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To err is human

I was listening to a public radio commentary about reactions the Paris shootings, and someone said something to the effect that “our lizard brains make us afraid.”1

imageOne of my all-time favorite books is Bruce Schneier’s “Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World” (2003). In the book, Schneier points out that we tend to fear dangers that are rather unlikely, and not fear ones that we should be more concerned about. In years past my church has put on a live nativity scene at Christmas. It’s a nativity scene with real animals and people. Folks in the community can drive by and see it, or stop and get out of their cars. We haven’t done it lately because we’re lacking in volunteer leadership, but an objection was raised against restarting the activity because of “all the shootings.” Someone participating in the event is more likely to be killed in a traffic accident caused by an impaired driver than from getting shot in our peaceful part of town. Rather than installing security cameras, we might ensure the safety of our children more by, as one local church did, putting up posters about childhood obesity.

Humans instinctively do some things wrong. We overestimate our chances of winning the lottery for example. We overestimate the dangers of a horrific event. We overestimate our knowledge of things we know little about, and underestimate our knowledge of things we know a lot about. We evaluate evidence more favorably when it agrees with what we already believe and discount what doesn’t. These are all well-documented human traits. My concern is that not only do I know these things, but also those who would manipulate public opinion know these things. (My lizard brain makes me afraid.)

Many political leaders in the US are reacting to the Paris incident by demanding a stop to the resettlement of Syrian refugees, and other anti-immigrant measures. Islam as a religion is being called incompatible with American values (three-quarters of Republicans say this). When I heard a brief statement that Donald Trump was calling for registration of Muslims and ID cards for them, I immediately thought he was playing the “fear card” and images of the Third Reich came to mind (and apparently I wasn’t the only one with this reaction).

It is my unverified opinion that knowing about the errors in human thinking helps one avoid them. I say “helps avoid” not “prevents.” I’ve tried to understand myself and my own errors in thinking and judgment (what I call my “failure modes”) at least since high school. (Mr. Spock was a role model.) I don’t know how well I’ve done, but at least it is a constant theme. I took psychology in high school, but I do not remember anything about errors in judgment being covered, so if I would offer any change in public policy, it would be to teach such things in school.

Because I see my own irrational reactions,and my own errors in judgment, I am a little more prone to cut birthers some slack. Birthers are not that way because they are just mean SOB’s—they are human.


1A The “lizard brain” is a primitive region of the human brain, similar to that found in reptiles. It’s responsible for fear responses. Oddly, searching for “lizard brain” on the Internet most often leads to self-help material on how to succeed.

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60 Responses to To err is human

  1. avatar
    Woodrowfan November 21, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    I live and work in the DC area and go into DC itself all the time. It both amuses and frustrates me to hear all the panic from people that live out in small towns and cites that they’re about to be attacked by ISIS! Seriously, if they hit anywhere it’ll likely be DC or New York. Some other major cities (LA, Chicago) might be targets. If you live in Hobart, Indiana or Porkolopus, Iowa, or some such, you’re not a target. Jeezus.

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 21, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

    It’s possible that our church member was concerned about the church shooting in Charleston, SC (our state), although his remark was made two days after the Paris terrorist attack. The town where the church is located has on average less than one murder per year per 100,000 population. This has been a rough year (2 homicides), but those where fights between people who knew each other, not random violence.

    I was looking at a map of the town just now, and the word that came to mind was “Mandelbrot.”

    Woodrowfan: It both amuses and frustrates me to hear all the panic from people that live out in small towns and cites that they’re about to be attacked by ISIS! Seriously,

  3. avatar
    charo November 21, 2015 at 11:44 pm #

    I hope the article is of interest to you.

    https://brendaweatherly.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/refugee-resettlement-balancing-compassion-with-discernment/

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 22, 2015 at 12:34 am #

    It appears that “Brenda” is poorly informed about the current vetting process for refugees entering the US. It is exhaustive.

    charo: I hope the article is of interest to you.

  5. avatar
    Lupin November 22, 2015 at 3:41 am #

    charo:
    I hope the article is of interest to you.

    https://brendaweatherly.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/refugee-resettlement-balancing-compassion-with-discernment/

    I was rather struck by the unintended irony of this exchange in her comments:

    Commenter:
    Great article! I agree – if they can’t pledge to live in peace with Jews and homosexuals in their neighborhood here – then it’s them rejecting us, not vice versa.

    Reply by brendaweatherly:
    This is a major point that Liberals are not considering.

    Considering the open homophobia and antisemitism of the right-wing (in America but also elsewhere), maybe Brenda should consider taking in the syrians and kicking her white friends out — send them to the Middle East, there should feel at home there.

  6. avatar
    Lupin November 22, 2015 at 3:43 am #

    charo:
    I hope the article is of interest to you.

    https://brendaweatherly.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/refugee-resettlement-balancing-compassion-with-discernment/

    Also — you might consider a well-known seasonal parable about a family of Middle-Easterners looking for accommodation and being turned down by everyone.

