A simple question of math.

This pretty much speaks for itself…

Found over at The People’s Republic of Seabrook.

30 thoughts on “A simple question of math.

  1. Nonono—you have to fight them over there first so that they don’t blow up our newly repaired bridges.

    The cost of the war is just a down payment to the bridge repair. Duh.

  2. Hah! funny stuff!
    Which somehow reminds me,
    I know I didn’t do A good job the first time I had a blog.
    But I’m more into the stuff now. >.> So I was wondering if I might be able to get another one or no? its okay if not. ^-^

  3. If the number for bridge repair is true, I would stop driving over any in the US within the next couple decades…

  4. i think if we really want to distroy terrorism we need to threaten them with death war and inocent bloodshed its all they will ever understand…

    …unfortunatly

  5. I propose that we “distroy” terrorism by education, starting at home.

    A few billions dollars spent on education and not only would folks like David learn to spell, they might eventually even realize why advocating a singular violent option because “violence is the only thing those people understand” is both bigoted and ironic.

  6. hey first im a kid so spelling is not my thing i try and learn more usfel things like history and speaking we have cell phones now days and i can look in a dictionary if i wanted to but i dont want to waste the time im writing a responce not a letter to the whitehouse

    and also you can get rid of terrorism by any other means becaus if you folow the R.O.E. nothing gets resoulved Iraq and Afghanistan are prime examples its an unfortunate fact besides i wrote that trying to get the message a cross that were fighting a losing battel like Vietnam losing
    sorry if sounded to extreme in my views on extremist

  7. oh yea that was pretty funny i love it when people point out my flaws i have a bit of an ego at times =]

  8. David, unfortunately spelling will always have to be “your thing”—every time you write something, whether it be an email, a resume, or a report, people will judge you on your spelling and grammar.  Unless they invent some kind of high-paying job that you can work your way up to without writing AT ALL, you’re stuck with this, my friend. 

    Fact of the matter is, if you can’t spell, you look dumb.  You may not be dumb, but you look dumb.  Better pay attention to English as well as your other subjects in school …

  9. DJ, I’ll set you up with a blog again if you want. Drop me an email and let me know what you want to call it.

    David, GeekMom said what I would’ve said. If you want to be taken seriously you need to care about how you present yourself.

  10. Not to be too pendantic about things, but you really cannot destroy terrorism.  It is a tool, not a philosophy.  It would be like trying to destroy driving, you really can’t do it.  While philosophies such as “It’s good to destroy innocents to perpetrate Islam”, or “It’s right to stone your unruly children” are damn near impossible to destroy, methods such as terrorism don’t even qualify for possible destruction short of ending all sentient life.  I for one would not like to see that.

  11. (DAVID) i think if we really want to distroy terrorism we need to threaten them with death war and inocent bloodshed its all they will ever understand…

    You cannot destroy terrorism. It’s a simple idea, using fear as a means to further ideological goals.

    Arguably, if terrorism is understood in its loosest terms, the Bush administration’s fear mongering borders on terrorism against their own constituents.

    You can kill terrorists, but usually that just breeds more of them. Your only chance to address specific terrorist groups is to remove their popular support, if any, before you go hunting.

    And what everybody else said about spelling. I’m sorry to hear that your schools have failed you, but browsers like Firefox have a spell-checker built-in.

    i can look in a dictionary if i wanted to but i dont want to waste the time im writing a responce

    You’re not the first visitor to use this particular line. To state the obvious, it is discourteous to force your correspondents to wrest meaning from your letter soup.

  12. I still think it’s the only way you can stop the terrorist i mean if there is a way it would be it, and if any of you think there is a better more realistic way to stop terrorist than say so. If you wasted all day saying how im wrong then we won’t know whats right after all.Im sick of the bull shit job where doing over there nothing is getting better…

    …and know that morraly i agree with you… but the cost of this war has been to high for the way things are developing.

  13. The best way to stop individual terrorists is by whittling away their support base and have the population tip off whoever can stop them.

    As far as Iraq is concerned, your position is untenable. Are you saying that U.S. forces haven’t tried to kill and intimidate those who get in their way and innocent bystanders alike? Or are you saying the U.S. forces are not mission-capable? Look at the bright side, though. You’ll soon be old enough to enlist and help out in person.

  14. thats a good idea but it has alot of serious problems
    first if we get rid of thier support we would have to do away with a lot of muslim religious leaders and that will probably just make them fight harder.Hell they already think were on a crusade,the combo of having our millitary there and jailing there religious leaders would only help prove thier propaganda thus giving more support and more recruits

    and getting tips is harder than you think. do you know how scared these people are to say anything to any one

    and yes are troops are not mission-capable they lack the equipment and training for fighting terrorist soldiers are traind to fight other uniformed soldiers. also the ROE dosen’t help for obvious reasons it also needs to change in order to deal with this new threat.

  15. oh and as for my letter soup if you had an I.Q. of 80 you should still be able to understand what the words im spelling wrong are besides if your taking your time to read what im saying and my por english skills are making to had for you then thers something wrong with you sure it’s not perfect but it shouldnt be to hard for a sane mind and as for caring about how i present myself…I dont. at least not unless i realy am doing somthing that realy is hendering others ability to understand me and i mean realy hendering like talking with my mouth full or something. youv already pointed out my spelling i’ve acknowledged it but if i dont think its hurting you to much then im not going to change at least im still understandable

  16. I’m guessing “why should I bother” on this one. Troll or not, I’ll only waste so much time on poor spelling and inarticulate run-on sentences.

  17. I can’t be bothered to read it, I usually skim anyway but DAVID’s all merges into one. If he used quotes it’d help seperate the points.

  18. Anyway, the only way to get rid of terrorism is to kill everyone, everywhere. 

    Barring that, the question is one of managing to live with the risk, and what we’re willing to tolerate for the appearance of keeping that risk low.

    Turns out we’re willing to tolerate quite a fucking lot.

    And yeah, whether David’s a troll or simpleton, without punctuation and basic syntax, the world may never know.

  19. whel, skrew all ya’ll thats dond wanna taek tha thyme two translaight mai pour english, eye thunk yer jus retarded.  Yew shood reed whut I right, butt I’m not gon bothar to considar yer pints, cuz I no eyem write, yew kin tell cuz I dond bothar to spill stuff write.

  20. You “treat” terrorism with law enforcement. This gets glossed over as unreasonable a lot of times because of the scale of the offenses and the foreign nature of some of the actors, but in general it’s still always a mostly low-intensity/high-impact criminal act. There’s very little that modern terrorism doesn’t do, one way or the other, that organized crime and urban violence couldn’t do taken to the next level.

    So, you correct the underlying causes of terrorism like you fix organized crime. You don’t shoot the terrorists dead, you turn them against each other by kissing their behinds and making it difficult for them to make the profits that support their criminal acts. You stop isolating the regions where “terrorists” flourish and you give their young people profitable, safe things to do instead of joining jihadist “gangs.” Happy people who feel secure at home do not strap bombs on their backs and blow themselves up for vague promises of virgins.

    Unfortunately, this is law enforcement that America is never particularly happy with politically. No matter how much more effective it is to work to decriminalize and reform criminals and make them functional, healthy contributors to society America always has a hard-on for “Dirty Harry” style gunning down the brown guys/people who talk funny folks instead. In nearly every case we’re more likely to grab for the option that creates more criminal behaviors, from the drug war to the War in Iraq, so we have an excuse to feed our pathetic fears and grandiose national imperatives to “win” conflicts by combat.

  21. What he said, except…As Harris points out in “The End of Faith”, plenty of suicide bombers have been middle class and well educated Muslims.  I tend to agree more with him that it’s not a problem of poverty and desperation as it is a problem of extremist religion.  Having said that, and been a fundamentalist myself, I have no doubt there are some Christians who would strap on a bomb and go blow up an abortion clinic if they thought it was a one way ticket to heaven, so it’s potentially not just a Muslim problem. 

    I don’t know what the answer to the problem is though, and smarter minds than mine have attempted to solve it.  However, all evidence would suggest that blowing up innocents to get at possible terrorists does nothing except breed more hatred and resentment towards those dropping the bombs, and ultimately creates more terrorists. 

