Patterico's Pontifications


President Obama: It’s All So Random

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:48 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Obama was interviewed by Vox editor Matt Yglesias:

Yglesias asked Obama if he thinks the media “sometimes overstates the level of alarm people should have about terrorism” as opposed to longer-term problems like climate change and epidemic disease.

“Absolutely,” the president responded, saying he doesn’t blame the press for embracing the old adage, “If it bleeds, it leads.” Obama acknowledged that it’s lot harder to make climate change or cutting infant mortality a “sexy story.”

But, at the same time, Obama said, “It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris. We devote enormous resources to that, and it is right and appropriate for us to be vigilant and aggressive in trying to deal with that — the same way a big city mayor’s got to cut the crime rate down if he wants that city to thrive.”

Charles Krauthammer points out the obvious:

“We complain he doesn’t have a strategy in the war on radical Islam — the reason he doesn’t have a strategy is because he thinks there is no need for a strategy because it is random violence,” Krauthammer said. “He thinks, and he says it openly, this is like the fighting of crime in the city. There is no unifying ideology of the criminals of a city. You go after one after another.”

If you don’t believe Islamic radicalism exists, why would you need a plan to combat it? So quit overreacting, people. The media is just manipulating you with a sexy story. Instead of being concerned about the random march of the barbarians, random beheadings, random slaughter, random crucifixions of children, random killing of people in the name of a cartoon and the random killing of Jews, all the while wondering if you, too, might randomly find yourself the target of random acts of violence, start focusing on what really matters – the weather.

And rest easy. I have it on good authority that we are on the road to defeating ISIS and they are on the run.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: The shooters mostly spared women and specifically sought out cartoonists and editors. This was a random shooting about as much as it was a bombing.

87 Responses to “President Obama: It’s All So Random”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  2. American people want “moral and intellectual courage and clarity” in a leader, not confusion and certainly not what seems to be a malevolent disregard of the facts. This will not end well.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  3. They don’t want a leader who would trade five top Taliban prisoners for a deserter.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  4. dang. i was so hoping that interview was a fake or parody.

    seeRpea (8193fc)

  5. An Unserious Interview of an Unserious Man. Obama has the gravitas of a carnival barker.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  6. Come on it’s vox, you expected anything else

    narciso (125429)

  7. Come on, it’s the president and I do expect more.

    Dana (8e74ce)

  8. TFG thinks that Vox are “nerd braniacs.” He has no idea, but I repeat myself, That Voxsplaining has evolved into a term of derision. How would he know unless it was in the papers or VaJa told him.

    Gazzer (e441dc)

  9. Someone needs to get off a high horse.

    AZ Bob (34bb80)

  10. the moral decay
    nation cries for leadership
    gets roosting chickens

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  11. Obama has the gravitas of a carnival barker.

    I have to disagree, Colonel. I’d say “trainee court jester”, but that would be insulting both to court jesters and to trainees of all sorts.

    htom (4ca1fa)

  12. He’s what’s left when you take away the axle, rim, and spokes from a wheel.

    htom (4ca1fa)

  13. Vox said what? nm.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  14. even jay vee team
    better than what we have here
    Obama White House

    elissa (469386)

  15. Strategic patience is the appropriate way to combat random acts of randomness in the world.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  16. @3. Such a person, coronello, is no leeader.

    Steve57 (36c0a6)

  17. Can you believe it? I misspelled leader.

    Steve57 (36c0a6)

  18. the First Pickle suffers from a least infection.

    redc1c4 (dab236)

  19. That’s good.

    Steve57 (36c0a6)

  20. Get used to it, the upside was 25 years ago.
    With no party to stand up for the middle class, get ready for battle, warriors.

    mg (31009b)

  21. i guess the takeaway here is we’re just now learning that this obama person does not bleed

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  22. The big problem with “random: is that the deli wasn’t selected randomly. it was selected because it was a kosher z deli and grocery.

    So he doesn’t want to say he’s for protecting Jews? Because it might backfire? Is that it?

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  23. If that’s the case, that indicates that he thinks the problem with radical Islam is much worse than he’s willing to indicate.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  24. Prezzy I Got This wants us all to chill:

    Evil too cool for school.

