Happy Hour Open Thread

‘Cause we’re all going to need to start drinking, heavily – get it?


Why are people furious over our political system? Here’s why:

During a panel discussion Monday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe about a pair of new reports in the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post concerning the ongoing FBI investigation into the Clinton private e-mail server, National Journal political reporter Ron Fournier argued that there should be a higher bar to bring charges against Hillary Clinton because she is running for president…

No. No. NOOOO! Because Hillary is prominent it is all the more vital that she be held to the strictest standard. I’ll much easier let some poor guy off than I would someone rich and powerful…because a rich and powerful person (a) can’t possibly have any justification for breaking the law and (b) if those who run the government are breaking the law then every person in the United States suffers ill effects. But this is why Trump is having such a huge effect – because this and 10,000 other examples are out there of people juiced in getting a free ride. This sort of thing must end if our nation is to be saved.

Could Trump win New York in November Short answer, no. But take a look at this quote:

…Levine said voters are increasingly unwilling to cross party lines, “and this pattern has only accelerated in this era of negative partisanship in which, if nothing else, many people are voting against the opposing party rather than voting than voting in favor of their own party.”…

Which is all very true but which might not be true for 2016. We only have a few bits and pieces of information to contradict the polling and political history…but if Trump can pull into his camp numbers of those who don’t vote along with some who normally vote Democrat, things could be very much up in the air.

NY Times throws up it’s hands and just can’t figure out why people become terrorists:

…After all this funding and this flurry of publications, with each new terrorist incident we realize that we are no closer to answering our original question about what leads people to turn to political violence,” Marc Sageman, a psychologist and a longtime government consultant, wrote in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence in 2014. “The same worn-out questions are raised over and over again, and we still have no compelling answers.”…

I hate to state the obvious, but I guess I’ll have to: people become terrorists because they want to. There are people out there who get a kick out of doing bad – from the drug smuggler to the bank robber to the identity thief to the terrorist. It is true that some times you can talk a person out of doing bad – appeal to their better nature. There are also times when it seems pretty clear that God intervened and a bad person saw the light and repented. But there are also people who, for a variety of reasons, can’t be reasoned with and refuse the call of God. These are the people who make the bad things happen – for run-of-the-mill criminals there are the police, courts and jails to deal with them…but for those who are determined to set off bombs in random public places, much more stern measures will be required. One thing certain, if you’re sitting there spinning mental cobwebs trying to figure out some sort of root cause of either bank robbery or terrorism, you’ll be failing to deter either the robber or the terrorist…you’ve got to take vigorous, positive steps to stop them. If there is some sort of root cause, you can work on that, too…but, meanwhile, you’ve really just got to get after those who do bad things.

13 thoughts on “Happy Hour Open Thread

  1. Retired Spook March 29, 2016 / 7:31 am

    No. No. NOOOO! Because Hillary is prominent it is all the more vital that she be held to the strictest standard.

    Well, at the very least, the SAME standard.

    • M. Noonan March 29, 2016 / 11:45 am

      That would be an improvement!

  2. Amazona March 29, 2016 / 8:27 am

    ‘…National Journal political reporter Ron Fournier argued that there should be a higher bar to bring charges against Hillary Clinton because she is running for president…”

    ….because? Because we should make it easier for a criminal to become president? Because the Presidency of the United States should have lower standards than those applied to other citizens? It’s one thing to say, of a sitting president who is then found to have committed a crime, that an individual doesn’t really care that much—it’s an example of partisanship gone awry—but to say we should make it easier to elect someone who already has a history of criminal acts is simply crazy. Or maybe it is just pragmatic.

    Perhaps he is concerned that applying the same standards of obeying the law would thin out the ranks of Democrats so much they would have a hard time finding a presidential candidate. While the Dems probably didn’t know about Edwards when he was running, they did know that Kerry had lied under oath to Congress and they still nominated him and supported him.

    I wonder if Fournier would feel the same about a Republican candidate.

    I think we should start with having a higher bar for political reporters.

    • M. Noonan March 29, 2016 / 11:47 am

      Oh, we all know how it would be – first off, if Hillary had an “R” after her name, it is almost certain she’d already be indicted…but suppose by some freakish set of circumstances the indictment hadn’t come down, yet, then people like Fournier would be gravely intoning about how the seriousness of the charges make it best for her to withdraw from the campaign, blah, blah, blah.

      In better news – I’m starting to be asked about the e mail scandal by friends and family who aren’t political…which means the reality of it is just starting to penetrate the average American mind.

