What Do You Do? What Do You Say?

It’s friday morning and we are waking up to yet another story of a twisted madman engaging in mass murder. We did this last friday.

What do you do? What do you say?

Yes, we should Pray For Nice. They can use our prayers.

And yes, we should give generously to the victims and their families. I did that just now.

But it doesn’t feel like enough. What is an appropriate reaction to these horrors?

And what if you are the CEO of a rapidly growing company who has to stand up in front of the team today at the weekly all hands? What do you do? What do you say?

Do you ignore it because stuff like this doesn’t belong in the office? Should we just focus on our jobs and keep doing what we are doing?

Or do you talk about it with the team? And what do you say?

I don’t even know what to say to all of you. I didn’t know what to say to my friend who is from Nice when I wrote him an email this morning. “I’m thinking of you. I hope everyone you know is OK.” What else is there to say?

There is an epidemic in the world, a sickness that is spreading and afflicting more and more people. It is mental illness. We need to diagnose its cause and treat it. Until we do that, we will be facing more of these mornings.

I think many of us are wondering what we can do to help with that. I certainly am.

#Current Affairs

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    What we can do as regular citizens is mostly reactive, although still useful.But to really nip this horrible movement and eradicate it, the powers at be must to go to Syria, Iraq and wherever the grounds are breeding these rotten, evil, murderous minds.The war in Syria must be stopped at all costs, to halt the source of most of this. This has spilled over too much, and it’s time to clean it up and defeat them.

    1. fredwilson

      Do you think that this is all related to Syria? I think it’s a lot more complicated

      1. cfrerebeau

        It’s certainly is more complicated. In France in particular there is a link between the poor job we did as a country to integrate the very large muslim community, which gives more ground to the ideology of extremism in the middle east. It’s Isis today, but could be another group 10 years from now.

        1. William Mougayar

          It is the sad part of reality indeed. ISIS found sympathy by that segment of the population, and vice-versa they found sympathy with ISIS. C’est plus que dommage.

      2. William Mougayar

        It is more complicated of course, but Syria/Iraq have become the infectious grounds where these horrible ideologies are germinating. Theatres of wars are messy and create these environments.If the mess over there is reduced, it would send a signal that order can win, and crazies can be defeated. Right now, the anarchy there is spilling over virtually and physically into other places. If you cut the source, the rivers eventually dry up.

        1. SubstrateUndertow

          How Saudi Wahhabism Is the Fountainhead of Islamist Terrorism – Huffington Post”the fountainhead of Islamic extremism that promotes and legitimizes such violence lies with the fanatical “Wahhabi” strain of Islam centered in Saudi Arabia. And if the world wants to tamp down and eliminate such violent extremism, it must confront this primary host and facilitator.”/. . . .”for decades the Saudis have also lavishly financed its propagation abroad. Exact numbers are not known, but it is thought that more than $100 billion have been spent on exporting fanatical Wahhabism to various much poorer Muslim nations worldwide over the past three decades.”/. . . . “This appears to be a monumental campaign to bulldoze the more moderate strains of Islam, and replace them with the theo-fascist Saudi variety.”/. . . .”In many places in poor Muslim countries the choice is now between going to an extremist madrassa or getting no education at all. Poverty is exploited to promote extremism”

          1. William Mougayar

            I know….i know… i read those same things, but it’s more complicated than just saying it like that. SA funds building mosques all over the world, true. And SA has their own problems too.But to be fair, the other side of this is Iran who has been exporting another form of their ideologies way before that; ever since the Shah has overthrown by the radically religious fanatics that followed him, in 1979. So, they started this downward spiral, not SA. Maybe SA’s was a response to it. Regardless, both are bad currents and bad types of exports.

          2. Paul Robert Cary

            Wahabbism emerged in the 18th Century and is somewhat similar in inspiration to the Puritans (who let’s not forget were Christian Americans who burned women).The Shah (who was a puppet of the CIA after they deposed the democratically-elected Prime Minister Mosaddegh) was not overthrown by religious fanatics: the Islamic Revolution usurped the pro-democracy movement that began in universities. The is a large Iranian diaspora in exile, but it is really 2 diasporas. Some of them are pro-democracy activists who fled after ’79. Some are pro-Shah who also fled at the same time. These two diasporas rarely get along.

          3. William Mougayar

            Those 2 diaspora segmentations are a detail in the grand scheme of where we are today. Fact is Khomeini coming back from exile in 1979 worked to embolden the local movements that wanted the Shah out, but many of them got a raw deal since the Khomeini agenda was a precipitous religious fundamentalism that overtook everything. Fact is today, they have successfully exported this to Lebanon via Hezbollah and to other parts of the middle east. They do it slowly, but surely, while their secular politicians smile at your face.

          4. Paul Robert Cary

            The segmentations are a massively important detail. Khomeini’s influence would have been largely muted by the majority of Iranians who were pro-democracy, pro-western (as they indeed are today, ruled by an extremely powerful minority). It’s impossible to ignore the West’s snubbing of democracy in Iran and Syria that led directly to where we are today.Of course they have financed and equipped Shia militias – this is Northern Ireland writ large.

          5. William Mougayar

            But today, Iran is vastly dominated by the fundamentalist current and they have already spread their influence outside and into the region. We could argue that the Syria war is a proxy for shia-sunni dominance, and that is indirectly (or directly) fuelling incidents such as the horrific one in Nice, France.

    2. Paul Robert Cary

      The powers that be simply do not care enough to understand the underlying causes of the Syrian conflict, and those who do understand them lack the impartiality or and/or the mandate to address them. We are addicted to treating symptoms disguised as causes because it gives us a sense of efficacy. This conflict is entirely about regional power, and unless you get Assad, Turkey, Kurdistan, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar (and all of the main players along the Sunni/Shia divide) and Israel to all agree on the same terms that will take decades to implement, you will achieve nothing meaningful.”Radical Islam” is the latest chapter in the titanic struggle over the hearts and minds of the region’s people. It is the new Nazism. We are merely reaping the whirlwind sewn by the West’s incalculably irresponsible stewardship.

      1. William Mougayar

        Yup, the Sunni/Shia conflict is not to be under-estimated. We might have not seen its worse parts yet.

        1. ShanaC

          how bad do you think it is going to be?

          1. William Mougayar

            The unpredictability is part of the risk. No one knows.The extreme factions of these 2 groups don’t like each other and they will resort to violence to show it.

          2. ShanaC


    3. Joe Cardillo

      I’m certainly not a policy expert on the middle east, but it seems to me that food, shelter, and access to technology and creativity would go a long way to cutting the feet out from under extremist movements. Would be nice to see western powers put more resources into those areas, along with combatting violent extremists.

      1. William Mougayar

        yup, but they have to help themselves too. even with all the trillions of dollars that oil has given Saudi Arabia over the years, they haven’t been able to build one industry.

        1. Joe Cardillo

          Yes, good point. I do think the psychological impact of mostly showing up via military intervention makes things worse. (I know the west does plenty in terms of infrastructure investment, but my understanding is that very little of it is non-military or defense contract related).

          1. Helen Kurukulasuriya

            Agree. The previous military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan and other countries has created this breeding ground.For kids in Iraq a democrat equals a soldier. Because the soldiers were supposedly bringing democracy. War is not the solution.We need a new kind of humanitarian intervention, one that does not alienate but that heals.

      2. Jerry Hall

        Those elements combined with our critically minimizing or removing entirely our belief system that every equation includes our ‘national interests’ would solve many of today’s issues.

    4. sigmaalgebra

      > The war in Syria must be stopped at all costs, to halt the source of most of this. This has spilled over too much, and it’s time to clean it up and defeat them.That war is a branch of Shiites versus Sunnis including ISIS. We need to protect ourselves from them, but otherwise we can hope that both sides lose.

  2. Tom Labus

    President Obama in the Town Hall last night: “We expect the police to solve problems that we as a society have neglected for a long time.” It’s the same for terror.This economic and social mess has festered for multiple generations in France/Europe/here and is now being stirred by bloody lunatics.We’ll hear more political noise but no real action. And I don’t mean bombs or armies running all over the place

    1. LE

      President Obama in the Town Hall last night: “We expect the police to solve problems that we as a society have neglected for a long time.”Who are the “people” in that obviously (easily said by a politician) statement? The people who don’t have their jobs or the people who have jobs who are worried about paying for healthcare or their kids college? Who is supposed to be working together on all of this? To me it falls squarely on the people who work in the government in some capacity.

      1. Tom Labus

        Not sure what you’re saying. His point is that many communities are generational poor and the chances of breaking out of that cycle are slim. So the cops are not just policing but a containing an economic mess also.

        1. LE

          What I am saying is that it’s a typically meaningless statement by a politician. It’s a general statement with nothing other than a call to action (by whom?) which will be forgotten in a day. What’s the exact plan forward? Is there a specific solution that he is proposing? Or is this just a general “we can all do better” bullshit that comes from a leaders mouth? Where is the “Peace Corps” to help these communities? (And yes I think that coming up with a way to “break out of that cycle” is a big part of the problem.) Where is the “cancer moonshot” for all of this?

          1. Tom Labus

            There actually was a domestic version of the Peace Corp called VISTA. Well intentioned but did zip. I was born in Newark, NJ. There is no more blighted city in the US. Companies, jobs, hope gone for a very long time now. Parts of the city are still destroyed from the riots in the 60’s. Cash and development are needed. Private companies. The first grocery store in the city just opened a few years ago. But don’t expect the federal government to be riding to the rescue nor ahould we.

          2. Matt Zagaja

            A couple guys from http://www.unioncapitalbost… came to speak at my work place yesterday, and I thought it was an interesting approach. I have seen plenty of other moonshots, most of the money people put their bets on various education related efforts, and now it is the basic income that is in vogue. The “Peace Corps” for this sort of thing actually does exist: https://www.cityyear.org/ along with Teach for America being a similar approach. But I’m not particularly certain whether any of these approaches would be as effective as say Goldman Sachs just going into a community and offering to train and hire a large portion of it into entry level jobs that pay a good wage.

          3. LE

            and now it is the basic income that is in vogueThat’s an easy one because it doesn’t involve anyone doing anything but talking about an idea that is so radical and long shot that it won’t ever happen. [1][1] Reminds me of the “russian shirt of my back” story. Essentially Russian guy says “If I had a million dollars I’d give you half!”. Other guy says “ok can I have your shirt?”. Russian guys says “no no way”. (Or something like that)

    2. Jerry Hall

      I believe what the he was saying is that the police are caught in the middle, while their job is to enforce societies laws, they are expected but, not equipped (nor should they be) to also fix the manifestations of a broken society. Police should be like firemen, there’s a fire – they put it out – and they go back to the station and wait for the next fire.And too, the US has many reasons to be looking at itself as one of the biggest sources of tensions around the world. Oddly, throughout this entire post’s thread, few people acknowledge this. There are many actions that we could be taking to mitigate and proactively prevent such uprisings and violent actions from taking place… but, we seem to be too busy watching the Kardashians.

  3. LE

    The media fest that is created around every tragedy is at least party to blame for not only the crazies coming out but also giving the attention that terrorism needs to win and thereby encourage more events. There is no way around that. Unfortunately in a country with both freedom of speech and press there is no way to stop that over the top wall to wall attention. But if you are looking for blame that can’t be ignored as playing a significant role.Also not helpful is when the President spends his time flying around and giving his support to communities that have been impacted. While I realize that there is a benefit to the country when he does this, there is also an important effect on copycat crimes by drawing even more attention. I honestly wonder how he fits all of this into his busy schedule.

    1. Paul Robert Cary

      Yet the President was harshly criticized for not immediately going to Orlando. How do all these Republicans fit all their press conferences and TV appearances into their busy schedules of writing legislation for the prosperity of America?It’s really strange that every time a suicide bomber blows up a market in Baghdad, or Nasiriya or Najaf or Irbil there is no media frenzy, yet there is an endless supply of jihadis blowing themselves up across the Middle East to kill fellow Muslims.I would argue that the media coverage is doing more to bend the will of the West in favour of harsher measures against IS and their backers, both in the US and abroad. Each horrible picture is like the smoking battleships in Pearl Harbor. And we all know what happened to thousands of Japanese Americans citizens in that aftermath.

      1. LE

        Yet the President was harshly criticized for not immediately going to Orlando.See and there is the root of all evil. The President (and most politicians) are worried about their fucking legacy and what people say about them as opposed to simply doing the right thing.It’s really strange that every time a suicide bomber blows up a market in Baghdad, or Nasiriya or Najaf or Irbil there is no media frenzy, yet there is an endless supply of jihadis blowing themselves up across the Middle East to kill fellow Muslims.Not an expert but I would guess that their “currency” is the belief that they are going to go and be able to screw a bunch of virgins, meet allah, or something like that. The core motivation is different than in our country. The guys who do it here (or who don’t do it for the reasons I stated) are already having sex and haven’t been brainwashed in the same way.I would argue that the media coverage is doing more to bend the will of the West in favour of harsher measures against IS and their backers, both in the US and abroad. Each horrible picture is like the smoking battleships in Pearl Harbor. And we all know what happened to thousands of Japanese Americans citizens in that aftermath.I actually agree with that but I still think that the attention does more harm net.

  4. LE

    There is an epidemic in the world, a sickness that is spreading and afflicting more and more people. It is mental illness. We need to diagnose its cause and treat it. Until we do that, we will be facing more of these mornings.Thanks for recognizing and saying this. To many people seem to think that the answer is just getting rid of guns [1] and the truck event shows how easy it is to kill people without a gun. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened. There will probably be (per my other comment) copycat crimes as a result of this event.[1] To be clear I am in favor of common sense gun restrictions.

    1. jason wright

      this is a copycat crime. it’s a tactic that’s been used in the Middle East for years. now we see it being used in a Western country.

  5. jason wright

    Middle East oil and the power of Western elites.What we see in Nice is an example of the consequences of what was decided after Suez in 1956. Nasser’s secular nationalism scared London, Washington, and Paris. their response was to fund Islamic fundamentalism through their ally Saudi Arabia as a bulwark. add to this the unnecessary wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria, and we now see the outcome on the streets of France, and France because it has such a large Muslim population directly linked to France’s dark colonialist past in North Africa.

  6. awaldstein

    So trueEvery September 11th since it happened I stand up in front of any group i’m with, I blog on it, I email every client.I know for a fact that damn few of the CEOs in this community do this. True one year post the event true now.That inertia is an issue. Making this a global community issue is honestly the only action I can do that I believe over time will make a difference.

  7. dorcon

    What to say right now is not pleasant to say. It is that this type of horror is not likely to disappear just because we want it to. To the contrary, it is more likely that we will see more attacks and more deadly attacks. Bruce Schneier made the point a while ago — terrorists (whether domestic or foreign) have an easier time coming up with new ideas than we do in trying to stop them. The only thing we can do is upgrade our strategic thinking about how to get beyond this era. Devising those approaches and implementing them won’t happen quickly. And they will never happen as long as we cling to simplistic notions of how to “win” (blaming all Islam as if this is “*us versus them”). As I said, that is an unpleasant message. But I also think it is a realistic one.

  8. LIAD

    even earth shattering super-power inflicted violence can’t defeat an ideology but it can be a good starting point.its impossible to negotiate with murderous extremists who rejoice in following hateful religious dogma and who believe to the depths of their being that who we are and what we stand for is so terrible that they are encouraged to joyously kill us indiscriminately, men women and child alike.this is not the discussion we had last week about disenfranchised people suffering from abusive law enforcement behaviour where there is a potential agreeable centre ground to both sides.our war with militant islam is a zero sum game. our ideologies have no shared ground. there are no negotiated solutions with an enemy who wants you dead and everything you stand for banished. the sooner world leaders accept that fact the better we’ll all be.

    1. pointsnfigures

      I think the sooner we realize its a true war, the sooner we will figure out ways to win it.

      1. DJL

        Agreed. Please see my five points above. (Newt G. listed them last night and they are all common sense.)

      2. ShanaC

        murmthe footsoilders in general don’t care

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      even earth shattering super-power inflicted violence can’t defeat an ideology but it can be a good starting point.Wrong answer !The rest I feel/share your frustration and anger ! ! !

    3. Adam Sher

      LIAD,Per the Wall Street Journal this morning, it is unknown if this person killed in accordance to a religious dogma.NPR had an illuminating and depressing discussion about gun deaths in the US, which w/r/t the quantity of deaths, may be a corollary. The crux of the discussion was that gun deaths (like terrorism) is a minuscule piece of the causes of premature death that perhaps (if only in the short-to-medium term) this amount of death can be tolerated.

      1. LIAD

        UK press reporting driver was “ISIS fanatic Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel”

        1. Adam Sher

          You’re information was more up-to-date than mine. Thanks.

      2. Matt Kruza

        didn’t see the article, but please tell me it doesn’t compare heart disease and cancner to terrorism (that is the vibe i get when I see you talking about premature death as a general term)? I feel like that is where this is going. Intent matters a ton… as does how suddenly a death or malady occurs. Intent matters people, we have to understand that.

        1. Adam Sher

          I agree, intent matters. The interviewer’s comment was intended to provide a noir context. I am still looking for the interview, and will share a link when I find it.

      3. DJL

        So Obama will be on TV today saying we need to outlaw trucks. They are obviously killing machines. That is the equivalent to banning guns to stop shootings.

        1. JLM

          .No, actually, trucks are not protected by the Second Amendment, right?I agree with banning all trucks.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. LE

            What this means is that we will now spend more money to make sure that there is no potential for a truck to ever come in contact and kill 70 people in this country. Utterly ridiculous. We will have truck scanners, truck inspection, new barricades and so on. Then “they” (whoever that is) will just find another lethal delivery vehicle. At some point in the future homeland defense will rival medical spending and continue to grow.

  9. Vendita Auto

    You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. [Maya Angelou]

  10. Mario Cantin

    Taking it right down to “first principles”, the human race is afflicted and needs help; but even if the solution were discovered, by that same affliction, almost no one would bother to listen and take the bearer of that news seriously.The answers to our societal problems and individual problems may in fact already exist, but you might have to be willing to look in unusual places to find them. That would be too uncomfortable and so nothing is fundamentally going to change. Furthermore what I’ve just said is going to fly above just about everyone’s head, and so I’m basically talking to myself here this morning. Oh well, it was worth a shot.