    DNF (a505c5)

  25. #22: #Unexpectedly!

    redc1c4 (6d1848)

  26. Taggers ahem, “street artists” need to be beaten, sometimes brutally.

    nk (dbc370)

  27. yeah i do not respect their art

    national soros radio periodically tries to tell me i should

    but I don’t

    That’s just who i am.

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  28. UPDATE BY PATTERICO: The shooters mostly spared women and specifically sought out cartoonists and editors. This was a random shooting about as much as it was a bombing.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  29. strategic patience
    Prez golfing and chillaxing
    they’re killing people

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  30. I’m sorry, but Obama has a very clear strategy. It belongs to them. We’re the problem. We’re standing in the way of their legitimate pursuit of their dreams. They’ll stop attacking US as soon as we get out of their way and recognize it’s theirs. In the meantime bombs away on a few disposable folks who don’t accept brilliance of Obama’s strategy and keep embarrassing him by attacking US.

    crazy (cde091)

  31. The police, though, acted stupidly. At least the cops have a unifying strategy Prom Queen can discern..

    Steve57 (36c0a6)

  32. Seriously. This ba$tard wants us to think he can see what’s in the hearts of other men?

    Steve57 (36c0a6)

  33. Obola even gets criminal violence wrong. It’s not that “random”. A new study, Tragic, but not Random, by Yale University researchers looked for social networking links between crime victims and perpetrators. The method of the study has recently been used by the Chicago police to create lists using similar networks. The police compiled a list of all the people who had been killed between 2010 and 2012. They created as second list of people who had been arrested in company with the victims in the first list. And then they created a third list of those who had been arrested in company with members of the second list. Note that all of the people in these lists had been arrested. Amazingly, the total number of people was about 100,000.

    The police used other (unnamed) criteria to distill this list of 100,000 down to a group of 504 individuals. Since March, 2013, 40 had been shot. Three of those shot were killed and one more was killed by a method other than gunshot. Note that these totals do not include the murder victims from the first list. These victims are all from the second and third lists.

    This is similar to what the Yale researchers found. In selected communities of Chicago with a total population of about 80,000 people, between 2005 and 2010 they identified 1600 who were linked by social networks similar to the Chicago police lists. Out of that group they found that 48 had been killed, or 30 out of 1000. These 48 killings amounted to 70% of the total killed, so there were about 21 additional murders for the remaining 78,400 people.

    To put these numbers in perspective, whites in Chicago experience about 1 death per 100,000, hispanics about 28 deaths per 100,000 and blacks 113 deaths per 100,000. Within the selected groups, the rates are much higher. The police list corresponds to about 400 deaths per 100,000 and about 4000 injured. The Yale list works out to 3000 violent deaths per 100,000.

    So Obola’s attempt to escape responsibility for terrorism by declaring it to be random violence isn’t supported by recent research. The violence is anything but random. It is what replaces the Rule of Law in black markets. Of course there was nothing random about the French terrorism either.

    The Feckless Won had best keep his eyes straight ahead. Reality is gaining on him, and if he falters, if he looks back, or if the track is muddy, he’ll be trampled.

    bobathome (f208b6)

  34. Errata:

    The police list corresponds to about 790 deaths per 100,000 and about 7930 injured.

    Not the 400 and 4000 in my original post.

    bobathome (f208b6)

  35. Happenstance, coincidence, sabotage.

    Ain’t no randoms here, Boss.

    htom (4ca1fa)

  36. 33. …Ain’t no randoms here, Boss.
    htom (4ca1fa) — 2/10/2015 @ 10:17 am

    Major Nidal Malik Hassan gave a briefing on the subject. Michael Adabelajo cited chapter and verse after he killed drummer Rigby. I understood them.

    You want to know what my secret is? I can read books.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  37. Random, in a closed-loop sorta way:

    This time we’ve chosen the losing side.

    DNF (259036)

  38. The Nazis couldn’t make Dutch doctors perform euthanasia. They resisted. And the guy who tried to make them perform euthanasia was hung as a war criminal.

    Now, try to stop a Dutch doctor from offing a patient. And the reasons are the same. Actually, worse. I don’t think the Nazis killed people for depression.

    From war crime to human right in what? Two generations.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  39. The Lord of Lies isn’t confused, isn’t an incompetent ideologue, events are progressing much to his liking and with each passing day wherein his quarry slumbers he likes the odds of his eventual triumph all the more.

    We are his lambs led to slaughter.

    DNF (259036)

  40. Normally I don’t go for the “Of course I’m not talking about everybody” BS.

    But in this case I’ll indulge. Of course I’m not talking about all Dutch doctors. Not all of whom, clearly, are bent on killing.

    Some, many perhaps, Dutch doctors don’t think they are the authorities to pass judgement on whether or not their patients are living lives somebody should want to live.

    And sometimes they’re shocked to find out, when they try to get them a bed in a hospital, that the hospital doesn’t feel the same way. Why waste valuable resources on an 80 year old?

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  41. 37. The Lord of Lies isn’t confused, isn’t an incompetent ideologue, events are progressing much to his liking and with each passing day wherein his quarry slumbers he likes the odds of his eventual triumph all the more.

    We are his lambs led to slaughter.
    DNF (259036) — 2/10/2015 @ 11:38 am

    An interesting aside, and maybe relevant to the discussion. The Quran says Allah is the best of deceivers. Most English translations of the Quran don’t spell that out. But when the Quran gets to the part about the Jews plotting to kill Jesus (complete BS, as if Jews would brag about killing a prophet that was prophesied about by prophets of Yahweh) the Quran uses the same word to descrive what activity Allah engaged in in response.

    Most English translations of the Quran say something bland, like Allah is the best of planners. Ain’t so. He is the best of deceivers. The best of liars.

    The Ahadith say that only an unbeliever is unafraid of Allah’s lies. One of Muhammad’s companions, I don’t recall which at present, said if he had one foot in paradise he’d be afraid that Allah would send him to hell before he had the chance to set the other foot down.

    Who is the Lord of Lies?

    Know your enemy.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)


    ….But these are old criticisms we don’t need to rehash here again.

    The more novel problem is his disgusting description of the deliberate targeting of Jews as a random shooting. It’s as infuriating as his administration’s insistence that the Fort Hood shooting was just “workplace violence,” though more hypocritical. When a theologically inspired Jew-hating terrorist runs across Paris to hold a Kosher market hostage, and then executes Jews in accordance with his ideological and religious dogma, it is not random violence or street crime. Period.

    There was nothing random about it, at all. There are about 310,000 Jews in the greater Paris area. Out of close to 12 million inhabitants. The odds of killing four Jews randomly are pretty daunting. But, thankfully, you don’t have to do the math because Amedy Coulibaly said openly and proudly that he was targeting Jews. No one disputes this, except for Barack Obama. He would never describe the targeting of a black church by the Klan as simple random violence — nor should he…

    Sammy Finkelman (d22d64)

  43. 39. Mephistopheles and after a fashion his annointed.

    “Job” is accounted by many the most ancient OT account at its point of compilation. Satan had no power of his own but was given sway over the Almighty’s beloved for a time.

    DNF (259036)


    Then did they feel secure from the plan of Allah? But no one feels secure from the plan of Allah except the losing people.

    And the disbelievers planned, but Allah planned. And Allah is the best of planners.

    The Arabic may be beyond most. But Allah “plans” like the disbelievers. That has to tell you something, right there.

    Taqqiya is a figment of no one’s imagination.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  45. 28. I would agree that SmegmaBreath’s knock on the Crusades is precisely that Palestine did not ‘belong’ to Xians.

    That does not quite explain why Tejas belongs to them muzzies too. Reparations perhaps?

    No, an overarching, organizing principle remains necessary to explain an unerring grasp for the most vile outcome at every turn.

    A nihilist who’s hedging his bet.

    DNF (259036)

  46. 41. You have the dead scent.

    DNF (259036)

  47. Yes, DNF, there were a couple of Popes a few years back who didn’t grasp the concept of Christ’s kingdom not being of this world.

    I don’t see how that trashes the whole religion, though.

    The problem with Islam, as I see it, is that ISIS does get it. Unlike those long ago Popes is they’re not getting it wrong.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  48. I’m not familiar with the idiom. Do you mean I can smell carrion?

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  49. 45. I’m hazy on the idiom too, that the K-9 agent picks up from an empty trunk or a shattered building.

    A little help here?

    DNF (259036)

  50. Yeah, I thought you meant the dogs who search for cadavers.

    Thing is, with those dogs, you really have to keep encouraging them. They get depressed, unlike other search dogs, because they never find a live one.

    You might not think it makes a difference to a dog.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  51. There is no hope for a cadaver dog.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  52. 47. I pretty sure we’ll be getting live ones in 2 years time.

    DNF (259036)

  53. all those billions for the pentagon piggies and the NSA poofterboys

    and not ONE pattern recognition analyst?

    I just don’t know what to think

    happyfeet (831175)

  54. They s***canned everyone who could recognize a pattern, feets.

    I wish I was kidding. I wish I was being a smart@$$.

    CAIR is doing your intel analysis now. That’s where your money is going.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  55. What do you think happened to anyone involved in the after action report that Nidal Hassan was motivated by, I dunno, Islam, maybe? Think that was a good career move, what with the Army Chief of Staff’s first reaction to hearing about the killings ran to concern for his diversity goals?

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  56. maybe there’s a groupon they could use

    happyfeet (831175)

  57. They’ll need it, being out of a job. But they better use it quick.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  58. Another Coast Guard video.

    USCG Station Cape Disappointment Surf Training 2011

    I never served in the USCG. But disappointment I know all too much about.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  59. Steve, I was never on surf boats, but I had temporary duty on the Rockaway in 1971. We were between Cape Cod and Bermuda in a gale that sank a tanker that was carrying home heating oil to Boston. The waves were running about 50′ and the Rockaway was muddling along on a single prop (the skipper had pranged the other one docking,) at 12 knots. The scene from the Rockaway’s bridge was a lot like your video. The waves were about 500 yards crest to crest, and little things like 120′ fishing boats would only be visible if you were on the top the crest, and they were in the trough right in front of you. WWII radar, standard CG equipment 20 years later, was able to detect the fishing boat from about 5 nm. When the bow of the Rockaway came down, the whole ship would ring like a bell. But those 311′ cutters were very seaworthy. They’d been designed as sea plane tenders with lots of anti-aircraft guns. Remove the guns and the cranes, and they were very hard to tip over, and they had a tremendous range.

    bobathome (f208b6)

  60. A man is sitting in a saloon in Paso Robles, California and was far from home when Barack Obama came on TV.

    The man looked at the TV and said, “Obama is a horse’s ass.”
    Out of nowhere, a local jumps up and punches him in the face, knocking him off his bar stool, then stomps out.

    The man got back up, rubbed his cheek and ordered another beer.

    Shortly after, Michelle Obama appears on the TV. The man looked at the TV and said “ She’s a horse’s ass too!”

    Out of nowhere, another local punches him in the other side of the face, knocking him off his bar stool again.
    The man gets back up and looks at the bartender, “I take it this is Obama country?”
    “Nope, replies the bartender, “Horse country.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  61. I had to look her up, bob. Rockaway wasn’t a name I am familiar with. My dad served in the ex-USN gunboat Mendota and the ex-USN tug Cherokee. He retired in 1967 so you probably didn’t cross paths.

