Thursday, December 03, 2015


Trump, and then another mass murder.

I was all set to blog today about Donald Trump's continuing popularity in the polls. I was going to say that it surprised me, but probably not as much as it surprised many long-time Republicans, who last summer were saying "don't worry, he will fade. If he is leading in December, then we can worry."

But then the shootings in San Bernardino, California happened. Syed Rizwan Farook, an American citizen who is Muslim, went to a holiday party for work. He left, then returned to the banquet with his wife, Tashfeen Malik.  Both were dressed in full battle gear, and they began killing people with assault rifles.  14 died, and 17 were seriously injured. Farook and Malik died later in a shootout with police. They had left behind a complex bomb, which was defused.

I woke up in DC this morning, and on the way to the airport I listened to a report on NPR about the shooting. The reporter said two things:

1) That Syed Rizwan Farook went to Saudi Arabia, came back, grew a beard, and then committed a mass murder and planted a bomb.

2) Officials were trying to determine the motive.

In that moment, right there, I understood why some people like Donald Trump. Because we all know what he would do with those two things.

I also know that it will make things even harder for Americans with names like Syed who have a beard.  Because in many minds, terrorism of this sort is committed by people with names like "Syed," not by people with names like "Tim," or "James" or "Adam." Which is true, until Tim blows up a federal building, and James shoots up a theater and Adam kills people in a church in Charleston.

Thank you for this! If the shooter is Euro-american, it is said that it cannot be terrorism (as Euro-Americans don't do that???). If the shooter hold up a minimart and shoots someone, and is black, Asian or Middle-Eastern, it must be called terrorism???

At first glance, this appears to be a job-related grievance issue, since he shot up the people with whom he worked.


In a country where more than one mass shooting occurs each day by someone who is angry and has access to weapons, maybe we have too many guns and too many angry citizens. In my opinion, the daily loss of lives and daily display of outrage at others is under our radar. If you want attention, a mass shooting sure is your best bet. We will accommodate you.

In times like this I want to creep out of the country until the public 24/7 destructive conversation is over.

Also, in the best of times, a sense of not being accepted is almost universal among Americans who are Muslim. They aren't alone, but in this difficult time, maybe they should be in our thoughts and prayers.
On the subject of Trump for president…one would have hoped two terms of “W” presidency should have taught us one thing: the consequences of electing a fool are long-term, expensive and deadly. Woulda coulda shoulda!
On the subject of yet another mass murder…whether the motive is disgruntled rage or homegrown terrorism it is America today that points to the answer; the America of zealots, homophobes and science defying ignorants armed to the teeth, egged on by Second Amendment nuts and politicians who “pray for the victims” but do nothing to control the madness.
Marta - spot on...

I was listening to NPR late this afternoon as I drove home from Chapel Hill. They interviewed someone who had survived. He happened to be in the bathroom with three other men when the shooting started. They had been in some sort of training session, during a session break some people went and got cake at some office holiday celebration and then the training class resumed. Syed left during the break. The men's room was apparently on the other side of the wall from the training/conference room as this man had shards of wall board cut him as the bullets hit the wall on the other side and they all hit the floor in the bathroom and barricaded the door as well. He had been sitting with Syed before the break and didn't sense anything strange in their casual conversation.

As for motive, who knows at this point.

There is something seriously wrong with people in this country that there is so much anger.

Too many posts I read on FB today referred to going to the gun range for some practice and conceal/carry. As I see it this just means more scared people are going tobe toting weapons around.
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