  3. Amazona March 29, 2016 / 9:00 am

    You are right—people become terrorists because they want to. But what to what? I think terrorism is a way to deny impotence, for one thing. Islam is a way of life which is standing still while the world passes it by, and if one is resentful and angry about this, lacking the ability to be a part of that world, one can say “I don’t care because I reject that world anyway”—-or one can try to destroy it. Simply ignoring that world, or rejecting it, still means standing on the outside, being isolated, and inevitably ending up feeling left out and inadequate. But instilling terror in people, destroying parts of that world and the people in it, means feeling more powerful than those people, feeling in control.

    This is only one component of a complex problem, but I think it is an important one. The fact is, terrorism is the visible manifestation of a pathology.

    For example, I don’t think Christian missionaries go out to spread the word of God because they have to convert others to validate their own beliefs. I think they do it out of a sense of love and wanting to share the gift of faith with others. Islam, on the other hand, seeks to impose itself on others, violently if necessary, and to kill those who do not submit, which I think is not something driven by religion or love of God but by a sense of inferiority, needing to validate its beliefs by eliminating anything that does not concur, and which also validates the ugliest human motives.

    It is also a way to deny fear. Most non-Muslim men, for example, are not afraid of women. They are comfortable working with them, working for them, interacting with them in all sorts of ways. Muslim men seem to be so terrified of women that they have to force them into submission, they react violently toward any possible expression of individuality or, heaven forbid, sexuality, and a great deal of Islamic culture is based on this fear of women, including the attitude that sexual congress on Earth is vile because women are vile, so can be achieved only on the spiritual plane with virgins.

    I think there is also a lot of fear of the complexities of Western life.

    When you mix fear, rage and power with an edict from God that you are instructed to use them to destroy everything else, you have Islamic terrorism.

    • Bob Eisenhower March 29, 2016 / 2:29 pm

      I have to disagree that people become terrorist because they want to. Almost all reports I’ve read, whether from military brass, foot soldiers, reporters or otherwise say that most terrorist become radicalized for revenge.

      I’m not talking about some westerner lured to ISIS for whatever reason. I’m talking about the folks who lived their whole life in the Mideast.

      Look, whether you were for or against the Iraq war, there is no arguing a hornet’s nest was kicked. War is terrible and war kills civilians, whose relatives become terrorists. Our lack of presence in Iraq has allowed that hornet’s nest to metastasize from Iraqi Insurgency into ISIS.

      I don’t think anyone straps on a bomb – or even straps a bomb on another person – for kicks or to be cool. They want payback and are powerless to exact revenge in any other manner.

      • Amazona March 29, 2016 / 3:09 pm

        And they choose this particular form of revenge because it is what appeals most to them. Which is another way of saying “because they want to”.

        Your analysis of revenge against whatever bogeyman is blamed for whatever event has created this resentment and anger doesn’t take into consideration the sheer irrationality of the form of the “revenge”. Bombs are indiscriminate tools of cowards, and these cowards are killing, indiscriminately, not only innocent people but innocent people who have endured the same insults and the same tragedies and the same problems. They are killing their own. And they are killing people from groups not identified with whoever did whatever to upset them.

        No Christian pastors marched into any Middle Eastern nation and wreaked havoc upon it. No, the war on Christianity is as old as Islam itself and has nothing at all to do with the Iraq War or anything else.

        If “revenge” was the motivator, where were the bombing attacks on Saddam Hussein and his boys, as they gleefully inflicted horrors on innocent Iraqi citizens just because they enjoyed doing it? The nation lived in abject fear of the midnight knock on the door, for decades, and it was well known what kind of unspeakable atrocities were being committed, yet I don’t remember any big “revenge” movement at the time from any Islamic radicals.

        If “revenge” is the motivation for hating those who killed civilians, why isn’t it directed at the cowards who hid behind women and children, who hid out in hospitals and schools? If “revenge” is the motive, why are some Muslims killing other Muslims, who have done nothing wrong but being the “wrong kind” of Muslim?

        I don’t deny that there are excuses given, but to me they don’t hold up.

        Nobody has said that anyone straps on a bomb to be cool, or for kicks. No, they do it because this is a movement that validates an internal inherent craving for violence and bloodshed, which is based on a possibly incoherent but overriding sense of rage and hatred. Rage, hatred and the prospect of violence are what attract mentally unbalanced people–whether they take weapons into Columbine High School or run off off to join ISIS or set off bombs at rock concerts.

