We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming…

by on April 19, 2013 at 7:46 am in Current Affairs, Uncategorized | Permalink

Given the ongoing events in Boston and Cambridge, it is hard to know what else to post.  My first intuitive thought, by the way, is to think hired agents are involved, but of course this is speculative (note this update).  I also would think this raises the chance of the fertilizer explosion being a terrorist attack.  Just last night some of us were talking and discussing the question “what is your most surprising prediction?”  No one predicted these new developments.  There is a good chance these events doom immigration reform, by the way.

Roy April 19, 2013 at 7:58 am

I am curious about why you thought “mercenaries?” Is it because it wasn’t a suicide attack? These are pretty recent, were all the terrorist/freedom fighters in history who didn’t use suicide attacks not ideological?

I actually can understand it, but I would have a hard time explaining it to my Fenian relatives, let alone to an old time Dashnak or member of the FLN.

uma April 19, 2013 at 6:26 pm

this is not an ideological battle of left vs right, GOP vs Dems, Socialism vs liberty. This is ethnic warfare against white people.

Why do hostile globalist elite defend Israel as a Jewish ethnostate with Jewish only immigration, but ravage white majority Europe/North America into a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Gulag with dystopian non-White colonization?

East Asia is 99% yellow. Africa is 90% Black. West Asia is 99% Brown. But 3rd world colonizers are annihilating Whites, just as China is annihilating Tibet.

Why do gullible Whites cuckold for murderous anti-White elite, who butcher White soldiers in bankrupting wars, confiscate our guns, indoctrinate White kids in academia/mass media, & plunder White jobs, wages?

“Native” Americans are not native. They invaded from East Asia. They slaughtered countless women/children. All races, all cultures are guilty of slavery, genocide. From Greeks till today, Whites have been victims of Jewish, Turkic, Muslim, African slavery, genocide, imperialism.

Gullible Whites should reject subversive anti-White ideologies – libertarianism, feminism, liberalism, & reject hostile slanders of racism, collectivism. Love to all humanity, but White people must organize to advance their families, their fertility, their interests, their homelands. Reading list:
goo.gl/iB777 , goo.gl/htyeq , amazon.com/dp/0759672229 , amazon.com/dp/1410792617

murray April 20, 2013 at 1:46 am

Thanks, great piece. I’m busy cutting eyeholes in my pillow case right now!

James April 20, 2013 at 9:54 am

Justify non-white immigration into Europe. Particularly when Europeans don’t want it: http://www.vdare.com/posts/british-immigration-greatest-problem

dead serious April 19, 2013 at 8:03 am

But not gun control. Never ever that.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 8:48 am

Huh?

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 9:01 am

I can say this freely because the terrorists understand this stuff far better than policymakers. Gun control is not going to stop a terrorist from getting a .308 with a scope. Remember the DC snipers? The hunting rifles that people keep saying are safer than so-called assault rifles are far more useful for actual terrorism. That of course is not to imply that we should also ban hunting rifles. You will not be able to prevent hunting rifles from getting to determined terrorists any more than you can keep a determined terrorist from turning a pressure cooker into a bomb.

john personna April 19, 2013 at 10:54 am

I had really thought I could stay out of this thread, which looks a little “sleep deprived” to me, but note that anyone who said “you can easily kill more people with a bomb than with a high-capacity, removable magazine, weapon” must now adjust. (Or should adjust.) I too support the sale of genuine sporting weapons. I don’t think those need high capacity removable magazine. Indeed many states’ hunting regulations ban high capacity magazines already, preferring small numbers for safety.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 11:19 am

That’s a nonsensical statement. I’m not sure who thinks that or why those people are relevant. A few small shaped charges placed on structural members could kill 30,000 people. Some crazy kids with pressure cookers could have killed a ton more people had they chosen a dense population, say the BEGINNING of a marathon rather than the end of a marathon. With a gun, you can kill maybe a few to several dozen people depending on whether you attack a gun-free population concentration and the response time of the first responder. Or, you could use a varmint rifle and kill for years and never get caught, just like you could be a mail bomber and never get caught.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 11:21 am

And it’s not like I think about this stuff a lot. I just think about it AT ALL. The news, politicians, and people who are constantly surprised by everything in a perfect world would just shut up.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 11:26 am

I mention that only because they really might come check me out. They are THAT stupid.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/29/fpsrussia-raid-kyle-myers_n_2979108.html

Holy crap. It just now occurred to me. I wonder if the ATF thought FPSRussia was really Russian.

The Original D April 19, 2013 at 11:55 am

If a shop opened up that was selling live grenades, would you object? They are an arm, after all.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 11:59 am

It’s an interesting question, but not really. By the afternoon, and it is almost the afternoon I could go out and build something nearly identical. Again, I’m not and would never. It’s just that the capability exists. And we are talking about pressure cookers. I don’t know why the military equivalent is relevant except as some sort of “see, this silly notion that I believe, he doesn’t believe it!” Are grenades a little more convenient for killing people than pipe bombs or pressure cookers or fertilizer plant fires? Sure.

Joe Smith April 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm

“I mention that only because they really might come check me out.”

You should probably be on someone’s watch list. You do show signs of alienation and mental instability…

Andrew" April 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm

No I Don’t which is why your ideology is so scary.

mulp April 19, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Well, the two Russians do have large magazines and engaged in a street fight which left about a hundred shell casings, but this happened at 2am so only one “good guy with a gun” died in exchange between two “bad guys with guns” and a dozen “good guys with guns”, resulting a 50% kill rate of the “bad guys with guns”.

But with all the bombs and guns and bullets the bad guys have had, they still can’t match the get-the-government-out-of-the-way free market profit maximizing capitalism death and injury toll in West Texas. Or the several BP accidents. Or the gas pipeline in California.

And statistically, ten times the number of people were killed with guns on the 15th as by these terrorists, with twenty times as many killing themselves with guns. And statistically, as many children were killed with guns on the 15th as were killed in Boston with a bomb, but the deaths of children happen every day of the year – Sandy Hook won’t be noticeable in the annual statistics (which the NRA has managed to ensure are not timely or directly collected because gun violence must be kept as hidden as possible).

Living in NH which merely puts me in the Boston area and for this case means my taxes pay for mutual assistance. If the murder of the Texas prosecutor and his wife got this kind of attention – three people killed in that spree – a major part of Texas would have been flooded with thousands of police with the economy brought to a halt as house to house searches were done.

Ian D April 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm

It’s interesting that Andrew (and people who think like him for that matter) would come onto a website called ‘Marginal Revolution’ and dismiss the link between a grenade being more readily usable and an increased propensity for incremental use over a large population.

I think this gets to the heart of the disconnect over gun control. What we really need is a system that tracks guns from manufacture to wholesaler to dealer to buyer (and rebuyer, etc) as this will turn off the ridiculously open spigot that puts guns directly on the street. Their argument is “criminals will get guns anyway” but if we reduce the supply (as manufacturers certainly know the black market feeds a significant percentage of demand) we’ll drive up the price and reduce access.

It’s worth mentioning that this is basically the exact same procedure Florida used to significantly perscription painkiller abuse since 2010. I’m at work so I’d rather not look for a link to provide (apologies) but even a cursory study of the Florida painkiller example, whereby Florida greatly turned up scrutiny of manufacturers who were overproducing for any reasonable estimate of a legal market (gun makers do the same thing), should support my case. In fact, given more time, I’d happily provide a fuller case and dig deeper because, frankly, the solutions on the left look like they’ll be ineffectual and on the right we basically just have the same gun free-for-all that we’ve always “enjoyed”.

