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Desc:Real Time with Bill Maher
Category:News & Politics, Humor
Tags:Bomb, bill maher, Real Time with Bill Maher, Ahmed Mohamed
Submitted:Albuquerque Halsey
Date:09/19/15
Views:1334
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Comment count is 64
Rodents of Unusual Size
Five stars for Chris Matthews cursing. I found that oddly cathartic.
infinite zest
Negative 5 stars for having to see my old boss Mark Cuban. :(

Cena_mark
Mark Cuban is a cool guy and he owns an NBA team.

infinite zest
Yeah Cuban's cool for sure! He owns the theatre company I used to work for (as well as the RedLetterMedia people) so it brings back memories of popcorn burns and minimum wage, but as far as rich people I kind of know he's one of the coolest and down-to-earth.

SolRo
Has Maher gone full libertard over his islamophobia?
Rodents of Unusual Size
Yeah, because we all know how peaceful Islam is.

Bort
Yes Maher has. His defense in this case is: "whether or not this kid is actually a mass-murdering psychopath, we were right to assume he was until he could prove otherwise". And of course, whatever measures he took to defuse (haha, defuse) the situation, they were insufficient and that is his fault too.

SolRo
ROUS, are you being actually retarded or just playing devil's evilhomer?

EvilHomer
Two things Mr SolRo: first, I don't think you actually know what a "devil's evilhomer" is. And second, I think it would be in your interest to try playing the "devil's evilhomer" once in awhile, because you often have a very hard time understanding viewpoints and arguments with which you do not already agree.

Mr Bort - that's a really good way of breaking down that quote! Ghost stars for you, because I'm not sure how many stars I want to give Bill "murdering dogs is funny" Maher.

BillLumbergh
Fuck you EvilHomer and Rodents Of Unusual Size.

Rodents of Unusual Size
I admit it, I was baiting that time. Nothing like that sweet sweet visceral anti Islamophobia PoeTV lashback.

But seriously though, they do blow shit up. It's like getting upset over saying "Chinese people eat rice".

Rodents of Unusual Size
But in the spirit of giving maybe we can let Ahmed blow up a Confederate statue, I think that would be a fair trade.

EvilHomer
What did *I* do?!

Cena_mark
Fucking Daughters of the Confederacy put those things everywhere.
What's bugging me about the hate the kid gets is that he's just a kid. Second, his race shouldn't have made him profiled when its white boys who terrorize their own schools.
Islamophobia is an ugly thing in post 9/11 America. People need to realize a tiny tiny minority of Muslims are terrorists, just as a tiny tiny minority of right wing Alex Jones fans are terrorists. Either way as a government employee I believe my life would more likely end at the hands of a sovereign citizen or militia nut than a Jihadist's.

Rodents of Unusual Size
Alex Jones is a terrorist...to donuts!

Thank you I'll be here all day!

fluffy
I'd wager that there are more terrorist Christians per capita than terrorist Muslims. We just only hear about the Muslim ones, 'coz they're brown.

Potrod
We also hear about them because they kill people by the dozens/hundreds/thousands with some frequency.

Bort
Okay, anyone want to tell me Maher isn't a fucking bigot?

By the way, the kid DID explain it over and over: "It's a clock". That's the entirety of the matter.
SolRo
Is it dementia maybe?

Because afaik, he lost his original show for saying 9/11 happened because of bad US policy towards the middle east, not "moslems"

Bort
I think the line that did his original show in was this'un:

“We have been the cowards, lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That’s cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you want about it, it’s not cowardly.”

Which is about 20% valid point, 40% dumbass point, and 40% 3dginess when the country wasn't ready for it.

Perhaps he has whooping cough or polio of the brain.

magnesium
Maher has been shit for ages. I don't know why people are so shocked every time he says something stupid. Jesus, just go on tv and say weed and prostitutes are good and GW Bush and church are bad and you become an infallible hero of the left.

simon666
My Maher diagnosis: His commitments are basically implicit appeals to authority. He decides (how?) that folks like Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins are getting it right on certain topics, then he pantomimes what he takes their arguments to be in other situations through some kind of family resemblance of ideas/arguments.

In this case, from what I could tell, Maher seems to be pantomiming the argument Sam Harris developed in his exchange with Bruce Schneier over what security policies at airports should look like, which was, basically, we should at the moment profile middle eastern men who fit the profile of the 9/11 hijackers (and other attempted 'terrorists' thereafter) and leave the 90 year old ladies alone.

Maybe that's not an implicit appeal to authority, but I think y'all probably will get my point about what Maher is doing. It seems he thinks his position is correct in this case because it resembles Harris's point in the other case and he takes Harris to be authoritative in whatever way.

simon666
Also, Maher reminds me of my grandma who smokes weed and everyone in the family thinks is kind of crazy, but tolerates.

Cena_mark
Real bombs don't have clocks. Only movie bombs have clocks.

fluffy
A lot of bombs for a long time were supposedly built off of the innards of one particular Casio watch because it happened to be easy to modify for use as a bomb trigger and was easy to program. But not easily enough to stop dumb terrorists from blowing themselves up because they couldn't figure out how the damn "PM" indicator worked.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casio_F-91W#Claimed_use_in_terro rism

Of course they still look nothing like a goddamn movie prop.

Nikon
http://blogs.artvoice.com/techvoice/2015/09/17/reverse-engineering -ahmed-mohameds-clock-and-ourselves/
Bort
"If we stop and think – was it really such a ridiculous reaction from the teacher and the police in the first place?"

Yes it was. Ahmed had already shown it to one or more teachers and told them it was a clock, not a bomb.

"Because, is it possible, that maybe, just maybe, this was actually a hoax bomb?"

No it wasn't. Ahmed had already shown it to one or more teachers and told them it was a clock, not a bomb.

"I don’t know any of these things."

We have this quote:

""He would simply only tell us that it was a clock," police spokesman James McLellan says. "He didn't offer an explanation as to what it was for.""

"But I do like to find facts where I can, and prefer to let them lead me to conclusions, rather than a knee jerk judgement based on a headline or sound bite."

And if you have the opportunity to cast aspersions on a 14-year-old Muslim kid ... ? That's the best thing of all!

Oscar Wildcat
Well you know you've hit the big time in America when art journals are deconstructing you!

But yeah, that writer really sucks. Like it's some kind of big surprise that the thing is a casemodded radio shack clock and not some super atomic clock the kid invented in his underwear? That's just low, in my opinion. It also says nothing about the issues at play.

Bort
Yeah, every time he said he "invented" a clock, internally I said "not the right word but please continue". Even if he'd built it out of a 555 timer chip and some op amps, I would have assumed it came from a schematic and not his original design, but that's all right too. In this case, I'm guessing he took the innards from a busted alarm clock and made them work again; good for him!

Nikon
youtube.com/watch?t=2&v=kHk_6Vh4Qeo

Bort
True story from the rock star life that is Bort's. A few months back, the cops came out to my place, they wanted to talk to a relative who was staying with us. Well, it turns out that, when they showed up, I had my electronics gear all over the kitchen table: transistors, circuit boards, soldering iron, light-up magnifier, plastic containers. Imagine a movie where there's a middle-aged guy building homemade bombs; that's what my kitchen table looked like. The only thing missing was a note made of magazine clippings that said "repent or die whores".

You know what the cops said to me about this? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not even a casual small-talky "oooh, whatchoo working on?" I gave them way more reason to think I was up to no good than Ahmed Mohammed did, yet somehow they decided I was no threat.
Old_Zircon
I accidentally carried an entire box of double edged razor blades through security at Logan Airport on Christmas Eve, 2001. In fact I actually found them in my pocket after passing security, took them out while a security guard was a yard away facing me, held them up, said "I wonder how those got there" and then put them back in my pocket and boarded the plane. 4 months after 9/11 on the biggest travel day of the year at the same airport where the hijackers boarded.

Being a pasty white guy is pretty sweet.

Old_Zircon
On the other hand, I know someone who was given full dipomatic treatment (including early seating and no security checks) on all international flights out of the USA for nearly a decade because an administrative error left him listed as the secretary of the treasury in US customs records. It finally got quietly fixed last year. Anyhow, he's black which just goes to show that as long as you relax and wear a nice suit you can get away with a lot.


EvilHomer
Honestly though, Bort, the NSA has probably compiled enough detailed information about everything you do, that the cops knew you posed no threat before they even knocked on your door.

You're cleared by the Department of PreCrime, so don't worry about it.

infinite zest
That's interesting. Pretty much the opposite thing happened to me, also pasty white, a few months after 9/11. It was Christmas time so I was flying back to Portland from Madison, Wisconsin. Since I'd lost a bunch of weight that year I decided to just bring one change of clothes and do all my shopping when I got home, so no luggage, just a backpack with two external hard drives and a bunch of mixtapes in it, with various AV cords and stuff for good measure.

I wasn't that pissed off, since I was terrified of flying pre-9/11 in the first place, but I got detained while they took apart my stuff and I missed my flight, oh yeah and I lost the use of my right arm for a week because I had to sleep on thise airport chairs and accidentally slept on it for a good 5 hours.

I haven't watched the video yet, but I will because I'm curious about the above comments: I don't catch a bunch of Maher but he never strikes me as Islamaphobic any more than Theophobic (or whatever the word is) in general.

Rosebeekee
In 2008 I took an international flight to New York with a group of people. One woman in our group was taking a sewing course and used the same backpack for school that she did for her carry on luggage. She took the plane to New York, spent a week there, took a plane back home, then realized that she had forgotten her awl (which is basically an ice pick) in her bag the whole time.

infinite zest
Aw snap it totally is a real word! Anyway I agree with Maher here. I mean, it looks like something that electronics people would know isn't a bomb, but since I'm guessing most people haven't even bothered to look up a picture of it, think it's just a digital device like an iPhone, WHICH THEY TAKE AWAY AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASSES BY THE WAY ANYWAY.. I dunno I'm not saying that racial profiling didn't have to do with much (if not everything) that proceeded the seizing of the device and detention, but he's a smart kid and should've listened to his teacher's advice in the first place, because most of us aren't that smart.

infinite zest
@rose the same thing happened to me and my brother that same year over Christmas time. My aunt likes to send weird stuff because she rarely comes to visit, and that year it was a whole bunch of combat knives, like the kind you see in the cold steel infomercials. My "Lil' Terrorist" story became the Christmas time joke, but I left the knives back home in Portland. My older brother took them with him back to Yale and got stopped in La Guardia. Once again it was just a joke that we told about our eccentric aunt and my parents' childrens' general ignorance when it comes to national security, but nothing more.

Bort
IZ - he showed it to his science teacher, who recommended he keep it under wraps. It was only discovered in English class (I think), when the alarm went off. At every step of the way, Ahmed said it was a clock.

There was no explosive so it wasn't a bomb. He volunteered it was a clock so it wasn't a bomb hoax. I'm not sure what more he was supposed to do. We're getting uncomfortably close to the point that what he should have done was be born to a white fundamentalist Christian family.

Aelric
I was going shooting with a co-worker back when I was more neutral about guns. He had a great, big collection of WWII rifles from all sides and we were going to a rock quarry to shoots cans. So, we had the load up the car. He said he was going to bring the car to the front door of his appartment so that we wern't carrying a bundle of rifles through the parking lot, but of course, even then a cop rolls through, looks directly at me holding 4 or 5 rifles in my arms and nods, smiles and moves on.

I can only image how it would go down if I weren't white.

infinite zest
Bort you're right. And what Maher says at the end is uncomfortably close to not only your metaphor but also a "he shouldn't have been a black guy walking around a white neighboorhood" or "she shouldn't have been wearing a sexy dress if she didn't want to get raped" type shit. Statistically white Christian suburban kids are more likely to blow up their school than Muslim Americans anyway, but if it looks like a suspect device then it's better that it was treated that way than not at all, especially if the faculty was caught with their pants down. Silver lining is that this awesome kid is becoming a martyr of sorts in the best possible way, and hopefully we can all learn from this.

infinite zest
But as far as the "white suburban kid" thing goes, look up the band This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb and find all sorts of stories of similar terrorist fear, simply because of a bumper sticker related to some dumb folk punk band.

Raggamuffin
How in god's name does anyone keep it together around this guy? I was ready to drive to Bill Maher's house and mess up his car with a bat by the end when he was suggesting that Ahmed's parents should explain to him that he's the wrong color.

5 for evil
Raggamuffin
Also, if you're going to be afraid of a race of people, you could do a lot worse than white people.

White people dropped two nuclear bombs, and committed the holocaust. When someone busts into a school or a theater and starts shooting random people, he's almost always a white dude. When you read that someone is skinning people alive for sexual thrills, you can bet money it's a white guy doing it.

Two Jar Slave
I think Maher specifically said 'religion', not race. But your examples transfer intact.

Binro the Heretic
Okay, I'm done with Maher. He's been piling straws on me for years now and this was the last one.

It sucks because he didn't used to be this way. It doubly sucks because there really aren't that many shows where liberal views at least get represented on TV.
Scrotum H. Vainglorious
I regularly tuned into him during the Bush II years because only he, Olberman, and of course Stewart and Colbert, were the only ones that had the balls to call the administration and Republicans in general on their BS. But nowadays I can't stomach the guy with his Islamophobia and stupidly dangerous anti-vax stance. New Rules is still funny but that's about it.

Rodents of Unusual Size
I don't think he's Islamophobic, he genuinely hates all religious people on pretty equal terms.

The anti vaxxing thing made me write him off a long time ago. That part is just sad.

That guy
hah, I forgot about his anti-vaxx bs
classic Maher
well, a broken clock is wrong a couple thousand times a day

I wonder how much of this is to stir the pot, and how much he actually believes...?

theSnake
Schools have zero tolerance policies and white kids get suspended for bringing all manner of things to school, this is a story because it gives liberals a chance to feel self righteous against the evil stereotyping bad guys. Well guess what stereotypes exist for a reason.
animegurl1000
Speaking of stereotypes, they actually should target white males for bringing what appear to be dangerous devices to school, since a landslide majority of mass-killings in schools are perpetrated by white males.

I still doubt a white kid bringing a homemade clock would have gotten him suspended, let alone taken out in handcuffs.

Bort
theSnake - there's a part of me, I admit, that would say "Muslim kid + box of wires = DANGER DANGER DANGER!" But fortunately I have a functioning brain that would quickly kick in and says, "whoa, wires are just wires, and a kid is just a kid, let's get to the bottom of this before assuming the worst". Then I would feel silently ashamed that any part of me jumped to idiot conclusions.

Oscar Wildcat
Funny you should mention that. There was this highschool called Columbine, ring any bells? For a few years there, being a white male geek and trenchcoated pretty much put you in the same category as Ahmed here. Not that much has changed, but the stories just aren't newsworthy anymore.

For Oscar's generation, it was a little more nebulous. Long hair was basically the trenchcoat, along with a few other specific cultural signifiers.

This is a complex story. If you're just making it about arabs, you're completely missing the point and probably don't understand why _so many_ tech people are reacting to this.

Bort
I'm making it completely about Arabs because that's all I see. Kid takes a science project to school, and the only signifiers that he might be a threat are the ones he was born into; beyond that, he's in a NASA t-shirt.

Long hair or trenchcoats might be seen as cultural signifiers, but they are also matters that the person has some choice in, so you can at least make the case "if he didn't want to attract suspicion then why did he ...". Even then I would consider that a dubious argument, but it would still have at least a flicker of merit to it.

Oscar Wildcat
That was a response to Ani, you just got in there before me... But you see the picture of the thing now, yes? And if a spergy white loner in a trenchcoat flashed this at a teacher in class, and asked what they thought of his clock, you'd not expect a heavy handed reaction? You should follow local news more. This is hardly a unique instance: only thing special is the name and the color. It's _usually_ spergy loner white boys that this happens to.

EvilHomer
... this happened to you, didn't it? Or something very like it?

Oscar Wildcat
Oh the stories I could tell, EH. But no, the police never got involved. Things really have gotten worse in this regard. The odd thing about it EH, is back in the day, we had guns aplenty ( hell I got my first one for christmas ) and knew lots about explosives and all that. Things were a lot more permissive. But we didn't have this thing about mass school shootings ( or mass killings in general ). It really puzzles me.

SolRo
You can blame raeganomics.

the poor and middle class are increasingly in hopeless financial/economic death spirals and that leads to desperation that makes radical ideology very appealing to certain individuals that would otherwise have been kept busy with factory/farm work and drinking/hunting afterwards.

SolRo
also take off your rose colored glasses you dirty old hippy, there were plenty of mass shootings "back in the day"

EvilHomer
I hate to agree with SolRo, particularly when he is being rude and confrotnational, but there were indeed plenty of shootings back in the day - what has changed is the focus of the media narrative, and the attention given to certain stories and not to others. A similar process happened with terrorism in the early 'Noughties, drugs in the '80s, and alcohol in the '20s - people had been boozing and toking and blowing up airplanes for ages, but it was only when rich men decided that such activities were suitable targets for the prole's semi-annual moral panic, that these subjects started getting front-page attention.

Anyways, I do NOT endorse SolRo's impolite treatment of you, not in any way, shape, or form. I just want to make that clear! And I'd love to hear your stories! I myself was part of the Columbine demographic for many years, but I was never involved in any shenanigans, and aside from a few hateful words now and then, people generally left me alone. The closest I ever came to a real Columbine scare was when my townie friend went to the school's computer lab, wrote a bunch of Megadeth and Slayer lyrics in a .txt file, and saved it in a folder he named "My List of People to Kill". The computer teacher called the cops, but they never figured out the culprit and nothing came of it. Sort of boring! So please, Columbine war stories are lots of fun. Story away, Mr Oscar!

Two Jar Slave
Let's agree that cuffing a science geek is wrong, and so is ignoring bomb threats, and so is racial profiling, and so is listening to Bill Maher at any point in the past ten years, and so is killing people with explosives, and so is paranoia about being killed with explosives, and so is spilling ink for days over a minor incident at a high school in Texas where, to the best of my knowledge, I do not live.

This is the most irrationally annoyed I've been with a viral story since Cecil the Lion. Ahmed's a cute kid! I'm sorry he was cuffed! Send him to the White House and end racism but for God's sake keep it to yourself.
15th
Let's enter the grey zone:

1) Many schools are staffed with irrational and bureaucratic cowards.

2) Islam sucks.
15th
This too is not useful. I tried to make a jab at people scurrying to dug in camps and point out the complexity of the issue by creating a simple quip. I honestly don't know exactly how I feel. I also haven't read much into this story. Did you know wine comes in boxes now?

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