Thursday, September 17, 2015


A fourteen-year-old built a clock and took it to school.  He was arrested and may be charged for making a hoax bomb:

When he was brought into the room to be questioned by the four police officers who had been dispatched to the school, one of them — who had never previously seen him — said: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”

His skin is brown and his name is Ahmed.

Glenn Greenwald’s piece (cited above) captures the rot in a culture that is saturated with Muslim hate (emphasis added):

The behavior here is nothing short of demented. And it’s easy to mock, which in turn has the effect of belittling it and casting it as some sort of bizarre aberration. But it’s not that. It’s the opposite of aberrational. It’s the natural, inevitable byproduct of the culture of fear and demonization that has festered and been continuously inflamed for many years. The circumstances that led to this are systemic and cultural, not aberrational.

Regarding the harm that comes from perpetual war – after the obvious harm done to those on the receiving end – Greenwald offers:

…the worst of all harms is how endless war degrades the culture and populace of the country that perpetrates it. You can’t have a government that has spent decades waging various forms of war against predominantly Muslim countries — bombing seven of them in the last six years alone — and then act surprised when a Muslim 14-year-old triggers vindictive fear and persecution because he makes a clock for school.

It happens this way because it must.  I will paraphrase Hoppe: in a democracy (as opposed to a monarchy), war requires the nurturing and cultivating of anger within the citizenry in order to initiate and sustain it.  It is the state’s job to do this nurturing and cultivating.  Having cultivated it to the point necessary to ensure perpetual war, putting the hate back in the bottle is difficult – to make a rational peace is impossible as the blood lust of the people will not allow it (not that any US political leader is suggesting making peace in this war to end all peace).

This makes the rest of this story even more sickening:

The president tweeted:
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.
9:58 AM - 16 Sep 2015

So stop bombing them.  Stop droning wedding parties.  Stop creating new terrorist armies to fight the old terrorist armies you have created.  Stop destroying their relatively stable – if not perfect – governmental structures.  Stop supporting the largest exporters of terror in the region.  Stop supporting the worst human rights violators (but I repeat myself).

Stop working from secret kill lists.  Stop holding prisoners that you know have committed no crime.  Stop increasing defense offense spending.  Stop screening every traveler at airports, reminding them daily of this need to be fearful. 

[Mark] Zuckerberg, who founded Facebook out of his Harvard dorm room, wrote on Facebook that “having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed.”

He then invited Ahmed to visit him at work.

“Ahmed, if you ever want to come by Facebook, I’d love to meet you. Keep building,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Stop cooperating with the government on illegal spying on every user of your service.  Stop obeying orders to hand over mass data. 

And Google Science Fair tweeted:

Hey Ahmed- we're saving a seat for you at this weekend's Google Science Fair...want to come? Bring your clock! #IStandwithAhmed
11:41 AM - 16 Sep 2015

Stop being nothing more than an adjunct to the NSA.  Stop pretending to be outraged when other governments demand data or require filters on information and then bow in subservience when you receive a call from Washington.

Hillary Clinton tweeted:

Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe—they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building.

Thankfully, at least for now, you are not in a position to continue your murderous rampages throughout the Middle East and North Africa.  You became a cult hero for many with your reaction to the murder of Kaddafi. This, of course, was only an exclamation point on your career (to date) of wanton murder – focused, primarily, on people of brown skin.

Paul Fussell has written wonderfully well on the cultural rot that occurred throughout the West during the Great War (I have commented on his work here).  Such rot doesn’t disappear once the source is removed.  Jacques Barzun – based on 70 years of his own dedicated work – points to the Great War as the death blow to western culture, a self-inflicted wound (I have commented on this specific aspect of his work here).

Throughout both Europe and the United States, we are witnessing the dying breaths of this culture, it seems. 

Focused today, at least, on a clock.  And a boy named Ahmed.

Update: I really should know to take nothing at face value.  The story might be a bit more complicated, although this doesn't change the hypocrisy (maybe compounds it) of the supposedly outraged identified above.


  1. Hopefully someone will teach this kid some electrical safety before he gets to the White House or one of the college scholarships.

    The clock he took the parts from seems to run on 120volt Ac with a 9 volt DC battery backup.

    Ahmed seems to have just stuck the 120 volt ac to 9 volt ac transformer inside the pencil box without much thought to electrical insulation. One touch of any bare conductors on the 120 volt ac side will kill people. Shorting out the 9 volt ac side will probably cause smoke, maybe fire and blowing of fuses or tripping of breakers in the electrical distribution panel. The 9 volt dc side is a little safer and probably would smoke a few components

    Hopefully he will get some instruction before he starts taking apart the stove and sticking it inside a box.

  2. No way that the Secret Service would allow someone with a mock-up suitcase bomb anywhere near the White House!