And, if you want to try to argue using the text of the 2nd Amendment, please re-read the text of the 1st Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

… please go to the nearest crowded theater and yell “Fire!” first (or do something else that violates any number of constraints on speech that have developed over the years).

john personna April 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

I love the way Andrew’ offers bomb planning advice. Why? So that the next mad bomber can do better than the average stupid kid who walks into a movie theater with a “modern sporting rifle.”

Stephen April 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm

At some point people will stop using the “fire in a crowded theater” quote. Oliver Wendell Holmes said it in a terrible decision that was later overturned.

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-time-to-stop-using-the-fire-in-a-crowded-theater-quote/264449/

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm

I didn’t dismiss it, I’m the one who brought it up. Try reading with your brain on, please.

enoriverbend April 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm

“Indeed many states’ hunting regulations ban high capacity magazines already, preferring small numbers for safety.”

This is incorrect. Hunting regs that limit capacity are to ensure the target population a sporting chance. (I.e., if you cannot hit the duck with 3 shells perhaps he deserves to survive another day.) In many states, in fact, waterfowl are the only animal where the hunter has capacity restrictions.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm

“I love the way Andrew’ offers bomb planning advice. Why? So that the next mad bomber can do better than the average stupid kid who walks into a movie theater with a “modern sporting rifle.”

I didn’t offer bomb planning advice.

malcom digest April 19, 2013 at 4:23 pm

Ian D – If I was going to pick an amendment with which to illustrate that they aren’t flexible in their absoluteness, I’d pick something like the 8th, 13th or 5th. Why would I pick one that has already been hacked at for centuries?

I mean, surely there’s a government interest in getting people to confess to major crimes and yet so far there is no traction on requiring people to admit to crimes and quite a bit of dispute on the appropriateness of applying a pipe wrench to get an admission. I mean sure you don’t have to admit to speeding, but why not to murder should someone be able to stay silent about murder?

Why not bring back the press? Certainly some criminals deserve a little extra punishment, right?

john personna April 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm

Andrew’: “Some crazy kids with pressure cookers could have killed a ton more people had they chosen a dense population, say the BEGINNING of a marathon rather than the end of a marathon.”

You lack the self-control to self-edit.

BTW enoriverbend, I think 5 rounds (FL law?) gives you plenty before the deer etc. gets out of sight. They cap you at lower numbers so that you don’t get buck fever, and spray the woods, endangering other hunters.

Mark Thorson April 19, 2013 at 10:15 am

What about that firefight overnight in which one bomber and a cop were killed? Early reports sound like a semi-automatic weapon was used. If so, the gun control movement will have a rare, unprecedented coincidence of events to fuel a renewed effort to pass major legislation. For sure, semi-automatic rifles will be banned.

mobile April 19, 2013 at 10:43 am

I wonder if “semi-automatic” means what you think it means.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 10:47 am

Don’t forget pressure cookers.

Foobarista April 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Anyone who tries to take my wife’s pressure cooker away will have her snatch it back from his cold, dead fingers.

William Wright April 20, 2013 at 1:00 pm

LOL.

john personna April 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

All of the “ban pressure cooker” jokes are the biggest signal today of who has rational priors and who does not. The “joke” is that if you want to stop bombs, you’ll have to ban kitchenware, rather than say improving the tracking of black powder. Or put differently, when someone pushes too hard a reduction to absurdity, they demonstrate absurdity, leaving reason behind.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm

“improving the tracking of black powder.”

That’s the absurd calling the pressure cooker black.

Careless April 19, 2013 at 4:16 pm

This is a joke, right?

Seerak April 19, 2013 at 8:06 am

**There is a good chance these events doom immigration reform, by the way.**

I thought this as well, that this could be immigration’s Newtown.

ahow628 April 19, 2013 at 8:15 am

Was Newtown even Newtown’s Newtown?

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 9:06 am

We ARE THAT dumb.

Jacob April 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Really, because the actions of two Chechen-Kyrgyz extremists mean we should continue to relegate 10m Hispanic laborers to a permanent underclass of non-citizens and maintain our asinine restrictions on residency for the world’s brightest scientists and engineers?

collin April 19, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Unfortunately yes. Immigration reform probably only had 50%+ chance of passing anyway and now every neocon is going to use this in every speech.

Please go to An Coultour twitter account for any further evidence.

The Anti-Gnostic April 19, 2013 at 12:25 pm

1. Yes, it’s terribly unjust. Meso-American laborers should be promoted to the permanent underclass of citizens.

2. Don’t these “world’s brightest scientists and engineers” have e-mail?

asdhakfh April 19, 2013 at 1:27 pm

LEL #REKT

Dave Pinsen April 19, 2013 at 1:16 pm

The “brightest scientists and engineers” aren’t what H-1B visas are about. They’re about cheap labor: http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/itaa.html

Jedediah April 19, 2013 at 1:20 pm

No we should send the illegals home, back where they came from. And hey, guess what..there are LOTS of the world’s brightest scientists and engineers born right here in the USA. It’s just that business likes the foreigners who work cheaper. Don’t think much of your fellow Americans do you….

el April 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

They don’t come cheaper. I had a lot of international classmates who were hired for the same kind of entry level job I was, and trust me, the base salary is entirely the same the first year. In fact, the international hires probably cost their employers more because they had to go through the whole visa/work permit sponsorship process that they could’ve avoided had they hired an American citizen.

A lot of my international classmates ended up not getting the long-term visa and were shuffled off to London or Dubai or Hong Kong branches. It’s a damn shame that US immigration laws effectively exported 4 years of US university education + potentially decades worth of taxes on 6 figure salaries + additional productivity and innovation gains over their replacements.

mulp April 19, 2013 at 2:04 pm

And we know this is what motivates them because their father is in Russia, they never lived in Kyrgyzstan, they lived 15+ years in the US, with one kid going to an elite school that has the reputation of Mitt Romney’s private school, and the other man proud of his Christian wife and daughter, who only took practice of his family religious practice after having a child.

The 19 year old was well integrated into American culture, known to an NPR reporter by way of her nephew who was a good friend in high school, and attending college with friends there. He seems by reports of friends as recent as a couple of weeks ago to be better integrated than Tim McVeigh. And McVeigh was saner than the Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph, but then he was a religious fanatic, wasn’t he…

I find it interesting how Rudolph was not executed for being a terrorist when the administration was all about death to terrorists, but perhaps Christian terrorists are more acceptable….

Careless April 19, 2013 at 4:25 pm

So it wasn’t 15 years, and Cambridge Rindge & Latin average SAT score: 509/513. Cranbrook: 640/645, and I’m not going to bother even checking to see if you keep batting zero

Careless April 19, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Fitting if a policy that would be stupid and irrational to pass but was going to pass were to be killed for a stupid and irrational reason.

murray April 20, 2013 at 1:52 am

These two losers (thanks Uncle Ruslan) have as much to do with extremism as the Columbine losers have to do with Camus. Maybe the nihilsm of extremism gave them some anti-thing to believe in, but it is not an expression of any real religious or cultural movement. More’s the pity for our Muslim friends.

James April 20, 2013 at 9:59 am

No, we should deport those illegal aliens and American capitalists should hire American workers. Immigrant employment has boomed since 2009 while native born employment has declined:
http://www.vdare.com/articles/national-data-by-edwin-s-rubenstein-march-jobs-a-disaster-for-native-born-americans-and-imm

Peter Schaeffer April 21, 2013 at 10:03 pm

J,

“Really, because the actions of two Chechen-Kyrgyz extremists mean we should continue to relegate 10m Hispanic laborers to a permanent underclass of non-citizens and maintain our asinine restrictions on residency for the world’s brightest scientists and engineers?”