        Basically, Islam teaches that life on earth is pretty much crap, that the only joy is to be had in the afterlife, and the only way to get to the afterlife is to kill as many non-believers as possible. This message sits in the Koran right next to the messages about peace and love, so Muslims get to cherry-pick which messages appeal to them. The more radical believe that there will be a time of glory and joy, when the entire Earth is dedicated to the worship of Allah according to his prophet Mohammed, and that they have a duty to do whatever they can to bring this about, which means ensuring the quickest possible return of the 12th Imam. But this can’t happen until the nations of the Earth are in turmoil, till chaos reigns, till there is universal suffering and blood in the streets.

        This has nothing to do with “revenge”. It is ideology. It makes world domination, and inflicting misery on infidels, an imperative. Its appeal is to those already mentally primed to be looking for a validation of their most violent and hateful impulses, and excuses for their pathologies.

      • Bob Eisenhower March 29, 2016 / 3:30 pm

        I gotta disagree again. I think it has little to do with ideology and mostly to do with revenge.

        I ran across a documentary, I think on HBO. I didn’t watch the whole thing because it was so blatantly anti-Bush I found it difficult to watch. But one scene almost made me keep watching. The reporter – the center of the documentary – was filming three Iraqi brothers, the oldest of whom was a militant. At some point there was gunfire at the militant, who was not hit. However, the youngest brother was killed. You could watch the face of the middle brother, who had not been radicalized in earlier segments, change in the ensuing moments and he went on to join ISIS.

        There is no “bogeyman,” as you say. America (and the West) is the enemy.

        Without placing blame – war is messy and civilians die – but when a bomb from a U.S. plane kills civilians, the relatives will want revenge on the U.S. It is utterly inarguable that terrorists are not made from desire for revenge.

        As for why terrorism existed before the Iraq War, first off, terrorism is different than the days Israel feared the PLO. The terrorist of old are quaint compared to ISIS. That old style terrorism was still based on revenge, but it was misplaced. The Jordanians and Syrians are who denied them a home, so their anger focused only on who “kicked them out” (their view) of their homeland (which did not exist prior to 1948).

        That Christians are being slaughtered so wholesale has more to do with the Arab Spring leaving more countries run by groups that endorse such things. Christian slaughter is more government operation than grassroots terrorism.

        I think you are mistaking “wanting to be a terrorist” with “wanting revenge using the only means at your disposal.”

      • M. Noonan March 30, 2016 / 1:36 am

        Terrorism is actually a fairly recent development in human history – it really goes back no further than Narodnaya Volya (People’s Will) which formed in Russia in 1879 and was dedicated to using terror as a tactic to force the Russian Autocracy to concede to revolutionary demands. It’s only great success was the murder of Tsar Alexander II, but it was the model of all terrorist groups in the future.

        You can quantify the motivation of the terrorist as being a desire for revenge, if you like – the Russian terrorists were out for “revenge” in a manner of speaking…but what they were doing was taking out their frustrations. You see, Narodnaya Volya was a breakaway movement – the mother movement was the concept that if know-it-all, city-bred intellectuals just “went to the people”, the people would gratefully accept instruction and leadership from the intellectuals and, viola!, Revolution…when the people rejected the “help” and either ignored or turned in the revolutionaries, those who formed Narodnaya Volya decided that their only course of action was to terrorize the regime into essentially putting the intellectuals in charge so that they could then have the power to order the lives of the people as they saw fit. Terrorism is always an attempt to get a government to do things it would not otherwise do via normal means – and those who lead terrorist movements invariably hold themselves to be people who know what’s what – and everyone who disagrees with them is an idiot, when not a wicked fool. They do it, as I said, because they want to – and if there’s no real cause for them to do their deeds, they’ll just twist facts until there appears to be a justification for their actions. Just like a drug dealer can provide us lots of reasons for doing what he does. Your example of a brother rising up in anger over the death of his sibling is just another worn-out species of post-facto rationalization for wicked deed. No matter what happens to your brother, you never have a justification for murdering people who had nothing to do with it.

