Print Story The IQ level of this group is not impressive, to be kind
By lm (Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 04:16:46 AM EST) (all tags)
The title of this diary is brought to you via a sheriff's assessment of a KKK group that apparently killed a woman who changed her mind about joining (see Police: Woman slain as she tried to leave KKK rite. Groups like this are largely why I'm not all that worried about a possible assassination of Barrack Obama. Not that I think attempts won't come. They will. Rather I reckon that that those who have the skills requisite to pull off such a crime are either smart enough to see the futility of such a move or value their own hide too much to engage in what would most certainly be a suicide mission.

The former special ops types with super-villain levels of intelligence, hatred, tactical skill, passion and motivation are the stuff of movies, not so much real life. While there have been a few somewhat sophisticated plots pulled off by folks loosely associated with white supremacist groups (e.g. the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in OKC), those plots are kindergarten grade compared to taking out a US president in the present day. It seems to me that the highly skilled folks that could pull off such a crime are mostly smart enough to carry out such a crime are uninterested in doing so for a panoply of reasons.

In other news on all things racist America, Wiki estimates present day KKK membership at a paltry 1,200. While the Klan certain isn't the only white supremacist movement in the US, I don't think the decline in the Klan is do to losing members to other organizations. Rather, I think its a dying breed. I can't speak for the whole country but the last few Klan rallies in Ohio have had more folks showing up to protest the Klan than Klan members.

Speaking of radical groups, Islamicists are back on track to retake Somalia. I have two problems with US intervention in Somalia. On the one hand, I think it clear that the best chance for a stable government in the near to medium term is the Islamicist group presently moving in. When they took Mogadishu a couple of years ago, they restored quite a few public services to Somalians for the first time in years. No other group thus far has been able to maintain even a semblance of civil order and a functioning government. On the other hand, I think the US bailing out failed states is a bad message to send to the world, hey folks, don't worry about establishing order yourself, Uncle Sam will come to your rescue when push comes to shove.

This is some awesome troll-fu

It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.

Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. ``Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,'' Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow -- the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy -- is just a Web site.

Ah, but I'm easily amused. This morning I read through a flame fest on Facebook wherein some young folk tried to convince the offspring of eastern European immigrants that the C in the [C]hange Obama wants to bring is for [C]ommunism. I suspect that the pleasant folks engage in dialog with him neither understood the distinction between a communist regime and a mixed economy nor realized that they guy they were disputing with likely grew up listening to first hand stories about life in a communist regime.

Speaking of eastern Europe, while doing research yesterday on the subject of a flat income tax, I discovered that most countries with a flat tax are former Soviet Bloc countries. I find that interesting. My supposition (pulled directly out of my corybungus) is that it has to do with the fact that Marxist economic theory assigns no role to the principle of marginal utility unlike almost every other significant school of economists with the possible exception of the Neo-Ricardians.

Also in my research, I discovered that neither Ron Paul nor Neil Boortz supports a flat income tax. I thought I remembered both of them supporting the idea. Turns out my memory of Ron Paul supporting the idea stems from his quote, `Yes, I support the flattest tax of all: 0%.' WIth Neil Boortz, it comes from his book `The Fair Tax' which isn't about a flat income tax but about replacing income tax with a 30% flat consumption tax which is an even more idiotic idea than a flat income tax. Let's not just be unfair to those who make less money, let's also kill the chief drive driver (consumer spending) of the US economy!

Speaking of the economy, the sour economy in the US drives an increase in smoking. I guess it's time to invest in whatever parent company presently owns Phillip Morris. And Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Surprise! No formal action has been taken to fill the independent oversight posts established by Congress when it approved the [SEVEN HUNDRED BAJILLION DOLLAR] bailout to prevent corruption and government waste. Let's hear it for poorly written laws designed to accomplish vague goals! In a competent administration, I wouldn't worry so much. (Not that I'm altogether certain that there was any recent administration I'd have trusted.) But it seems to me that laws should be written with an eye to the worst possible person implementing it. In this case, the law should have required an oversight committee be established before any funds were spent and the purposes for which the funds could be spent narrowly defined.

And now I should go do research on whether Thomas Aquinas really meant unguis when he wrote ignis in Question V Article 3 of his commentary on the De Trinitate of Boethius. Most critical editions use unguis but personally I like the idea of having fire in my soul.

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The IQ level of this group is not impressive, to be kind | 24 comments (24 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Eisenstadt by Herring (2.00 / 0) #1 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 04:31:04 AM EST
There was a thing about this on the radio news this morning. Although the fictional Eisenstadt claimed to be the source of the quote, he admitted that he actually wasn't. Which leaves the possibility that the story is actually true.

Herring - Official HuSi diarist of the 2016 European Korfball Championship (October 22nd, Dordrecht, Netherlands)
Right by lm (2.00 / 0) #2 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 04:36:09 AM EST
He faked being the source of the Africa anecdote. He didn't fake the Africa anecdote. At least that's what the NYT story says. But it does so in unclear language.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
what it is by garlic (2.00 / 0) #3 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 04:43:41 AM EST
it is both awesome and disturbing. I wonder how many internet hoaxters have affected the regular media.

[ Parent ]
Lots by Herring (2.00 / 0) #7 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 06:06:04 AM EST
My favourite is still the Ronnie Hazlehurst one. Somebody had edited his Wikipedia entry to claim that he'd co-written a No. 1 record for S-Club 7. When he died, several UK newspapers printed this as fact.

Herring - Official HuSi diarist of the 2016 European Korfball Championship (October 22nd, Dordrecht, Netherlands)
[ Parent ]
Wow by duxup (2.00 / 0) #4 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 05:19:54 AM EST
Someone at these news orgs should get fired over this stuff.  A fake blog and site is all it takes!?!?!?  Do these reporters do anything at their jobs?

pretty sure news media isnt about reporting by cam (4.00 / 3) #5 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 05:34:58 AM EST
AND IT MIGHT KILL YOUR FAMILY. Story at 11. by sasquatchan (4.00 / 3) #6 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 05:47:08 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Another visit imminent? by yicky yacky (2.00 / 0) #8 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 06:11:15 AM EST

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
It occurred to me by Phage (2.00 / 0) #9 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 06:53:53 AM EST
That an attack on you-know-who would serve the interests of a foreign enemy extremely well. They could stand back and watch the US tear itself apart in a fusillade of claims and counter claims. Any hope of synchronised united action on any policies would be gone, whilst simultaneously being able to point the finger at those dastardly supremacists who obviously will let nothing stand in their way.

Assassination by R Mutt (2.00 / 0) #10 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 07:18:02 AM EST
I don't see why assassinating President Obama would be a suicide mission. There's no death penalty in Washington DC. And the last guy to shoot a President is alive and well.

I'm not convinced it takes a lot of skill either. All it takes is a sufficient number of idiots for one to get lucky. That tends to be the problem with idiots: by nature they're not that effective, it's just that there are so many of them.

I don't think it's inevitable that Obama will be assassinated. Given four out of forty-three US presidents have been, I think the default odds have to be about one in ten. I think being heavily trailed as a Marxist Terrorist Moslem out to destroy the US is likely to boost the odds a bit. It seems quite likely that white supremacists are going to get a bit of boost in support from having a black president. So, I'd guess the odds at maybe one in five.

Presidential security between then and now ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #11 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 08:17:54 AM EST
The security bubble the president is kept in these days is massively larger and tighter than in the Reagan era, at least in part due to the very attempt you mention. So much so that John McCain made a point that one of the things his administration intended to do if he was elected was roll back some of the security mechanisms. Consider the pre-inauguration steps. Members of the synagogue across the street from the Obama house in Chicago are not even allowed to attend service without putting their name on a list 24 hours in advance. Unless Barrack Obama makes the conscious decision to lighten security measures, a Hinckley would not be able to get as close to a sitting president today.

Actually a better example would be Francisco Duran. In both cases, it's accidental that security (or in Duran's case, civilian observers) was close enough to the shooter so that he was able to be subdued by fisticuffs rather than gunfire. I think that unlikely to be the case at present or in the foreseeable future given the standard precautions that are now taken.

I do think there will be an increase in the frequency of attempts during the Obama administration. But I don't think the greater frequency will significantly improve the odds of any of the attempts being successful. It's a bit like buying more lottery tickets. The odds may have doubled in your favor but a 2 in n,000,000 shot doesn't increase your odds signficantly over a one in n,000,000 shot.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Not knowing anything about the security by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:20:49 AM EST
and given all the tales (unsure how tall they are) about .50cal riles and 1+ km accuracy, how can one keep a secure 1km boundary around anyone ?

Guess it goes back to your point about a) has the desire, b) the means, and c) the skill to do such.

[ Parent ]
City topography by gzt (2.00 / 0) #13 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 09:35:43 AM EST
City topography makes it unnecessary to secure a 1km perimeter. Even in a relatively open place, like, say, the rally he had in Grant Park in Chicago, there aren't that many good vantage points.

[ Parent ]
There are some long range rifles out there by lm (2.00 / 0) #14 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 11:20:21 AM EST
A reported sniper kill at 2,400 meters in Afghanistan broke the previous world record of 2,200 meters by a US marksman in Vietnam.