    Obviously we need to address the causes of the terrorism being used against us, but I’m not so sure that what we think is the cause is the only, or the biggest cause.

  22. There are plenty of middle class gangsters too, and if you look simply at lifestyle alone you can probably look at all sorts of organized crime figures and go “Gosh, they’re doing pretty well for themselves, why don’t they stop?”

    You’re not simply treating the poverty. If the solution was that easy then even a Beat Cop Barney would eventually start dishing out a few nickels here and there. You’ve got to do something about what’s going on in people’s lives in a positive manner. I don’t care how well-off someone is, if they’re oppressed by their government that we’re supporting then they’ve got a beef with us and if we’ve decided that their government is a bad guy and basically criminalized “being Iranian/Cuban/North Korean/Whatever” then you’re already setting up some of the conditions for criminal behavior.

    It’s the same here in the US with our history of segregation and marginalization – and I’m not saying it’s all our fault in all of these cases, but in the end who cares whose fault what is? The kid asked for a solution, and solutions that don’t involve shooting people’s dumb children like himself who “don’t understand anything but violent solutions” are largely to preferable than other kinds.

    Obviously any solution isn’t ever going to completely erase the problem of batshit nutjobs at the fringes of society doing Bad Things. But, if you look at the numbers of say, fundamentalist batshit nutjobs in the United States with access to all the crazy things you can buy to kill your fellow man with at the local super store, I think it’s pretty clear that law enforcement provides a pretty good fix to those guys too. Just based on the numbers, the odds of being blown up by a crazed anti-abortionist are pretty slim, along with with radical anti-federalist tinfoil hat conspirators (who, I might remind everyone, only really got aggressive after Janet Reno tried her “burn the women and children too” strategy of rooting out weird fringe religion fundies over here), and the average “I just like to hurt someone and I don’t need an excuse” sociopaths.

    It’s about opening a dialogue, allowing people to believe (even if it isn’t true) that you’re addressing their concerns, and bread and circuses. Simply put, it’s a lot cheaper to appease someone’s head than it is to bury him or worry about him burying you. Investing in people is a lot less expensive, in the long term, than shooting them – because eventually you’re going to have to talk to someone anyways.

  23. There are plenty of middle class gangsters too, and if you look simply at lifestyle alone you can probably look at all sorts of organized crime figures and go “Gosh, they’re doing pretty well for themselves, why don’t they stop?”

    No offense (though I’m sure you’re going to take some), but I agree with you. In fact, my comment states as much.

    I tend to agree more with him that it’s not a problem of poverty and desperation as it is a problem of extremist religion.

    And as far as Christians go, I said:

    I have no doubt there are some Christians who would strap on a bomb and go blow up an abortion clinic if they thought it was a one way ticket to heaven…

    Let me elaborate.  Nobody has twisted Bible verses enough to convince Christian fanatics that a suicide bombing will get them into heaven.  I said “some”, and I think the only reason we don’t see “some” Christians doing suicide bombings is that they lack the motivation.  After all, most churches say that suicide is a sin.  While not a hell-worthy trespass in all churches, it is still a sin.  Not a glorious ticket to 72 virgins and rivers of milk and honey.

    And I agree with you on blowing people up not being the solution:

    However, all evidence would suggest that blowing up innocents to get at possible terrorists does nothing except breed more hatred and resentment towards those dropping the bombs, and ultimately creates more terrorists.

    I was ultimately just making the point that religious fanaticism is the biggest, and most problematic cause.  Fanatics will do everything in their power to prevent being enlightened out of their ignorance and superstition.  Not only that, they will do everything they can to stop their families and friends from being “corrupted” as well.

    So while I agree with you that killing isn’t the answer, and that speaking to people (on a personal basis) will eventually help, extreme religion is going to prevent this from happening on an effective level. The issue is far more complex. Good luck reaching people in a place like Saudi Arabia, where most people believe the religious dogma, and actively support the theocratic regime that oppresses them.  I’m not sure how we should or even could begin to do something about it.  It’s definitely not going to go away.