America has 10-12 million illegals. Perhaps 2/3rds work. The rest just live here. That means that we have 7-8 million illegals working in the U.S. Sending them home would create roughly that many jobs for Americans (remember them? some still exist). Sending the non-working illegals home would reduce welfare and education costs substantially.

A few basic points.

1. America isn’t suffering from a shortage of poor people. We have plenty already. We don’t need to import more.
2. America isn’t suffering from a shortage of workers. We have 20 million unemployed and underemployed workers. We don’t need to import unemployment.
3. America isn’t suffering from a shortage of people dependent on government. We don’t need to import welfare recipients.
4. America isn’t suffering from a shortage of children who perform poorly in school. We don’t need to import academic failure.
5. America isn’t suffering from a shortage of people who demand, get, and evidently need racial quotas. We don’t need to import people who will insist on racial preferences.
6. America isn’t suffering from a shortage of people who don’t speak English. We have plenty already.
7. America isn’t suffering from an excess of family stability. We don’t need to import a 50%+ (and rising) illegitimacy rate.
8. America isn’t suffering from a shortage of crime. We don’t need to import more. We have enough already.

As for highly educated immigrants, many are net plus. However, existing laws let the vast majority who want to stay, remain in the U.S. Check the facts.

The Anti-Gnostic April 19, 2013 at 8:17 am

Invade the world, invite the world.

Nikki April 19, 2013 at 8:19 am

How on earth did those two get residence permits? Regular law-abiding travellers are presumed to have illegal immigration in mind and therefore required to supply proof of substantial income, property, and domestic family ties to obtain a visa to go spend some time and money in the US, but teenagers from a region known worldwide for terrorism are welcome to just come and stay?

joan April 19, 2013 at 9:40 am

They came in 2002, I assume with their parents.

aki April 19, 2013 at 11:25 am

“but teenagers from a region known worldwide for terrorism are welcome to just come and stay?”
political correctness makes you stupid. see, gay married couple in connecticut that adopted nine boys. and is now accused of raping some of them http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/gay-conn-couple-accused-rape-face-trial-article-1.1310010

i wonder why this isn’t a national story, it’s not like it happened within a major metro area……….

Rahul2 April 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Refugees in2003 according to the uncle. They have lived in America for 10 yrs. bizarre to think any visa system could predict something abt teenagers 10 yrs out.

murray April 20, 2013 at 2:01 am

Exactly. We have enough local born beserkers. How many incidents are from local born mass murderers? It is not an immigration issue but a nihilism issue. What gets into these people’s heads? Columbine, Newtown, Aurora, Boston are all alike. Why do these young men think mass murder is a thing that is worth doing? That it expresses something? The whole next 60 years of their lives, the joys of family life, of marriage, of 8000 incidents of sex, of years of breathing deep under god’s great sun, is worth exchanging for a few moments of mayhem? It is not the pursuit of a lofty ideal. It is not the idea of godliness. It is just a mistake.

mulp April 19, 2013 at 2:11 pm

According to the non-stop reporting on all the stations here in NH, you could not have predicted this based on people who went to school with the 19 year old in high school and college, including a report of an encounter within the past two weeks.

Based on the statements of people who knew him in high school including an NPR reporter, he sounds less likely to be a terrorist than Tim McVeigh and Eric Rudolph – who let those to into the US??

Charles April 19, 2013 at 8:22 am

Getting caught after robbing a 7/11 does not sound like professional conduct of “mercenaries.” Sounds more like a delayed “suicide”.

dearieme April 19, 2013 at 8:22 am

Wouldn’t mercenaries be better trained?

Tyler Cowen April 19, 2013 at 8:40 am

Stupid mercenaries, hired by a not world class operation, it would more likely be, if so.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 8:55 am

“Wouldn’t mercenaries be better trained?”

Have you watched the Blackwater LiveLeaks?

TGGP April 19, 2013 at 9:02 am

Is there any precedent for hiring mercenary terrorists? Carlos the Jackal might come closest, and he was a communist ideologue.

Mark Thorson April 19, 2013 at 10:25 am

Wouldn’t Chechen mercenaries attack an ethnic Russian target, rather than a random assortment of Bostonians? The target they chose seems more consistent with frustrated young men.

murray April 20, 2013 at 2:05 am

Exactly. It is not political. We are trying to find rationality where there is none. It is completely senseless. We try to make it fit a political or religious motive, because that gives us comfort, in a sad way. But it isn’t even that. It’s just losers with no clue making massive and tragic cognitive errors. It’s tough to live with.

derek April 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

Why do you think they are not trained well? They put together a series of bombs with shoe string and coat hangers, pulled off the event with deaths and the appropriate response, then managed to live not far away without detection for a couple of days. If they had gone out of state, stayed low they probably wouldn’t have been found yet. Then they start a rampage, kill a policeman, have a good part of a major US city locked down. And one of them (at this time) is still at large.

I’d say they have been superbly trained and their actions quite successful.

Mark Thorson April 19, 2013 at 11:35 am

One of them escaped a police cordon, which is an unusual event.

dearieme April 19, 2013 at 6:09 pm

I’d say that you are grotesquely over-estimating how difficult such a thing is to perpetrate.

Dicko April 19, 2013 at 8:22 am

I agree with you on the possibility of these dooming immigration reforms not just in the US but also in other security-conscious countries.

University of Nigeria
http://unn.edu.ng

Cliff Arroyo April 19, 2013 at 8:23 am

“There is a good chance these events doom immigration reform’

Well high speed chases and shoot outs with the police are jobs that Americans are still willing to do. On the other hand, throwing bombs in crowds of civilians doesn’t seem to have much allure for the native born. Will we get “the bombs are rotting in the lab” stories to hike up enthusiasm for open borders?

Samuel Gorton April 19, 2013 at 9:15 am

That’s a rather arrogant comment and ineffective point of view.

dan1111 April 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I agree; it is quite an achievement to write a comment that is both highly incendiary and nearly impossible to tell which side it is taking.

I did get it after a few reads, though.

Ray Lopez April 19, 2013 at 8:33 am

I think it’s much ado about nothing, sorry to say. I lived in Athens, Greece when car bombings were common (against property, at night) and here in the Philippines they still have Maoist and Taliban rebels in the hills. Nevertheless, for the USA this is unusual. And unfortunately some people lost their lives over this, but, objectively speaking, how is this different from a serial killer, of which there are probably dozens (100s?) in the USA at the moment, undetected?

Samuel Gorton April 19, 2013 at 9:23 am

I read these comments because they are usually somewhat intelligible. It’s a shame to see your comments among the otherwise “good” comments. What are you backwards, man?

TuringTest April 19, 2013 at 11:40 am

I agree with Samuel … The comments here are very lame … but that’s what TC gets for blogging on a recent (and in the scheme of things) rather unimportant event …

Jacob April 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm

My comments have apparently been deleted…

Jacob April 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Scratch that, just delayed.

Darren April 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm

If emotions were rational they wouldn’t be called emotions.

jdm April 19, 2013 at 8:45 am

The headline for the NYTimes has the subtitle “City and Suburbs on Lockdown”. I don’t recall ever seeing the term “lockdown” applied to a region before. It used to be used mostly in the context of prisons. Then schools. Now cities. It seems that people have gradually gotten used to the idea of “lockdowns” and see nothing troubling about this prison practice being used in ever wider and more diverse situations.

