Transterrestrial Musings  

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay

Alan Boyle (MSNBC)
Space Politics (Jeff Foust)
Space Transport News (Clark Lindsey)
NASA Watch
NASA Space Flight
Hobby Space
A Voyage To Arcturus (Jay Manifold)
Dispatches From The Final Frontier (Michael Belfiore)
Personal Spaceflight (Jeff Foust)
Mars Blog
The Flame Trench (Florida Today)
Space Cynic
Rocket Forge (Michael Mealing)
COTS Watch (Michael Mealing)
Curmudgeon's Corner (Mark Whittington)
Selenian Boondocks
Tales of the Heliosphere
Out Of The Cradle
Space For Commerce (Brian Dunbar)
True Anomaly
Kevin Parkin
The Speculist (Phil Bowermaster)
Spacecraft (Chris Hall)
Space Pragmatism (Dan Schrimpsher)
Eternal Golden Braid (Fred Kiesche)
Carried Away (Dan Schmelzer)
Laughing Wolf (C. Blake Powers)
Chair Force Engineer (Air Force Procurement)
Saturn Follies
JesusPhreaks (Scott Bell)
The Ombudsgod
Cut On The Bias (Susanna Cornett)
Joanne Jacobs

Site designed by

Powered by
Movable Type
Biting Commentary about Infinity, and Beyond!

« A Shuttle By Any Other Name | Main | A Cultural Beachhead? »

What A Letdown

OK, it looks like they caught the guy(s). African-American fellow by the name of Muhammed. Nope, no Muslims here, folks, nothing to see, move along.

The disappointment among the press corps that it wasn't an evil right-wing white militia type is almost palpable. Now they don't get to talk about the culture of hate, and blame Rush Limbaugh, and talk radio, and all of us evil right-wing bloggers. In particular they don't get to do it two weeks before a mid-term election, in which they can paint Republicans as bigoted enablers of right-wing violence.

But of course, they could talk about the Saudi-funded maddrassas and mosques, and the Nation of Islam, and screwie Louie Farrakhan (one news report indicated that he was a body guard for the (less-than-a) Million Moronan March), and how all of their hate speech incited this evil and weak-minded man to violence.

I'm sure they'll start any minute.

Any minute now.

[crickets chirping]

[Update on Thursday night, about 10 PM PDT]

Jonah Goldberg says the same thing I do, except he uses a lot more words. And he has a lot more data, which I didn't have the legwork or time to gather. And it's a lot more interesting and entertaining read.

Go read it.

Posted by Rand Simberg at October 24, 2002 09:24 AM
TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference this post from Transterrestrial Musings.
Excerpt: Now that it looks as if the sniper(s) may have been apprehended, the real fun can begin, with InstaPundit demonstrating
Weblog: Pudding Time!
Tracked: October 24, 2002 11:22 PM
Excerpt: Now that it looks as if the sniper(s) may have been apprehended, the real fun can begin, with InstaPundit demonstrating
Weblog: Pudding Time!
Tracked: October 24, 2002 11:23 PM
Excerpt: Now that it looks as if the sniper(s) may have been apprehended, the real fun can begin, with InstaPundit demonstrating
Weblog: Pudding Time!
Tracked: October 25, 2002 12:45 AM
Excerpt: Now that it looks as if the sniper(s) may have been apprehended, the real fun can begin, with InstaPundit demonstrating
Weblog: Pudding Time!
Tracked: October 25, 2002 01:03 AM
Simberg Says It Better
Excerpt: Rand Simberg says it better than me: African-American fellow by the name of Muhammed. Nope, no Muslims here, folks,
Weblog: Cold Fury
Tracked: October 25, 2002 05:24 AM
The DC Sniper & the Media
Excerpt: Pardon me for a sec while I vent about the Media's sub-obtimal coverage of the DC Sniper. A couple things... 1) It's not a gun. It's a "firearm", "rifle", or
Weblog: American RealPolitik
Tracked: October 25, 2002 06:15 AM
LAW: Goldberg on the Media's Rush
Excerpt: Jonah Goldberg has the goods on the media's jump to conclusions about the sniper(s). Instapundit also links to blogger Rand Simberg, with a similar but more pointed observation: that the media was dying to "paint Republicans as bigoted enablers...
Weblog: Baseball Crank
Tracked: May 9, 2003 09:16 AM

Any guesses how soon Johnny Cochran will offer to defend these bozos?

Posted by Ilya at October 24, 2002 11:39 AM

I'm sure it won't take long, cause everyone knows the guy is a patsy for some evil, dead, white male. Or maybe the police who collected the evidence were all racists. Yeah thats the ticket.

Posted by Thoth at October 24, 2002 02:00 PM

Hmm, the Bushmaster Firearms site is not running very well. A sudden interest in the XM15 rifle link.

Maximum number of connections reached. Please try again in 5 minutes."

Posted by Hefty at October 24, 2002 02:43 PM

Watch now someone will sue Bushmaster........


Posted by Harley Daugherty at October 24, 2002 04:25 PM

Now, now, all seem to be forgetting something. Since he's not an Evil White Male we must look to the ROOT CAUSES as to why he would do such a thing, and of course, as they always do, the root causes of any violent actions (unless they are perpetrated by Evil White Males--this goes without saying) are POVERTY and RACISM. (sarcasm intended--please notice) I bet some media moron will be humming this sad old tune within the next couple of days at most.

Posted by Gray1 at October 24, 2002 09:27 PM

It should be noted that Mr. Muhammed was at the time of the shootings, a federal felon, because he was in possession of a gun while being under a court restraining order. In fact,that was the charge they originally arrested him on.

So now that it is obvious the "assault weapons ban" and the "Lautenberg Law" do nothing to prevent gun violence, will the anti-gunners now admit they were wrong?

Inna pig's eye....

Posted by GarandM1 at October 25, 2002 01:37 AM

I think the angle will be that he's a crazed Gulf War vet.

Posted by Joanne Jacobs at October 25, 2002 03:54 AM

You are correct on that score Joanne. I have already heard, in a meeting at work no less, the 'now Bush wants to create more crazy Gulf War vets by invading Iraq again' speech.

Posted by Enrak at October 25, 2002 05:48 AM

So it's okay to tar all Islamists and their supporters with the 'inciting terror' brush when one man (a red-blooded American solider) kills in the name of Al-Qaeda, but it was just awful to tar all militia types and their supporters with the 'inciting terror' brush when one man (a red-blooded American solider) kills in the name of anti-government ideologues? Hypocritical much?

Posted by prince poopie at October 25, 2002 06:20 AM

Now that it's obvious that the "Murder" laws do nothing to prevent murder will anti-crime crusaders admit that they are wrong?

Inna pig's eye...

Posted by SB at October 25, 2002 06:25 AM

Say, prince -

Yes, it is alright to tar radical Islamicists and their apologists (such as yourself, perhaps? just asking) with inciting terror BECAUSE THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE DOING! They openly and proudly espouse, encourage, fund, and recruit for terror, so when a few wannabes "volunteer" for the jihad, it is perfectly appropriate to blame the folks who encouraged them to do exactly that.

Similarly, it is perfectly alright to tar the militia types and their supporters when someone does what they urge. Unfortunately, you and your lefty friends took the opportunity to tar many many people who were neither ("angry white males" includes many who despise the militia types, for example). Did you speak out against the DNC while it was indulging in this smear? Hmmm?

So, if it alright for the lefties to tar with a broad brush, why are you complaining when the righties do the same?

Posted by T. Hartin at October 25, 2002 06:30 AM

Johnny Cochran may offer to defend these guys, but it'll probably be Rose O'Donnell paying the bill (at least for the younger one). After all, young cute kids can't possibly be capable of murder, right? Deepak Chopra will ask us to look at ourselves and our response to this violence, and suggest that love is the appropriate response. Susan Sontag will say the US deserved these sniper attacks, and Barbara Streisand will find some phony Shakespeare and try to whip the Dems into action about how the law enforcement agencies that captured these two whackjobs are just corporate lackeys and it's really all about Oooiiiiiillllll! Anyone wanna bet against me?

Posted by Bob Powell at October 25, 2002 06:38 AM

No, T., I'm no Islamist sympathizer. I'm just a white kid from New Hampshire. No need to worry about me!
If you're ticked about the left jumping all over the entire right for McVeigh, just make sure you don't allow the right to jump all over the entire religion of Islam for sniper Muhammad. That's all I'm asking. There seems to be a bit too much high-fiving in the blogosphere about this Islam connection.
Take care.

Posted by prince poopie at October 25, 2002 06:44 AM

Mahomet is not a "wannabe." He is carrying out Osama Bing Laden's express order to all Muslims to kill Americans and take their money ($10 million, anyone?)

"I am God" indeed. Guess this kind of thing happens when you change your name to that of your deity. Just call me Jesus Jones.

Posted by Brian Jones at October 25, 2002 08:05 AM

There is a difference between blaming Islam, and blaming Islamism. It's the latter at which we're pointing the finger.

Aren't you capable of making the distinction?

Quelle simplisme.

And the problem with OKC wasn't just that "evil right-wingers" and "angry white men" were blamed. As time goes on, it appears more and more to be the case that Middle East, and possibly even Iraq, was involved there, too, but that wasn't the right answer politically for the Clinton Administration, so they shut down all investigative avenues that would lead in that direction. After all, he'd just lost the Congress to the Republicans because of those "angry white men" a few months before...

Posted by Rand Simberg at October 25, 2002 08:09 AM


A great American recently observed:

The American public isn?t stereotyping Islam because of the last name of the sniper. Try adding the World Trade Centers (1993 and 2001) to the mix. Then add the Pentagon, Bali, The USS Cole, Osama Bin Laden?s ?kill Americans? Fatwah, The Marine Barracks, embassy bombings, The French Oil Tanker, Saddam Hussein, suicide bombings, that theatre in Moscow, the anti-American rhetoric of Louis Farrakhan, Malik Zulu Shabazz and others. There?s a point when stereotypes become accurate descriptions. Islam is past that point.

Do you dispute this? I suppose it could be a mite overstated...but there has to be a cutoff point where cries of "easy stereotyping" themselves become simply too easy, and the speaker starts to look like an ostrich or some other kind of poseur.

Posted by Brian Jones at October 25, 2002 08:10 AM

The blogosphere is simply doing what all people do when they spend so much time trying to get other people to see other possibilities, other people don't bother to look at them, and now the bloggers are proven right by the facts. Its called "told you so" and all people do it.
And the boggers are not jumping all over all Muslims, just those that encourage terror and that is precisely what all people with more than two working brain cells should do.
You take care as well.

Posted by Antoinette at October 25, 2002 08:27 AM

Brian, I agree with your mystery American's proposition that stereotypes can reflect reality. And there is no doubt that Islamism (I got it right this time, Rand!) is the culprit in many of the cited incidents. But at the same time, I'm made a bit queasy by the immediate conclusion that Islamic last name = terrorist operative. Can this man not just be a kook who invokes anti-American sentiment because it's convenient?
I'm simply urging restraint, but then the blogosphere is not know for that (and that's often a good thing, mind you). If you too readily jump to conclusions about this man's motivations based on his last name alone, you're no better than the media you so decry for jumping to conclusions about him on the assumption he was white. I'm not an apologist, I just hate seeing this incident being exploited for policital gain by either end of the spectrum. And to be honest, I'm probably way out of my league going up against the likes of some of you.
I'm sorry Rand if this is far too involved a discussion for a comment board!

Posted by prince poopie at October 25, 2002 08:34 AM

For the sake of pith and brevity, I only mentioned the last name, but that in itself is not cause for suspicion. What is cause for suspicion is that he changed the name only after last September (despite being a Muslim for many years), he registered his killing machine Caprice on the anniversary of September 11, he expressed sympathy and solidarity with the terrorists who carried it out, and finally, the greatest cause for suspicion...

He's the perp.

I find it stunning that the media remains unwilling to call this Islamic terrorism, when it's clear that that's exactly what it was.

Posted by Rand Simberg at October 25, 2002 08:43 AM

>> If you're ticked about the left jumping all over the entire right for McVeigh, just make sure you don't allow the right to jump all over the entire religion of Islam for sniper Muhammad. That's all I'm asking.

Sorry, but we learned the error of our ways. We learned that it is acceptable, good even.

If you're going to argue that we're doing wrong, you have to start by arguing that the lesson that you taught was wrong.