      • Cluster March 30, 2016 / 8:01 am

        Revenge is a distraction from the main driver of terrorism which are the tenets of Islam. Islam is a violent and barbaric practice and is much more of a political ideology than a Faith based ideology. Many middle class and financially well off Muslim men have been called to jihad, what revenge are they after? Many of these barbarians have destroyed ancient Buddhist relics and artifacts, what have the Buddhists done to Islam to invoke revenge? And more recently, what did the Christian women and children in Pakistan do to deserve their revenge? The problem is Islam and the failure of Muslim men in many parts of the world to build a functioning society resulting in many young uneducated Muslim men living in dire and destitute surroundings who are indoctrinated in the tenets of a 7th century doctrine that promises virgin bliss in the after life and the results become predictable. Islam must be reformed. The basic tenets of the religion endorse the killing of infidels and apostates, deem it permissible to lie and deceive to achieve desired ends, and any Muslim who subscribes to Sharia law has no place in a civilized society. It is time we stop walking on eggshells and call this barbaric religion for what it is, and systematically kill those who desire to exact the literal interpretation.

      • Amazona March 29, 2016 / 5:12 pm

        “…when a bomb from a U.S. plane kills civilians, the relatives will want revenge on the U.S. It is utterly inarguable that terrorists are not made from desire for revenge.”

        …so you bomb civilians in Paris, London and Brussels.

        You cite one individual example of a brother being so outraged at the death of another than he joined ISIS.

        Oh, I agree, there is a lot of rage floating around the Middle East, and a lot of is is described as a desire for “revenge” but it is so vague and incoherent it just doesn’t hold water, as far as I am concerned. There is a mentality, much like the rioter mentality that uses “revenge” to try to excuse burning Korean businesses after a black cop shoots a black criminal. I say it is not “revenge”, it is a pathology looking for an excuse to validate it.

        “Christian slaughter is more government operation than grassroots terrorism.” And just what, pray tell, is the difference? If terrorist organizations are doing the slaughtering, who really cares if there is some government sanction somewhere along the line? It’s terrorism, and it can’t be pinned on “revenge”.

        I say terrorism is a toxic brew of the rage and hatred that are endemic to a primitive culture that is clearly being ignored and left behind as the rest of the world moves forward, crippled by its primitive aspects of tribalism and of seeing violence as the solution to every problem, constrained by an inherently violent “religion” that validates this rage and hatred and points out targets for it, and threatened by the challenges of the modern world. Combine rage, anger, fear, frustration, a culture based on violence and a religion preaching the elimination of any Other any of them choose to identify, and you have terrorism. Sure, some may be motivated by revenge, but even that seems to be misplaced. “I’m really pissed off that the United States dropped a bomb that killed my mother, so I am going to get my revenge by killing some commuters in a London underground.”

        Sorry, my friend, but I think the whole “revenge” thing is just an effort to sanitize murderous insanity.

      • Amazona March 30, 2016 / 8:55 am

        Reformation will be a contentious process, with the usually anti-religious Left siding with Muslim objections, and it will take generations for it to really take hold, but it has to start now. As a religion, it certainly can be different from other religions, as Catholicism is different from Jehovah’s Witness or LDS, but it still has to conform to the general definition of religion. No other religion has as a basic tenet that its followers are commanded to kill those who do not believe, and that is simply not acceptable. When such teachings are moved over from the heading of RELIGION to where they belong, under the heading POLITICAL, the reformation can begin.

        We as a nation, under our Constitution, cannot tell people how or what they must believe, or must not believe, in their pursuit of spiritual knowledge and salvation, which is after all a basic definition of religion. It covers everything from Catholicism to Wiccan. But just as we would not allow any other religion to use force to impose itself on others, we can’t allow conquest, or the choice of conversion or death, as a part of a religion of Islam. We as a nation can, and must, tell people what political teachings are not allowed in this country, when it comes to teachings that advocate the overthrow of the nation and/or the slaughter of its people.

        In a similar vein, we cannot allow any law but American law to exist in the United States. We absolutely cannot allow Sharia, or any other law for that matter, to coexist with American law. The most important unifying aspect of any nation is its consistency of law, applied equally to all. When the law is applied unevenly, or more importantly when any group is allowed to make its own laws even though they may conflict with our laws, we are undermining the very foundation of the country and becoming essentially lawless.

  4. Amazona March 29, 2016 / 9:07 am

    “,,,this era of negative partisanship in which, if nothing else, many people are voting against the opposing party rather than voting than voting in favor of their own party.”…”

    Well, duh. Nothing could be more obvious. How many Democrats vote FOR a constantly expanding federal government taking on more and more power? None that I have talked to. No, they are voting AGAINST the invented Other of the Evil Republican. We see it in the Lefty trolls who try to infest this blog, never advocating Leftist causes on principle but just seething with rage and hatred and looking for a place to express it.

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