But I'm not convinced that that former military snipers are the sorts that go after presidents.

Consider Timothy McVeigh, while not a sniper was one of the few that had the proper mix of derangement and motivation combined (arguably) with the requisite skill. He thought that even assassinating the attorney general was too difficult.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
2 km sniping by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 01:40:44 PM EST
IIRC that kill took several shots, the target held his position instead of making a strategic withdrawal.

I doubt the serious dudes in cheap suits would let you-know-who stand around so you could keep plinking.

[ Parent ]
Hopefully you're right by R Mutt (2.00 / 0) #18 Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 12:44:23 AM EST
But keeping a fragile bag of mostly water intact against determined puncture attempts seems to me an inherently difficult task, as we saw with Benazir Bhutto lately.

[ Parent ]
Bhutto was in an entirely different situation by lm (2.00 / 0) #19 Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 02:28:41 AM EST
If the US were in the equivalent of a civil war, I'd be much more worried.

But even then. One merely needs to compare Bhutto's entourage with the 30 vehicle fleet that the president travels in to see my point about the extent of US security for the president. The attempt that did in Bhutto would not have succeeded in the US.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Most presidential asassins or would be asassins by dmg (2.00 / 0) #15 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 11:27:21 AM EST
Are under one form of mind control or another, and are frequently backed up by people in positions of power.
Obama doesn't need to worry about the real 'lone gunman' scenario, he just needs to keep the reptilians happy...

dmg - HuSi's most dimwitted overprivileged user.
The IQ of any group is likely to be low by Clipper Ship (2.00 / 0) #17 Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 01:47:07 PM EST
The IQ of a group of English Profs would be quite low because of the nature of the tests. Math profs would do well, despite the fact that the usual Math prof can barely start his car, let alone be sure the BOTH collars are not pointing upwards by accident for the whole class.

IQ tests seem to point to an inability to function in reality just as much as they point to an amazing ability to solve certain types of problems on the fly, which is admittedly amazing.


Destroy All Planets

Obama is too clubbable to be assassinated by Alan Crowe (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 11:54:46 AM EST
No-one would black-ball his application to join a gentlemen's club. He is one of us.

The American people had a choice to make in the recent election. Did they wish to elect a senator who had voted for the bank bailout, or did they prefer to elect a senator who had voted in favour of the bank bailout. Middle America might feel that the candidates were to one side or the other of their own positions, but any self-respecting wing-nut is going to recognise that the Obama presidency is not going to change anything much. A change of skin pigment is as superficial as a new coat of paint and not worth killing over.

Imagine instead that the incoming president had sworn to end the war on drugs and press for an elaboration to the 21st Amendment, forswearing any Federal role in policing recreational drugs. That would threaten the livelihoods of some scary organised criminals and we might see some credible assassination attempts.

One motivated Marine with a rifle... by dn (2.00 / 0) #21 Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 10:10:08 AM EST
I think you misunderestimate how effective a hunting rifle can be.  If someone can take down a whitetail deer at 200 yards, getting he who must not be named is just a matter of locating an opportunity, creating a field of fire with good coverage of the opportunity, and then waiting patiently for a shot.  Which, incidentally, hunters are really good at.  Even a dork like O s w a l d could do it.

Most would-be a s s a s s i n s fail because they are twelve different kinds of crazy.  Which is why the S. S. casts such a wide net in tracking them down: many of them practically stand on a street corner handing out fliers that say "Am crazy, want to kill $LEADER".

    I ♥   

I misunderestimate nothing by lm (2.00 / 0) #22 Sat Nov 15, 2008 at 10:43:20 AM EST
I think you misunderestimate the extent to which the present day secret service clears every possible vantage point within rifle range before a presidential visit.

Gone are the days when the president rode through the center of town in a open top vehicle waving to the crowds.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
It would be work, of course. by dn (2.00 / 0) #23 Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 03:50:55 PM EST
But if there is an office building with a decent line of sight, it can be done.

    I ♥   

[ Parent ]
Right, I never said it couldn't be done by lm (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 06:06:56 AM EST
My allegation isn't that it is impossible. My allegation is that a relatively small pool of individuals have the technical skill, the aptitude for planning, the resources and the motivation needed to do it. Further, of that pool, most are smart enough to not make the attempt.

There is, however, a somewhat larger pool of people without the technical skill, aptitude for planning and resources that do have the motivation. I think this pool will be larger than for most past administrations and we'll see more botched attempts because of that.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
The IQ level of this group is not impressive, to be kind | 24 comments (24 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback