AS172: Tommentary On Ahmed; Sam Harris; Maajid Nawaz

It’s about time for another Tommentary show! I have plenty of opinions, and I hope you enjoy an episode where I express those opinions on occasion. Ahmed Mohamed brought a clock to school and was arrested. An outrage, right? Most likely. But there are some things to consider…

http://nyti.ms/1UXu0LP

Also, Sam Harris is likely wrong about profiling at airports. Should we vilify him for this? I wonder if you can guess my answer. Also, Maajid Nawaz absolutely hammers those calling him a “native informant.”

9 thoughts on “AS172: Tommentary On Ahmed; Sam Harris; Maajid Nawaz”

  1. Just so you know. the clock was not in a full size suitcase. It was a pencil case; metal and a latch like a suitcase but only 3 or so inches long. I’ve seen them at Walgreens and Walmart. A pencil case. Also, if they were so convinced it was a bomb, no matter how many times he said it was a clock, why did they not attempt to evacuate him or get the clock in a bomb case to detonate it safely?

    1. I’m a middle-aged white guy and a police officer gave me a ride home after my car was disabled in an accident. While I was not handcuffed, I was patted down for weapons and made to sit in the back of the car behind a steel mesh and perforated plexi-glass barrier on the fiberglas vomit-proof seat. I did not blame him for being careful and thanked him profusely for the ride.

      1. “I’m a middle-aged white guy and a police officer gave me a ride home after my car was disabled in an accident.”

        I guess I should have been clearer. though I didn’t think I needed to be, since I suspect we’ve all seen situations where a citizen, or reporter is on a ride along, and they aren’t handcuffed. So allow me to clarify. If you are put in the backseat of a police car because you are in custody, or under investigation for a crime. I’m unaware of a police agency that wouldn’t handcuff you as standard policy.

  2. You’re not crazy. We see similar things in the feminist movement. They claim we live in a rape culture, but every time there is a rape on campus for example, everyone goes apeshit. Additionally being accused of rape is about the worst thing you can be accused of short of the victim being a kid. That doesn’t seem to be the reaction you would expect in a culture that normalizes rape.

    1. I wanted to add to that. If we’re talking about a country like Saudi Arabia where a woman would be seen as sharing the blame because she left home without a male family member escorting her, we’re talking about a rape culture, With rare exception no one in the US would suggest such a thing. Though some feminists like to conflate the mere suggestion that there are ways to limit the risk of rape, like locking your door limits your risk of being robbed, with victim blaming, and therefor rape culture.
      If we look at the statistics Jews (according to the FBI) are 3 times more likely to be victims of hate crime, and that’s per capita likelihood, and that despite the fact I would suggest that except in rare cases they are much more difficult to identify by virtue of appearance, or clothing. So yes I think the idea of Muslims as victims in this country, while true to an extent, is exaggerated.

  3. The clock wasn’t part of a “suitcase” and the picture was taken after it was taken apart by the police. Compare the electrical plug on the right of the picture to the size of the case and you realize that it is more lunchbox sized. As a matter of fact, I do believe it is a Vaultz locking pencil case that were just for sale at Walmart. http://www.walmart.com/ip/Vaultz-Locking-Pencil-Box-Available-in-Multiple-Colors/36124229

    I would love to see a picture of the clock before it was taken apart.

  4. I’m not sure if this has been talked about yet (I haven’t heard the new episode), but Sam Harris’ point wasn’t focusing on celebrities. The point was about not wasting resources on people who obviously are not ISIS suicide bombers. Seinfeld and Betty White were supposed to be examples of people who almost certainly are not members of Al Qaeda. PZ Meyers, as usual, missed the point and reacted to the stupid idea that Sam’s point was celebrity-centric. He’s as bad as CJ Werleman at this point, in my opinion. To say that his opinion suggests no alternative or is uninteresting is a fair opinion, provided you are addressing the meat of what he’s saying. He makes the point that, while we might not have an ideal plan for focusing on the right people, we certainly know some people that we don’t have to focus on, especially if our endgame is safety and not the appearance of “fairness”. We should be able to readily dismiss quite a bit of the people that we see getting checked at the airport. The best summation I think he used was to look at our security resources as a dollar. Every time you spend 20 cents pulling aside certain people who are almost certainly not terrorists, you only have 80 cents allotted elsewhere. This shouldn’t be a controversial statement.

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