  24. I think we sometimes have oppertunities to prevent people in everyday life being radicalised on ground level (minimising long-term pain for all), but sometimes there’s not much you can do, they need to live out the hate for a little bit and realise for themselves.

    Anyway, the best we as citizens can do is try to prevent it from reaching the police stage (also a lot of murders and suicides could be avoided), I’m not talking social policy, more along the lines of everyone understanding others and trying to get them to understand, but obviously we do still need some way of dealing with those that pose a threat.

  25. Sure, but the problem is a global one.  Here at home, or in Britain, we don’t experience religion on the all encompassing level that they do in theocracies, or theocratic monarchies.  Solutions we use here on a one on one basis or with small groups simply will not work when you are dealing with a sovereign nation ruled AND populated by fanatics.  Obviously not all citizens of a theocracy are fanatic, but it really just takes a small group of fanatics, and relative indifference from the rest of the population to be effectively the same as the whole population being fanatics.

    I’m all for live and let live, but it’s just ignorant to believe that everyone, especially those who show every sign to the opposite, will share that philosophy and leave us be.  I don’t think the great majority of people, religious or otherwise truly want to perpetrate a fanatic lifestyle, all it takes is a small handful to make it really bad for the rest of us.

  26. Solutions we use here on a one on one basis or with small groups simply will not work when you are dealing with a sovereign nation ruled AND populated by fanatics.

    See, that’s what I disagree with – we’ve got issues with “small group” criminality and sovereignty here at home too. We’ve got more flavors of ethnicity and political strife in our organized crime than you can shake a stick at, as a matter of fact and sometimes they’re supported halfway across the world in places that are just as propped up by criminal enterprise as a theocracy is by loyalists to their subscribed religion. I mean, you’re waving at whole countries on one hand saying “See, the problem is too large. You’ve got a problem with your scale on your solution;” and with the other you’re whispering words like “small handfuls.”

    The problems are of similar scale. Religious fanaticism is a problem, but it’s no more of a problem than the racially derived loyalty and fanaticism of the various White Power organizations. The fact that some of these guys implicitly have the support of national identities as well only makes things simpler too: Once a nation takes a deliberate and explicit step on the order of what the criminals do, you’re absolutely in the right in the allowance for appropriate responses on a national, defending sovereignty level. That’s the difference between the appropriateness of the response for some random guy blowing up a building in your country versus some nation training, outfitting, and funding them to commit an act of war.

    It might seem to be a vague nuance, but I think especially when you’re talking about countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia you’ve got to continually hammer it in as a strict policy nuance. There’s really no doubt that the United States could put a world of hurt on any nation that decided to commit an act of war against it, but we’re wasting our military effectiveness on a failed, false policy right now.

    That’s the other thing about pushing for a law enforcement response – it allows you to withdraw the military and commit it to the role that it played so effectively in the Cold War, as a sort of Sword of Damocles looming over bad behavior threatening the worst of all possible consequences if sovereign states step across the line.

  27. Tafka – It’s controversial, but those living under the opression may be in a better position to do something about it, because they’re nearer the source. Obviously not if there’s personal cost (ie excecution/job loss/general scorning), but in terms of providing emotional feedback to the perpetrators. They will do this to some extent automatically, for themselves or simply not knowingly.

    Unfortunately the door of reason has to be a little open in the first place to open it a little more; those determined to reject critical thought cannot be penetrated until circumstance forces them to, or they simply run out of steam (hate is described as analagous to a feul, one that is obtained from others)

    And sure, the extent of our influence as a small thinktank is very limited in comparison to that of many people, and some are hard nuts to crack, but as the one-to-one change gradually wins people over, it should snowball (in theory, if birth and death stopped resetting things). In part, people take these views because they were conditioned to hate or believe in strict theolgy, but if we can condition children to think…

    Even if small, and even if it doesn’t snowball or we lose influence, the one-to-one change that we have achieved and continue to strive for should make some people’s lives a little easier. Just as fundamentalism will never be completely eliminated, neither will critical thought, because thought can be born of strife, and strife can be born from ignorance.

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