  7. avatar
    Keith November 22, 2015 at 5:45 am #

    Three things…

    1) It is not Paris we should pray for

    2) Perspective

    3) Waleed Aly: ‘ISIL Is Weak, And They Don’t Want You To Know It’

    Really. Listen to number 3. Its worth it.

  8. avatar
    CRJ November 22, 2015 at 6:07 am #

    @Doc Nice Article .. Enjoyed it.

    America’s biggest problem isn’t importing potential terrorist, it’s the Government’s control of the Media through individuals caring that Foreign heads of States got the right info and Americans through their line of bullsh*t got the lie.

    Trust! Easily damaged, hardly ever repaired. HRC jokes in calling 9/11/2011 a Terrostic Act.. Instead blaming it on a Video which invites further hostilities.

    The woman is batsh$t crazy. 3 weeks before a major election she proved willing to inject poison into the Main vain of America’s Election process she didn’t even have her Reputation on the line for. It was Obama’s rep.

    I couldn’t believe TIME finally got it right.. Its about Time. But where has that left Americans? Facing her as the leading D Candidate with the biggest Trust question we discuss just 4 years ago upon ALL AMERICANS?

    http://time.com/4116619/syrian-refugees-screening-process/

    Where does that leave Americans TRUSTING the Government to vett or be able to do what they say they can? Kentucky got the brunt of the two bad ones reported by TIME.. not DC or NY.

    [Islam as a religion is being called incompatible with American values (three-quarters of Republicans say this). ]
    What do Democrats think?

    1- what is the Record of Islamic Countries on Gays getting married?
    2- What is the Record of Islamic Countries on woman’s Rights?
    3- What is the Record of Islamic Countries on diverse religion Equality?
    4- What is the Record of Islamic Country’s on a Free Press and Free Speech Free Asembly?

    Traditionally , Those are the Reasons why they want to destroy us as infidels. Those are the Reasons we are not concerned with the majority of Muslims who don’t practice devoutly their religion.. Thank God.

    But of 1.2 Billion 15% do practice the militant aspect devoutly That’s 2-4 Million very acidic towards American values.

    The Caliphate of Territory spread through Terror actually makes most Muslims the greatest victims of what we call offensive Discrimination.

    It’s almost ODD that the Democratic Party is standing up for a Religion directly so dangerous to so many minorities. To say it didn’t make sense when to be safe and secure in our homes ought to be a bigger right then being terrorized by a Religion conducting the biggest percent of terrorism world wide.

    It’s a cross dressing conundrum

  9. avatar
    roadburner November 22, 2015 at 8:57 am #

    CRJ:

    1- what is the Record of Islamic Countries on Gays getting married?
    2- What is the Record of Islamic Countries on woman’s Rights?
    3- What is the Record of Islamic Countries on diverse religion Equality?
    4- What is the Record of Islamic Country’s on a Free Press and Free Speech Free Asembly?

    1) kind of ironic to complain about gay rights in muslim countries when the home grown conservative `christians’ scream and shout about gays corrupting their children, how it is an abomination, advocate castration and sterilisation, and object most strongly about gay marriage and say they want it repealed if their boys win.

    2) if you were to look, there have been more female heads of state from muslim countries than the united states.

    3) turkey is pretty damn good, as was iraq before we screwed with it, along with indonesia, and various others.

    4) about the same as the west depending on the country and regime. both `Christian’ countries and `muslim’ countries have examples of free press and censored press.

    sorry to burst your bubble.

  10. avatar
    Woodrowfan November 22, 2015 at 9:48 am #

    “Kentucky got the brunt”? seriously? They arrested two guys in Kentucky. That’s ‘the brunt”? Really?????? Especially since the 2 in Kentucky were convicted not of plotting attacks in the US, but of trying to aid Al-Quida in Iraq. Sorry, a couple of guys making phones calls and sending emails in Kentucky is not exactly 9/11 Part Deux.

    http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-iraqi-nationals-indicted-federal-terrorism-charges-kentucky

  11. avatar
    Arthur November 22, 2015 at 10:58 am #

    Woodrowfan: If you live in Hobart, Indiana or Porkolopus, Iowa, or some such, you’re not a target. Jeezus.

    Ah, Porkopolus . . . if only it existed in reality, and not just in our dreams!

  12. avatar
    Arthur November 22, 2015 at 11:05 am #

    CRJ: America’s biggest problem isn’t importing potential terrorist . . .

    . . . it’s home-grown terroists like Judy, “who was apprehended Sunday after he held what he said was a bomb detonator next to President Hunter’s head and threatened to blow up an audience of 17,000 at BYU’s Marriott Center.”
    Deseret News, 1993

  13. avatar
    Bob November 22, 2015 at 11:24 am #

    President Obama announced a new order that could benefit CRJ:

    ‘It is a step towards what many criminal justice reformers call “ban the box” – the effort to eliminate requirements that job applicants check a box on their applications if they have a criminal record.’

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/obama-bans-the-box

  14. avatar
    CRJ November 22, 2015 at 11:45 am #

    @Roadburner [sorry to burst your bubble.]