Engineer April 19, 2013 at 10:08 am

In other parts of the world it would seem outlandish to put a city under lockdown due to a single terrorist on the loose.

jdm April 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Yeah. I’d like to know what kind of cost benefit calculation could justify having millions of people stop doing what they are doing – going to work, school, the doctor, whatever – so that
swat teams could roam around looking for a single terrorist. I mean how people die each day in Chicago from gang related violence? I find it an insane over-reaction.

Ed April 19, 2013 at 4:04 pm

One fifty three comments when I logged in, and this is why I became interested in the incident. I’ve never heard of this response to a murderer on the loose before. It seems insane.

murray April 20, 2013 at 2:08 am

You don’t think this was unique in some way? Really? I find it a rather fitting expression of the repugnance for this type of activity. Actuarally, perhaps I see what you mean, but as a human, come on.

Careless April 20, 2013 at 1:12 am

I mean how people die each day in Chicago from gang related violence?

A bit less than one

Andreas Moser April 19, 2013 at 11:49 am

Anyone who has watched “24″ has gotten used to the term “lockdown”.

eduard April 19, 2013 at 8:47 am

> How on earth did those two get residence permits?
According to RT, they were asylum seekers: “He is said to have lived for years in Kazakhstan before heading to the United States as a refugee.”
And he was definitely a charmer: “In 2009 he was put under arrest for beating his girlfriend” …. “a passionate fan of boxing, he spent a lot of time training for competitions”

Sam Wilson April 19, 2013 at 8:48 am

Here’s what I posted on Twitter on the 15th:

Pred: a) anti-immigrant rhetoric b) end to budget deadlock c) stronger TSA d) weaker prot. vs. warrantless wiretaps e) more street cams

Looks like we agree on immigration

Richard April 19, 2013 at 8:49 am

Does anyone know why the suspects’ names haven’t been publicly released?

Nikki April 19, 2013 at 9:10 am

“Dead suspect identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26; the one still being sought is ID’d as Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, age 19. http://t.co/qFpywu2cIG” – @cnnbrk

Other sources say the older one was 20.

Richard April 19, 2013 at 9:15 am

Thanks! As best I can tell, the mainstream media websites (CNN, WSJ, NY Times) still aren’t reporting this names. Could there be some kind of political correctness going on here?

Nikki April 19, 2013 at 9:29 am

The names are published on all three. The Twitter quote above is from the front page of CNN. Bloomberg TV was discussing the conclusions to be drawn about the suspects’ ethnicity on the basis of the names three minutes ago.

Dan Weber April 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Probably gun-shy from all the other “suspects” that have gotten named by (anti)social media.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 8:50 am

Who didn’t predict what, again?

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 8:52 am

As I’ve said many times, though not apparently in sufficiently predictive form, there are two forces. 1. Governments are losing legitimacy and 2. Folks like Al Qaeda need to race to capture the brand of the democratization and commoditization of terrorism. When I heard “pressure cooker” and bombing the END of the marathon (rather than the crowded beginning) I thought ‘couple of crazy kids.’

8 April 19, 2013 at 10:20 am

What about higher rates of crime? I don’t know the numbers, but drunk illegal immigrants have probably killed and injured more people than these two Chechen immigrants. Let’s not allow immigrants from any nations that reduce our standard of living.

albatross April 19, 2013 at 10:40 am

Just as an aside, the real concerns about immigration are mostly not about super rare terrorists (though obviously you’d like to not import any of those!), but rather about large numbers of pretty ordinary people who, say, drive wages down for the left end of the bell curve, temporarily overload social services that are then less available for citizens, and whose kids seem likely, based on what we’ve seen from multiple generations of immigrants, to be rather concentrated in the sector of the workforce that’s got the least potential for the future–low-skill laborers with at most a high school diploma. Getting focused on the super rare, super bad events (importing future terrorists) is a good way of losing sight of the larger-scale, more important mundane events (potentially importing a future underclass), in much the same way that the Sandy Hook massacre drove gun control rhetoric toward dealing with super rare and horrible mass-shootings, rather than the more mundane dirtbag-on-dirtbag and dirtbag-on-baby-momma murders that account for most gun violence.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

First-generation immigrants on average, supposedly, have much lower crime rates.

WJ April 21, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Andrew – they *may* have “lower” crime rates, not “much lower” crime rates. And there’s a reason for that – immigrants can be deported, but citizens cannot. They have an incentive to remain on the right side of the law – an incentive their children don’t inherit.

Peter Schaeffer April 21, 2013 at 10:11 pm

A,

The pro-Open Borders Migration Policy Institute data shows that immigrants have lower crime rates than natives. However, their children have massively higher crime rates.

Unless you have a plan to prevent immigrants from having children, Open Borders is a pro-crime policy.

john personna April 19, 2013 at 10:55 am

Isn’t “mad bomber” a 19th century term?

Stan April 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

I stayed up the entire night “watching” this unfold on Twitter and Reddit. The story changed too many time to count. So let’s not jump to any conclusions about bombers’ immigration status, the motivations, or even who they really are. People already dragged the missing BrownU kid’s name through the mud.

Miley Cyrax April 19, 2013 at 9:27 am

This events are like Christmas for the government. They have an excuse for increased police-statism and invasion of privacy, and something on which to blame stock market declines.

Miley Cyrax April 19, 2013 at 9:28 am

These*

murray April 20, 2013 at 2:11 am

Yes, I work for the government and every day we pray for mass murder of Americans! “Oh, please!” we say to ourselves, “let there be innocent deaths so we can have enhanced statism!”

CPV April 19, 2013 at 9:43 am

Here’s lesson from this event and others: Best defense against diffuse forces like terrorists is diffuse data gathering with massive camera deployment and big data cloud computers watching for suspicious activity. Let’s bring on the biometric IDs. This is bad news for libertarians, but blame the terrorists – not the reaction against the terrorists.

Immigration reform: Maybe it’s not PC but possibly we shouldn’t be allowing immigration from parts of the world where large portions of the population hate us. It’s not fair to individuals, but again, blame the terrorists, not the reaction against the terrorists. It’s the Tall Rapist problem writ large. There’s nothing wrong with judging the statistical risk being different with immigration from different parts of the world. It is different.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 9:47 am

So why isn’t it bad news for a government that claims they can prevent these and still hasn’t prevented any?

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 9:49 am

The purely pragmatic question for collective pre-guilt is is it pragmatic. Where is the evidence? They didn’t stop the shoe-bomber, so then they post hoc started checking shoes even though that would not stop the next attack. How exactly do we know who hates us?

Thom April 19, 2013 at 10:36 am

It should be. Were these guys on the no-fly-list? I doubt it. Thousands of people on the no-fly-list who shouldn’t because we are “better safe than sorry”, yet I’ll be that these actual terrorists weren’t even on the government’s radar.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 10:49 am

Exactly. The only question is why people put up with nonsense that makes their lives worse and demonstrably doesn’t even nick the supposed problem. My guess is endowment effect- “well, if I’m willing to be naked scanned, it MUST be doing SOMETHING towards this HUGE problem.”

Eva April 19, 2013 at 11:20 am

I wouldn’t call that the endowment effect, but that does lead to some pretty hilarious imagery!

Mike Hess April 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm

When government catches terrorists before they execute their attacks, civil libertarians shout “entrapment!”, “inventing terrorists”.

When government fails to catch terrorists before their attacks, libertarians claim this is evidence that government cannot succeed.

Fixing it for you April 19, 2013 at 1:08 pm

“hasn’t prevented any?” [citation needed]

Andrew April 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm

“have prevented any” [citation needed]

By far the ones they have ‘prevented’ are the ones they created through entrapment exercises.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_foiled_Islamic_terrorist_plots_in_the_post-9/11_United_States

I started to go through them one-by-one. You can do it yourself. They fall into a few categories. Successes, Successful attempts, failed attempts, entrapments, and failed preventions and bona fide preventions. The number of ‘heretofore’ bona fides is pretty small.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm

What might be pretty telling would be a list of those “stopped” BEFORE they failed to stop 9/11.

Anyway, your assignment is to go through that list and tell us the ones that were bona fide terrorist attack preventions by the government.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Or just piss the fuck off.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Unless you are Claudia being anonymously snarky, then in that case, carry on. Otherwise, fuck off. Adults are talking.

Claudia April 19, 2013 at 9:49 am

“There is a good chance these events doom immigration reform, by the way.” Seems you left your “epistemic humility” at the prediction party.

Congress showed us already this week that events (or public opinion) need not drive policy. But if you are just trying to tell us the tail risks on immigration reform may have gotten worse, fine. I might be more worried about other policy reactions from such events, but I think it’s too early for such musings.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 10:14 am

Hmmm, to what do you refer? Wanna go there?

Claudia April 19, 2013 at 10:26 am

Not with you …

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

I didn’t think so.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 11:23 am

We could be such friends, Claudia. I do wonder why TC spends so much time on the Newspaper photo contest aspect of everything.

Bill April 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Yeah, Tyler’s comments make a real lot of sense: kids here illegally, without a path for citizenship, and isolated, need not to be assimilated with a path to citizenship. Only if we cut off all hope for these kids will they not pose a risk to society. Maybe we can make an ethnic community more isolated so that they will like us more and raise their kids liking us.

GIVCO April 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm

If the GOP wants to leverage this massacre into immigration reform, it can borrow the Democrats play-book for hysterical appeal to symbolic legislation (copped from Taranto):

1. Human Shields: Surround yourself with innocents before assualting opponents– Boston victims, children (preferably orphaned), disfigured invalids- and carefully balance race and gender.
2. Appeal to emotion: “Senators say they fear the business lobby’s thirst for cheap labor and losing the Hispanic vote. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear these children watching their parents complete the marathon felt as their lives ended in a fiery explosion. The fear that those children who survived the massacre must feel every time they remember their parents falling under hails of shrapnel, whispering that they loved them, so that love would be the last thing the children heard if the bombers found them.”
3. Appeal to Motives. Slime opponents who “look over their shoulder at the powerful, shadowy business lobby” agitating to undercut American wage earners and making ” their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about special interests like Hispanic voters.” Accuse opponents of ” misplaced sense of self-interest” and “cowardice.” No reason but politics, etc.
4. Guilt by Association. Say a lot about filthy rich corporations using immigrant labor, scary terrorists, welfare queen immigrants.
5. Poisoning the Well. Point out that Democratic politicians “have met with grieving parents” and that some “have also expressed sympathy” for Boston victims. That’s the set up to crush them as hypocrites with “And still these politicians decide to do nothing. Shame on them.”
6. Beg the Question. Everything you propose is “common-sense legislation” that “could prevent future tragedies”…”these most benign and practical of solutions.” Ignore the central matter in good faith disagreement, ignore specific details of a specific legislative proposal
7. No-True-Scotsman. “These Democrats have heard from their constituents–who polls show overwhelmingly favored securing our borders ” Appeal to “every reasonable American to help me tell the truth”.
8. Argument by Threat. Urge “mothers to stop these lawmakers at the grocery store and tell them: You’ve lost my vote.” Make a call to action, skip details, facts.
9. Appeal to Pity. Ghost write a column for a victim, something like: “Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious.”
10. False Dilemma. “To do nothing while others are in danger is not the American way.”

And then take a shower, scrub 4 or 5 times.

Steve Sailer April 19, 2013 at 10:10 am

“Diversity is our strength!” — Dan Quayle

Steve Sailer April 19, 2013 at 10:11 am

We are a nation of immigrants!

Jacob April 19, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Let’s see, as the grandchild of immigrants, husband of an immigrant, friend of many immigrants, and American patriot, I really hate you right now.

The Anti-Gnostic April 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm

As the grandchild, husband, and friend of so many immigrants, your apparent lack of knowledge of the etymology for “patriot” is understandable.

‘Hate’ is a strong term but I can understand your using it, because immigration is a pretty fundamental issue. Who gets to show up for the future on this particular plot of land, your grandchildren or the natives’ grandchildren? Doesn’t get more fundamental than that.

The last time Americans hated each other over fundamental issues, they killed 600,000 of themselves.

Cliff Arroyo April 19, 2013 at 12:53 pm

“Who gets to show up for the future on this particular plot of land, your grandchildren or the natives’ grandchildren?”

Of the grandchildren of people who will be born elsewhere?

Mulp2 April 19, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Isn’t the answer the rich person’s grandchildren?

Don’t be so melodramatic.

Brown American April 19, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Don’t feed the trolls, Jacob.

Jacob April 19, 2013 at 3:40 pm

You’re right, friend. Hard not to say something, sometimes. Just a bit much to see anti-immigrant sentiment added to everything else that’s happened this week: http://www.theonion.com/articles/jesus-this-week,32105/

Hate is a strong term, chosen deliberately. And for the record, I meant no irony in my use of the term patriot. As it happens, my mother’s parents are immigrants; my father’s are not, or at least not for several hundred years. I claim no special right to the ‘fatherland’ but regard diversity as our nation’s strength; it is deeply dismaying to see people resort to xenophobia in a time of national distress.

The Anti-Gnostic April 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm

but regard diversity as our nation’s strength

That is the stupidest, most trite phrase ever penned. I can’t believe people still use it.

Where do you think diversity actually comes from? Did the French, the Swedes, the Dutch, etc., just pop out of the ground one day and decide to start speaking a different language than their neighbors?

If “diversity is our strength,” why does it require thousands of pages of laws to enforce? Why are white neighbors more expensive? How come multi-cultural empires always end up exploding into their constituent nations?

“Diversity” is one of those fuzzy-wuzzy topics that all the supposed rationalist, gimlet-eyed economists will wet themselves over.

Steve Sailer April 19, 2013 at 10:14 am

As I wrote last September when the Obama Administration was denouncing Egyptian immigrant/conman/drug dealer/movie producer “Sam Bacile” for ruining its foreign policy

You know how there’s a National Transportation Safety Board that investigates airline crashes? It’s independent of the Federal Aviation Administration and other organizations to prevent conflicts of interest. The idea is that figuring out why one airliner went down is important not just in that particular case but to figure out how to prevent future airliner crashes.

What we need is a National Immigrant Screwup Board that investigates how Nakoula, Sirhan Sirhan, the 9/11 terrorists, Aunt Zeituna, the Egyptian terrorist who murdered two Jews at the El Al counter at LAX on July 4, 2002, and other notorious immigrant screwups got in the country in the first place and didn’t get kicked out.

Chris D April 19, 2013 at 10:28 am

Also Timothy McVeigh, Jarod Lee Loughner, Scott Roeder, and Eric Rudolph. Stupid immigration failures.

diana April 19, 2013 at 10:32 am

Chris,

It’s true we produce enough of our own crazies. So why do we have to import even more from abroad? This is clearly a job Americans can do!