Unless, of course, the problem is that we're not allowed to do as you did.

Posted by Andy Freeman at October 25, 2002 08:43 AM

I know,I know,...let's give the reward to the wonderful "nation of Islam" (ha ha!) afterall they are the real victims,right? King Louis has lost his favorite soldier(oops!) I mean bodyguard!

Posted by chopperf at October 25, 2002 08:49 AM

Hey Brian Jones: Mohammed isn't a "deity" in Islam. And given the number of blacks who were killed by the sniper, it's hard to see where a anti-white ideology such as the Nation of Islam would come into play. The "I am God" thing doesn't sound like a very observant Muslim to me--such a statement would get you executed in Saudi Arabia. It makes him sound...insane. Imagine that, a lunatic driving around shooting people in the USA.

Don't Muslims commit crimes for non-ideological reasons, the same as anyone else? In the absence of actual evidence, it looks to me like this guy was your basic loser/drifter type who you tend to see going on these sprees.

The difference is that he's black and Muslim, and I have to agree that the "high-fiving" is a little worrisome. Does anyone still wonder why African-Americans and Muslims hope that one of their own aren't behind unsolved crimes? Because unfortunately, there are still those who want to blame all for the actions of two. And I've seen them all over the blogs in the last 24 hours.

Posted by Charlie T. at October 25, 2002 09:01 AM

No one is blaming all blacks, or all of the Islamic faith for this. I've seen no blogs that have done so (though I admittedly don't have time in this life to read all blogs). We are simply pointing out the hypocrisy of those who chose to blame talk radio and Rush Limbaugh for Oklahoma City.

And as for the guy being a lunatic, that description would apply to most terrorists, by my (and almost any reasonable) definition.

Posted by Rand Simberg at October 25, 2002 10:50 AM

how come nobody is talking about root causes?

what does he hate us?

what did we do to offend mr god, mr. mohammed?

why can we get to the source of the problems instead of blaming this poor shooter and his idiotology.

root causes gentlement.

look to them and fix all the problems that forced this poor misquided and abused man who had reached the end of his rope, to take the steps necessary to restore the balance to his psyche that society so rudely ripped from him.

in fact i expect to see american culture and society on trail for this heinous crime very soon.

"if the culture fits, you must aquit"

the crickets wont have to chirp very long before we hear this song.

Posted by david at October 25, 2002 11:01 AM

I have a comment on the "million man" march. Even the US Park Service claimed to count 400,000 demonstrators. A study by the Center for Remote Sensing (apparently through computer analysis of aerial photographs of the event) claimed at one point 837,000 +/- 20% were present. Sounds rather impressive to me and definitely one of the largest demonstrations in Washington, DC.

Posted by Karl Hallowell at October 25, 2002 12:17 PM

Forward Marxism Leninism. Death to USA Death to Israel

Posted by X at October 25, 2002 04:19 PM

[rolling eyes heavenward]

Well, there's a product of a sub-room-temperature IQ.

Posted by Rand Simberg at October 25, 2002 04:36 PM

Because I disagree with you I have a sub-room temperature IQ? What kind of response is that?

Posted by at October 25, 2002 04:40 PM

Disagree with me?

Forward Marxism Leninism. Death to USA Death to Israel isn't "disagreeing with me," since I expressed no opinions on those issues.

It's simply polluting my comments section with hateful nonsense.

Posted by at October 25, 2002 05:03 PM

Thanks for the clarification, Charlie, but I think you're splitting hairs. Deity or not, the intent is obvious: to identify with the sine qua non. I think my point, such as it was, stands.

I agree that we need to wait on the evidence before we can all say we know what was going through his head. But there are a number of dots that cry out to be connected, and I don't think keeping an open mind requires one to ignore those obvious flashing signs. Your mileage may, of course, vary.

The triumphalism over the race angle here and elsewhere is disturbing but is, I think, a natural byproduct of the media abuse that white gun owners took in the last few weeks. It'll die down long before most of the Muslim community's aggrieved victim posturing does.

(Yes, I am presuming that there will be no widespread public backlash against Muslims in the US over this. Let's all pray for that outcome, anyway.)

Posted by Brian Jones at October 25, 2002 05:14 PM

Post a comment

Email Address: