @shortstop: If losing one’s “native” tongue is a sign of assimilation to some, I wonder just what culture bf is assimilating to at this point. Poitou doesn’t want him, doesn’t see the point, and Gascogne just giggles.

  244. 244
    shortstop says:

    @Mnemosyne: It doesn’t matter how unsubtle you are. He’s not going to get that reference or have any idea what you mean.

  245. 245
    Brandon says:

    @gene108: I would have to disagree to the statement that there wasn’t a state sponsored attack on muslims following 911. The unconstitutional surveillance of all muslims by the NYPD in the NY-NJ area was profound, intrusive and subjugating. While they were not physically interred, they were similarly controlled by authorities who harbored the exact same types of suspicions against an entire group that they had against Japanese in WWII. Instead of being rounded up to be watched, they were watched by means of electronic and other forms of surveillance.

  246. 246
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I didn’t say Left Bank because that would be too obvious for short eyes.

  247. 247
    shortstop says:

    @scav: And the original Ben had them in the palm of his hand. Funny old world, innit?

  248. 248
    Morzer says:

    @scav:

    I suspect he’s a Limousin liberal.

    Sorry, but the chance was there.

  249. 249
    Ben Franklin says:

    @shortstop:

    Bwaaaa….

  250. 250
    shortstop says:

    @Morzer: Well played.

  251. 251
    Ben Franklin says:

    @shortstop:

    Stop seeking comfort. You’re on your own, short-eyes.

  252. 252
    scav says:

    @Morzer: Well Played! 20/20!

  253. 253
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    Where I live in India, if you travelled 300 km on any direction, there is a completely different language, and history and customs and food. That is the case, I think, in most of Europe; or Africa or Central Asia.

    This is most definitely NOT the case in the USA, and especially so since the end of the Second World War, indeed so much so that many older Americans like to complain about the loss of a sense of local and regional identity that this national homogenization has imposed on them whether they like it or not, compared with the more rural and less mobile country they grew up in.

  254. 254
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Raven: I love the Uncle. He’s perfectly right to point out that Islam will always be around.

    But we don’t know whether their religion played any role in this terrorist attack.

  255. 255
    handsmile says:

    @SatanicPanic: , @El Caganer: et al

    Alberto Fujimori has been in prison in Peru since 2008, convicted in several trials of human rights violations and bribery/embezzlement charges.

    His daughter Keiko was the runner-up in the 2011 presidential election, losing in the run-off contest to current Peruvian president Ollanta Humala.

    FWIW

  256. 256
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN): The Aurora shooter probably was just as well assimilated as you are. But you are probably a bit better adjusted and use clearer judgement.

  257. 257
    remima says:

    @Southern Beale: Thank you! I’ve been desperately waiting to see you link to this, and hoped you hadn’t decided to skip it this week.

  258. 258
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Patricia Kayden: If their uncle didn’t provide for their religious education, I wonder where they were picking it up?

  259. 259
    LanceThruster says:

    We do more to ensure our safety and security by being a true beacon of freedom than by reverting to a police state.

    I am NOT afraid!

  260. 260
    gene108 says:

    @Ramiah Ariya:

    Nothing to do with any specific assimilation.
    Second generation kids in US all seem to lose their “native” language. Not so where I live, and I suspect most of the rest of the world. There goes your assimilation.

    What you describe is the opposite of assimilation. You remain distinct and unique culturally.

    Because of this you may never be accepted as equal to those around you.

    India isn’t “normal” in the sense of why nation-states arose – common language, religion, etc. – though the general geographic area of India has been ruled as a single state off-and-on for 2,000 years, so there is some cultural and historical identity.

    If you go 300 km in Europe you end up in another country, where people in those countries – prior to the end of World War 2 – have spent centuries killing each other for being different.

    Also, too given the caste-linguistic identity politics in India, you really don’t have assimilation on the local level. I’m a native Tamil speaker, born in Bangalore and have lived in the U.S. most of my life. I have relatives in Bangalore. As native Tamil speakers, I don’t see them rising up be CM of Karnataka. Same goes for native Telugu speakers in Chennai, who may have been there for some time, every rising up in Tamil Nadu politics.

    Despite not agreeing with their politics, Jindal and Haley are governors of states. America has assimilated Indians to the degree that they can reach high political office in one generation.

    Not all countries will do that to those, who are different ethnically.

  261. 261
    Ben Franklin says:

    @LanceThruster:

    Forget about it. It’s BJ.

  262. 262
    Herbal Infusion Bagger says:

    @gene108: If you go 300 km in Europe you end up in another country, where people in those countries – prior to the end of World War 2 – have spent centuries killing each other for being different.

    That’s not completely true. A lot of the wars were one branch of an inbred ruling elite family wanting what another branch of said inbred ruling elite family wanted, because most of Europe’s history is transnational empires: the nation-state is a recent, mostly nineteenth-century, invention.

  263. 263
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Suffern ACE: Self-taught? Are there “Modrassas” in Massachussetts? I would assume that if they received any Islamic education, it was over the internet. But again, I am not inclined to believe that their Muslim religion played any role in their actions.

  264. 264
    LanceThruster says:

    Imagine if they used this much resources storming Wall Steet after _they_ blew up the economy.

  265. 265
    Chris says:

    @Herbal Infusion Bagger:

    The two phenomena overlapped. The Hundred Years’ War was mostly over which inbred royal had a claim to the throne of France, but it ended up laying one of the earlier foundations of French nationalism and the French sense of national identity.

    (Telling that it’s summarized in the history books as “England invaded France and France fought back.” I remember being confused as heck as a kid when I tried to read a bit more about it on my own and finding out about all the dynastic disagreements – as in, “wait, how can the King of England have a claim to the Throne of France?”)

  266. 266
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Ramiah Ariya: To paraphrase Arundhati Roy, Indians are kind to their kind. That can be a pretty small circle. I see from your blog that you are from Tamil Nadu. I was once in Tamil Nadu for a conference and they treat you like an outsider if you can’t speak Tamil. In some parts of the state no one will deign to speak to you, if you speak in Hindi. So please you are in no position to give lectures about assimilation.

  267. 267
    Ben Franklin says:

    Tweets from Jahar.

    Sounds like he’s sweating things, just like a real suspect

    http://gawker.com/5995065

  268. 268
    Anna in PDX says:

    So Dzhokhar is Chechnyan for Johar? It means “jewel” in Arabic. This whole thing is really upsetting. I have two sons with Muslim names who are in early 20s, feeling so depressed and wondering what it is to cause young men to move from “depressed loser” to “terrorist” mode.

  269. 269

    […] couple of things:  I want to shout amen and amen to a couple of post here earlier today.  DougJ nailed it with his quote from Ron Brownstein — and even more so with his last line: “This is […]

  270. 270
    PanurgeATL says:

    @gene108:

    What you describe is the opposite of assimilation. You remain distinct and unique culturally.

    Because of this you may never be accepted as equal to those around you.

    So much for assimilation, then.

    I was going to make a comment on how “a society forever absorbing the new” that “dissolves alienation and disrupts radicalization” shows the misguidedness of the post-’60s-movement complaint about “co-optation”, but here we are right back at the beginning. Freedom (which means, if nothing else, the right to be dissimilar) and equality go hand and hand, but we’ve all swallowed the Randist line that they’re enemies, because we keep confusing equality with similarity.

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