Thom April 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

Good point! I live in Baltimore – and my city is plagued by violence because of all the immigrants shooting each other in the street.

mm April 19, 2013 at 10:41 am

can we add your reply to the above list?

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 10:52 am

Hmm, what if we didn’t incinerate cultists, entrap and murder hermits, or slaughter foreigners. At the very least, we’d be not incinerating cultists, entrapping and murdering hermits, and slaughtering foreigners.

axa April 19, 2013 at 10:41 am

cause we all know the unabomber and the oklahoma guys were mercenaries contracted by Al Qaeda. The board you proposed has been working for a while. It’s called FBI and pursues screwups born in the US and foreigners.

Steve Sailer April 19, 2013 at 10:19 am

Rubio 2016!

somethingblue April 19, 2013 at 10:27 am

“I also would think this raises the chance of the fertilizer explosion being a terrorist attack.”

From 0.00001% to 0.00003%?

albatross April 19, 2013 at 10:45 am

It’s hard to imagine that these guys would have traveled from Boston (where they’d just blown up a bunch of people at the marathon) to Texas (where they blew up a fertilizer plant), and then flew back to Boston just in time to be identified and chased down. Or why the ability to make a bomb from some internet instructions and kitchen appliances and plant it in a public place in the city where you live would also help you know how to set fires in the right places in a fertilizer factory (thousands of miles from where you live) that it would cause a big explosion. Were they also somehow responsible for the nut who mailed poison-filled letters to some politicians?

Andreas Moser April 19, 2013 at 11:52 am

Plus the letter with explosives mailed to the German President.

Chris D April 19, 2013 at 10:31 am

When has there been a terrorist attack by mercenaries? Is there any actual reason to think it might be the case here, or is it just a way to try and make some sense of their motives and anonymity?

CPV April 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

Andrew’ – How do we know that countries full of Islamic extremists are bad statistical immigration risks? Wow, not sure how to answer that. You are claiming that because we don’t have perfect knowledge, or perfect policies, that therefore no evaluation can be made of relative immigration tail risks. Not buying it.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 10:59 am

A priori, would your or a jury of your peers prevented immigration from where these guys are from? Saudi? Would the terrorists just get people from somewhere else? Or would they just lie? Or maybe just walk across the border?

Matt April 19, 2013 at 10:52 am

How does this increase chance of Texas incident being terrorist? I mean, I totally get how initial conditions could suggest, however incorrectly or not, that Texas was a radical anti-government act: *Near Waco *Fertilizer Plant *Anniversaries of Waco and OK City. Is Tyler suggesting this was “Islamic” terror, or something else? Why haven’t any organized Islamic terror groups claimed responsibility yet? It’s just weird, because all of the symbolism I see so far, if the events are related, point to domestic groups. *Boston *Patriot’s Day *Boston Tea Party *Above mentioned Items. Why would Islamic terrorist care about those dates and that symbolism?

Could these kids have been recruited by domestic radical anti-government types? A smoke screen? Part of some grander strategic plan? The government is going to over react to this incident relative to the statistical threat such events pose.

In terms of hair-brained schemes, I can see someone thinking

1) recruit young disaffected Muslim(s)
2) execute symbolically meaningful terror acts
3) Government over reacts to threat of “brown” people
4) Government becomes ever more greedy in its surveilance and rights-abridgement.
5) Anti-government types have now have further justification to fight the “good fight”

I suppose if you’re trying to create symbolism and confusion, to rile up emotions, to blow a dog whistle, etc etc…and If you’re trying to conflate Islamic terror and anti-government sentiment, this is one way to do it. Again, hair-brained, but so are most of the 007 plots, and those sell tickets…

Or perhaps maybe a small of group cross-faith end-times nutjobs have teamed up, inter-denominational style, to sow chaos and collapse? A chance for radical Christianists and Islamists to join hands? What songs do radical Islamists and Christianists sing when they hang out together? What do they think of Miley Cyrus? Do they have a an opinion on this year’s American Idol?

Maybe this is some sort of 007 style convoluted plot put together by a super-villain? Is Satoshi involved? What is the Bitcoin angle? .

Pace Tyler, There is a good chance these events doom rational thought, by the way.

maguro April 19, 2013 at 10:53 am

Can we at least agree on no more Chechens? They don’t even make chalupas, for Chrissake.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 11:06 am

Well, at least we can add a question at the border about whether you make chalupas.

Matt April 19, 2013 at 11:15 am

Perhaps a questionaire with following items..

-Is the food of your homeland delicious?
-can you provide proof of its deliciousness?
-do you, or have you ever, had the ability to make said delicious food?
-Are you willing to operate a food truck, or restaurant in a shitty out of the way strip mall?

WELCOME TO AMERICA! Please note the strip mall suggestion if you would like a review from one Tyler Cowen. Also, if you deep fry enough of your food, Guy Fieri will likely give you a positive review. If you like to pickle things, may we suggest you start a tumblr and open a workshop in Williamsburg teaching said pickling techniques?

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 11:24 am

“Does your native cuisine utilize pressure cookers?”

“If yes, how good is the food that is cooked using pressure cookers?”

James B. April 19, 2013 at 11:48 am

Do you plan or intend to have many laughing, beautiful women patronize your restaurant?

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 11:54 am

Trick questions are good.

Ray Lopez April 19, 2013 at 10:54 am

Why have comments stopped? The latest (listening live via the internet) is that suspect #2 is in a grey Honda heading north to New Hampshire or south to Connecticut.

Ray Lopez April 19, 2013 at 11:14 am

They recovered the grey car, sans the drive at 10:55 AM ET. And get this–Amtrack, AMTRACK, is not running by design at this time. Whatever happened to the trains running on time? Cabs back online though. Also a media blackout…apparently the police are shouting something in Russian at a barricaded home in the Watertown area. Probably suspect #2 is inside it.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 11:32 am

“Look what I was able to do with a few bullets and a couple of gallons of gasoline” -The Joker

Ray Lopez April 19, 2013 at 11:51 am

True, true. Apparently something like 30 agencies are involved and each has its own protocol and wants some of the action. Also suspect #2 is communicating with social media as I type this, further, the uncle was pissed at the nephews, offered his condolences to the victims, and wanted (seems to me) during the live broadcast to invoke the name of Allah, but changed it (“in the name of…my family” I believe was his quote). Given he is communicating with a secular audience that probably was some wise misdirection.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 11:00 am

Scary version: bored kids with pressure cooker access

John Schilling April 19, 2013 at 11:18 am

In the United States, “Immigrant = Mexican” is so deeply ingrained in the public consciousness that I doubt that there will be any great effect from this. There may be an anti-Muslim backlash that will incidentally cause problems for anyone with a brownish complexion and questionable documentation, as ther was following 9/11. Explicit policy discussion and legislative action regarding economically-motivated immigrants from the south, logically should not be affected, and in this case I believe that broad cognitive biases will coincidentally align with reason.

NPW April 19, 2013 at 11:24 am

I’m surprised that there seems to be total acceptance that these two were actually the bombers. The actions of the bomber vs the actions of two idiots knocking off a 7-11 doesn’t appear to align, IMO. The person(s) who plans, builds, and explodes a bomb killing random strangers and then evades capture for at least four days is really the same one who goes for the 7-11 armed robbery? They killed a cop in a big city, which is a death ticket. Societally we accept that a dead cop = a dead cop killer. This is poor impulse control and lack of criminal training. Do you think that someone who learned how to build the bombs and then deploy them in this calculated way would be that stupid? Our two geniuses then went a carjacked a car. They then let the driver go. A guy who had seen both their faces.

