Friday, July 05, 2002

And the Killer is...

Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, a 41-year-old Egyptian (via the LA Examiner)

I wonder if he attended the same lecture as I did? That would be creepy. (From the photo and information posted on CNN, there's a slight chance he could be "Mr. Green." Now that would be creepy. He does look to be about the same age, and has a somewhat similar face. But I really can't tell right now, and I last saw him a few months ago, and from what I remember, he had a blunter nose.)

I always had the feeling there were at least a few terrorists in Irvine.

[Update (7/5 9:27pm): the color picture posted on the Drudge Report looks a lot more like "Mr. Green:"

I think there's more than just a slight chance I was sitting a foot from Hadayet when he said he wanted to carry out a terror attack. I have filed a tip with the FBI, I only wish I had done so sooner. It didn't even occur to me to report him back then.

Maybe Mr. Green wasn't Hadayet. But he's still a dangerous creep.]

[Update (7/6 8:01pm): actually, I don't think Hadayet is "Mr. Green," even though they look a bit similar. I still think Green needs to be watched by the FBI, he would fit the same profile as Hadayet (older, impatient, devout, and extreme), and he's willing to say in public that he wants to carry out terror attacks.]

[Update (7/7 8:17pm): several months have degraded my memory, but now I've swung back to thinking Mr. Green probably was Hadayet. I don't know if I've just looked at the photo one too many times, if it's poisoned my memory. But he really looks an awful lot like Mr. Green. One would have to analyze the video taken by the Muslim Student Union to see if that was him.]

What are the Odds? Actually, They're Quite Good!

There was a plane crash near Los Angeles, killing four people, and wounding several others. What are the odds this would have happened on the very same day as the shooting at LAX? Actually, they're quite good.

Small aircraft crash happen all the time, it usually doesn't make the news, because there's not much to report. But this was newsworthy, because people on the ground were hurt. But why were there people on the ground? Because it was the Fourth! More people came out to the park, because of the holiday, which is the same reason the gunman attacked when he did. And in the words of the pilot's wife, "they were going to go flying today for something fun on a holiday." So that was also the reason the plane was in the air in the first place.

This is how coincidences happen, they're often not so extraordinary.

Thursday, July 04, 2002

What the Heck Happened?

So far, we haven't been told much. We don't know the race of the perpetrator, or anything about his possible motives, although one witness said he could have been an Arab. What we do know is this: he brought two handguns and a knife to the El-Al ticket counter, suggesting premeditation, and he may have gotten into an argument with El Al staff.

What I think happened, if there was an argument: A mentally unstable Arab Muslim man planned to hijack an El Al flight. His plan was to walk up and buy a ticket, and then hope he could make it past security (this is where the "mentally unstable" part comes into play, it's a really stupid plan). When he couldn't get the ticket without showing papers proving who he was (an Arab and not a Jew), he opened fire. If there was no argument, then it was a planned terror attack where the primary targets would be the people at the counter. Either way, Israelis were the target, and it was a terror attack.

The fact that it was premeditated, and that there would be no possibility of escaping alive, suggests this was a political act, and thus a terror attack. Some details from what I said above might be wrong, they're just my best guess. Maybe the killer was a Hispanic Muslim, maybe it was a Christian Arab. In any case, I think the FBI is withholding the identity of the killer in order to prevent drunk idiots from attacking Arabs on the 4th of July. Once we've sobered up on the 5th, they won't have any problem telling us.

Death by a Thousand Cuts

The Norwegian Blogger has an analysis of the strategy of a large number of small attacks, as opposed to Osama's apparent current strategy, which is to carry out massive strikes.

Three Dead, Including the Gunman

I am already so sick of hearing this phrase. The gunman killed two before being put down. He was not a victim like the other two. He belongs in a separate category.

Now, an Important Question

Were the National Guardsmen at the airport carrying loaded M-16 assault rifles, or did they have to stop to load them, giving the terrorist extra time to keep shooting? Did unloaded weapons lead to the death or injury of a guardsman?

[update (7/5 12:17am): I guess guardsmen don't even factor into this, because it was an Israeli security officer who shot the terrorist]

I can't say I didn't predict this

Terror attack at LAX, 3 shot dead

One month ago, I said this would happen.

This is the beginning of a wave. How big will the wave be? It depends how successful the individual gunmen are. It's not coordinated, the gunmen are just inspired by previous gunmen, like the school shootings. Which means any Muslim or white supremacist anywhere in America could pick up a rifle. There's no way to stop this sort of thing except shooting the terrorist on scene (note: this is not the "cell-based terror," Demosthenes and I argued about, which is preventable by security forces, this is completely individual terror).

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

A Good URL to have Handy

Whenever you get a Nigerian scam email, just copy the text from this post and mail it back to them. I just did that today...

Monday, July 01, 2002

Media Fundamentalists

An exhaustive KTVU investigation has—gasp!—turned up tapes of Bill Simon—on TV! While I agree TBN is a whacked-out station and Simon never should have appeared there, the "investigation" is nothing but hyperbole. They try to claim Simon says God told him to run--in actuality, he just said he asked God if God wanted him to run. Two very, very different things. The Chronicle also breathlessly proclaims:
Just days before the primary, Simon appeared on "Behind the Scenes," expressing gratitude for the opportunity to appear on TBN.
In other words, he said something like "thank you for inviting me to your show." The San Francisco Chronicle is every bit as much a fundamentalist media outlet as TBN.

Sunday, June 30, 2002


This is probably the first time we've threatened to kill United Nations personnel. I can't say I disagree. A kidnapper is a kidnapper, even if you dress him up in a fancy blue helmet. (via Drudge)

Bye, Bye MCI

I meant to blog this earlier, but I never got around to it.

A couple days ago, a telemarketer called me up to ask if I'd like to save money by switching to MCI. I asked him, aren't you guys still partnered with WorldCom? And he said, "not really." That was when I flew off the handle. "NOT REALLY? What do you mean by that?" He said WorldCom was the part of the company with the scandal, and MCI was the part that was making money. I was laughing, and I apologized for wasting his time, but he kept asking me if I'd like to switch, I had to hang up on him. I feel sorry for him, I really do.

Bashing the Right

Normally, us right-wing bloggers don't bother to bash idiot right-wingers because they're an embarrassment to us, whereas idiot lefties are cannon fodder. But when someone says something extremely offensive, we're sort of obligated as pundits to say something.

I'll also answer Tapped's call for right-wing bloggers to bash Cal Thomas. This guy is a whack-job.

The 9/11 attacks were more traumatizing than the 9th Circuit's ruling on the pledge. If you don't believe that, you should give serious thought to leaving this country, because you cease to be an American when you put your religion over Americans' physical safety from foreign terrorists.

And this was way over the line.
Yesterday a court in America made a ruling that I want to comment on. America is a nation that is -- a nation that values our relationship with an Almighty. Declaration of God in the Pledge of Allegiance doesn't violate rights. As a matter of fact, it's a confirmation of the fact that we received our rights from God, as proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence.

I -- I believe that it points up the fact that we need common-sense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God. And those are the kind of judges I intend to put on the bench.
Our rights do not come from God, they are derived from our natural and objective right to exist free, and our willingness to defend that. (via Atrios)

[update (12:46pm): rereading the quote, I was struck by this phrase, which could only have been uttered by George W. Bush: "a nation that values our relationship with an Almighty"]

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