    You didn’t burst my bubble. .at all. I don’t have to compare [other religions] to access my sorrow for Islam when we are talking about Terrorism across the world and American values held within our U.S. Constitution. Of course all religions bear their cross of discrimination and while here in the USA must tow the line of our Criminal Code.

    1- What percentage of Terroristic activity is accounted for in the World those of Islamic Faith?
    2- Who is the Supreme Islamic Male example?
    3- What did he do? Married a 6 yr old had foreplay till 9 then had sex with her at 9. Slaughtered an entire Jewish village. You a wanna defend that in “your bubble”?

    Are those things in violation of American Principles when it comes to the safety and security of Americans in their Homes?

    4- Where are the protest by the silent Muslim Population? I’m not seeing them in the streets.
    5- Turkey’s recent “moment of Silence” for the victims of France at the Football Game was deafening.
    6. If you take ALL the Religions in America committing terrorism what percentage of those is due to Islam?

    @Woodrowfan It’s great to see you defending those who have committed prior felonies. I know that won’t stop you from voting for what Former SOS Hillary Clinton presented as Past Criminal history of future Presidents (smile).

    It really is interesting to see you can’t defend Islam’s Record of Terror as the greatest in Modern History, and you certainly fail to defend the Minorities in this Country including woman, The LGBT Communities, and the imprisonment of those Journalist of the Free Press unreleased and imprisoned by the Islamic Republic.

    Of course my interest in those questions is of sorrow because Islam is creating the biggest problem for Islam. Mass Punishment is right around the corner because of the actions of a few. That’s what happens in a lock down in Prison. Rarely are the culbrates individually punished.

    After that happens a few times Islam will begin controlling Islam much better.

    I’m so happy this morning. I woke up after dreaming of Obama’s last Day in Office. It was a wonderful dream!!! We made it! Everyone was celebrating. The transition was to me. . and he was trying to pull fast ones on his Last Day. I couldn’t believe it.

    What will the USA do.. Recovery is on the Agenda! Gosh the last day finally here… It’s ALL about TIME.

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 22, 2015 at 12:02 pm #

    A couple of books I would recommend:

    Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill by Jessica Stern

    Fundamentalisms Observed from the University of Chicago Fundamentalism Project, Marty & Appleby eds.

  16. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 22, 2015 at 12:13 pm #

    If you really want to know, click on the convenient hyperlink in the article.

    CRJ: [Islam as a religion is being called incompatible with American values (three-quarters of Republicans say this). ]
    What do Democrats think?

  17. avatar
    alg November 22, 2015 at 12:30 pm #

    Bob:
    President Obama announced a new order that could benefit CRJ:

    ‘It is a step towards what many criminal justice reformers call “ban the box” – the effort to eliminate requirements that job applicants check a box on their applications if they have a criminal record.’

    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/obama-bans-the-box

    Yup, we’ve been implementing “ban the box” at the office. But it wouldn’t help Cody Robert Judy get a job with us one bit – not because he’s got a criminal record, but because he doesn’t have any skills.

  18. avatar
    Slartibartfast November 22, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    True. You can’t fix stupid.

    alg: Yup, we’ve been implementing “ban the box” at the office.But it wouldn’t help Cody Robert Judy get a job with us one bit – not because he’s got a criminal record, but because he doesn’t have any skills.

  19. avatar
    roadburner November 22, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    CRJ:
    @Roadburner [sorry to burst your bubble.]

    You didn’t burst my bubble. .at all. I don’t have to compare [other religions] to access my sorrow for Islam when we are talking about Terrorism across the world and American values held within our U.S. Constitution.

    no, you just want to use an example of one, as showing equivilent acts by other religions shows what a biggotted idiot you are

    CRJ: 1- What percentage of Terroristic activity is accounted for in the World those of Islamic Faith?
    2- Who is the Supreme Islamic Male example?
    3- What did he do? Married a 6 yr old had foreplay till 9 then had sex with her at 9. Slaughtered an entire Jewish village. You a wanna defend that in “your bubble”?

    Are those things in violation of American Principles when it comes to the safety and security of Americans in their Homes?

    4- Where are the protest by the silent Muslim Population? I’m not seeing them in the streets.
    5- Turkey’s recent “moment of Silence” for the victims of France at the Football Game was deafening.
    6. If you take ALL the Religions in America committing terrorism what percentage of those is due to Islam?

    and judy, not content with being bitchslapped decides to worship the pile!

    1) i’ve not looked recently, but according to the FBI, islamic terrorism accounts for 5% of terrorist acts in the united states – and you count in the other 95%!

    2) obviously the prophet mohammed

    3) you know that high horse you’re on….want to get down off it?

    you, like many islamophobes i know love to bring up the `pedophilia’ line, while ignoring the fact that they are talking about what was common 1500 years ago, and ignoring the torah for allowing girls as Young as 3 to be married, and not levelling the same criticisms against judaism.

    likewise, you love an example from 1500 years ago, but shy away from the fact that Massachusetts TODAY allows girls as Young as 12 to marry legally with judicial and parental consent. that is legal marriage in the united states in the 21st century, not 1500 years ago.

    what were you saying about american values and the constitution? …..oh! what was that popping sound!

    does that make the united states a country of pedophiles because of what is legal today in mass? no, no more than what happened 1500 years ago makes muslims sympathetic to pedophilia.