I can’t see how the same people did both.

Andreas Moser April 19, 2013 at 11:56 am

Suicide by police.

dan1111 April 19, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Well, there is the fact that they were identified in the surveillance footage. It is hard to get around that.

I don’t know why you think cobbling together a crude bomb, and blowing up a bunch of people for no known reason implies that they must have a wealth of common sense.

NPW April 19, 2013 at 12:34 pm

Identified being at the race with a backpack is not the same as being id’ed as being the bomber.

It takes some intelligence, dicipline, drive, focus, etc to plan and execute this attack. Hitting a 7-11 four days later in the same city for beer, shooting a cop, carjacking and then releasing the driver, and getting in a shoot out with the cops is just dumb. Just a lack of common sense, but a lack of impulse control, planning, calculation, or purpose.

Given that we know that they are the type to go after a 7-11, which do you think is more probable; they were at the race to steal camera/wallets/purses or set off bombs? What did these two gain?

The bomber also never took credit. Don’t you find this odd? A typical terrorist attack has multiple parties scrambling to take credit. They want you to know they were the ones.

albatross April 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm

If these are the guys, they certainly don’t come off as terrorist masterminds. On the other hand, the last several attempts at terrorist attacks on US soil have failed through various bits of incompetence, typically of the “can’t manage to get the fuse lit” variety, so compared to the underwear and shoe bomber, these guys are models of careful planning.

I suspect that this kind of attack is inherently very hard to get away with–they had to drop their bombs in a heavily-populated, surveillance- and cellphone-camera-infested place, so it was quite likely someone would figure out who they were sooner or later. Once the bombs went off, there were essentially unlimited resources available to track them down, including the enthusiastic cooperation of more-or-less everyone around them.

I wonder if the bombers (maybe these guys, possibly someone else) had some kind of plan for how they were going to get away with it. “We’ll blow some people up and then wait around for the cops to come arrest us” seems like a pretty lousy plan. It probably wouldn’t have worked, but it sure does seem like having a plausible, non-suspicious trip planned for getting out of town the day of the attack, changing how they looked as much as possible, having some alternate ID, etc., would have been a minimal part of the planning. Why wouldn’t they have at least tried that? If these guys are the bombers, I’d guess they simply didn’t think they’d be caught, and so they made no preparations for it. Or maybe they thought they’d have more time to arrange to leave town after the heat died down a bit.

Re: the mercenary idea: It’s conceivable they were paid by someone to leave these bags where they were left, perhaps convinced that the bags contained drugs or something. Did they rob the 7-11 after their pictures showed up on TV? You could imagine them in a pure panic by then.

NPW April 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

“It’s conceivable they were paid by someone to leave these bags where they were left, perhaps convinced that the bags contained drugs or something.”

I’ve been thinking that if they had anything to do with the bombing that this scenario is by far the most probable. The average idiot street level criminal would be a useful pawn. Not only would they be familiar with muling, they would be likely conditioned to do this sort of thing without looking in the bags. And they would be bad guys drawing suspicion away.

I also think that crowds like these always bring out the thieves. I think that they may have been there for criminal activity, just not bombing.

It still doesn’t answer why? Why would a terrorist do this without claiming credit? If not a terrorist, what was the motive? Some may just want to watch the world burn, but revenge or money seems to motivate most violence. Would a disgruntled former marathoner be willing to bomb the finishers? I don’t have a good answer.

albatross April 19, 2013 at 12:39 pm

It is possible that these guys are some unrelated pair of bad guys that just have some damning circumstantial evidence linking them to the bombing. But it doesn’t seem like the way to bet, exactly.

NPW April 19, 2013 at 12:44 pm

By damning circumstantial evidence you mean photos in a crowded public space during a massive event?

albatross April 19, 2013 at 1:03 pm

The photos are evidence that they had bags of the right size and material, and that they were in the right place to have planted the bombs, but it is possible that those bags had nothing to do with the bombs planted. Now, after the firefight at all, that’s clearly not the way to bet, but the photos that appeared do not prove these guys are the bombers. If the cops went to trial and those photos were all they had, these guys would not be convicted.

Kevin April 19, 2013 at 12:29 pm

You’re treating the initial bombing as if it were a highly-sophisticated operation. It clearly wasn’t. The two made crude bombs, but then in backpacks, dropped them (probably with timers), and then walked away. What do you make of the photographs which place the two at the scene?

NPW April 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm

There were many people at the scene. Relevance?

Your choice of words show you are already accept them as the bombers. What evidence do you have? Photos at a crowded public scene?

We would never accept this if the groupthink hadn’t already made a determination. Remember the security guy at the Olympics?

aki April 19, 2013 at 11:27 am

kremlin owned russia today is suggesting chechens are being used *because* they’re caucasian, and dumb americans wouldn’t be able to separate them from “regular” white people. russians HATE chechens

Willitts April 19, 2013 at 12:56 pm

You raise a good point. Terrorist groups have intended to recruit Caucasian and African American looking people to conduct terrorist attacks. However, it is still prudent to observe for the most likely identifying characteristics Make them expend resources and expose themselves seeking ideal sleepers. Sooner or later, the Caucasians or African American looking people they try to recruit will be covert federal agents.

I’m not necessarily saying we should profile people, but we need not be stupid about allocating our resources for searches. I’m pretty sure I can tell that a seventy year old Caucasian or African American lady isn’t going to hijack or blow up a plane, unless she is a leftover 60s radical. They haven’t been active lately.

albatross April 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I don’t quite see the distinction between profiling and using resources wisely. If P(criminal | group X) > P(criminal | group Y), then wise use of resources means that members of group X get more scrutiny than members of group Y, all else equal. If group X and Y are racial groups, then that’s racial profiling. It’s not necessary that every black guy gets stopped or no white guys get stopped–if the police are, say, five times as likely to stop and frisk a black guy than a white guy in the same situation, then there’s racial profiling going on. That may be sensible or not, but there’s no way I can see to avoid calling it racial profiling. So the real issue you’re raising is, should we racially profile when it makes statistical sense. In general, the “party line” answer that most mainstream people give is “no we should not,” but in practice, we do use racial, religious, gender, and other profiling all the time.

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm

What if you had to pay every black guy you stopped and frisk $50 if they were clean…assuming the cops wouldn’t just fix that by planting something on them?

Andreas Moser April 19, 2013 at 11:42 am

What is all this fuss in Boston about? It has been known for a long time who committed the massacre: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/who-is-responsible-for-the-boston-massacre/

aki April 19, 2013 at 11:45 am

Here ya go guys:

BethonieButler
10:58 AM EDT
Hi all,
Bethonie here, from The [Washington] Post’s engagement team. This week, we’ve limited comments on several stories about the bombings in Boston. We are allowing comments here, but please note that we are moderating more aggressively. Hate speech, personal attacks and name-calling are all subject to removal. We will also remove excessively partisan attacks – they do not have a place on this thread.

If anyone has concerns or questions, please feel free to email comments@washpost.com. That goes directly to me and a few others who oversee online comments

i wish April 19, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Where is Tyler’s moderator? His site needs one.

Willitts April 19, 2013 at 12:49 pm

The first rule of antiterrorism is, “If the terrorists want to get you, they will get you.”

The crux of antiterrorism is to make yourself a hard target to get. That will either disrupt the terrorist attack, avert it, divert it, or cause them to make mistake or expend additional resources.

The second rule is to identify the objective of the terrorists, and don’t give them what they want.

Terrorism is the inculcation of fear to achieve military, political, economic, or social objectives. The victims of terrorist attacks are not the targets, because the dead cannot be afraid. The target of terrorist attacks are the survivors.

These killers might have been religious or political extremists, but if their only goal was to murder lots of people, then this is mass murder, not terrorism. If they had a broader objective of inculcating fear, then it can properly be called terrorism.

mulp April 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Likewise, if the capitalists want to make a profit by not caring about who gets killed, workers and neighbors will be killed for profit.

Basically, the sacrifice of the few for the benefit of the many.

AndrewL April 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm

It is quite a leap from “wanted to make a profit by not caring about who gets killed” to “killing for profit”.

For example, a chemical company could make profit by dumping toxic waste in the river instead of spending resources to treat the waste. People who use the river could die from the toxic waste, but the chemical company does not profit by intentionally killing people by contaminating the river. If no one lived near or used water from the river the chemical company would make the same profit with or without deaths.

Tyler Fan April 19, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Tyler’s mercenary theory seems to find some support in the fact that the brothers may have been driving a variety of very expensive cars:

http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2013/04/mechanic_suspect_was_in_rush_for_car_day_after_bombing

Andrew' April 19, 2013 at 2:28 pm

That, or they play football for Auburn.

Dan Weber April 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Well, this escalated quickly.

MC April 19, 2013 at 3:13 pm

It DID, didn’t it? It really jumped up a notch.

murray April 20, 2013 at 2:18 am

It is almost youtube-worhty

elvisd April 19, 2013 at 2:55 pm

The Stranger

The Stranger within my gate,
He may be true or kind,
But he does not talk my talk–
I cannot feel his mind.
I see the face and the eyes and the mouth,
But not the soul behind.

The men of my own stock,
They may do ill or well,
But they tell the lies I am wanted to,
They are used to the lies I tell;
And we do not need interpreters
When we go to buy or sell.

The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good,
But I cannot tell what powers control–
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood.

The men of my own stock,
Bitter bad they may be,
But, at least, they hear the things I hear,
And see the things I see;
And whatever I think of them and their likes
They think of the likes of me.

This was my father’s belief
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf–
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children’s teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.

–Rudyard Kipling (1908).

Steve Sailer April 20, 2013 at 3:07 am

“The Stranger within my gates, He may be evil or good, But I cannot tell what powers control– What reasons sway his mood; Nor when the Gods of his far-off land Shall repossess his blood.”

Kipling knew a lot more about multiculturalism than we do.

Alex April 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm

There’s a good chance that these are just some kids who were mad at the world and thought that this would solve something. I speculate the older one had developed some deranged thinking and pulled in the younger one. Mental illness can be horrible, especially when left untreated. Although we should be mad and horrified at what happened, we should also take it as a chance to refocus some of the discussion on what we can do to prevent the next attack in the future. I am sure gun control can help, but as these kids showed, it will not be a panacea.

Throwing a pence at prevention will be cheaper than spending a pound on a cure. We probably should not continue to live by the mantra, quoting Bansky, “when all else fails call in an airstrike”

Guy Incognito April 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm

“There is a good chance these events doom immigration reform, by the way.”

And nothing of value was lost.

murray April 20, 2013 at 2:20 am

As the child of immigrants who have lived honorably and contributed greatly to this country, fuck you.

The Anti-Gnostic April 20, 2013 at 8:48 am

You think immigrants are all fungible? An MS-13 member is as valuable as a Syrian Orthodox? A German engineer? Why does everyone feel the need to beat a path to majority-white America anyway, or did I just answer my own question?

Can we at least restrict Muslims from bandit countries? They have a worldview wholly incompatible with a secular republic and there are any number of wealthy Muslim countries they can go instead.

WJ April 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm

As neither the child, grandchild, nor even the great-great-great grandchild of immigrants – as, in fact, the descendent of those who basically founded this country; those who crossed the North Atlantic on rickety sailing vessels and arrived to a wilderness barren of all modern amenities, barren of a massive welfare states, so that your parents could arrive on a 747 to the richest country on earth – *fuck you* for your complete ingratitude. Letting your parents in was a gift, not an entitlement to tear the door off its bloody hinges. Thanks for caring more about those who don’t live here than the children of those who let your parents arrive. It’s one more very good argument for limiting immigration.

Alvin April 22, 2013 at 1:31 am

My mom’s side escaped communism and ended up in San Fran. My dad was also an immigrant and came here on a scholarship to Stanford for his master’s and Ph.D. in engineering. He graduated around the time my mom gave birth to their first child (my older brother). He didn’t have a job after finishing his PhD, and his white advisors told him he could qualify for welfare and other benefits until he landed on his feet. He had too much pride to go on welfare and would’ve felt ashamed. They struggled a few months until he found a job designing nuclear reactors for commercial purposes. Never took a penny in welfare from the government his whole life.

But his white advisors and friends – people of your ancestry – didn’t see a problem with going on welfare. You feel entitled because your ancestors were white indentured servants – white slaves – and someone else’s bitch in England? Fuck you, you redneck.

Beefcake the Mighty April 22, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Jew.

LIBERTARIAN ASPERGERS April 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Sure I guess it’s “sad” or “tragic”, (or some other “emotion” you non-autists have) that some people were killed by these hardworking immigrants.

But I think we can all agree that the *real* tragedy would be if the open borders bill failed and I had to start spending slightly more at Costco for groceries.

Willitts April 19, 2013 at 6:04 pm

You keep using that word “reform.” I do not think it means what you think it means.

Assistant Village Idiot April 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Tyler, that depends on what you mean by “reform.” I think it greatly increases the chance of real reform. You are a smart guy and I agree with you a lot, but you have to stop bending words to mean only what you8 want.

dead serious April 19, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Right wingers: your attempts at applying logic to your anti-immigration posturing (they’re more likely to commit terrorist acts!!!!!!!) while completely ignoring the logic of more guns = more opportunities for fatal outcomes, wreak to high heaven of hypocrisy.

Not to mention idiocy.

JWatts April 20, 2013 at 12:17 am

Lot’s of exclamation points, that’s the ticket! And finish up by calling someone an idiot. That’s always the sign of an intelligent and well thought out post that will truly sway opinion.

Careless April 25, 2013 at 2:37 pm

“wreak to high heaven of… idiocy.”

mmhmm.

C April 20, 2013 at 12:13 am

Disclosure: Am a legal immigrant/naturalized citizen here who opposes comprehensive imm. reform for a variety of reasons

That said, Dzhokar Tsarnaev exposes a very different immigration problem that the McCain et al. bill makes even worse –asylum fraud. The DSK case also had it as a prominent element and immigration lawyers around where I live openly brag about supplying abuse primers to their clients before interviews.

Considering the Tsarnaev family’s actual residence in Russia is not in war-torn Chechnya, none of them should have been let in the country in the first place.

Chuck Ross April 20, 2013 at 2:13 am

By how much are the chances that the Texas plant explosion was a terrorist attack increased? From 0.1% to 0.2%?

murray April 20, 2013 at 2:24 am

That is thebaffling part of the post. What is the theory? Hit the Boston Marathon then … hit… West, Texas?? It’s a bizarre level of paranoia. Sometimes an industrial accident is just an industrial accident. Or maybe the host is trolling? I don’t get it.

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