    1. SubstrateUndertow

      I share your frustration no one is listening to me either 🙂

      1. andyswan

        because you write too much

  11. Dan

    Hang on to your hope.Yesterday I happened across a letter from E. B. White (charlotte’s web) to a man who felt all hope of humanity was lost. I find it particularly relevant today.”As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society — things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.Sincerely,E. B. White”

    1. Twain Twain

      Thanks for sharing, EB White is totally brilliant.

    2. JLM

      .Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Dan

        Yeah, I really like it. I’ve found myself reading it multiple times over the last 24 hours. Hope in the face of adversity is a gift. It’s a message all of us can spread in our words and actions. It does catch on. It takes a resolve and certain type of peace to do so, and I aspire every day to wake up with renewed hope for our shared future.

    3. Mario Cantin

      Awesome quote, Dude.

    4. Donna Brewington White

      E.B. White strikes again.

  12. Rkmalo1

    “There is an epidemic in the world, a sickness that is spreading and afflicting more and more people. It is mental illness. We need to diagnose its cause and treat it. Until we do that, we will be facing more of these mornings.”We know the causes of these horrible acts.1. Religion2. Race relations3. Mental illness..and perhaps a combination of the three.Treating the causes is difficult partly because it requires society as a whole to disregard political correctness in each case. – which is a sad & difficult thing to do for most reasonable people (I’m not a Trump fan fyi, just b/c he’s not PC doesn’t make him smart).I enjoy your daily email, thanks.

    1. LIAD

      cause is not ‘religion’cause is zealous adherence to a murderous religious dogma which states all who don’t agree with you are fair game to be killed, and encourages you to do so.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Step One: Islam is mostly NOT a religion.Step Two: Now we can quit being confused and stop treating Islam as a religion. Islam doesn’t deserve “freedom of religion”.Sharia law is not religion.Regarding everyone else as an infidel to be killed or converted is not religion.Mutilating the genitals of girls and women is not religion.Chopping off heads, disemboweling, drowning in cages, burning alive (25 women for refusing sex), plucking out eyes, skinning alive, improvised explosive devices, car bombs, running over crowds with big trucks, etc. are not religion.There’re a lot of calls for violence in the Quran, e.g., details inhttp://www.breitbart.com/na…Net, the Quran is not just religion.ISIS has oil money from Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Chechnya and wants more. They likely have enough money to buy WNDs, including nukes, on the black market. They have declared war on the US. They will deploy WMDs on the US, e.g., NYC, just as soon as they can.Islam is not a “peaceful religion”. It certainly is not “peaceful”, and it doesn’t deserve to be called a religion.The US has to stop getting hung up on claims that Islam is a religion. It’s not.The US didn’t want Nazis, Communists, the Mafia, or drug dealers, and the US certainly doesn’t want Muslims. The issue is not religion; the issue is US national security.Muslims in the US? Not much upside and a really big downside — too many of them want to nuke NYC.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      4. Accelerating concentrations of wealth5. Information age fostering a general sense of collective entitlement6. No modern frameworks for mass economic/social inclusion

    3. Philippe Platon

      7. short-sighted, irresponsible foreign policies

    4. DJL

      This is such a dangerous misinterpretation of reality.The “religion” is Islam. There are no Christians and Jews doing these mass murders.The “race relations” are based in Sharia Law, which vows to destroy all other religions. No other races do this.The “Mental illness” is Radical Islam. It is taught to children from an early age. No other “mental illness” teaches children to kill anyone who is not like them.These people need to be stopped.

      1. Rkmalo1

        I’d def agree with you that radical Islam should be our main concern.Most religious people are good people. Most mentally ill individuals are good people and don’t commit these crimes. Most racists are horrible people but they don’t commit these type of crimes. However, I don’t think it misinterprets our reality …”The “religion” is Islam. There are no Christians and Jews doing these mass murders.”But what about when a christian fundamentalist shoots up a planned parenthood clinic?”The “race relations” are based in Sharia Law, which vows to destroy all other religions. No other races do this.”Dallas shooting, etc wasn’t race based?”The “Mental illness” is Radical Islam. It is taught to children from an early age. No other “mental illness” teaches children to kill anyone who is not like them.”Two instances off the top of my head. The Aurora shooting (guy who thought he was the joker) & Sandy Hook where mental illness is present.

      2. ShanaC

        1)The reason there are no Jewish people doing mass murders (that you hear about) is because Shin Bet keeps track of those people (though occasionally they do fail. There was a murder of a Palestinian family, including an infant, as part of a price tag attack https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…, in 2015, which caught everyone by surprise in israel)2)You really need to watch “Waltz With Bashir” https://www.youtube.com/wat… beyond it being a beautiful, unusual documentary that should have been nominated and won the Oscars if they hadn’t screwed up the screenings, that the Israeli government praises for its discussion of PTSD, it talks about the Sabra and Shalita massacres, which happened largely because of their alliance with the Phalanges/Kataeb https://en.wikipedia.org/wi…3)The place you are actually most likely to be hit by a terrorist attack and die is Sri Lanka, by Either State forces(majority Sinhalese and Buddhist), paramilitary forces Supported by the state, or someone associated with a break off group of the now defeated Tamil Tigers (who are majority Hindu) (there was a civil war). So don’t go vacationing to Sri Lanka (besides, I heard there was a demon there, by the name of Rāvaṇa^)4) https://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/http://cpostdata.uchicago.e…Both open to the public and searchable (though worth reading if you are using either https://www.washingtonpost…. )^upvote to anyone who gets the joke.

        1. ShanaC

          no points, ya’ll. No one seems to know why I mention Rāvaṇa

  13. Francesco Barbera

    a beautiful post, Fred, captures my heartbreak this morning

  14. pointsnfigures

    This is a very different kind of war. Ironically, the USV investment thesis could win it. The only way to win this one is with a powerful network. The edges of the network need to be empowered to act. I think the tactics we are using, and the strategies we are using aren’t working. They are an ideological enemy. Ask a Marine that spent some time island hopping what fighting that is like.I have a very good friend who is an expert on these sorts of organizations. We have talked at length about it. Unfortunately, many of the terrorists won’t ever be turned. You have to kill them all-and in their twisted minds that is sort of what they want.

    1. Tom Labus

      This is just what they want to be legitimized by an all out war.

      1. pointsnfigures

        All out war takes different forms. It doesn’t have to be a traditional war. But, it’s a war. Militant Islam must be defeated and relegated to the dustbin of history.

        1. Paul Robert Cary

          Along with poverty, ignorance, racism and hatred.

      2. andyswan

        What they want is completely irrelevant.

        1. Tom Labus

          This is twisted logic. You want to fulfill their main military objective because it sounds good here. And just where are you sending this army?

    2. Tom Labus

      The guy who’s job it would be to destroy ISIL finances has been waiting to be confirmed by Congress for 18 months. You think they would authorize a war.

    3. Paul Robert Cary

      I don’t think their leaders’ minds are twisted. They know exactly what they want and how to achieve it. They know how to appeal to the disaffected within the diaspora and use the weak as pawns.What’s the difference between IS and the Nazis? IS claims a divine mandate.The Allies defeated Nazism and destroyed its cult-like hold on the German people, primarily by destroying the myth of the Ubermench.It will be infinitely harder to defeat an ideology that draws on religious divide both within Islam and the greater world. Removing the base of power means crushing the myth of superiority. That can either be done through unprecedented integration and Latin I & II like religious reforms or through brute force.The latter only lasts a generation or two before the new myths form that defeat never happened.Have we learned nothing from Tolkien?

      1. pointsnfigures

        They are similar but not exactly alike. I feel like ISIS is more like the WW2 Japanese in their fanaticism.

        1. Paul Robert Cary

          While they believed in their own racial superiority and the divine mandate through their emperor, the Japanese did not single out another ethnic-religious group for systematic extermination. They did indeed conduct atrocities on an industrial scale in China, which were trebled by the famines they caused, but only the Nazis had a master plan for systematically imposing their belief system and enslaving every other race.

          1. JLM

            .The Japanese control of Korea, during which they outlawed the Korean language, was a systematic extermination of a nation’s culture.It is hard to differentiate between the Nazis and Japs when it comes to ethnic violence. The Nazis and their industrial grade — in the sense of the infrastructure of death they created and the manner in which they gathered their victims — elimination of the Jews and others is in a class by itself but the Japs were ruthless exterminators for the sport of it.The Japs used to compete on how many victims an officer could kill with a single blow of his sword as if invoking the code of the Samurai. Japanese newspapers featured articles following the leaders.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Paul Robert Cary

            Korea was culturally dominated by Japan for centuries, like Ireland was by Britain (see Penal Laws).The Nazis had entire departments of state dedicated to The Final Solution, they held regular conferences on the subject. There are of course many similarities but the main difference is the planned, organized, measured and reported reduction of a single ethnic target group by the Nazis. IS is perhaps a hybrid of both.

          3. JLM

            .The Koreans were not taken off their land. Their land was converted to sovereign Japanese territory.The story of the Irish at the mercy of the English during the time of Cromwell is one of the world’s greatest secrets even now. The Irish were the first slaves “transported” to the Caribbean and the Colonies.The English seized the Irish land, moved the Irish landowners off their own property, sent the Irish men, women and children into slavery both in Ireland and to the new world.What the English did to the Irish is worthy of the Nazis.I have just finished reading perhaps the sixth book on the subject.I am a Brennan and my wife is English.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. JLM

            .I spent a fair amount of time in Korea and I like the place. I don’t think they were dominated by the Japs for “centuries” but rather from about 1875 until the end of WWII.Korea was formally a protectorate of Japan which is a nice way of saying they were controlled by Japan rather than conquered by Japan.The Japanese lust for Korea was based on the desire for new job markets, the desire for raw materials, and a toe hold on the Asian continent.The big national hero of Korea is a guy who prevented the Japs from conquering them in the late 1500s.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. ShanaC

          atomic bomb?

  15. David C. Baker

    This sort of thing is jarring to us because it’s sudden. We notice and we’re afraid, too, because it suddenly seems so unavoidable (to the victims) that we don’t know how to protect ourselves.But I think we need to put this into perspective and look at our overall behavior toward our fellow humans. Releasing a car that will slowly kill 90 people over time, or knowingly releasing a pharma product that isn’t really safe because the trials have been fudged, or marketing a product to children, knowing they’ll love the comic character and eat that sh1t every day for breakfast.It was terrible, terrible, terrible. But that sudden violence shouldn’t register on our conscious minds more than the creeping evil done over time.

    1. Jaikant Kumaran

      Sorry sir, but you are mixing economic greed with terrorism. Left to time we all will die one day. A family member dying in a freak accident or by food poisoning over a period of time is eons different from one getting mauled right in front of your eyes by a terrorist truck while you were celebrating just moments ago.

      1. David C. Baker

        I’m not talking about food poisoning or a freak car accident. I’m talking about willfully releasing a product into the mainstream knowing and lying about its impact. Like a bad ignition switch or tons of sugar or whatever.It may seem to you like I am trivializing what happened yesterday. I am not. But to say that the evil is “over there” (as in someone else) is to not recognize that the evil is within. When we mobilize billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives to counter the taking of thousands of lives…but sit back here smugly thinking that we must protect ourselves from the “terror that is without,” not recognizing that evil takes many forms, we have patches over our eyes.I grew up in war-torn Guatemala where 100,00+ people were killed in the civil war. I know terror, and this is terror. But let’s not smugly think that the most vile evil is OUTSIDE the camp.

        1. Matt Kruza

          I get likely the point you are trying to make, but one suggestion is don’t compare terrorism to “tons of sugar or whatever”. I know not if you are reasonable, or a person who generally makes shitty arguments (don’t seem to remember you around here much, but perhaps you have been), but that is a truly awful, ignorant argument. You are welcome to change and renounce and you don’t even have to give me credit 🙂 Sugar is bad, but no intelligent person can compare an executive being greedy and pushing false argumetns on sugar or subsidies or whatever with terrorism. just don’t

        2. Jaikant Kumaran

          There could be and maybe there is evil within the camp, but that evil is hidden, you cannot point your figure to any exact person who is like carrying an ak47 and ready to mow down dozens of innocent people. On the other hand, the whole world knows where evil lies – ISIS, Jihad etc. When it is known where evil is it should be eliminated. There is no justification not to. The challenge is to sort out these cowards who hide amongst innocent folks or use them as shields.

    2. panterosa,

      Death by 1,000 cuts.

    3. Jerry Hall

      Both are valuable nonetheless. The sudden events jar us into more purposeful action. They help us counter the hypnotizing effect time has on other harming elements.

  16. panterosa,

    “Unhappiness is the most destructive force in the universe” says my mother. I agree.To make any kind gesture against it is to move the needle against all this unhappiness which is at the root of the anger, hate, loneliness and so on.

    1. William Mougayar

      Very true, although unhappiness doesn’t justify killing people.

      1. Helen Kurukulasuriya

        General “unhappiness” is no excuse, true. There is no excuse for killing innocent bystanding people. But the anger, hate and loneliness of the unhappiness @panterose mentions comes through disconnect. By being kind we lessen the potential occurence of disconnect, we create a different environment that fosters connection.

        1. panterosa,

          Exactly – don’t loose people into the void with no connection.

          1. andyswan

            These people had jobs, homes and families.

    2. SubstrateUndertow

      Unhappiness = poor distribution of : wealth – power – education -control – opportunity

      1. panterosa,

        You are so right.I feel the earth cycles back and forth over time with few wealthy and many not. Then there’s chaos. And after some progress, it swings again to the few at the top with a now slightly more elevated bottom who see the elite more in the media.

    3. Richard

      The irony is that all religions by definition are designed to provide happiness.

      1. Paul Robert Cary

        You either haven’t thought this through or you don’t know the definition of religion.

  17. andyswan

    You say the actual problem. Something this post, and our current “leadership” outright refuse to do.

    1. JamesHRH

      Do you mean slay!

      1. andyswan

        That’s step 2

    2. Dan Epstein

      How would you describe the actual problem?

      1. andyswan

        Salafi Islam. Sharia.Multiculturalism without the demand of true assimilation._____________________________

        1. Paul Robert Cary

          Assimilation should not be demanded by the majority; it should be permitted by the parents of immigrants and desired by their children for its own virtues.

          1. andyswan

            If you don’t want to join our culture, I don’t want you here.

          2. Paul Robert Cary

            …said the Cherokee Indians…

          3. andyswan

            A case study on why it’s important to win.

          4. Paul Robert Cary

            Albeit a very different game today with different rules.

          5. LE

            To the victor goes the spoils. This happens with our states as well, fighting each other by way of handing out economic incentives that simply take away what another competitor has.You know Pennsylvania and Connecticut weren’t worried what happened to New Jersey when the approved Casino gambling. And NJ wasn’t worried about what happened to Nevada.

          6. LE

            By the way you can thank the major corporations for this. You know all of those “press 1 for spanish” etc. on the phone trees and what not. Because you know it really takes to much effort to learn english if you want to partake in what this country has to offer.

          7. andyswan

            Of course. If my family were moving to China, the FIRST priority would be to become fluent in the language of that culture. This is common sense, but only if your intention is to actually contribute to the culture you are joining.

          8. LE

            I was trying to convince my wife to move to Florida from where we are. (This has been something I’ve been waging for years). The last block that I cleared was the “you have to know spanish to work in the hospitals there”. I did a bit of research and found out that there are plenty of positions in hospitals there (in what she does) that don’t require speaking spanish. But that is what she had heard from colleagues or read. In the place that she works they often have to bring in a translator when they have to speak to patients (this is for many languages). All something that the rest of us end up paying for.

          9. ShanaC

            are you willing to say that to my father, who’s family has been here since the 1891ish, and it isn’t clear to me there are pieces of him that has fully assimiliated to american cultureTo be very clear:Because of where I was raised, which is totally fascinating if you are into sociology of religion or sociology of ethnicity (particularly in the US) it isn’t clear to me that I will 100% integrate into american culture.Here is an exampleI will write people work related emails on December 22 and be very irritated when I don’t get responses on the 23rd. Yes I understand the whole Christmas thing intellectually. I still find it really bizarre that people won’t write me an email emotionally. Then again, I also grew up in a town with nearly no christmas lights, where nearly all the stores were open on both christmas day and christmas eve, and where I went to school on christmas day. The first time I had christmas off I was very confused about what I should do.Considering that Christmas is becoming more US state religion that Christian, that behavior is really weird, and I know it. But I have limits for joining US state culture because of my understanding of the world.*shrug* And I wouldn’t be surprised if many people have similar experiences about many things (but probably not christmas)

          10. andyswan

            American culture is quite broad. It is not monolithic, but there are shared ideals across the board. There is literally a place for anyone who wishes to contribute and to better themselves, and to engage in voluntary, mutually beneficial transactions with others in the culture. I’m guessing that accurately describes both you and your father.That’s not the motivation for many who are coming today.

          11. ShanaC

            me, yes, my father, complicated

        2. Kirsten Lambertsen

          And after you stamp out Sharia, there will be another extreme religion waiting in the wings to make the disenfranchised feel empowered, the isolated feel welcomed, the impoverished feel safe. Those who will be grieving for their dead loved ones killed in the war on extreme Islam will be looking for their pound of flesh. War without end.Sounds like a dream come true for the Carlyle Group.

          1. andyswan

            Poetic talking points, but they fail in the realm of reality. The driver of that truck was not impoverished. The shooter in Orlando was not isolated. The terrorist in California was not disenfranchised.I agree that there will never be an end to war. Violence is part of the human and animal condition.I prefer to win.

          2. Kirsten Lambertsen

            We disagree. Of course he was. Of course he was. Of course he was.The illusion is that you can win. Ideological wars are won by killing, it’s true… won for the other side.

          3. JLM

            .The shooters in San Bernandino were both working at good jobs. They were educated. They owned a house. They had a baby. They had a familial support system. They drove new cars. They had iPhones. The man’s co-workers had a baby shower for him and his wife.The meme that this is the result of economic conditions, a dearth of jobs, and considerations is not supported by the evidence.If we are going to solve a real problem, we have to deal with the reality of things. The truth.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. Kirsten Lambertsen

            The truth is that people are attracted to extremism when they feel disempowered in some way.

          5. JLM

            .We live in an instant gratification world. We are all wiling to work for three days to lose fifteen pounds, right?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. Kirsten Lambertsen

            So, I guess the problem is, “kids these days?”

          7. Girish Mehta

            What is the truth here ?

          8. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Leaving comments now. Enjoy each other.

          9. andyswan

            None of those men were impoverished. They had jobs. Homes. iPhones. Wives. Children. Friends.Do you think slavery was defeated through love and kindness? Or through the will of men to kill other men over an ideology of oppression?Was the evil of Stalin’s ideology defeated through respect and understanding? Hitler’s ideology through acceptance and the “rejection of hate?” and unchecked immigration of Nazis?Your optimism is helpful and logical, as is your spirit…. your willful ignorance of the truth of this enemy, and how violent ideologies are defeated, is not.

          10. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I’m saying that all maniacal leaders exploit people who feel disempowered. That’s not me being optimistic or idealistic.Slavery isn’t a good comparison here. Slaves weren’t recruited.”None of those men were impoverished. They had jobs. Wives. Children. Friends.” And yet, they still felt fucked over enough to do what they did.Exactly *how many* Muslims do we need to kill before the problem goes away, would you say? Because if you’re going to answer we only need to kill the right ones, then I’d say you’re the one being willfully ignorant.

          11. andyswan

            Slavery is a perfect comparison. It was a war with those who held the ideology that owning humans was acceptable. Holding that ideology was voluntary. It was neutered and virtually eliminated through war

          12. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Uh, have you been to the South lately? That war is still raging. They still call it the War Of Northern Aggression.But seriously. I love you, my friend. I have to leave the comments now for the sake of my blood pressure and productivity. I don’t for a second imagine that the violence either side will win. But I’d really love to see the West quadruple down on the “hearts and minds” front.

          13. andyswan

            Always amazed to see the most vocal diversity preachers go ALL IN on ridiculous geographic bigotry._____________________________

          14. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I lived in the South for a while. I knew and met a lot of people who still call it the War Of Northern Aggression.That was kind of a cheap shot, pal. For what it’s worth, almost nothing you say or do amazes me.

          15. andyswan

            Sounds like slaves were lucky ol Abe didn’t go with the “heats and minds” approach, which apparently still hasn’t taken hold. _____________________________

          16. Girish Mehta

            Appreciate and learn from what you say, and hope you don’t leave the comments. Totally understand if you feel you need to for productivity reasons. Just saying value your point of view.

          17. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Thanks, Girish 🙂 The feeling’s mutual! I’m just abstaining for today. I prolly should have made that clearer.

          18. JLM

            .All political leaders, including ours, “exploit people who feel disempowered.” One of the problems is we have created a society and world in which everyone feels entitled to whatever the other guy has reagardless of how the other guy obtained it.There is nothing unique about appealing to people’s sense of inadequacy. I do it to myself all the time.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          19. LE

            And yet, they still felt fucked over enough to do what they did.They weren’t “fucked over” at least not in a way that should cause the actions that they had taken. You (not “you” but “them”) can always find a way to justify what they did or will do. But it falls short in the smell test. It’s like people who have a bad upbringing and wanting to be given light sentences for crimes they have committed. Sure they had tough lives but many people do and they don’t resort to crime.Slavery isn’t a good comparison here. Slaves weren’t recruited.</blockquoted>Sure slaves were sold by people from their own country. It takes two to tango. There was not only demand but also supply with that which was unchecked.

          20. ShanaC

            every religion has extremists. I’ve met some in every abrahamic religion.I’m weird.

          21. ShanaC

            where did wiki get their data from?

          22. ShanaC

            https://uploads.disquscdn.c…As per wikipedia – list needs expansion, a lot of expansion. The only two academically verified databases are CPOST at uchicago (go maroons and robert pape) and START at university of marylandhttp://cpostdata.uchicago.e…https://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/RAND had an active database but stopped tracking in 2009http://www.rand.org/nsrd/pr…Both CPOST and START historically agree that the worst place to go is Sri Lanka, and if you are there, beware of Tamil Tigers/breakoff groups of Tamil Tigers, who are hindu and/or Tamil (depends on how you see the conflict in Sri Lanka)

        3. William Mougayar

          Add to it the religious fundamentalism that’s emanating from Iran. Both Iran and SA are culprits in spreading their own form of religious extremism, while fighting each other too on the ground in the middle east. This is all spreading out to the West and other countries where it finds sympathy within groups and people that want an excuse to rebel, cause trouble and kill innocent people.

        4. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Or nothttps://twitter.com/imraans…

  18. icopaolo

    This situation is really horrible, but as someone who has family members and friends impacted by mental illness, and having studied and taught brain science, I would encourage you to be more cautious about associating mental illness with such horrible events.The problem has nothing to do with mental illness, but rather with a combination of ignorance, greed, power mongering and ideology. Equating this to a mental illness creates a negative association that will simply perpetuate the stigmas and misunderstandings associated with a vast array of medical problems that afflict a large part of the population – and which have absolutely nothing to do with terrorism.

    1. Paul Robert Cary

      If you believe that your adopted society rejects you because of your ethnicity and your religion, and over years that paranoia is reinforced through experience, and that reinforcement coupled with chronic poverty pushes you to behave like Gollum, you are probably mentally ill. You may not even believe that heaven awaits your martyrdom, you may just need to have formed a hard core of burning hatred for those who have rejected you. That is perhaps why so many of these “jihadis” are last-minute converts – the perverted therapy that tips.

      1. icopaolo

        With all due respect, your point underscores the importance of not being ignorant about mental illness. Brains – even when heathy – are very malleable, and can be influenced by outside factors. Mental illnesses are disorders in which the brain itself has damage or imbalances that, in some cases, cause aberrant behavior. But the fact that a mental illness can cause aberrant behavior does not imply that aberrant behavior is caused by mental illness. Your answer perpetuates a terrible bias in our society makes, which associates mental illness with being “bad.” Associating mentally ill people with Jihadists is horrible. It is just as bad as saying that all muslims are potential terrorists. Find someone whose child is autistic, or who has clinical depression, or Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s, or Down Syndrome, and let them read your statement and see how they feel about it.

        1. Paul Robert Cary

          With all due respect, I know exactly what mental illness is and there is certainly no consensus in the medical profession about the underlying causes of psychoses and psychotic behaviour.The fact that you cite Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and Down’s as mental illnesses (the former two are neurological/physiological conditions) is shocking.Clinical depression is another matter entirely.The fundamental problem we have is one of semantics and definitions. “Mental illness” is an extremely broad term that encompasses congenital, developmental and environmentally-induced illnesses.

          1. icopaolo

            You are correct, I should definitely have removed Parkinson’s and Down and added bipolar, schizophrenia, acute panic attacks, dementia, and many more. But again, for you to state that if someone is behaving horribly they are mentally ill is just wrong. As you said yourself, it is a broad term, and by lumping in “Jihadism” you are doing a terrible disservice to those other types of mental illnesses. To quote the Wikipedia page on Mental Illness: “Stigma and discrimination can add to the suffering and disability associated with mental disorders”

          2. Paul Robert Cary

            Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia and is a neurological disease, not a mental illness.There is absolutely no mutual exclusivity here: terrorists can be mentally ill rather than just plain evil, and seduced by an evil ideology.It’s no small irony that you protest the ignorance of the use of the term “mental illness” without having a firm grasp on what it actually means.You wrote “the problem has nothing to do with mental illness” as if you have incontrovertible proof that no terrorists or their support network are mentally ill. There are, however, numerous clinical studies on captured terrorists from Bader Meinhof to the PLO that prove you totally and utterly wrong.

        2. LE

          which associates mental illness with being “bad.”It is bad. Just like diabetes and cancer are bad. What are you trying to say that mental illness is in some way a good thing or not a problem to be fixed? (And I know you aren’t saying it’s not a problem to be fixed and yes I think the stigma is a bad thing as well but shutting people up and telling them not to use a word is not the way to get a problem fixed.)

      2. Ronnie Rendel

        Paul, I hear you about socio-economic circumstances being a leader in cultivating terrorism, but it’s silly to ignore the religious idealogy driving this behavior.With that said, I know that in Israel there were several attempts at building education (specifically tech education) and start up incubators in Gaza for this purpose exactly. Guess how derailed each and every attempt (violently when necessary) – yep – hamas. It didn’t server their “Cause”.Anne Frank was right – all people are inherently good, it’s religion that f&^%s them up. I always say religion is the worst thing that ever happened to G-d.

        1. Paul Robert Cary

          I wasn’t ignoring it – I was addressing the OP which was specifically about being offended at the use of the term, “mental illness.”Exploring the role that religious ideology plays (and has often played throughout history) in terror is a completely separate subject for debate.(“It didn’t server their cause” = pun of the day 🙂

      3. Richard

        You clearly haven’t thought this through.

        1. Paul Robert Cary

          Which part did you not understand?

          1. Richard

            the first sentence is of the form if x then y, (which by itself is hard to follow), but If x, then y, even if true does allow one to teach the conclusion y.therefore: xSo what are you trying to say?

          2. Paul Robert Cary

            Your comment is completely confusing.Is it really that hard to understand that a sequence of factors led to his mental illness?Don’t take my word for it:”The picture that emerges of Lahouaiej-Bouhlel from M’saken is of a handsome, healthy boy who had a mental breakdown at 17, which his family said lasted two years. His father showed the BBC a doctor’s report from 2004, which appeared to show that his son had taken prescription medication for mental illness.”https://www.theguardian.com…

    2. LE

      Equating this to a mental illness creates a negative association that will simply perpetuate the stigmas and misunderstandings associated with a vast array of medical problemsNegative association? So what. Do you want to have a discussion or does everyone need to walk on eggshells and fear they might offend someone?Mental illness plays a large role in many of the things that we have seen lately. And one of the big issues that we have in today’s pc culture is that everyone is afraid to call things what they are or more importantly to discuss anything without getting trounced on by someone whose is offended in some way (because of a personal association with a group or a problem).Mental problems or mental illness covers a wide swatch of issues in society. This is most certainly one of them. Most everyday people (who have not studied brain science or taught it) see people that do things like this as being “crazy”. It’s really that simple.

      1. Jerry Hall

        Hear, hear.This isn’t about pointing the finger at those with mental illness.That’s almost reverse-shaming people who are pointing out clear potential mental-illness issues.Remaining silent ‘to protect those who are mentally ill’ is entirely unsustainable.Let’s get this monster out in the open. Not to shame anyone arguing for or against more awareness, or to spotlight those with mental illness challenges, but, to at least collectively agree it’s a monster and that we need to do something differently on a much larger scale.

  19. JamesHRH

    Small acts of kindness. Words of respect.Especially to those who are close to a tragic loss. It turns out there are no small acts of kindness to the victims of a tragedy – they are all large acts.Acts of violence are avalanches, with the throw away snowflakes of indifference piling up until the weakness hidden underneath gives way, cracking the brittle interior and letting the indifference that has piled upbreak free, in a concentrated, localized, but catastrophic form.Don’t make it snow.

  20. Ana Milicevic

    If living through a decade of war in the 90s has taught me anything it’s that each one of us must personally engage to ensure that the culture of fear, bigotry, discrimination, misinformation, and hate doesn’t take hold where we live and work. Complex, multi-generational problems and decades of failed (some outright criminal) policy won’t be solved by a simple solution.Spread light and hope and love and live the very values of liberté, egalité, fraternité we, at least conceptually, hold so dear.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      +1million!Many here may not understand that you know *exactly* what you’re talking about.This is the voice of experience, friends. We’d do well to listen.

      1. Ana Milicevic

        Thank you K

    2. panterosa,

      War brings huge perspective, and your experience brings you pragmatic and hopeful optimism, and you have a sunny temperament. I quoted my mother who lived in London during WW2 from 6-12, an optimist to the core.

      1. Ana Milicevic

        I love that quote. Your mom is so very right.

    3. Jeff Teddleton

      I am sorry to say those words you said “spread light, hope, love, live” are very pleasing to hear but can never be implemented in the real life. The world is full of agony, anger, hunger and malice and you see the devastating consequences happening on a weekly basis when actually it happens every single day,albeit unreported.Too bad, bad things travel around the world fast, while the good thing is still tying its lace.

      1. Helen Kurukulasuriya

        Jeff, I believe it’s our choice to be the change we want to see in the world. Despairing by looking only at the negative does not propel us forwards.

        1. Jeff Teddleton

          Helen, I am not looking at negatives. I am the one who was yearning for positives all along but never saw the light of it , atleast in the last 20 years. There were wars and there were attacks. There were all these financial scams and money laundering all around us. How do you think the public will react to this ? It perpetrates from within. Whenever a war is fought, it takes back a human life by atleast a couple of generations. And come to think of the several wars that were fought with different names in the last 10 years alone.And you thought lotus will blossom in a pond of tears?

          1. Helen Kurukulasuriya

            Thanks for sharing your viewpoint, yes, there is much suffering in the world.The lotus blossoms in the mud. “No mud, no lotus” is the book by Thich Nath Than. I’ve been listening to his message and it resonates with me.

      2. ShanaC


        1. Jeff Teddleton

          What do you mean “why” ?

          1. ShanaC

            why can’t Ana’s comment be implemented in real life?

          2. LE

            It’s a bit like saying that you should learn to work with your competitors to make the world a better place IRL people don’t operate that way.

      3. LE

        Exactly. This utopia that some people seem to think is possible, well, by human nature not only doesn’t exist but will never exist.And not everyone even agrees on what is “bad” or “good”. That alone is subject to different interpretations and for valid reasons.

      4. cavepainting

        Hi, the truth is life today is dramatically better for most people than what it used to be 50, 40, 30 or even 20 years back. Compare what we see today with the purges of Stalin, the Holocaust, the Vietnam War, the apartheid in South Africa, the famines in India, etc. Technology has brought the world closer and hence every incident gets magnified by an order of magnitude. While it seems like we have retrogressed back to the dark ages, the reality is we have progressed a lot more than it appears.Hate, bigotry,fear, discrimination, etc. will never go away in totality, for that is a very real side of human nature. But we can and should do more to raise awareness and help people get in touch with their better selves.

      5. Rob Larson

        Jeff I’m sorry but you are mistaken. Ana is correct. I have seen it happen. The key is in Ana’s words to spread light where you *live* and *work*. i.e. among individuals you know personally. You have to focus on your actual sphere of influence. If you focus on the whole world all at once, you will get discouraged at your ability to make changes at a mass scale.I spent two years in Brazil doing full time volunteer work through my church, helping people change their outlook towards life. I saw individuals undergo massive changes for the better, pull themselves up and change their lives and become beacons of light/love/compassion for others. This was 20 years ago and I still keep in touch with some of them. It is possible. It is not easy. You have to put in significant time investment, and you have to *really* care about them. But you can be a positive force for change among individuals you interact with. You can do your part. Dan’s quote below from E.B. White is spot on.

      6. Ana Milicevic

        Maybe if you helped the good thing lace up its shoes they’d be able to run faster.

    4. ShanaC

      Can I hug you?

      1. Ana Milicevic

        [hug back]

    5. Twain Twain

      What’s right / wrong / moral / immoral / ethical / unethical / valid / invalid / male / female / valuable / unworthy etc? And, importantly, WHY?My view is these are CULTURAL decisions and biases that we can build systems for “wisdom of crowds” to define and share universally.In this way, everyone becomes more culturally aware and more considerate so fear, bigotry, discrimination, misinformation and hate can’t take hold.

      1. Ana Milicevic

        I agree — which is why I emphasized doing what you can where you live and work. It’s hard to reach or have any effect on someone across the globe, although even that is much more plausible now than it was a mere decade ago. We have a codex here in the US – if we don’t live it, what good does it do?

    6. BillMcNeely

      I came back from Iraq not wanting kids or wanting to having anything to do with religion

    7. Dave Pinsen

      Interesting juxtaposition between your comment and the top-rated comment after last week’s atrocity.Last week, after 12 cops were shot (5 killed) by an African American, the top-rated comment suggested the solution was tech companies hiring more African Americans and VCs funding more African American entrepreneurs. I was curious to see if this time the top comment would suggest the same about Muslims, but no.You offer noble sentiments, but the same have been offered after previous attacks.A couple of disturbing observations:1) It is permissible to pray for the victims of Nice. Recall that, after San Bernardino, there was a lot of hostility toward “thoughts and prayers” expressed for the victims. I suppose the difference was that terrorist attacks in the US become pawns in our culture war: the left hates guns, and the right likes them. France already has gun control, so prayer is acceptable again.2) France is more authoritarian and quicker to suspend civil liberties than the US is — it’s been under emergency law since the last Paris attacks — and it is still vulnerable to terrorism. This demonstrates the limits of PATRIOT Act sorts of approaches.The simple, and politically incorrect, reason why France has so much trouble with terrorism is that it has such a large Muslim population. No, all Muslims aren’t terrorists — of course, most aren’t — but, see the image from the Pew poll below. It’s 10 years old, but we have no reason to believe attitudes have changed for the better.The simple solution is to reduce the number of Muslims, perhaps by offering ones already there money to emigrate, and by not allowing new ones to immigrate.You may object that that’s against Western values. Perhaps, but so is letting innocents be butchered, or becoming a police state to try to prevent it. https://uploads.disquscdn.c

      1. Ana Milicevic

        I disagree with most of what you said and all the conclusions you’ve drawn. One suggestion you raise makes me especially nervous: to pay money to emigrate. Where would you emigrate to if somebody strongly suggested and even paid you to leave the country where I’m going to assume you’ve spent the majority (if not the entirety) of your life? It’s easy to decide that a certain group of people is no longer welcome based on some parameter – we’ve done it here with Japanese internment camps in WW2. It’s much harder to integrate diverse groups into society and ensure all citizens have access to opportunity, than it is to move the ‘undesirables’ away and out of sight. That all works really well until one day you wake up and find yourself in the undesirables camp.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        I was curious to see if this time the top comment would suggest the same about Muslims, but no.Because only an idiot would suggest the same solution to two such vastly different scenarios.We have a broad base of perception and perspective represented at AVC but thankfully no idiocy to this degree.

  21. Jaikant Kumaran

    The privacy debate has to be re-opened. The financial and money trail has to be figured and cut out. Military action on countries which are breeding grounds for such ideologies. Steps to better integrate minority communities into the social fabric, improve the on ground intelligence system.

    1. Paul Robert Cary

      Well that military action in Iraq didn’t work out so well. Half of IS is ex-Baath party military. The invasion of Iraq actually created jihadis where few existed beforehand.Integration is definitely a good idea. So is those immigrant/minority communities allowing their children to choose what religion and cultural norms they wish to adopt. Forcing children to follow the religion and culture of parents is arguably a major part of the problem.

  22. falicon

    You say that the world is a crazy place, and you don’t know what the future will bring to any of us. So you have to cherish today. Cherish the people you know and love. Don’t leave anything truly important to you left unsaid, or unfinished, because you might not have ‘tomorrow’ to do it. If you have to focus on an emotion, don’t choose hate or vengeance…choose to focus on love. What can you do to make the world better for the ones you love TODAY?Now let’s go do that…

  23. Philippe Platon

    Thank you Fred. I’m afraid there is little more to say than what you beautifully suggest here. Being alongside hurting friends, keeping hatred ashore and trying to figure out a more balanced form of civilisation.

  24. Joe Cardillo

    My own policy is to either a) amplify the voices of people working on the problem or b) work on it myself, before sharing or broadcasting an option.The other thing is accessing creativity, that’s why we need artists, musicians, writers, who often lead the way in helping us sort through the madness. And looking not just to grab creativity within our world, but saying, if everything feels effed at this moment, who right now doesn’t have access or opportunity to be creative, and how can I / we do something concrete to change that.

  25. LaVonne Reimer

    I have been indulging in a little thought experiment. It comes out of this long string of assaults such as those in France and Orlando–that I can not explain but just hurt interspersed with individual tragedies all arrayed against a backdrop of inexplicable politics. It goes something like, what if facts don’t matter? What if there is no explanation or logic? Then what? I think about how unnerving that might be for those of us in technology, or worse, people like me in law and technology. I keep coming back to the themes like “be still.” Get out of my head. Grieve. Listen. Love. What if the only thing to do is a bigger shift in what we revere? In the same manner a achieving a balance among chakras. The experiment continues but today it’s in the backdrop as I grieve for our kindred spirits in France.

  26. William Mougayar

    Despite the obvious anger and disbelief, inside me I’m numb and speechless.

  27. DJL

    Okay, I will take all of the arrows in my back again for telling the truth and providing some solutions.This “mental illness” is called Radical Islam. . (I’m sorry, but continuing to dance around this and not identify the problem is not just silly – it is dangerous.) People are dying, more every day. Women are being burned alive because they will not have sex with them.Radical Islam is growing rapidly. It uses social media to recruit and train. The primary recruits are young, uneducated Muslim men. It is international. It cannot be reasoned with. It must be decimated. (Remember back in 2008? The problem was Bush and all we needed to do was run around the world and apologize and Islam would love us. That has been Obama’s platform. It is clear that has not changed anything but made it worse.)So here are steps to a solution:1. Declare War on Radical Islam (name the enemy)2. Stop immigration for all who profess to Sharia Law. (stop the bleeding)3. Begin shutting down social media sites that support them. (stop the new recruits)4. Immediately begin monitoring Islamic centers in the US (like they did in NY). This is where the sickness is propagated. (stop the new recruits)5. Start an aggressive overseas marketing campaign to decimate their message. (marketing and PR)Imagine the US was a portfolio company. They are getting decimated in the market by a rival company. But each quarter, after another market slide and investor loss, the CEO stands up and blames the market. Or his employees are not performing according to plan. You would stare at him and say “Are you blind? Why are you ignoring reality?” Eventually he would be replaced, right? Obama is the CEO and our sinking startup is the US. Let’s all wake up and face reality.

  28. Ronnie Rendel

    Fred, as an Israeli, this sad saga has been a part of life since I can remember myself.I will never forget being 4 years old seeing the front page of the newspaper with a picture of a terrorist with his face covered with a kafia and holding an RPG. I was so scared knowing the guy in this picture is real and would like nothing more then to kill me C”V.It doesn’t take away from the horror, remember that this is a religious war, not individuals who are mentally ill (mentall illness is often a facilitator). What if my religion told me that it’s a mitzva to kill XYZ? So 99.99% of people woujld ignore this “mitzva”, but the remaining 0.01% is millions of people.Sorry to say this in this way, I’m also under the influence of this horrible massacre.

  29. JLM

    .The CEO piece of this is very simple. CEOs are leaders. They lead.The CEO calls her people in and they form a circle and hold hands. She says, “Would anyone like to offer a prayer?”They pray.They go around that circle and each person says something until it becomes hopelessly repetitive and the boil of their collective pain is lanced and everyone realizes it’s perfectly fine to be hurting. You unashamedly validate what everyone is feeling.Then, the CEO reaches into her billfold and empties it on the table. The CFO throws a check on top from the company.They have coffee and mingle in small groups while others throw some money on the pot. In those small groups, the CEO administers hugs like they’re lollipops.The CEO calls things to a conclusion after about an hour and says, “We and the world will make it through this. God bless each and everyone of us.”You don’t try to show off or debate the situation. You just recognize, acknowledge, and embrace the pain and then each other. You tear open your garments and display your humanity.It’s far worse in the military when you lose a bunch of men. You clean your weapons, you stick a rifle with a bayonet with a helmet into the ground, put a pair of boots in front of them. Dog tags dangling down. Then, the men come up one by one and pay their respects.It is a heartbreaking moment but leaders can make it pass. It is all that separates us from the animals.A leader has to lead and sometimes the journey is just a circle but within that destination-less circle is real life.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. sigmaalgebra

      Nice. A keeper.Now that we all feel better, are we going just to stand there with those rifles stuck in the ground, or are we going actually to DO something effective about the problem to SOLVE it, that is, make to GO AWAY so that it WON’T happen again?

      1. JLM

        .When a good unit takes significant casualties, they return to the fray with an idea of “getting some.” Getting some payback.You actually have to be careful not to allow them to be too aggressive and foolhardy thereby.Yeah, the world needs to visit Raqqa with a spirit of it being time to “Get some!”Pearl Harbor awakened the sleeping American Tiger and the Japs realized it immediately. In 3.5 years, they were standing on the deck of the USS Missouri (sunk at Pearl) surrendering unconditionally.Unconditional surrender is so damn simple to understand and administer.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. cavepainting

      That was awesome !

  30. MickSavant

    You do nothing. You remind people that things have been getting better, consistently, for thousands of years. You remind them that in the last one hundred they have gotten better faster than ever before. You remind them that people kill each other less and less, and that it is only our awareness of these incidents that is increasing, because technology has made it possible and profitable to broadcast it.

    1. Jerry Hall

      That very same technology gives us the opportunity to do much more than nothing. Simply waiting for things to evolve is so B.C. 50,000.

  31. Brandon Kessler

    Great post Fred. I think it’s worth mentioning at work. Here’s what I slacked my team fwiw:I just want to write the team to acknowledge some of the horrible events in the world around us lately, particularly the tragedy in Nice yesterday. On some level I assume we should keep work as work, just as politics should not be in the workplace. But when people are attacked, including in countries that are friends of ours and where our employees have family (or are currently visiting), it’s worth mentioning. I know I think about it often, including at work, and I imagine you do too. So, here’s to the wellbeing and safety of all good people around the world, and here’s to peace and problem-solving.

  32. JLM

    .As to the problem itself, we are way over thinking this. We have added layers of subtlety and nuance when it is a simple matter of the light v the darkness. Sure, those subtleties exist but they are not at the edge of where the light turns into darkness.In the darkness is death. In the light is life.It is the job of our leaders to patrol and defend the boundary between the darkness and the light. It is their primary duty.ISIS is at the center of the darkness. Any organization which purports to exist as an organized entity has a leader. In this instance, the Caliph says they are a sovereign nation and hold territory to prove that premise to the world. They desire to administer their evil as a nation-state with revenue, taxes, and rules. This gives them substance and legitimacy.The simple solution is to decapitate the leadership, deny them the organizing benefit of the ownership of land and the creation of revenue.We know right where Abu Bakr al Baghdadi hangs his hat. Raqqa. We need to take Raqqa in a single violent act, destroy it in its entirety, hunt down and kill the Caliph, and make the world know that the light will no longer tolerate the existence of the darkness.To those who say this is exactly what they want, I say — Don’t start a fight you cannot win which means we better be in it to win it. Turn the darkness into light with the flames of their demise.Let ISIS recruit from a cemetery where their fighters are waiting, like cordwood, to be buried. Let every mother know that if her son chooses that path, the road leads to an early grave.Disconnect them from the Internet.Force the FEBA (forward edge of the battle area) into the Middle East and mark it with ISIS blood. The FEBA cannot be in Nice or Manhattan.What will it take?It will take leadership, national resolve, military action, and money. The quicker we do this, the lower the cost in blood and treasure.This is not a clash of ideologies, though that is certainly one of the considerations. As a professional soldier, I never carried the Bible, never thought of myself as a Christian, never spent any time reading the Constitution. I did what I was told to do.This is a clash between the minions of the darkness and the defenders of the light. They do not carry thought into battle, they carry people killing weapons.The dipshits who execute this violence are not deep thinkers. They are hopeless misfits.This is a confrontation between light and darkness. We need to set a fire in the middle of the darkness and turn it into light.This week, Bashar Al Assad mocked Pres Obama’s resolve on defeating ISIS.http://www.nbcnews.com/news…That, unfortunately, is a true statement. It is the dark side of the mirror of leading from behind. We are the ones who have left the Middle East in chaos.What are we likely to get? A speech from the President and nothing more because Al Assad is right — We currently do not possess the national resolve to bring the light into the darkness.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      The dipshits who execute this violence are not deep thinkers.At the bottom or middle no. But at the top they are. No question about that. This is Hitler level brilliance. Not all smarts are (and you know this) as a result of making it through Harvard or scoring perfect SAT’s. That actually is one of the problems with the leaders in this country who are often comprised of the best and the brightest. Or academics. All they understand is academic achievement (or a guy who has made a great deal of money gets extra votes and his opinion counts more than ordinary Joe).This week, Bashar Al Assad mocked Pres Obama’s resolve on defeating ISISBashar has more tools in his arsenal and as the Supreme leader he is not worried about using them. Obama has less tools and is worried about using the ones that he has. You know all that “that is not what we are as Americans bullshit” that they all say.Anyway, I heard a short bit of that interview and also a longer interview some time ago. He actually makes sense in a few areas and it wasn’t what I expected. His attitude seemed to be “you have to crack a few eggs” for the greater good. He seemed to be calling out our lack of will (perhaps because casualties are so important to us) to actually solve a tough problem.He also (in the part I heard) had an analogy to what a Doctor does. He said (iirc) “you don’t say a Doctor is a bad guy because he cuts and maybe people die to solve a problem” (or something that sounded like that). In other words as much as the world is certain these dictators suck and and are bad guys they are able to spin things as “this is how I solve my problem”. Unfortunately, there is truth to this they aren’t entirely wrong. While the bad guys in charge of Iran or other areas might have been bad and oppressive and tramp on all sorts of rights, the alternatives that we have now (for us and for them) appear to be much worse. At least for people that are living in those areas.

      1. JLM

        .You have to respect my words — I said, “who execute this violence”. The doers, not the leaders.The thinkers at the top can only draw blood if they have minions willing to believe and execute. No men with bayonets, no army.Bashar Al Assad, like his father before him, is a butcher. He, himself, was educated in England as an eye doctor. He is not a stupid guy. He is, however, a guy who uses poison gas like a scalpel.The big thing about Syria is this — The Russians have used it as a basis for re-entering the Middle East after Kissinger wrenched Egypt from their hands at the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur war.Now the problem is Russia – Syria – Iraq – Iran. All because of the US.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          So sure the problem is that Russia simply has a different set of goals and objectives then the exceptionals from the US. Just another example of how we have to accept that our way of doing things doesn’t fit everybody on this planet. We should be happy with what we have, and protecting what we have, not trying to make everybody like us. [1] Where “us” don’t even feel the same way about things here.In Syria, things are worse off for people there (and for us) since he lost absolute control, no? Maybe dictators are like good cholesterol or bacteria and a small amount of them is a necessary part of the world process.[1] My argument of course falls apart when you realize that the root of all of that evil is really oil and how our society needs that that drives most of this.

          1. JLM

            .Dealing with Russia is like cutting the grass.You can ignore it for a little while and then you have a tougher chore of cutting it. Or, you can deal with it regularly — every Thursday — and the chore is less difficult.If you aren’t attentive, the crab grass spreads to places that were formerly under control thereby making their unwanted presence more troublesome.Same thing is true of China.We can co-exist with these guys as long as they know there are some boundaries which cannot be crossed. Why NATO was stupid to admit Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia — we aren’t going to war over these countries being threatened by Russia.There is no such thing as solid state foreign policy. It is always dynamic. Right now, Russia is saying, “Well we got Crimea for no blood. What else looks tasty?”Interestingly enough, we are putting troops back into Europe after just celebrating the last tank coming home in 2015.We are shooting ourselves in the foot by allowing our military to contract to pre-WWII levels.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Paul Robert Cary

            Russia paid for Crimea in Eastern Ukraine with several thousand casualties (apparently as many as the US in Iraq) and in treasure with the cost of the war and the sanctions that crushed the Ruble. On the surface that was covered by cheaper exports – but – Russia is a net importer of capital inputs. It’s been extremely expensive.I agree with most of what you say about the reduction in US military power. Many people conflate power with the misuse of power (Iraq) and that’s a fatal mistake.The stick with which we walk softly is getting way too small.

          3. JLM

            .The Crimea is not in Eastern Ukraine, it is south of the mass of the Ukraine.Don’t know where you’re getting your casualty numbers.The Crimea was annexed at the cost of a total of six KIAs of which three were civilians engaged in protest and the balance were all Ukraine.You may be including subsequent fighting in Eastern Ukraine during which armed insurrection forces (Russians posing as natives) lost 500 KIAs.There were a bunch of civilian casualties but for the Russians the Crimea was a cake walk and the subsequent casualties were not ten percent of what the US lost in Iraq.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. Paul Robert Cary

            Thanks for the geography lesson, JLM, I am currently sitting 100 miles from the Black Sea.Ukraine and Crimea were part of the same campaign – annexation and regime change under the pretext of protecting ethnic Russians.I am including the Donbass where Russians posing as natives lost far more than the Wikipedia entry states. 😉

          5. JLM

            .Do you have something against Wikipedia? Their biggest advantage is their excellent bibliography. I use it all the time to find good books on a subject.I was only referring to Russian military casualties and the cost to Russia. If there were “natives” lost then they were Ukrainian civilians as there were no Russian civilian casualties as all the fighting was in the Ukraine.It is not correct to lump the Crimea campaign and the greater contest with the Ukraine. In the Ukraine, the Russian army was massed at the border in a classic confrontation. Entirely different approach.The Russians used to own Crimea in the time of Catharine the Great. The Ukraine has a substantial ethnic Russian population but doesn’t have the same romantic or emotional attachment for Russians and it doesn’t have the same maritime facilities as the Crimea.The Ukraine situation was smoldering for a long time before it burst into flame with a suspect internal squabble which the Russians would claim they were invited to intervene in. In fact, it was likely caused by NATO’s courtship which, thankfully, was not consummated.The Crimea was just pure balls. The Russians have had rented/wholly owned naval facilities in the Crimea for centuries. You have to remember the Russians had just held the Winter Olympics and were, supposedly, on their best behavior. They saw an opportunity and they took it. They had not been planning to take it as they were all scheduled for a Disney vacation and you know what happened to those plans.The two initiatives are not seamless though they are certainly related.It is important to remember the Russians had traded natural gas for long term leases on Crimean port facilities for its Black Sea Fleet and the Ukraine threatened to refuse to renew these leases.The Russians reneged on the provision of natural gas after the 2014 “annexation” of Crimea as they had what they wanted, the ports.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          6. ipin

            There are populations of Russian ppl different in size in many post-soviet regions, and many natives also who share pro-soviet perspective on history same as many other parts of the world. That’s the issue with pro-western governments and movements, they do not tolerate and take into account the existing segregation by historic views and won’t consider interests of pro-soviet parts of their nation. Thus, you’ll always have civil-war-like conflicts Syria – Iraq – Iran etc, if you keep going into people’s houses and dictate your attitude to their history. For many like in Texas it’s one of the most important parts of their lives, in sake of which they will readily fight. #Kissingerfails

          7. JLM

            .You mix several different ingredients — Russia, the Soviets, pro-western gov’ts, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Texas, Kissinger — into a ghoulash of some unfathomable intent. What does this mean?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. Tom Labus

      But ISIS is being defeated in Iraq and seems to be lashing out because of this. You think any congress, as they are made up today, will have the balls to do any of this. They can even appoints judges. The republican party has done much more economic damage in the US so let’s go after them too.

      1. JLM

        .Bit of a stretch trying to rope the Republicans into the problem. Smacks of desperation. This is not a US economy problem by any means. This is a foreign policy issue and Pres Obama has had eight years to fix the problem.Bottom line — Worst. President. Ever. Didn’t fix anything and is lording over the contraction of the military to pre-WWII levels at a time when the international challenge is clearly mounting.Abandoned the “two war” strategy which had been US doctrine since WWII.As to the economy, the lowest labor force participation rate, the declining single family home ownership, the blossoming welfare/disability/food stamps rolls, decline of median family income, the exploding health care costs — they speak clearly for who has savaged the economy.I do believe that ISIS is being driven back but not in a decisive way. They still control land and money sufficient to train and export terror as well as to be the Radio Terror of the world via the Internet.The Congress will deliver legislation which the President tells them he will sign. In this matter, the lap dog Paul Ryan Republican Congress is actually his to guide where he wants. Hell, they gave him an unlimited spending limit credit card as a re-election housewarming gift, didn’t they?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Salt Shaker

          “Bit of a stretch trying to rope the Republicans into this problem.”Sorry, W (and his string puller Chaney) don’t get a free pass here. They created this mess starting w/ Iraq and no WMD. “Yeah, let’s turn the world into a democracy. We know better.” Saddam, for all his lunacy, nonetheless kept the country in check. Failed Republican strat from the start created this vacuum and domino effect.

          1. JLM

            .Based on results — which is a damn good to base one’s assessments upon — the Iraq was a jug fuck. No argument there.When does the Obama administration take responsibility for the economy? Must be getting close cause it’s only a few months to the election, no?The guy has been running the show for eight years. Guess what? He owns it. Stop already with the idea that this is all Bush’s fault.The Iraq War supposedly was wrapped up by Obama in 2011. It is also not the sole reason why the economy is in the crapper. There is something called ObamaCare, no?Sheesh.Stop using Bush as a crutch for ……………………………… everything. He didn’t have that kind of control when he was President.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Salt Shaker

            No argument JLM on Obamacare, total cluster fuck there, but you can’t arbitrarily hold a modern-day President fully accountable w/out including the mistakes of his predecessor. (The world doesn’t reset the first Tuesday in November every 4 years.) An oncologist has a chance of saving a patient if cancer is detected early (Bush), but once it metastasizes the task becomes far more daunting (Obama). Survival is conditional on early detection w/ proper diagnosis and treatment. If Bush/Chaney were physicians they’d be charged w/ malpractice.

          3. JLM

            .Haha, great analogy for a terrible argument.I guess it is all Bush’s fault, making him a 4-term President, no?No, Obama earned it all by himself.Worst. President. Ever. Not even close.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. LE

            Sure but they never say that reality when they are on the stump (and that includes Trump as well). They “sell” you on the idea that they can cure almost all ills.Don’t you remember also Obama saying that having middle east peace was just a matter of getting all of the homies to sit down and have a discussion to work things out? As if he didn’t have a seat of the pants feel for centuries of brainwashing. And in shoving his healthcare program down everyone’s mouth not realizing that the republicans would then hold the unfair fight against him going forward.

        2. Tom Labus

          It was supposed to be off the wall ( not too far) in light of many comments

        3. Info Sample

          Seriously? “Worst. President. Ever.”And no one challenges this? I’m sure it gets tiring to have to every day but we have to try to push back against such constant hyperbole.Being impeached does make a president the worst? Slavery? Genocide? Trail of tears? Dropping nuclear bombs? Corruption? Theft? Did we forget about the Civil War? Vietnam War? Segregation? Prison Camps?James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore. Did we erase them from the presidents list?Sorry, a president has to do a lot worse than having an economy not good enough for you and a military not big enough for you to be the worst president.

          1. JLM

            .Even I would concede you have identified his peer group well. Well played.His failure is so comprehensive and pervasive — domestic policy, financial, foreign policy, racial tension, integrity, outright public lies of gargantuan proportions, meddling in the matters of foreign democracies — he’s at the bottom of even that group.Worst. President. Ever.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Saddam was a ruthless, maybe even sadistic, thug, despot, dictator borrowing Stalinist techniques, ready to torture and kill other Iraqis for little reason or no reason.But, the thing is, he was a lot better for Iraq, the Mideast, the EU, and the US than what we have now. Sorry ’bout that.I know; I know; W was torqued at Saddam for what looked like an attempt by Saddam to kill Bush 41, Daddy. Okay, I can believe that. And Saddam cheated on the peace agreement after Gulf War I. I can believe that. And when after Gulf War I some Shiites started feeling their independence oats, Saddam put them down in a way that they stayed down. Yup.So, W thought “The Iraqi people are perfectly capable of governing themselves.” and rushed to give Iraq what W was just totally sure they wanted — a modern, secular, constitutional, parliamentary, democracy with freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and press, gender equality, and a shining city on the Tigris and Euphrates.In actual fact, in one word, nope. In three words — nope they didn’t. Sorry ’bout that W. I doubt that they wanted to be born again, evangelical Christians, either. I know that’s a real surprise to you, W.But Saddam didn’t always lie: He told us that without him we’d have a heck of a time keeping Iraq together. Yup. He was right. Of course, W thought he knew more about Iraq than Saddam.Biden was a lot closer saying that Iraq should be partitioned into three parts, one each for the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds.But W messed up. Then Obama and Clinton messed up. Now it’s a big mess.Exercise: Explain why the people of Iraq failed to embrace W’s vision of a secular, constitutional, …, etc. government for Iraq.

          3. JLM

            .Nailed. It. Perfectly.Exactly what happened.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. sigmaalgebra

            Thanks.Ah, but I omitted the appropriate paraphrase:”We have two admittedly regrettable but nevertheless clearly distinguishable alternatives, one where we have thousands of people killed and one where we have hundreds of thousands of people killed.”

        4. sachmo

          I agree with info sample. This is incredible hyperbole.When Obama took over the country was seriously tanking. November 2008 was a very bad time for the US. Today we are in so much better shape on so many levels.1) One can argue that the bank bailout was primarily due to the FED, but the auto bailout was 100% Obama. And he was spot on. Today Ford and GM exist b/c of that decision, we were paid back in full, and probably 1 million ppl kept their jobs b/c of it.2) health insurance – millions of more people are insured today. And what was happening prior with sick ppl getting their health insurance cut or denied health insurance was pure BS.The health insurance thing is a complicated issue – I don’t agree 100% with how it was rolled out / implementation details. For example, they seriously engineered the plans that each company has to offer. This has both good and bad aspects. The good is that companies can’t sell plans with a lot of hidden deductibles and random exceptions to care — that the companies would know are likely to due to their outsized statistics dept but that the average consumer wouldn’t know anything about. The bad – plans in general are more expensive, at times for things that consumers don’t need — I think its’ ok for consumers to make informed choices to waive insurance on certain things…anyway, we’re way better off to have a functioning insurance market that isn’t tied to a person’s particular employment. I think that this is overall a huge change for the better.3) Environment – Obama has done more than any recent president to curb CO2 emissions via car fuel standards and things like the clean air act. I think this is one of his most important contributions in office. Yes, I would much prefer a market solution like a carbon tax vs the EPA handing out a rulebook – but if the GOP is going to put their heads in the sand and pretend that nothing is happening to the world temperature and this isn’t a problem, then I’m for the EPA stepping in.He’s done much more than just the above.I would agree with you on a few points though.1) Obama should have negotiated a SOFA in Iraq, this was a blunder.2) Obama having made the line in the sand statement with Syria, should have backed it up. This was also a blunder.In my personal opinion, he’s not the best ever, but he’s above average. I think he’s been a good president. He’s dealt with real problems and pulled us out of a huge mess that his predecessor created on multiple fronts.Worst ever? Even if you don’t agree with where Obama has taken the country on the political spectrum – In comparison with presidents like James Buchanan and Herbert Hoover, this is a gross exaggeration.

          1. JLM

            .Let us reason together:The country is enjoying the highest revenue in the history of the country — record high — and, in spite of that, the Obama administration continues to run deficits without end. Literally, they are forecast by the CBO to end ………………… never. To suggest that such a financial manager has done anything positive stretches credulity.The crisis was caused by Fanny/Freddie/Wall Street/the banks/the SEC and not a single person has ever prosecuted or charged. Not a single person. This was all on Obama’s watch.The raw data as it relates to median family income, underemployment, the Labor Force Participation Rate, home ownership, health care costs, health insurance, the cost of health insurance, the deductibles, the number of failed state exchanges, black youth unemployment — all a disaster.Add to that the number of folks on welfare, disability, food stamps and average time on unemployment and you have a crowd of cumulative failures.The car companies were bailed out by the equity of the bond holders. They were forced to accept pennies on a dollar while the unions were rewarded with equity ownership for an enterprise they had bankrupted with their retirement and pay demands. It was political baksheeh and nothing else.The foreign policy of the US is indecipherable. Nobody knows what our policy is. We are responsible for turning Iraq, Libya, Egypt and A’stan into basket cases while rewarding Iran — the world’s largest exporter and funder of terror — and abandoning Israel and Saudi Arabia.We have allowed N Korea to become a long distance deliverer of nuclear weapons while Iran has a clear path to a nuclear bomb with no restrictions on their rocket development programs.Russia took the Crimea with a move reminiscent of the 18th century and was denied access to Disneyland in retribution.NATO exists on paper only as the US withdrew its military from Europe and then summarily contracted its military to pre-WWII levels. Those levels resulted in disastrous levels of aggression that we were the victims of as well as the rest of the world.His administration was diverted to including gay soldiers, working out the accomodation of transgender soldiers, ramming women through Ranger School but unable to come up with a credible strategy to deal with ISIS.We have entered into trade agreements which provide unfettered access for our trading partners while limited our own access to their markets resulting the export of American jobs, the trapping of American company owned profits outside the country and allowing our trading partners to gang up on us.We still continue to own the largest and most robust market in the world and we charge no admission to sell anything.Our enemies do not fear us or even respect us and friends are uncertain. The President has meddled directly in the sovereign affairs of the UK, the European Union, and Israel. All to no good outcomes. He has reinvigorated the Russians and emboldened the Chinese. He has watched as Russia had taken the Crimea and China has squatted on Asian shipping lanes.We have the highest level of racial tension in the last half century and the President takes his counsel from an avowed acknowledge race baiter. He has been wrong on every racially charged situation from Prof Gates to Ferguson to Baltimore to Trayvon Martin. Not close. Wrong.He has weaponized the IRS, the DOJ, and the FBI. He promised transparency and delivered the worst record on FOIA since its legislation.His record on terror has resulted in the world afire, our homeland under attack, and our enemies mocking us.So, yeah, he’s the Worst. President. Ever.I don’t know enough about Buchanan and Hoover so, maybe he’s only the Third. Worst. President. Ever.He was the most unprepared President ever to have ascended to the White House and he underwhelmed even that low level of expectation.He did manage to get a bunch of Final Four brackets finished and he has been very good at vacationing. Otherwise, he’s been a fakir, a poseur, a naif, and the Worst. President. Ever. in my lifetime.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. sigmaalgebra

            Yes, with all the Federal revenues plus the deficits, I’d like to know where the heck the money went?Okay, maybe we have needed some fiscal stimulus, but I smell a rat, a really big rat, one with an appetite in the trillions. Hard to hide a rat that big, but I don’t see the details. So, we’ve blown $10T, $20T — “after a while, that adds up to real money”, and I’d think that someone would what to know where the heck it went?We’ve got fiscal stimulus and monetary stimulus — with this much stimulus, the economy should be jittery, sleepless, buzzing with activity, city skylines dominated by construction cranes, employers recruiting everywhere except grave yards, etc., but, instead, the GDP annual growth rate is right at 0.000000000% or some such. I smell another rat.If Trump can get the economy ignited, then he does stand to be “the greatest jobs president ever”.Looks like I’m the only one who is asking these questions. Somehow I care more about those questions than Pokemon or whatever it is.

          3. sigmaalgebra

            I smell some rats: Both Trump and Gingrich have said versions of Obama has worked to do as much damage to the US as he could or some such. Some powerful people in DC should have noticed by now.We used the impeachment process to drive Nixon from office for some dirty pool politics and nearly drove Clinton from office for lying about something about stains on a blue dress or some such, but there’s apparently no interest in impeaching Obama. Why not? Something doesn’t smell right.A guess: Some powerful people in the US are just determined to see the first US Black President complete his term and at least in some sense look successful enough not to have been impeached.But, in some respects, the US military has done some things that look in conflict with much that Obama has done. Smells like those military things weren’t from Obama. So, it looks like Obama is no longer Commander in Chief, that some powerful people had a sit down with him, told him that he could concentrate on his gym time, jump shot, and golf game but that for US national security he was no longer CiC.

          4. JLM

            .Obama has exerted a lot of control over who has made it to 4-stars.He has handpicked a Sec of Def and a Sec of the Army.Neither of these men are veterans. it is hard to believe you can hold either of these jobs without ever having worn the uniform.The Sec of the Army, Eric Fanning, is the first openly gay Secretary and has been groomed for that job having been Undersec of the Navy, Under Sec of the Air Force, Sec of the Air Force, CoS to the Sec Def, Under Sec of the Army, Acting Sec of the Army and, ultimately, the Sec of the Army.In his 48 years of living, he has been involved with defense issues for less than seven years, hardly enough to master the subject. He is a hack.Neither of these men are defense experts though they have been around the Pentagon a bit.Know that both of these guys have been selected for their loyalty on the issue of closing the military prison at Gitmo.Obama has been pretty shrewd to select 4-stars who have been, effectively, neutered.The exception is the USMC.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. sigmaalgebra

            Four US DoD efforts that look to me like Obama didn’t want to do them:(1) Sending the fleet to the South China Sea to challenge the military base islands the Chinese dredged out of the shallow South China Sea.(2) Putting the US ABM system in South Korea to push back against North Korea.(3) Letting the Ford class carrier development go forward.(4) The not really successful but, still, significant bombing of ISIS locations.

          6. sachmo

            >The country is enjoying the highest revenue in the history of the country — record high — and, in spite of that, the Obama administration continues to run deficits without end. Literally, they are forecast by the CBO to end ………………… never. https://uploads.disquscdn.c…Look, aside from Clinton, nearly every president has run a deficit in the modern era. Not at all unique to Obama. In the initial year of his presidency, Bush handed him a literal clusterfuck. He’s reduced the $1.5 trillion deficit/yr by more than $750 billion / yr since he’s taken office.I think if he came on in more normal times, he would have gotten us to a surplus. It’s unreasonable to expect that he solves a $1.5 trillion deficit handed to him by his predecessor, the middle of a major recession mind you, in a single year. He’s done a DAMN good job bringing those numbers down. Better than many economists forecasted.>The crisis was caused by Fanny/Freddie/Wall Street/the banks/the SEC and not a single person has ever prosecuted or charged. Not a single person. This was all on Obama’s watch.Ok, I agree, the bankers should have gone to jail. The only point I’d dispute is that the shenanigans happened under his predecessor.>The raw data as it relates to median family income, underemployment, the Labor Force Participation Rate, home ownership, health care costs, health insurance, the cost of health insurance, the deductibles, the number of failed state exchanges, black youth unemployment — all a disaster.Median income has recovered to pre-recession levels since Obama took office:http://www.factcheck.org/20…In terms of jobs, the economy has created 9 million more jobs. This chart actually has a nice summary of Obama stats (not all good, but by and large, pretty good):http://www.factcheck.org/20…On jobs, you simply cannot argue that over the last 8 years, what has happened in this country is nothing short of a miracle. I don’t credit all of that to Obama, but seriously, look at Spain, where youth unemployment is still 50%. Look at Japan. Among the entire developed world, we are by far in the best position of any major power. 9 million new jobs is a staggeringly high number. This didn’t have to happen. I wouldn’t give Obama credit for all of this – the US economy is it’s own dynamic machine, but certainly he deserves some credit for things like the auto-bailout that both prevented a lot of people from losing their jobs, and improved overall business confidence.> The car companies were bailed out by the equity of the bond holders. They were forced to accept pennies on a dollar while the unions were rewarded with equity ownership for an enterprise they had bankrupted with their retirement and pay demands. It was political baksheeh and nothing else.The auto companies also received guaranteed loans from the US gov’t. Without these loans they would have collapsed. I’m not pro union either, but the auto bailout was a massive success:https://www.washingtonpost….>The foreign policy of the US is indecipherable. Nobody knows what our policy is.Ok, we agree on this. Obama doesn’t really have a concrete plan in the middle east. He’s bungled up a lot there.>rewarding Iran — the world’s largest exporter and funder of terror — and abandoning Israel and Saudi Arabia.On this point, I think you are 100% wrong. The greatest exporter and funds for terror is Saudi Arabia. ISIS is an offshoot of wahhabism.The history of this entire radical Islam – which by the way is all Radical SUNNI Islam – comes right back to so called ‘humanitarian’ projects by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They fund hospitals in poor places (like A’stan, and Pakistan) and as a condition for doing so, they put in some crazy imam who fuels this crap. This started a long time ago, 60 years of this cultural export to the rest of the muslim world has sowed some nasty seeds.Boko Haram, ISIS, Al Qaeda, — basically every terror attack in Europe and the US — it’s all SUNNI Radicals. I have nothing against moderate Sunni’s – but let’s not pretend that Iran is the largest exporter of terror – that’s a complete joke.The furthest away that the Shia proxies operate is Syria and Lebanon. And honestly, Hezbollah has a concrete political agenda (one I don’t agree with) but they are nowhere near the level of fanaticism of ISIS / Al Qaeda.With the new 9/11 pages released, it’s fairly clear that mid-level officials in the Saudi government (and very likely some distant members of the royal family) colluded heavily in the 9/11 attacks. So Saudi is not this strong ally of ours – and we need to recognize this.what the Iran deal does is promotes the moderate elements within Iran to power, it draws Iran into the international community. Iran is not Saudi Arabia. Women can drive cars. People don’t get stoned to death or their hands cut off for crimes. Honestly, Iran is far more similar to our society than to this crazy picture that is painted about them abroad. A moderate Iran is good for the world. The deal also halted what could have been a nuclear arms race — and people that criticize the deal have offered no real alternative (other than war) for convincing Iran to back away from nuclear weapons. I don’t know if they will honor it. Many think their leaders can’t be trusted, but the people of Iran consistently vote for moderates and celebrated on the streets when the sanctions lifted. I think the right read on this situation is that Iranians prefer shopping malls to nukes, and that if the gov’t violated the deal and sanction were slapped back on, the gov’t would risk civil unrest.Regarding Israel – Netanyahu is acting like a complete jackass and has reneged on every commitment to the peace process. He has moved away from a two state solution, he also has passed laws almost officiating that Arab Israelis are not full citizens. He’s pushing for a modern day apartheid. These are not democratic values.Yes, Israel is our best real ally in the region, but they need to get their shit together. Either grant Palestinians full citizenship – with equal rights under the law – or give them their own state.>We have allowed N Korea to become a long distance deliverer of nuclear weapons while Iran has a clear path to a nuclear bomb with no restrictions on their rocket development programs.Ok, I agree with you on this. I see this as a huge long-term problem, and we should seriously consider taking out their rocket program. But how would you approach this one?If you do a direct military strike on N Korea, you risk confrontation with China. Also, the area by the DMZ is so well setup, that even without nukes – just with artillery placements, the N Koreans could level Seoul. I agree Obama could put do more, but this issue has no easy solution.>Russia took the Crimea with a move reminiscent of the 18th century and was denied access to Disneyland in retribution.I would have sold arms to the Ukranians or granted them arms on loans. I would not have moved NATO or American troops in. I think that would have risked a major war.Supposing Obama had done this, you’d have kicked the Russians out of eastern Ukraine, but by the time Ukraine had any semblance of leadership – Crimea was already gone.Could Obama have handled this better? Yes. But who is single handedly most responsible for the loss of Crimea? Viktor Yanukovych and the vacuum of leadership in Ukraine hands down. With any kind of semi competent leadership in the country, nothing would have happened.>His administration was diverted to including gay soldiers, working out the accomodation of transgender soldiers, ramming women through Ranger School but unable to come up with a credible strategy to deal with ISIS.Dude, come on, women, gays, and transgenders can lay their lives down, they should be able to serve in combat situations openly. Naysayers said the same thing about african americans years ago and they were wrong. We will have a stronger military in the future as a result of these changes.>We have entered into trade agreements which provide unfettered access for our trading partners while limited our own access to their markets resulting the export of American jobs, the trapping of American company owned profits outside the country and allowing our trading partners to gang up on us. We still continue to own the largest and most robust market in the world and we charge no admission to sell anything.I believe in open markets over closed ones. The manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back, and we will create better ones. It’s like when at one point 90% of people worked on farms, and we had to learn how to transition. Yes, there is real pain now, but we’ll grow as a country.Do you remember that Smoot-Hawley tariff of 1930? Didn’t work out so well for the US back then, if we did something similar today, we would see a retaliation and a freezing up of markets around the world.Tariffs would hurt us more than help us.>Our enemies do not fear us or even respect us and friends are uncertain. The President has meddled directly in the sovereign affairs of the UK, the European Union, and Israel. All to no good outcomes. He has reinvigorated the Russians and emboldened the Chinese. He has watched as Russia had taken the Crimea and China has squatted on Asian shipping lanes.I don’t know about that. We got Bin Laden – that’s a pretty damn credible deterrent to future acts of terrorism. (I don’t give Obama any special credit for this).Putin has stated that he sees the US as the world’s only superpower:http://www.reuters.com/arti…I don’t think the Spratly islands are worth starting a war over either.I would agree generally, that Obama has been weakest on foreign policy – but let’s point to some major successes:The US and China have agreed that climate change is real, and both nations will take steps to curb CO2 emissions:http://www.usnews.com/news/…While neither nation is doing nearly enough, this is a major breakthrough. No one believed 8 years ago that China would make an announcement like this – and getting the US to act was dependent on China. Today India is the only major emitter of pollution that hasn’t at least in theory committed to CO2 reduction. This is a major breakthrough for a long-term problem in the world today.>We have the highest level of racial tension in the last half century and the President takes his counsel from an avowed acknowledge race baiter. He has been wrong on every racially charged situation from Prof Gates to Ferguson to Baltimore to Trayvon Martin. Not close. Wrong.Um, no… Trayvon Martin was shot by a sicko who probably should have gone to jail. Not even going to open this can of worms up, b/c frankly it has nothing to do with Obama.We do have systemic injustices in our legal system towards people of color. Smartphones (which were not ubiquitous prior to 2008) are the reason why people are capturing all of this on video.>So, yeah, he’s the Worst. President. Ever.Really…. so Herbert Hoover – who raised taxes and started a trade war in the middle of the Great Depression – which is today widely considered to have caused a double dip, is supposedly a better president than Obama – who created 9 MILLION new jobs, cut our yearly deficit by ~$750 billion / year, helped 15 million people gain health insurance, presided over the first ever decline in US CO2 emissions… etc etc. ?Alrightee… You know, I really think GW Bush ran our country into the ground, certainly worst president since WW2, but I wouldn’t even call him as bad as Hoover.Total hyperbole man.

          7. JLM

            .’Just to be a little technical on you — Ford did not get a penny from the TARP which provided $80B to GM, GMAC, Chrysler. Not a penny.Ford did make 90,000 car sales under the Cash for Clunkers Program. In a bit of irony, the biggest beneficiary of Cash for Clunkers was ……………………………. Toyota.Ford did much later borrow $5B in a secured loan from the DOE Fuel Efficient Program which they married with $9B of their own money.So, no, Ford was not a beneficiary of TARP and Obama had nothing at all to do with its survival.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          8. sachmo

            Ford would have gone belly up – according the testimony of Alan Mulally himself (I watched most of it) – and that’s b/c if Chrysler and GM had failed, the network of suppliers and dealerships that they all share would have likely also failed.Mulally actively courted congress for helping out GM and Chrysler and stated as much himself. Here’s some statements he made years later:http://articles.latimes.com

          9. JLM

            .Everything you say is perfectly correct. Ford was praying for GM and Chrysler to live on.Nonetheless, Ford did not take any TARP money.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          10. JLM

            .As you can see from this chart, the impact of Obamacare on the number of Americans who are uninsured has, essentially, been zero.Note also that the population of the US has been increasing since the advent of Obamacare.I don’t know why everyone thinks Obamacare has had a favorable impact on the level of insurance.A couple more things:This is in spite of the broadening of Medicaid insurance.Almost every state sponsored Obamacare exchange has failed and not a penny has been recovered though the gov’t promised they would recover their initial investment. That has simply not happened.Obamacare has delivered diminishing benefits at a higher price and with enormous deductibles.Nobody has really been able to keep their doctors or their insurance policies. Nobody.Obamacare has been a colossal failure at an incredible cost. By thie time next year, every state sponsored exchange will be dead.The big winners? The insurance companies.The insurance companies continue to withdraw from states markets in which they are not profitable — the fallout of maintaining state by state markets.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          11. sachmo

            No chart attached… ?It’s unlikely we’ll agree on the issue of healthcare, especially when we dispute basic underlying facts. Sources like this one point to a sharp drop in the number of uninsured Americans:http://www.nytimes.com/2016…Also, healthcare spending has dropped significantly since the Affordable Care Act was passed:http://fortune.com/2016/06/…Look, I’m not going to defend every single aspect of Obamacare. The original roll out of the exchange was a disaster. Even a year later, there are still issues with the bureaucracy that healthcare.gov adds to the whole process. I would also agree that in many ways, the insurance companies are the big winners here, because the law created so many regulations that it’s very difficult for new entrants to get started.So there are definitely real criticisms to the act. But untangling healthcare from employment is HUGE. Big win for entrepreneurs and the average american who wants to move between job markets. On the whole, I think healthcare being it’s own marketplace is a great thing.

          12. JLM

            https://uploads.disquscdn.c… .Come on, Sachmo.The first article is all about segments of society who DID do better. But on the whole, the number of uninsured has not dipped at all.The second article has to do with the rate of growth of a very steep curve. The rate of growth — no “bending the hockey stick downward.” Projections!A lessened rate of growth is a blessing but it’s still a disastrous outcome. Sheesh.You are peeing on my leg and trying to get me to believe it’s raining.Fight fair.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          13. sachmo

            So see my other post regarding uninsured. Your chart ends in 2013, when the ACA was just beginning. 2014 was first year healthcare.gov got rolled out. Today, 2016 has uninsured around 11%, record low levels…On the 2nd point… sure, if you only look at the last couple years, a couple hundred billion doesn’t seem like much. But when you really think about the long-term effect that a drop in health care spending has on the deficit, this is a HUGE deal.The expenditures are going to continue growing by gross numbers, because of things like inflation and population growth no matter what…But think about it for a minute – we both agree that a balanced budget is ideal. A different president would most likely not have passed any healthcare plan and kicked the can down the road. Cutting $100 billion here, and another $100 billion there adds up over time. This is what a good outcome looks like.

      2. Paul Robert Cary

        There is a correlation with IS’ loss of territory and external attacks, but I don’t think this is causation. They would have inspired these attacks regardless of their current disposition.

    3. Paul Robert Cary

      Agreed on most of what you write. I would just add that we need a follow-up strategy that doesn’t involve Bremer-esque incompetence.What would you say that Israel should do with Hamas in Gaza?

      1. JLM

        .The key to Gaza was the safety and peace in Egypt. When the Muslim Brotherhood got control of Egypt (thanks to Pres Obama), Hamas could infiltrate arms and mischief again.Israel had a safe western border with a stable Egypt. That evaporated.Iran (and to a lesser extent Turkey) are funding Hamas. With Iran’s new money and swagger, Hamas is going to be a big pain in the ass for Israel.There is no solution that does not entail starving them of financial and military support. I suspect Gaza is going to take a long time to rebuild from its most recent foray into carnage. The damage in Gaza is of such magnitude that the simple chore of demolition of modern construction is staggering. Who would fund rebuilding?President Obama’s recent attempt to unseat Netanyahu (OneVoice/V15) just makes it all the more difficult to work through these problems.This is a very thorny problem for the Israelis.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    4. ShanaC

      Terror existed before the internet

      1. JLM

        .Point being what?The Internet is clearly an enhanced communication methodology for the spread of terror. Even simple communication. I learned about Nice on the Internet.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. ShanaC

          they’ll communicate if they are desperate, even without the internet.

          1. JLM

            .We want them to communicate. We intercept their couriers.How did we find bin Laden?We stumbled on a courier and followed him home.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. LE

            Like saying “they will break into your house even if you have locks”. Of course it’s obvious that the ease of doing something directly impacts how much it is done. If it takes effort of any kind it will end up happening less as a result of the friction.Making a bomb is trivial easier now vs. pre-internet. Doing anything that requires knowledge (and accomplishes) is trivially easier. That creates more potential for bad and good to happen.

    5. Pete Griffiths

      There is light and there is darkness for sure. And being weak in the face of darkness doesn’t help. I would burn Raqqa to the ground if I thought it would solve the problem. It is most definitely an understandable reaction. I just have a horrid feeling that it won’t work. We are on the horns of a ghastly dilemma of our age.We are facing a gigantic number of alienated impoverished young people, many of whom have little to lose. To this mix we add braindead intellectuals whose minds have been poisoned with medieval ideologies. Add to this ubiquitous mobile phones showing every lost soul in every corner of the globe that life is better elsewhere. It is a toxic cocktail leading to mass migrations and terror.If we look at the two extreme positions on how to deal with this phenomena they seem to be:a) kill every enemy you can find. A naive interpretation of this position is that you will eventually kill all your enemies. Sadly this just doesn’t work. The killing creates new militants streaming from an inexhaustible supply. The best this approach can achieve is some kind of containment. Realism here = kill the worst of them and limit the damage they can do.b) win hearts and minds by assisting with nation building and economic development. The naive interpretation is that by raising people’s living standards and demonstrating your own goodwill the host population will stop hating you and the source of angry alienated youth will dry up. Sadly, decades of experience with attempts to assist in the economic development third world nations has proven to be miserably unsuccessful. Realism here = being nice isn’t enough.So we get stuck in the middle. Trying to be nice whilst killing bad guys to contain the worst offenders. But this isn’t a situation that sits easily with people who like solutions. I suspect however that it’s the best we can hope for.

      1. JLM

        .You treat the symptoms as best as you can and you contain the disease. There is no magic bullet, one-action solution to anything.Containing the disease means stripping them naked of their recruiting spiel, the leadership, their training camps, their weapons, their distribution channels, their revenue, the access to the Internet, their testimonials, their ability to immigrate at will.Right now, ISIS is selling the meme, “We are very powerful because we can screw with the world, we hold territory, we have revenue, the world takes us very seriously, and they can’t mess with us. We are a nation-state because our enemies treat us like one.”This meme does not survive the devastation in Raqqa but you have to deliver on the promise: “It is not a good thing to be an enemy of the United States. There is an unacceptable cost to being an enemy to the United States. It is better to be a friend of the United States. Presented with a choice, choose being a friend.”The hearts and minds things doesn’t work. Never has.In Afghanistan, we tried to stand up a modern set of district, appellate, supreme courts. The Afghans don’t look at courts the same way we do — they killed the prosecutors, judges, and witnesses. They blew up the courts.The nation building thing doesn’t work.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Pete Griffiths

          Sad but true. Containment is the best we can do. It’s like cancer – cures are rare.

    6. William Mougayar

      that was a good link re: Assad. he is right re: US politics, sadly.

    7. cavepainting

      JLM,The solution to bomb the shit out of ISIS and destroy everything that smells like ISIS feels good. But it is unlikely to work. Why ? Because on the day after, there is no greater call for jihad, no greater impetus for disgruntled young men in the middle east to regroup and join the jihad.Remember what happened in Iraq after the US supposedly destroyed Al Qaeda ? It led to ISIS when the Sunnis felt marginalized by the de-baathification. This happened in 2004-07 by the way, not in 2011.Remember what happened in Afghanistan after the US proxy war with Russia ended ? It led to the Taliban and to Al Qaeda.Every action that we take has tons of unintended consequences.The easiest thing for a President to do is to order the bombing mission. It takes courage and guts to not do it, and find a solution that works over the long term. The men who fight for ISIS want and love to die for jihad. It is very hard to win a traditional war against them. They will have to be dismantled delicately over time.

      1. JLM

        .Your comment is an easy one with which to disagree as it is not factually accurate.We brought peace to Iraq with the Al Anbar Awakening when we bribed one side against the other. This was David Petreaus’s contribution to military science. We picked sides and put our money where our mouths were. The country was reasonably peaceful thereafter though we clearly picked who won.Remember all those purple thumbs?We took our forces out of the region not being willing or able to negotiate a SOFA (status of forces agreement, the diplomatic framework by which we kept forces in Germany, Korea, Japan, Bosnia after those wars).This failure to negotiate a SOFA was the failure of President Obama.In THAT vacuum, the residual forces of Saddam Hussein became the nucleus of what became ISIS. We then supplied arms to ISIS under the guise of arming anti-Bashar Al Assad forces in Syria.These anti-Assad forces were also ISIS material.Ambassador Stephens was in Benghazi discussing the shipping of arms to Syrian rebels through Libya. Those groups included ISIS pre-cursor and splinter groups. That’s why the CIA had an annex in the city in the first place.We stood up a 900,000 man Iraqi army and then abandoned them. Young officers, at the company grade level (company commanders and platoon leaders) were inadequately trained. This was not Pres Obama’s fault. It was the Pentagon’s fault.If we had kept a residual force in Iraq, we could have run like firemen to those units upon initial contact with ISIS — 15,000 men strong in those days — and put some steel in their backbones.Iraq had a 900,000 man force with good weapons and leadership deficiencies. We could have helped them.When ISIS struck Iraq, these young officers changed out of their uniforms, abandoned their men, abandoned the US equipment, and fled. ISIS picked up more weapons and ammunition and volunteers streamed to them.This was all avoidable in much the same way that American policy, SOFA and a robust NATO occupancy kept Europe and Japan at peace for more than a half century.It is not even remotely difficult to win a war against such troops as ISIS presents for battle. They are unskillful in basic soldier skills, they have no organizational structure, they are unable to fire & maneuver at the platoon level, they are unable to conduct combined arms operations (infantry, armor, artillery, air), and they have no NCO or officer corps.The biggest challenge would be burying them.They are a rabble. Have you ever seen them on television?Disclosure: I am a VMI graduate, a former Regular Army officer, paratrooper, Ranger, and taught many of these subjects. I trained Korean combat engineers and infantry. ISIS would not last two weeks against an American Army (infantry) division or a Marine division. It would be Lebron against a baby.The difference is it would be “boots on the ground” and not just air power.As to the Taliban, you must recall that it was American SF with American artillery (operated by the Northern Alliance) and US airpower who routed the Taliban. Same issue — the Taliban are not good troops when trying to operate above the platoon level.The reason THIS is important is because we had the Kurds willing to do the fighting if we would supply them with armor, artillery, and air power. This went against the gov’t in Baghdad which has now become an annex of Iran. Had we done this, Iran (Iran, Turkey, Iraq) would have gone ape shit as the Kurds are all waging separatist efforts n their countries.The Kurds rose up against the Saddam Hussein gov’t after the first Gulf War and Pres George HW Bush left them high and dry. Saddam Hussein subsequently used chemical weapons against them. But, the Kurds are fighters, even their women.I limit my comments only to the military issues. We screwed up the peace in both Iraq and A’stan. A’stan, we never admitted to ourselves was a narco-terror nation and had no political class upon which to build anything. They are corrupt to the core.That country will never be stable until somebody knocks out the poppy fields. The Taliban finance production and protect delivery. We turned a blind eye toward it. I place a lot of the blame for this with the military who failed to report the actual conditions on the ground.One has to take a hard look at the history of A’stan and our support of Osama bin Laden. He was our guy and we built Tora Bora for him. He turned against us and we failed to to take the right actions.What we have done since is to make matters worse by failing to lead at all.The idea that Jihadis want to die for their cause is a good thing. Let them come out to fight. They die just as easy and being a jihadist is no substitute for being able to hit a target at 500 yards with a rifle or having a flight of A-10 Warthogs to add to the fray. Being fixated on 72 virgins is not a military strategy or skill.The world suffers from the “cat on the hot stove” issue. In their unwillingness to even look at the stove, they forget we have never been beaten in battle by any Middle Eastern army.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. cavepainting

          I see and understand your perspective. But…this is a problem from hell and complicated.Sending ground troops into Syria is exactly what the other side wants and there can be no greater way to recruit people to their cause.I also do not think that the President could have signed a SOFA with Iraq or put our troops in danger when they clearly did not want our presence in the region.It may feel like we could accomplish more by sending more Americans into battle in Syria and Iraq, but are we ready to lose hundreds or thousands of lives for this cause ? Are we willing to stay engaged with ground troops in the long term and spend hundreds of billions of dollars ? And do you think any of that will really mitigate the risk of lone-wolf attacks, or increase it ?All I am saying is that there are many trade-offs here and multiple ways to look at it. ISIS and Islamic terrorism is an enemy that the world needs to take on but it has to be a smart fight that can be won on our terms. And it is a long-term battle on multiple fronts related to education, economy, power dynamics in the Middle East, etc.Which is why I believe that the President’s actions – which many criticize as less aggressive, indifferent, etc. – are actually smarter and more effective in the long term, in terms of optimizing the outcomes we want: Defeat the enemy with minimal loss of American lives, and with minimal unintended consequences.Irrespective of the approach, we need to be engaged and alert on a long term basis like playing a permanent game of whack-a-mole.

          1. JLM

            .The continual game of whack a mole is not a problem as long as you eventually wack the moles.The tactical consideration of meeting any enemy is always whether you can spring a decisive engagement — one in which you can destroy the entire enemy formation.We want the enemy to concentrate their troops. We want every single shithead in the world there so we can kill them all at the same time.The purpose of maneuver is to take the enemy in the most advantageous manner possible — turning a flank, encircling them, a direct assault.This has been true forever. When you have no maneuver, you have WWI in the trenches.Of course, we could have had a SOFA, we had conquered the country. The mistake was that we pretended to negotiate. Obama didn’t want a SOFA as he wanted to say, “We’re out of Iraq.”What is happening right now, is not “winning” when an enemy can project force at places of his timing and with the ability to train and export terror.Your comment about losing “hundreds of thousands” is pure nonsense. I won a lot of money on the First Gulf War when the pundits were predicting we would lose 30,000 men.I bet our casualties would be less than a thousand. They were.We routed the 4th largest tank army on the planet, the vaunted Republican Guard, in 2 weeks at a loss of 146 KIA. IN 100 hours the Iraqis went from being the 4th largest army in the world to being the second largest army in Iraq (ponder that one).We put an ass whipping on the Iraqis like nobody has ever seen.The losses from terrorist activity in the last six months has been ten times that number.Again, First Gulf War — 148 KIA, ran off the 4th largest armor army in the world, defeated an army of 400,000, endured Scud rocket attacks in Israel.We killed 100,000 Iraqi soldiers, wounded 300,000, 150,000 deserted, and we captured 60,000 on the battlefield.US casualties were 148 KIA, 458 WIA, 121 killed in nonhostile action (accidents) and 11 female combat deaths.This is a precursor of what would happen if we ever met ISIS on the battlefield. Why are we reluctant to trade marble and chalk at those comparative rates?We want this fight. We want it right now.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. cavepainting

            You are correct on all your observations related to the military. But.. this is not fighting a state like Iraq or Germany or Japan. It is based on a twisted ideology and a mental illness that grows the more you engage them directly.May be the right answer is a combination of multiple things. But any real debate has to take into consideration not just what we can do when we engage militarily, but the nature of the enemy, the range of unintended consequences, and what happens the day after and beyond.Also, I said hundreds or thousands of lives. Not hundreds of thousands.

          3. JLM

            .It does not matter why an enemy soldier is in the field. Once he takes up a rifle, our job is to find him, fix him, kill him.Our special operators are the best in the world at conducting asymmetrical warfare. Nobody else is close. We destroyed about 50,000 Taliban by sending out hundreds of SF A teams every night for a couple of months in N Afghanistan. It was a victory built on ambushes at crossroads all over Afghanistan.Ideology has nothing to do with warfare at the boots on the ground level. When we find them, they die. We have to send our guys and we have to find them.That requires our leaders to lean forward in their saddles, make decisions, order the military to do the job, not to meddle in silly ROE (rules of engagement) and to let the military do their job.Contrary to the media buss, ISIS has not done a great job of recruiting.The numbers shake down like this:1. There are about 7B people in the world, of which 1.6B are Muslims. Half are women. Half of the remaining men are either too old or too young.2. The recruiting pool is about 400 million.3. Of that pool about 30% are estimated to be sympathizers.4. ISIS has run through 60,000 soldiers and has about 40,000 live ones now.5. They have only been successful recruiting 0.05% of the pool to their cause. That is not a very good success rate.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          4. sigmaalgebra

            Maybe you omitted the R&R back of our lines injuries from softball? IIRC the number of those injuries were greater than the number from enemy action. Brilliant.Yes, occasionally when eating dinner, I still go back and watch H. N. “Storm’n” Schwarzkopf’s “Mother of all Briefings” athttps://www.youtube.com/wat…It has a table of the KIA, etc. — maybe the same figures as yours although I believe you included more detail, especially on the Iraqi side.We totally blew away Saddam’s 7 million man army and his Republican Guard. We took him apart piece by piece much like I eat a big chocolate cake!E.g., the Iraqi desert, being hot during the day, heated up the Iraqi tanks. Well, the desert tends to cool rapidly at night, and the tanks stayed hot and on IR stood out like sore thumbs. So, one tank, airplane with one rocket, “plink”, and one less tank.Ah, the USAF gave money to my ugrad physics department “to further the technology of the infrared” — the USAF very much got their money’s worth!We had F-111s flying around radiating literally megawatts of radar frequency energy — so, Saddam’s radar got really big incoming signals, of nothing, and were blinded. If their radar was on, then we had some modified F-4s with some missiles that would follow the radar beam to its source — no more Iraqi radar.And the 100 hour tank battle was also great: Their tanks had guns with range 1 mile. They had to stop to shoot. They couldn’t see in dust and smoke. Our tanks had guns with range 2 miles, could shoot accurately while moving (sounds like some nice applied math), and, with infrared, could see quite well through dust and smoke. Huge differences.Then the first night, the F-117s flew through all the Baghdad anti-aircraft artillery to take out crucial Iraqi communications, command, and control resources. What was it, 1000 or so F-117 missions and not even a single scratch on even one of them? Magnificent. Brilliant. Smells like victory. Thank you again Lockheed Skunk Works! Then Saddam was deaf, dumb, and blind.Saddam’s fighter planes took off, US AWACS saw them, sent F-15Cs or some such, and one less Iraqi fighter plane. Soon the Iraqi pilots either didn’t take off or did but flew to Iran, low, staying to the north.Soon most of Saddam’s bridges were gone; he couldn’t supply his forces; and they ran out of food and water, especially water.During the day in the desert, A-10s went “RRRRRRRiP” and one less tank.Big lesson: First win the air war.Your prediction of less than 1000 was very insightful.And the Youtube videos on the air war are as much fun.

    8. Tracey Jackson

      Totally agree JLM…Lightness and love are wonderful and so is turning the other cheek and endless other lifestyle platitudes that sound good and work within very special circumstances. We are fighting a global war with people spread in every corner of the earth who are not afraid to die.It’s not like Viet Nam, It’s not like any other war including WWII.All war is atrocious – But these daily mass shootings and bombings of innocent people are not only tearing apart lives and families but chip, chip, chiping away at people’s feelings of safety, tolerance and values.Yes, of course, be nice to people, give back where you can, love you family and spread light in your workplace. That’s sort of a given isn’t it?Now go tell that to all the thousands who have lost wives, husbands, children, parents friends and loved ones in terrorist attacks since 9/11 Whenever I hear we are praying for you it makes my skin crawl. Prayers are fine, but really? That will change what????A lunatic just killed 84 and maimed god knows how many. “I’m praying for you” well, that should really change the rest of your life.These types of things conversations and the world at large has made me literally remove myself from most public discourse including my own two websites. People just end up attacking you for your views and there is too much terror and negativity in the world.Other wars have for the most part had boundaries – this one does not and there in lies the biggest problem.It spreads from Dhaka to San Bernardino. It kills innocent French children watching fireworks on their freedom day and gays just enjoying a night out. The world thanks to both ISIS and other factors has glorified killing, shooting and thus crazies who just don’t like the way life has turned out feel they are justified to kill as many people as the possibly can.It”s only getting worse and the two clowns running for office won’t change a thing either and this is why I find it better for me not to speak publicly – I am now going back to my shell.

  33. ForDiscussion

    A blanket one-liner about mental illness in a post about such an atrocity is careless at best. While we may want to make sense out of such an unthinkable acts and hold up some explanation that offers us a sense of control, the reference here is misguiding. Mental illness is a widespread problem. “Every year, about 42.5 million American adults (or 18.2 percent of the total adult population in the United States) suffers from some mental illness, enduring conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia,” – http://bit.ly/1pG8PvL.I couldn’t agree more that we need to understand and treat mental illness in much more meaningful and comprehensive ways. But, when more is learned about this perpetrator of horror we can all formulate more informed productive ideas about how to prevent future atrocities. Meanwhile, my heart goes out to all who are suffering in France. Let’s treasure life.

  34. Javier Villanueva

    Fred, i donot agree with your statement. It is not mental illness but plain evilness, resentment, envy …

  35. Salt Shaker

    It’s time for the Muslim community and countries w/ a large Muslim population to act in concert and weed out radicals. Condemnation alone is not enough. $2B in aid to Pakistan is nothing more than a bribe w/ limited results. Change the terms. Muslims need to be identified by predominantly three mutually exclusive groups: Sunni, Shi’a and Radicals. You can’t be a Sunni and a Radical, certainly not if one believes in the teachings of the Koran. It’s one or the other. This is a worldwide epidemic. There are more Muslims in China than Pakistan, though oppression there has created inherent restraints. The Arab world has not done enough to stamp out radicalism. The so called “coalition” is a joke. It’s objectives need to be expanded beyond military to ideology. These countries know what mosques and/or Imams are radicalized.

  36. sigmaalgebra

    For Nice, Orlando, etc.,What do you do? What do you say?Yes, we should Pray For Nice. They can use our prayers.For what to do, as just after Pearl Harbor,With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph — so help us God.As I See ItThe way I see it, we have (1) some US race problems and (2) some world Islam problems that threaten the US.What to they have in common? Sure, they both have to do with poverty in some sense, economic poverty, cultural poverty, etc. Otherwise, I regard the two as quite different.So I will discuss each of these two separately:1.0 US Race Problems.The US race problems started before 1776 with the desire of Americans of European descent — at least British and French — to have slavery.So, the slaves were an identifiable, exploited, laboring underclass in poverty. That poverty was the central idea: The slave works, and the slave driver takes the results of that work; the slave driver gets rich; the slave stays poor.Reasons for slavery included selling tobacco and cotton back to England.1.1 US Slavery Now.But the US still wants slavery, that is, an identifiable, exploited, laboring underclass in poverty — in both economic and cultural poverty and where the poverty is because others unfairly benefit from the work of the slaves.We used to keep the slaves in their plight with whips and chains, but now we use language skills, education, credit scores, and, especially, the identifiable property.But on the whole in the US, slavery doesn’t work: The problem is the slavery results both economic and cultural poverty and some grim, expensive, and too often violent social problems. When add up all the costs to both the slave drivers and the rest of US society, I can’t believe that slavery pays.Pays or not, slavery is ugly stuff.1.2 SolutionOld advice is, “When you find yourself in a hole, then stop digging.”So, the US needs to drop its interest in slavery. So, stop importing more people to be an identifiable, exploited, laboring underclass in poverty, both economic and cultural. So, in this hole, stop the digging. Do NOT admit into the US people we intend or expect to be slaves.Then for the results of our earlier efforts for slavery, do our best to solve the economic and cultural poverty and resulting problems.Slavery: Just STOP IT — DON’T DO IT ANYMORE.2.0 World Islam Problems.Islam exists. It’s old — 1000+ years. It’s big — 1.2 billion or so Muslims now. It’s rich — much of Islam is just awash in oil money. It doesn’t change very fast — a lot of Islam is medieval.Next, Islam is not just a religion. Instead, in an Islamic society, Islam runs nearly everything and keeps out nearly everything else. So, Islam runs a long list of detailed social norms, marriages, dress, diet, education, architecture, the legal system, the government, the foreign policy, and, yes, also religion.For a Muslim in an Islamic country, about all they know is Islam — they know Islam very well, and nearly everything else has been kept out. So, such a person can easily become highly devoted to the goals of Islam.In Islam, the religious leaders have a lot of power and sometimes run the government.Islam has a concept of infidels: In simple terms, each Islamic group regards everyone else, Muslim or not, as an infidel to be converted or killed.So, the Sunni and Shiite Muslims regard each other as just such infidels. Both regard everyone else as infidels.In particular, nearly everyone in the US is regarded as an infidel to be killed or converted, and it’s easy to suspect that the Muslims prefer that nearly everyone in the US be killed.A “peaceful religion”? The religious leaders can issue Fatwas, that is statements, commands, for Jihad, that is, holy war, e.g., kill all US, European, and Russian infidels.There is much more on why, fundamentally, directly from the Quran, Islam is violent, not peaceful, inhttp://www.breitbart.com/na…Since Islam tries to run nearly everything and to keep out nearly everything else, many Muslims are very dedicated and devoted, ready to die for Fatwas for Jihad to kill infidels. Apparently for motivation, the dead Muslims are to receive an afterlife of 72 or so virgins. Apparently Islam is not much concerned about the women, dead or alive.2.1 Islamic Threats.With the Islamic drive to have Jihads to kill infidels, Islam is a threat to everyone else, especially the US, Europe, and Russia.So far the violent Jihaders have used ugly, often medieval, but, still, for a war, relatively ineffective weapons — gouging out eyes, skinning alive, gruesome, mutilating torture, disembowelings, crucifixions, beheadings, drownings, burning alive, exploding suicide vests, knives, guns, exploding pressure cookers, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), car bombs, trucks, hijacked airplanes, etc. As in Nice, they can kill women, children, children still in strollers, babies.How many want to wait until the next gruesome, medieval murder is your mother, sister, wife, daughter, father, brother, son, or grandchild? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Better stop it now, say, before a nuclear bomb goes off in Manhattan.So, as we have seen too often since 9/11/2001, the US, Europe, and more have a really nasty Islam threat — Mohamed Ali Abdul Fatwa al Jihad bin Boom Boom, a.k.a. Achmed Car Bomb.But there is a larger threat: A lot of Muslims who want to kill infidels have money enough to buy a black market nuclear bomb. Some Muslims, e.g., in Pakistan and Iran, have enough of both money and knowledge to build a nuclear bomb starting with just uranium ore.So, the US, Europe, Russia and more have a really big Islam threat: Too many Muslims are determined to get a nuclear bomb and explode it in NYC, DC, London, Paris, Moscow, etc.IIRC, ISIS has declared war on the US. Iran commonly has crowds shouting “Death to America”. So does Pakistan.Net, much of Islam is at war with the US.2.2 SolutionThe US needs to forget about any idea that Islam is a “peaceful religion” or just a religion, or even mostly a religion. Instead, Islam is a movement that dominates the lives of its followers more strongly than Fascism, Nazism, or Communism, wants nothing to do with coexistence, and will attack the US with nuclear weapons just as soon as they can acquire and deliver them.It is likely the case that now ISIS has some thousands of dedicated soldiers in the US ready to use guns, car bombs, trucks, airplanes, etc. to kill Americans, actually as shown yesterday by Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a French Tunisian, in Nice, including Muslims.Many Muslims have declared war on the US. It’s a war. ISIS soldiers, any devoted Muslims, in the US are at least as big a threat as German Nazis in the 1940s or Soviet Communists in the 1950s.Muslims in the US? We have no obligation to accept more. Not sure just what good Muslim immigrants might do for the US, but I’m sure we can do just fine without them. And clearly if we block Muslim immigrants, we will have fewer Islamic murders in the US. Muslims not US citizens? Just leave, now.For Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, Mohamed Ali Abdul Fatwa al Jihad bin Boom Boom, a.k.a. Achmed Car Bomb; don’t need them; don’t want them; keep’m, get’em OUT’A here.So, now that we have seen how serious the threat is, we can start to see how to respond, how to defend ourselves.Again, Islam is not just a religion and certainly is not a peaceful religion. Instead, Islam is at war with the US — just as much or more than the Nazis and Communists were — and eager to kill everyone in the US. We have to defend ourselves.Here are some early steps:(1) Stop Digging. At least for now, try hard to block essentially all Muslims from entering the US. In more detail, close our borders, enforce our immigration laws, follow strong versions of our long established immigration policies, admit no one we can’t carefully vet, and at least for now block anyone we suspect is Muslim. To be admitted to the US, need solid proof that are not Muslim or devoted to Muslim causes.(2) Watch the Muslims. For anyone in the US who is a practicing Muslim, from an Islamic country, a descendant of a Muslim, or a descendant of people from an Islamic country, watch them carefully. In particular, watch the Mosques, Muslim gatherings, Muslim communities, Islamic religious leaders, Internet activity, etc.We have watched the Mafia, the Nazis, and the Communists — we can also watch the Muslims.Pass new laws that say that for anyone in the US, including US citizens, evidence of devotion to violent Islam or Sharia law is a felony and cause for deportation.(3) Level ISIS. So, start with the leaders and their buildings and transportation. Continue with their oil infrastructure. Then destroy their roads, bridges, larger buildings, and electric power. Then gut their larger cities. Reduce them to tents, flocks, horses, and camels in the deserts, and then bomb enough of those to make them powerless and harmless. Then occupy their area, wall them off where they can pursue their absurd medieval lives, monitor them and kill anyone involved in any way with violence, and take their oil.Do we have to declare war? A declaration of war brings other risks and costs and likely is not necessary. Instead, likely we can do what we need within our current legal system and even within our current laws on the books.We don’t want one of Islam’s victories over us to be harm to our Constitution.E.g., we have long been able to get rid of groups conspiring and colluding against the US, and we have plenty of reason to regard the Muslims as such a group.SummaryIn simple terms, Islam is dedicated to murder and has been getting away with murder in the US and Europe. Islam wants to kill all infidels, really, everyone in the US. Islam is a dangerous enemy that has declared war on the US. We have to defend ourselves. Long term, we want nothing of Islam in the US, no Quran, no Sharia, no Fatwas, no Jihads, no mosques, no boom boom, no nukes, and no Muslims.There are several other cases of violent groups the US had to disband, and now we have to do the same to the Muslims. We have to make them “peaceful”.The costs are already high: E.g., after 9/11/2001, we made an expensive mess out of our formerly magnificent air transportation system. Now we are faced with protecting against car bombs, trucks, truck bombs, and much more.And, quite seriously, we have to defend against nuclear bombs, including ones delivered via long range missiles.Islam says that we are infidels, and too many Muslims are out to kill us all. We have to get Islam out of the US, walled off where they can’t hurt us, and otherwise make Islam peaceful. For this effort, sure, we can use the help of NATO and Russia.

  37. Ariel S

    Fred, thank you for writing your piece and perspective on last night’s horrific attacks. I always appreciate the openness and conversation-starting approach you typically take to your writing.Today, I spent quite a bit of time and energy internally debating whether to sit down and respond to today’s post. While I am a daily reader of your blog, this is my first attempt at commenting, and I do so respectfully and humbly.I am inspired by the emotional impact this tragic attack and many similar ones have had on you and your willingness to express those emotions, bringing uncomfortable conversations to the forefront.To respond to one of the largest-scale terrorist attacks in human history is without a doubt a noble endeavor. However, there is a significant issue I find with posts like these, and the above shares the elements of what makes these posts distasteful and short-sighted.To ascertain that the core of the issue is an undiagnosed and untreated epidemic of “mental illness” is both dangerously naive and an injustice to the millions of people suffering around the world from true mental illness. Sure, when we talk about mass shootings in the United States we can make the claim. And when we talk about murder-suicides, serial killers, domestic abuse, and other vile crimes, we can try to connect the dots and point to a Modus Operandi of underlying mental health issues on an indiviual level.However, the very real and concerning issues of mental illness must not be mixed up with the ideologically motivated terrorist attacks, murders, suicide bombings, and child-slaughterings we face daily around the world.Sure, perhaps these groups, gangs, organizations, (and governments!) may prey on those who are more susceptible to influence and violent tendancies. But it is the very motivation of the ideological movements that must be addressed.Because it is NOT mental health that drives human beings to SYSTEMATICALLY create a movement of violence, terror, and bloodshed. It is not mental health that has caused hundreds of suicide bombings in Iraq, Syria, and other areas of the Middle East.It is NOT mental illness that causes the leadership of the Palestinian Authority to call for and celebrate the slaughter of Israeli civilians in the name of God. Mental illness does NOT drive the supreme leadership of the “Republic” of Iran to funnel hundreds millions of dollars to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas with American, Israeli, and multi-national blood on their hands. Mental health issues do not drive a coordinated effort of 19 plane hijackers to fly planes packed with innocent civilians into US landmarks. Or push two teenagers to (with knives in hand) murder 5 members of an Israeli family as they slept soundly in their home on a Friday night.What drives this issue is the corruption of religion, a system that has the potential to be a beautiful benefactor to the world. What drives these attacks is a misappropriated understanding of God, of Godliness, and the value of life. WHAT DRIVES THESE MURDERS IS THE LACK OF RECOGNITION OF THE SYSTEMATIC RADICALIZATION AND PERVERSION OF RELIGIOUS TEACHINGS THAT LIE AT THE CORE OF THE CONFLICT.To believe that this onslaught of murder and terror can be mitigated on an individual level is a gross misunderstanding of what truly drives the conflict, and provides leeway, opportunity, and a safe haven for the systems in which these organizations and groups thrive and succeed.So yes, let us diagnose and treat mental illness. Let us put more money in the public and private sector to helping people who struggle with true diseases live a safe, happy, and stable life.But let us not forget to diagnose the root cause of what drives these radical Islamic groups. Let us call upon the Muslim world to fight this conflict from the inside out. To rid themselves of these extreme factions and systems that enable individuals to see opportunity in these horrific acts. Let’s bring together all governments, organizations, and religions to not stand idly by and blame “extremism” and “individuals” for terror. Not to make excuses as Iran, the Palestinian Authority, and even our “allies” in Saudi Arabia have done and continue to do as innocent blood is spilled in the Western and Eastern world.Rather, to have as much of a coordinated effort socially as the West has done militarily to address the core issues.And then, while we’re at it, let’s put resources to making life a bit better for sufferers of mental illness.

    1. Jerry Hall

      To categorically say that atrocities committed around the world are not manifestations of mental illness I believe diminishes your argument. Clearly, many deranged despots, and some not so deranged even, have used their positions of power and exercised mayhem on their and other nation’s populations. It seems clear too that many of the people taking on these suicidal missions have deep social and potentially mental illness issues that are being exploited by handlers.Any spiritual or religious perspective can point to a lack of faith, and a belief that just trusting in one’s higher power will relieve the burden of fear and worry. That may well be true, but back on earth we must start facing significant questions and challenges more purposefully. We have brains for a reason, let’s start using them to help those that don’t necessarily have that capability. Isn’t that ultimately what most every belief-system urges people to do – to help each other?And, given that we are successful doesn’t it make sense that a more informed population will make better choices about so many things that are prodding one another to take such desperate actions?

      1. Ariel S

        Jerry, I appreciate your comments.I agree (and stated above) that mental illness can be and has been taken advantage of for the sake of this particular type of ‘Jihad’. However, it again is not the root cause of this strain of violence. It is a mere tool used by those wishing to inflict damage and deaths.Those orchestrating the systems propagating terror and violence are, most often, NOT those who actually carry out the attacks. I agree with you. Yassir Arafat did not have a mental illness. He in fact was quite sensible, stable, and methodical. Neither does the Supreme Ayatollah of Iran have such an illness. It is these people however who are actually the dangerous agents.We cannot realistically solve every single case of mental illness, catching every single person who feels ‘lonely’ or ‘depressed’ or ‘suicidal’. We can certainly strive to. But so long as there are those at the top of the pyramid who are willing to take advantage of certain individuals (not all of them have mental illness!), we cannot truly solve this issue.An additional note: take a regular murder. We don’t label every murderer as mentally unfit for trial. In fact if we did, we would be removing the very concept of crime and punishment. Why are we so quick to label Islamic terrorists with ‘mental illness’, but not the shoplifting teenager?People must be held accountable for their actions at some point!Lastly, as you can see from my original post, I am not ‘categorically’ saying that these attacks are not manifestations of mental illness. I am saying we can not ‘categorically’ say they are!

  38. Josh Jackson

    Fred makes a great point about addressing the cause and treatment of mental illness. Fred asks the questions: What do you do? What do you say?​You can read more about the Social, economic, human rights and political challenges to global mental health by Rachel Jenkins, Professor of Epidemiology and International Mental Health Policy, King’s College London.And, what Rachel says will be able to give you a better picture of the global impact associated with mental illness.I want to highlight the point for us to do something, anything, and to do our something or anything with intention.Consider this, because I still don’t know all the details behind the individual who committed mass murder:A single mother, Maggie, has just gotten off work. She works three jobs and is picking her son, Tony, up from daycare. She has the next day off of work to play with Tony. He is excited to see his mother and she is excited because Maggie knows that she has another 24 hours to play her son.Across town, Jason, a 32 year-old male has just finished celebrating a promotion at work. He is with friends and he has had a lot to drink. Jason doesn’t think that he has had a lot to drink but his friends know that he has. They ask him if he is ok to drive. He assures them that he is ok to drive. Jason’s friends back off the subject and Jason gets in his care to drive home.Maggie has Tony in his care seat and all buckled in. She gets out of the parking lot and is waiting at the stop light for the light to turn green.Jason is almost home. He is so close to his house. He has one last stop light to go through and he will be a block from his house. He realizes that he might have had too much to drink that night and probably should have just walked home or had one of his friends drive him who wasn’t drinking. But, he says to himself, “I am almost home.”Maggie sees the light turn green and she takes her foot off the brake and starts to accelerate.Jason is staring straight ahead and misses that the light has switched from green to red.What could have Jason done before getting in the car?What could have Jason’s friends have done?Could Maggie have changed anything in her situation?What does Tony’s life moving forward look like? Could he have done anything differently?There are a lot of unknowns, just like the story from Nice, but I believe we can do something, anything with intentionality to make the world a better place.Here are some options:We can Pray For Nice. (They can use our prayers.)We can give generously to the victims and their families.We can also find something, anything that we can be proactive about. (See below for what we are doing)Have you used Uber before? If not, download the free app, and enter the promotional code: Z7HC8UE. You will receive $20 off your first ride, and we will receive $5 for the referral. We are giving 50% of that to Mother’s Against Drunk Driving, and we are putting the other 50% toward educational programs here at Aweprojects, Inc.Do you know a Jason or his friends from the story above? Do you know a Tony? All of them could be impacted by using technology to save a life.

  39. Jason Whitman

    I work at Justworks and in our company all-hands yesterday, our CEO simply recapped what has been happening in the world, shared how he is feeling, and opened up the room to questions, comments and recommendations. It was one of the most open, fearless, honest things I have ever seen a leader do – incredibly non-corporate, refreshing and inspiring. It told me that we don’t necessarily have to say or do monumental things – just saying “This is how I’m feeling, how about you?” can be incredibly helpful.

    1. JLM

      .See my comment below.I’d buy stock in your company on the strength of that vignette alone. That guy has his game face on. Well played.Well played to you for getting the message.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. fredwilson

      Yeah. He’s pretty great

  40. Jerry Hall

    Hurray for that comment! Here’s a few interesting mental illness efforts (among many others):Check out NYC Nancy Lubin’s http://CrisisTrends.org for data on over 10m text messages from people in crisis. That data is yours to use, and a wider set (15m) available for certain researchers.A stunner is NYC Columbia’s Dr. Posner’s C-SSRS data, which is helping dramatically reduce (50%+) suicide rates @ http://www.cssrs.columbia.edu and an iteration of that work at http://ZeroSuicide.org.And check out Ed Finkler’s Open Sourcing Mental Illness @ http://OSMIHelp.org, specifically focusing on mental illness in the tech community.There are also significant business opportunities but, one will quickly learn this is also a stubborn sector to address. Data sharing is one areas of the greatest needs and concerns. Such sharing issues can be reasonably addressed but, oftentimes shielded by self-interested parties feigning patient protections, even if the data was entirely redacted of personally identifiable information.The concerns and demands of a wide range of stakeholders also complicate things. Citizens that are highly capable and those that need mental-illness help are rightly concerned about their privacy. Other stakeholders thrive on the status quo (read: some academia, big pharma, and even local (and undoubtedly state and federal) government, where innovation isn’t always the most welcome visitor). There’s a lot of money sustaining the status quo but as entrepreneurs, once we look past that there are vast areas of opportunity.Rather than rant on, there is vast room for improvement. Please find and collaborate with local change-agents but, for those with bigger eyes, think global. Mental illness is an issue affecting literally many hundreds of millions. I would love to collaborate, share ideas and resources and if interested, please connect.

  41. pwrserge

    Yeah… Way to dodge the fact that the “mental illness” has a name. It’s called Islam.

  42. creative group

    Contributors:We are qualified to address what we will post on racial, cultural and religious positions.What occurred in Nice France was horrific and simply evil. There is no political correctness to engage. The war that civilization has been engaged is with uneducated Jihadist. That is the term they use for themselves and former CIA Director Woolsey crystalized it.There was a time when one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter. That doesn’t apply to the modern day carnage to innocents. The war needs to be won on the battlefield where the Jihadist are engaged in large numbers. The one Billion plus Orthodox Muslims around the world who are not on the front lines are allowing a small percentage (relative to the overall number of Muslims) to create an alternative narrative is solely on their shoulders. The world doesn’t use the terms Christian Terrorist, Jewish Terrorist, etc when people of these faiths commit untold atrocities in history. (If we need to list them the issue is with your history teacher). This is solvable but the world needs to be on the same page without allowing the regular racist, fear, bigotry and misinformation caravan who have religious and political motives when addressing this threat to the world.

  43. ShanaC

    I’m a dork, so I would quote Babylon5 about what to do”We walk in the dark places no others will enter.””We stand on the bridge, and no one may pass.”(from the vows of the Rangers/ Anla’Shok)Life May Be Dark, but you may have to walk in those places so that the future does not have to.I would remind me that every generation tries its best to make a similar vow, and its working. Year by year, generation by generation, era by era, age by age, terror, war, and death caused by humans killing and hating each other is ever slowly going away.I would also remind people that despite media attention and perhaps mental training, most Muslims, especially the Muslims they are most likely going to meet in the West, aren’t going to hurt you or cause a terror attack, Most of Sharia law doesn’t function the way you think it does, and that in your day to day life you are quite safe from the harms that you think about, but not the ones you are ignoring.In terms of ethnic/religious strife, worldwide, the worst place to be is Sri Lanka. The Tamil Tigers ( mostly Hindu, Tamil ethicnically/language)/Tamil Tiger breakoff groups vs the Sri Lankan government and supported paramilitary groups (Mostly Buddhist/Sinhalese/Sinhal speakers) civil war was deadly and mostly fought via terrorism. And while the government won, there are numerous active Tamil Tiger Break-off Groups still running around Sri Lanka (Besides, I heard there is demon, Rāvaṇa, who lives there and is very powerful.^)I would remind people that there are academic terrorist databases maintained by the US Government/Political Science departments, and the data in them is in the public domain so if you are curious to learn more about terrorism:1) http://cpostdata.uchicago.e… The University of Chicago’s CPOST, run by Robert Pape2) https://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/ START/Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland in conjunction with the department of state. Note they have slightly different methodologies in counting but they mostly agree.I would remind people that the US’s most likely to cause problems groups (and probably western Europe, but I honestly do not know enough to speak about that) according to it’s internal experts inside the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, the US is way more likely to see terror threats (both large scale and small scale) from “Sovereign Citizen Extremist Ideology.” http://cloudfront-assets.re… (we’ve seen that last week with the shooting of police officers. we’ve also seen the police put up a siege around people who bunker down because they don’t like a ruling earlier this year)I would further remind people that while ISIL is a HUGE problem that WE NEED to do something about, every major religion has extremists. You just might not be aware of them. There are such things as Millenarian driven Price Tag attacks in Israel by Jews against Palestinians, People who shoot up abortion clinics in the name of Jesus in the US, militant aspects of the Khalistan movement with Sikhs, all of Sri Lanka for both Buddhists and Hindus. If I thought about further, there are probably more examples for every group.Muslim Jihadi terrorism may be more active in the sense of places it has occurred, that is largely due to immigration patterns, recency of its rise, and amount of Muslim people in the world as a baseline. That Muslims are far more active in immigrating and spreading Islam right now than Christianity, that Judaism tends to avoid conversion, and that Buddhism and Hinduism both start out with very complicated world views that make it a bit harder to invoke terror without ethnicity also play, is not inherently the fault of Islam. Indeed, on could say that it is Judaism’s fault for not being more active about conversion, or Christianity is theologically aging which is why comparatively it is not spreading, and Buddhism and Hinduism both need to evolve create energy and growth since both are more contemplative than preaching. Either way, these factors are innate to the worldview of these religions/religious practices in ways that have NOTHING to do with their extremist branches. It is a logical fallacy and unkind to the person in front of you assume otherwise.Finally, I would remind everyone, that the only way to really know someone is to listen – and that by doing so not only do learn to understand that person, you also get to potentially change that person, for the better. So if they were going to become a terrorist, you listening may stop that from happening.You confronting reality, shapes reality. You standing on the bridge, preventing people from passing into the darkness, creates the light. Remember that.^As I stated before, this is a joke, and bonus upvote points if you get it and tell me the source.

    1. ShanaC

      and no points awarded, boo

  44. JamesHRH


  45. joshua charlton

    I was a prosecutor for a long time and I take issue with you immediately connecting brutality with mental illness. I had that same issue with the most brutal murders where juries would assume / hope for mental health problems even when the guy was honestly just awful. We saw and released to state institutions plenty of mentally ill murderers, but the reality is that there are bad people out there who know exactly what they are doing and why… It’s not nice to think about, but it is the truth now just as it has been through our history. I’d add that I believe that in this case, we are back to where we were when we were fighting communism. We are fighting an idea that spreads like a virus — we can only beat that idea by showing how much better we are — no torture, no bombings that aren’t really warranted, but a just and fair love of our values with no tolerance for those that wish us harm

  46. Simone

    Most replies address the cause and I am under the impression it was mostly American views of the cause (and solutions). For (mostly) tech people commenting here, feels a superficial analysis to put all the blame on a certain type of religion that… has been around for hundreds of years, not just the last 15..’What to do?’ has a complicated answer including economic, political and military decisions that disunite us more and more 🙁http://uk.businessinsider.c

  47. Ole Jakob Thorsen

    The world is full of irresponsible political leaders who has chosen to promote themselves on a platform of hate, bigotry and fear – Trump, Marine Le Pen and many others. The world need leaders that have visions and solutions that can install change and hope for the people currently voting for the Trumps and Le Pens of this world. We must assume they do so because they feel they live on the margins of society and have (see) little chances of change for the better.

    1. JMorphy88

      Is there even a single example of an terrorist that cited the rise of European right-wing parties and/or Donald Trump as a reason for their attacks? I suspect you really want that to be true… but it isn’t.

      1. Ole Jakob Thorsen

        You don´t get my point.It is still unclear whether the man who drove the truck in Nice was a terrorist or not, but my point remains the same. People who are recruited by Islamic State or similar terrorist organisations, and people who engage in mass killings on random people or groups of people, more likely than not gets drawn to that type of action out of desperation and the lack of alternatives. You don’t get recruited to IS or plan and carry out mass killings if you have an alternative an reasonable prospects of belonging in society.Trump and Le Pen – to take a few – tell people that their problems are caused by Mexicans, Muslims,… not the lack of political and economic direction of their leaders.If we feed hate and suspicion to people that already are marginalised and desperate, we get crazy mass killers and IS-fighters back.If we offer hope and a future, maybe we will get something better back.

        1. JMorphy88

          I got your point completely. You’re saying terrorism in the West is caused by “hate” and “suspicion” promoted by Trumps and Le Pens. I asked for some evidence of that claim. You gave none. I don’t expect that to change, because there isn’t one shred of evidence for what you are claiming.Look, most of us are tired of participating in this little rhetorical shell-game where, no matter what happens or what evidence is provided to the contrary, we hear the same phony argument: “it’s the West’s fault”. It’s time to start taking these issues seriously and having the difficult conversations about Islam’s presence in the West that need to be had.

  48. guest123

    Just curious. Such incidents occur on a daily basis across the globe.https://en.wikipedia.org/wihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wi…Those are just the terror attacks. Deaths from state actors (including USA) are a lot more.What is so different about the Nice incident? I can hazard a guess but…

  49. JMorphy88

    I suspect this will go just like all the other “conversations” whenever there is a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can, and concoct a million different phony rationales, all in order to avoid talking truth about Islam and its compatibility with the West.

  50. marcoliver

    “We need to diagnose its cause and treat it” I asked myself the same question, and I went back to look at the photos and videos of the latest events, which were shared on the internet. I noticed one pattern; the attackers were always men. I felt ashamed already being a man, and then went back further, digging through the history of cruelties, mass-killings, war-lords, racial-oppression … and even domestic violence in my close neighbourhood in London. Same pattern, in 99% of all cases observed. So how can we stop it? How can we stop men?