    4) but you have your fingers in your ears, so of course you won’t.

    5) are you saying it was obligatory to have a minute silence at a football match, and then get pissed when it doesn’t happen? it wasn’t?….oh, guess that means you’re just looking for a reason to be outraged.

    6) according to the FBI, 5%

    consider your bubble completely exploded you silly Little domestic terrorist.

  20. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 22, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    I remember some years back that the parent company gave us this little talk about what we could ask in a job interview, and what we couldn’t, so I would ask something like: “is there any important fact that I haven’t asked that you think I would want to know?”

    I had one guy answer that he was fired from his previous job because he was addicted to looking at pornography at work, but that he was getting help. I am so very glad that the next candidate was better qualified.

    alg: Yup, we’ve been implementing “ban the box” at the office.

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 22, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

    To err is human. To really foul things up requires a computer.

  22. avatar
    Woodrowfan November 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    @Woodrowfan It’s great to see you defending those who have committed prior felonies.

    that makes no sense whatsoever. but then, bigotry is not the product of reason but its opposite.

  23. avatar
    charo November 22, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    “Of course I understand the probability that prospective refugees may lie on their application. The government is obviously aware of this, too. I am somewhat familiar with the refugee vetting process;I have spoken with dozens of refugees about their experiences and I serve on the Auxiliary Committee for the refugee agency. Without going into a long, drawn-out explanation of the process, there are ways to verify the history and backgrounds of refugees beyond just simply asking questions. There are years of interviews, background checks, in-depth research of even their social media postings (for those who are active in social media). I feel more comfortable allowing someone to come to the U.S. who has shown that they have been put in life-threatening situations because of their allegiance to the United States, i.e., interpreters/translators, those in high-security clearance positions for the U.S. government, etc. For prospective refugees who have absolutely no way to confirm these details, that is who I would be concerned about allowing in the U.S.”

    So, she is familiar with the process. In any case, I took her as someone honestly airing her feelings which you may disagree with, but as an an example of the thought process. I am more conservative than she is on certain issues, but I respected that she put her name to what she wrote. I appreciated that she explained her point of view without judging the opposite viewpoint.

    And Lupin, I believe she has taken in refugees to her home, I am not sure why you referenced the circumstances of the birth of Jesus. Totally inapplicable circumstances here altogether.

  24. avatar
    charo November 22, 2015 at 2:04 pm #

    Additionally, if the vetting process takes years, how does that help for the immediate plight? If not years, what is the time frame?

  25. avatar
    dunstvangeet November 22, 2015 at 3:25 pm #

    Hey, Charo. Which book said this on Women’s rights?

    “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”

    Or, how about this:
    “Women should remain silent in the mosques. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the mosque.”

  26. avatar
    J.D. Sue November 22, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    CRJ: [Islam as a religion is being called incompatible with American values (three-quarters of Republicans say this). ]

    —-
    Seems pretty clear to me, it is the Republicans who are incompatible with American values; it is the right wing Christians who are incompatible with their own religion.

  27. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 22, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    I am coming to the opinion that the issue is not Democrat vs Republican, or Christianity v. Islam v. secularism, but rather

    libertarianism v. authoritarianism
    pragmatism v. dogmatism
    tolerance v. intolerance
    science v. intuition
    fear v. hope

    J.D. Sue: Seems pretty clear to me, it is the Republicans who are incompatible with American values

  28. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 22, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    I see what you did there.

    dunstvangeet: “Women should remain silent in the mosques. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the mosque.”

  29. avatar
    charo November 22, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    dunstvangeet:
    Hey, Charo.Which book said this on Women’s rights?

    “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.”

    Or, how about this:
    “Women should remain silent in the mosques. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the mosque.”

    I have to ask my husband before I can answer you. Also, my avitar is way out of line. I need to be looking down.

  30. avatar
    Keith November 22, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    CRJ: 3- What did he do? Married a 6 yr old had foreplay till 9 then had sex with her at 9. Slaughtered an entire Jewish village. You a wanna defend that in “your bubble”?

    1) Who had at least 27 wives, at least 4 of whom were under 17 when they married including 2 who were 14?

    2) Who had 59 wives, at least 3 of whom were under 17 when they were wed, and at least two others who remained married and remained living with their first husbands?

    3) What religious group advocates very young children (as young as 3 years old) marrying old men and violently (like with guns) opposes any attempt to examine the welfare of such children?

  31. avatar
    aarrgghh November 22, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

    better: science v. superstition

    science is not categorically against intuition. while intuition is not reliable, it is not always wrong, but superstition always is.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    science v. intuition

  32. avatar
    CRJ November 23, 2015 at 12:07 am #

    @Doc WOW! 41 % of even [non-religious] people believe Islam is in conflict with American Values and 43% of Democrats , not to mention the survey was taken before the Terrorist Act in Paris, France.

    Like I said the silent majority of Muslims really need to be running a full blown campaign decrying these sons-a-bitchn terror whores amongst them, but I think short of that theres an underlying problem with the sincere superiority and anti American Values rehotoric going on.

    If the silent Majority of Islam started running 100 million dollar campaigns debunking the anti gay, anti women, anti multi cultural religious freedom so many “think” is true, obviously very large portions of both America’s Main Stream Parties I’ll bet that would go along way with the Public, you know instead of letting the Terrorist speak for them as leaders?

    You know, I really didn’t think the percentages would be that high. Because you made no mention of the Democrats I figured it was just a one sided Republican hit job which I can appreciate but which clearly would be ignoring near half of Democrats too.

    You know I’ve vigorously defended a person’s “Freedom of Religion” having suffered the constraints and disrespect of Government for “religious sentiment” in my own case.

    Its flabergasted to see the pin-heads with pea brains rather hate on me for the suffering I did as specifically and close to religious protection in worship as one could get, with the Government invading the church and dictating the terms.

    These defenders are really pretenders and know nothing of “persecution” and less about “hypocracy” , or they would actually defend me across the board. . we don’t see that ever here.

    I think everyone can understand how wonka that is. Lol

    One thing that is disconcerting to me is the difference in treatment with Somali Refugees and Syrian Refugees. Where was the same concern?

    Given the volume America has taken in over the last decade, I think it’s a huge concern for tax payers at $65,000 per year, and the numbers seem fudged or really contrast when stories are written as about the refugees age, sex, and family.

    I really didn’t know America has actually taken so many Refugees in over just the last decade. . and all the predominantly Muslim country’s around Syria like Saudia Arabia has taken in so few, and we have really seen how stingy the surrounding countries had been with these Refugees, when they have such great territory, huge tent cities, air conditioned and it seems rather emblematic of the courtesy shown to America in our defense militarily to them.

    They certainly draw no line on Sucking every last dollar out of us they can in both polar directions don’t they?

    I actually enjoyed HRC’s answer in the last debate which emphasised this, concentrated for a little more pressure on the surrounding Muslim Countries, as she put it, to help with the Refugee Crisis problem.

    When you start to see what America has done, you Really start to understand how low balled and disrespectful it is to assume otherwise in some tantrum “it’s got to stop”.

    Good hell.. Something does have to stop especially the rubbish charge of our lack of generosity and charity that is a TOTALLY OFF THE HOOK False NARRATIVE!

  33. avatar
    Rickey November 23, 2015 at 12:11 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I see what you did there.

    Likewise.

  34. avatar
    Rickey November 23, 2015 at 12:20 am #

    CRJ:
    HRC jokes in calling 9/11/2011 a Terrostic Act.. Instead blaming it on a Video which invites further hostilities.

    Once again you spread lies.

    Hillary Clinton never blamed the Benghazi attack on a video, at least not publicly.

    As PolitiFact reports:

    On the day after the attack, she {Clinton] told the Egyptian prime minister it had nothing to do with the film. At other times, Clinton talked about the video but didn’t say it caused the attacks. At other times, she blamed the video more broadly for protests in various places. A family member of a victim said Clinton blamed the video for his son’s death, but we didn’t find that same sentiment expressed in any of her public comments.

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/nov/11/ben-carson/ben-carson-says-hillary-clinton-gave-conflicting-a/

  35. avatar
    CRJ November 23, 2015 at 12:45 am #

    @Rickey You can certainly call me whatever you’d like. .. To err certainly is human as the Post is entitled, however I never would say anything about HRC she couldn’t say better herself.. And I’m a Democrat Bud. I’m just saying the Republicans have vast more intelligence and resources then I do.. And I managed this:
    HONESTLY.. HONESTLY..HONESTLY
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iQmh-tf0Vfo

    https://youtu.be/Vsl6jFtYUEA

  36. avatar
    bob November 23, 2015 at 1:02 am #

    CRJ: You know I’ve vigorously defended a person’s “Freedom of Religion” having suffered the constraints and disrespect of Government for “religious sentiment” in my own case.

    Judy, who committed an act of domestic terrorism (excuse me, “aggravated burglary”) by holding thousands hostage (in the name of religion), really ought to not throw stones from his very glass house.

  37. avatar
    RanTalbott November 23, 2015 at 1:10 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    To err is human. To really foul things up requires a computer.

    That was a lot funnier, and less scary, back in the days when there were only thousands of computers, instead of billions.

    As was “If you make a system so simple that any idiot can use it, any idiot will” (though that’s not so much “scary” as it is “depressing” to see the proof on a daily basis on social media).

    Getting back to the topic: I’ve been taking some abuse for posting about this sort of lousy risk analysis on other sites (more lately because of Paris). After the Charleston church shooting, there was a flurry of newspaper articles about domestic terrorism. As of then, since 9/11, there had been 7 “jihadist” attacks that killed 26 people. But there had been 19 attacks by racial supremacists, sovcits, and other (mostly right-wing) non-Muslim extremists that killed 48.

    Trump recently claimed that our high concentration of guns help protect us from incidents like the ones in Paris. But last year alone we lost 642 Americans to accidental shootings. Of course, that’s not the only reason for keeping guns around, but when you look at the actual number of casualties in places that don’t buy into that, it would appear that the “cure” is worse than the “disease”.

  38. avatar
    RanTalbott November 23, 2015 at 1:41 am #

    Rickey: As PolitiFact reports:

    On the day after the attack, she {Clinton] told the Egyptian prime minister it had nothing to do with the film.

    Politifact reports sloppily: that conversation came between the time it was reported from Tripoli that Ansar al Sharia had “claimed credit online” and the time when it was discovered that they had not posted anything on their social media accounts between the attack and the denial that Politifact incorrectly calls a “retraction”.

    I.e., Clinton thought she had confirmation that a specific group had admitted making the attack, so she spoke of it with a certainty that was soon proven unjustified.

    This was all reported in the media years ago, but that didn’t stop the Hillary-haters (including Gowdy, himself) from claiming she “lied”.

  39. avatar
    RanTalbott November 23, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy: I was looking at a map of the town just now, and the word that came to mind was “Mandelbrot.”

    Or maybe “acid”. As in “spilled on the map”, or in “taken by the surveyor who laid out all those curved boundaries” 😉

    I’m sure there are other examples out there, especially in countries that have been around a lot longer than ours, but I can’t recall a case of so many non-rectilinear boundaries that weren’t based on shorelines. It’s a good thing you don’t have much crime: victims could bleed to death while the cops sorted out jurisdiction.

    With all those holes and tendrils, it looks like it was drawn by a partisan redistricting committee that had worked all night, fueled only by coffee. Irish coffee.

  40. avatar
    The Magic M November 23, 2015 at 4:14 am #

    We evaluate evidence more favorably when it agrees with what we already believe and discount what doesn’t.

    I would rather say, what we tend to consider evidence depends on whether it agrees with what we already believe.
    For example, if you are convinced “the other side” has the will and the power to fabricate evidence, you can discount anything refuting you as such “fabricated evidence”.
    OTOH, you might be more inclined to believe a website with no, or anonymous, sources that its claims constitute evidence if they agree with your bias.

    Evidence itself isn’t the point since we can’t possibly evaluate or double-check most things ourselves, so we have to rely on a “web of trust”.

    A good example is Trump’s recent tweet of false statistics about victims/perpetrators of crime distributed by race. If you trust Trump, you would take his stats (which appear to be sourced to a credibly sounding source) as evidence. Yet the stats were simply fabricated (and Trump possibly believed them to be “evidence” because they confirmed his biases and thus was a tool in establishing them as evidence to even more people who simply “trust Trump”).

  41. avatar
    Lupin November 23, 2015 at 4:22 am #

    charo: And Lupin, I believe she has taken in refugees to her home, I am not sure why you referenced the circumstances of the birth of Jesus. Totally inapplicable circumstances here altogether.

    And it is very sad that you do not see it.

    But not surprising either.

  42. avatar
    Lupin November 23, 2015 at 4:31 am #

    CRJ: Like I said the silent majority of Muslims really need to be running a full blown campaign decrying these sons-a-bitchn terror whores amongst them,

    It might make you happy to know that there has been very vocal, loud, public and numerous events by Muslims in France and Belgium etc denouncing the tragic attacks of 11/13.

    I have no idea if your media reported them or not, but they were given wide coverage here, especially a gathering of imams singing the Marseillaise. Very moving.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/nov/15/imams-sing-french-national-anthem-near-bataclan-theatre-video

  43. avatar
    Lupin November 23, 2015 at 4:40 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    I am coming to the opinion that the issue is not Democrat vs Republican, or Christianity v. Islam v. secularism, but rather

    libertarianism v. authoritarianism
    pragmatism v. dogmatism
    tolerance v. intolerance
    science v. intuition
    fear v. hope

    In 1946 French writer Andre Malraux wrote that the 21st century’s major problem would be religion.

    (It was part of a series of reflections; for those read French the context is developed here:

    http://www.fredericlenoir.com/editos-monde-des-religions/malraux-et-le-religieux/ )

    The truth is, Malraux was discussing the advent of a new form of spirituality; instead, we seem to be facing a conflict between old / traditional religions and those of us who have “moved on”.

    That does seem to be the focus of the conflict in this new century.

  44. avatar
    charo November 23, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    Lupin: And it is very sad that you do not see it.

    But not surprising either.

    Do you find launching insults to be an effective strategy? No one took in Mary and Joseph. A young woman, obviously near birth, was rejected, along with her concerned husband. Syrian families, fleeing their homeland, need help and have been outright rejected by a number of states, turned away as the Holy Family was. In your mind, a heart can’t be torn between showing compassion, and thinking about security? My state is not one of the “rejecting” states. I will live my life as normal, attempting to live each day as if it were my last, and often failing.

    I still haven’t seen an answer for what to do about the lengthy vetting process when the issue is imminent and how to vet someone where there is no reliable method?

  45. avatar
    Lupin November 23, 2015 at 10:03 am #

    charo: Do you find launching insults to be an effective strategy? No one took in Mary and Joseph. A young woman, obviously near birth, was rejected, along with her concerned husband. Syrian families, fleeing their homeland, need help and have been outright rejected by a number of states, turned away as the Holy Family was. In your mind, a heart can’t be torn between showing compassion, and thinking about security? My state is not one of the “rejecting” states. I will live my life as normal, attempting to live each day as if it were my last, and often failing.

    Well, that was my point, wasn’t it? So if you understood it, why then did you claim earlier you couldn’t see the similarities between the parable and today’s reality?

  46. avatar
    charo November 23, 2015 at 10:22 am #

    I meant the terrorism aspect, not the issue of compassion. Wouldn’t it have been nicer to ask me to clarify?

    The problem with the refugees is immense. It’s not like Ellis Island anymore. Individuals can be truly conflicted.

    I could not adopt a pet from a shelter. I would cry for the ones left behind.

  47. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 23, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    Note: This article does not apply to Donald Trump and Mario Apuzzo.

  48. avatar
    Lupin November 23, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    charo: I meant the terrorism aspect, not the issue of compassion. Wouldn’t it have been nicer to ask me to clarify?

    The problem with the refugees is immense

    WHAT terrorism aspect? There are homeless women and children in the direst of needs who need refuge. There is only “terrorism” in your imagination.

    It’s your religion (not mine), that tells you to take them in and offer them shelter. I don’t recall anything about “terrorism”

  49. avatar
    Lupin November 23, 2015 at 11:37 am #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Note: This article does not apply to Donald Trump and Mario Apuzzo.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/11/23/first-donald-trump-came-for-the-muslims.html

    I know not all Americans are like this — in fact the majority probably is quite the opposite — but this is really embarrassing.

  50. avatar
    Rickey November 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

    CRJ:
    @Rickey You can certainly call me whatever you’d like. .. To err certainly is human as the Post is entitled, however I never would say anything about HRC she couldn’t say better herself.. And I’m a Democrat Bud. I’m just saying the Republicans have vast more intelligence and resources then I do.. And I managed this:
    HONESTLY.. HONESTLY..HONESTLY

    Taking quotes out of context is just further proof that you are a liar.

  51. avatar
    Rickey November 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    charo:
    I meant the terrorism aspect, not the issue of compassion. Wouldn’t it have been nicer to ask me to clarify?

    The problem with the refugees is immense. It’s not like Ellis Island anymore. Individuals can be truly conflicted.

    There is no meaningful terrorism aspect. Why would terrorists wait 18-24 months to enter the U.S. as refugees when they can enter the country now on tourist visas? One common characteristic of refugees is that they cannot come to the U.S. on tourist visas because they have no money. The terrorists have plenty of money.

    Since 9/11 the U.S. has taken in 748,000 refugees and exactly three of them have been arrested for plotting terrorist activity. Not one refugee has succeeded in carrying out a terrorist attack in the U.S.

    You are more likely to be hit by lightning than you are to be killed by a terrorist. In fact, you are more likely to be killed by an accidental shooting than you are to be killed by a terrorist.

  52. avatar
    charo November 23, 2015 at 1:04 pm #

    Lupin: WHAT terrorism aspect? There are homeless women and children in the direst of needs who need refuge. There is only “terrorism” in your imagination.

    It’s your religion (not mine), that tells you to take them in and offer them shelter. I don’t recall anything about “terrorism”

    I don’t know why you are missing the issue. Why do you think refugees are being vetted?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-is-the-syrian-refugee-vetting-process/

  53. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy November 23, 2015 at 3:04 pm #

    According to something I read on Facebook, you are more likely to be killed by a cow than a terrorist. (I checked and the average annual fatalities caused by cows in the US is 20 per year in 2001-2013.)

    Rickey: You are more likely to be hit by lightning than you are to be killed by a terrorist. In fact, you are more likely to be killed by an accidental shooting than you are to be killed by a terrorist.

  54. avatar
    Keith November 23, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    CRJ: Like I said the silent majority of Muslims really need to be running a full blown campaign decrying these sons-a-bitchn terror whores amongst them

    You mean like this?

    Walid Ali: ISIS is weak

    He said this “evil organisation” believes if they can make Muslims the enemy of the West, then Muslims in France and England and America and here in Australia will have nowhere to turn but to ISIL.

    “That was exactly their strategy in Iraq,” he said. “And now they want it to go global.

    “Saying that out loud, it is both dumbfounding in its stupidity and bloodcurdling in its barbarity. “We are all feeling a million raging emotions right now. I am angry at these terrorists. I am sickened by the violence and I am crushed for the families that have been left behind, but, you know what, I will not be manipulated.

    “We all need to come together. I know how that sounds. I know it is a cliche, but it is also true because it is exactly what ISIL doesn’t want.

    “So, if you are a member of Parliament or a has-been member of Parliament preaching hate at a time when what we actually need is more love — you are helping ISIL. They have told us that. If you are a Muslim leader telling your community they have no place here or basically them saying the same thing — you are helping ISIL.

    “They have told us that. If you are just someone with a Facebook or Twitter account firing off misguided messages of hate, you are helping ISIL — They have told us that.

    “I am pretty sure that right now none of us wants to help these b*stards.”

    You know who else said that kind of sh!t? Read up about “Helter-Skelter“, an ‘ideology’ (using the word very loosely) based on Beatles lyrics and the Book of Revelations – a notably Christian source.

    Just because Charlie Manson was inspired by a Christian source, it doesn’t make him a ‘Christian Terrorist’ any more than your inspiration makes you a ‘Morman Terrorist’.

    What links all terrorists is not genuine religious inspiration of any flavour, but mere, garden variety insanity.

  55. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater November 23, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy: According to something I read on Facebook, you are more likely to be killed by a cow than a terrorist. (I checked and the average annual fatalities caused by cows in the US is 20 per year in 2001-2013.)

    I prefer sharks with laserbeams.

  56. avatar
    Slartibartfast November 23, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    I prefer eating cows as my own personal form of protest to these silent killers.

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater: I prefer sharks with laserbeams.

  57. avatar
    CRJ November 24, 2015 at 12:35 am #

    @Lupin [The truth is, Malraux was discussing the advent of a new form of spirituality; instead, we seem to be facing a conflict between old / traditional religions and those of us who have “moved on”.
    That does seem to be the focus of the conflict in this new century.]

    Enjoyed that comment. Many take lightly the intent of power by religion. Especially those 24/7 practioners over those who practice the 30 minutes a week or have moved on as you say.

    This is where those light practioners become so removed from the power that they don’t even understand their own “infidelism” in the head of the 24/7 serious practioner.

    It’s a fascinating social phenomena happening. . . that’s my minor in sociology creeping out.

    How many recall not so long ago an edict prohibiting State hood predicated upon a condition of religious worship?

    It still exist for and in Utah’s Edmund TUCKER Act that prohibited Statehood into the Union only on condition of a denial of their Mormon Religious Tenant of plural marriage.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmunds%E2%80%93Tucker_Act

    The Mormon Extermination Order issued by a I think it was Missouri Governor Boggs is also part of U.S. Government history and something a scared shitless population can be moved towards very easily with a few suicide bombers. . whose heads you can’t control.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_Executive_Order_44
    Recently, as I’m in Utah, perhaps you guys who are not don’t know this, the LDS Church Leaders made a new degree or issued a Declaration that made:
    1- Homosexuality a sin of Apostasy punishable in the church by excommunication.

    2. Prohibited baptism (age 8)and Name Blessing (traditionally given 2-3weeks old) of children into the Faith raised by homosexual (married) same-sex parents until age 18 and a commitment to disavow basically the practice by which they were raised in.

    It was reported last week 1,500 left the Church over this new doctrine the first week. This is just a tiny example of the Old conflicting with the New.
    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0T414G20151115
    Of course Church Leaders have taken a lot of critism, but that is their right in religion.

    Who now that once looked at plural marriage as politically worthy a stand against, can say same-sex marriage is not closly competing against the banning of plural marriage for Muslims?

    Now, very quickly those who are of the 30 minute religious practise become out numbered by Islam followers allowing plural marriage I think it’s 3 or 4 wives?

    The comfortable majority switches to the nervous minority simply by population numbers. The U.S. General population is stuck with a very low birth rate , and adopting more refugees and foreigners as tax-payers makes sense in the short term especially to law-makers.

    But at what cost over the decade? And does it compromise the U.S. Constitution or transform it into a Theocracy most notable practiced by those coming swiftly to the U.S.?

    The problems of the Old World clashing with the New World exist so extensiously with the Old Baby Boomers HRC Generation and Generation X of which my generation began that co-existing becomes just fine with me and troublesome to you.

    Troubblesome.. What am I saying? You know all those problems you see with me being President disappearing., to where I am the President?

    All of that troublesome thought suddenly becomes reality and it is not by what your resisting but what your actually promoting which are the means for it to be accomplished.

    I’m not sure anyone sees it; sees it that far down the road but it’s there. I have to change much less then you do now. I’m about as stuck as a skis on a snow covered steep mountain. Lol

  58. avatar
    Lupin November 24, 2015 at 3:21 am #

    charo: I don’t know why you are missing the issue. Why do you think refugees are being vetted?

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-is-the-syrian-refugee-vetting-process/

    The vetting is overly complex and very likely a complete waste of time. It is a kabuki meant to appease the paranoid fears of the American right-wing.

    We (the French) suffered (like you, with 9/11) of a failure in our intelligence gathering and/or analysis, but the Paris bombings had nothing or little to do with the refugee problem. The terrorists entered France through Belgium with EU passports.

    You’re the one stubbornly missing the point: a good christian would take into his/her home any such families in distress, without going through this rigmarole. Charity should trump paranoid fears.

    You can’t be both a good christian and go along with this ridiculous, unfounded charade.

  59. avatar
    Northland10 November 24, 2015 at 7:35 am #

    Lupin: You’re the one stubbornly missing the point: a good christian would take into his/her home any such families in distress, without going through this rigmarole. Charity should trump paranoid fears.

    You can’t be both a good christian and go along with this ridiculous, unfounded charade.

    ^^^Yeah that.