    I crossed the T of a hurricane in Carl Vinson. We spent two weeks in Subic Bay fixing the bow. Anybody who goes out in that kind of weather on purpose, I have nothing but respect for.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  62. The damage that storm did to Carl Vinson apparently doesn’t rate a mention on Wikipedia. Which is hardly surprising. One, because it’s wikipedia. Two, it was a screw up. I recall how the CAG ran his plane into some other planes upon landing. That should have been written up as a Class A flight mishap because there was that much damage. But that was airbrushed out of existence, too. RHIP

    If you poke around the cruise book, February – July 1990, and you know where to look you’ll see my handsome face.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)


    Dave Burge

    Brutal: Buffy the State Dept Tri Delt hits peak flopsweat explaining “random” Kosher grocery attack in Paris

    At some other time, in some other situation, this would be funny.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  64. #26

    A tagger here was painting his stuff on a RR overpass when he fell… landing on the concrete in front of a police officer.
    Broken Bones. Revoked parole. Living the rest of his life unable to possess a felt pen.
    Say hello to Wasco

    steveg (794291)

  65. The Obama administration has not yet peaked. Or, bottomed out.

    …Here’s Obama, in his own words, speaking to Matt Yglesias: “It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.”

    As if, you know, the shooters just kind of stumbled onto that kosher deli and would’ve been happy shooting up a Moroccan joint instead if they had happened upon it first.

    I find Fisher’s missive remarkably amusing for a couple of reasons. The first is his idea that this “obviously accidental micro-gaffe” isn’t itself a fascinating glimpse into Obama’s worldview. I mean, the big brains at Vox didn’t think it was a particularly big deal, since neither Ezra Klein nor Matt Yglesias appear to have asked him a follow up. But it really is: If you think that radical extremists targeting an ethnic group is nothing more than a random act of violence, you reject the whole framework of terrorism and are, frankly, not in a good position to lead an effort aimed at stopping terrorists…

    An excellent observation. The USG has a definition of terrrorism.

    Our idiot preezy is going on about terrorism as if it’s random. But if you read the USG’s own definition of terrorism, it is anything but random. It’s supposed to drive a specific point home. It’s supposed to effect governmental policy toward a specific end. We are now reduced to having a preezy who not only won’t call Islamic terrorism Islamic, he won’t even call it terrorism.

    I wonder if any of us will live to see the end of this.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  66. Oh, it keeps getting better.

    …Now it can be told: the president’s non-action is a deliberate, active pursuit of a doctrine known as “strategic patience.” “The White House’s new national security policy, issued Friday, urges a long-term view of confronting conflict in a world awash with urgent crises. … ‘Progress won’t be quick or linear,’ National Security Advisor Susan Rice said, “but we are committed to seizing the future that lies beyond the crisis of the day, and pursuing a vision of the world as it can and should be.’”..

    Got that? Obama is dealing with the world as it should be. A perfect world that is deserving of our preezy. As described in a freshman dorm at Columbia University, circa 1980.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  67. One in which Iran has nuclear weapons. Because of course in the perfect world of the future as discovered 35 years ago in a bong the Mullahs are decent human beings.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  68. re #61: HAH! 😀 :)

    B.O.T. –
    Are the Vox people that obtuse that they didn’t realize what was said to them?

    seeRpea (8193fc)

  69. I wish Obama’s foreign policy was random.

    George Bush had his fair share of bad ideas. But there isn’t one of them that Barack Obama can’t make ten times worse.

    That article sums up why voting for Democrats would be a catastrophe. But the Republican will no doubt be merely a disaster. I like Scott Walker, but I fear he’d listen to these same people.

    Steve57 (13bd8e)

  70. #67: Steve, you have the year right, but Obola spent 1979 to 1981 at Occidental College in L. A. The college still basks in its reflected glory.

    bobathome (f208b6)

  71. Three Muslim kids shot to death in North Carolina:

    “The father of two victims, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, believes hate led to the killings.

    ‘It was execution style, a bullet in every head,” he told the News Observer. “This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime. This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt. And they were uncomfortable with him, but they did not know he would go this far’.”

    Random? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  72. there’s tagging and then there’s tagging Paris

    what’s wrong with people

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  73. With respect to the murder of three young Muslims in N.C.: Via Pajama media the shooter was big into athiest culture.

    ” People say nothing can solve the Middle East Problem –not mediation, not arms, not financial aid. I say there is something. Atheism.” (J.R. Grover)

    Via Ace,

    A review of the Facebook page of the man charged in these murders, Craig Hicks, shows a consistent theme of anti-religion and progressive causes. Included in his many Facebook “likes” are the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” Neil deGrasse Tyson, gay marriage groups, and a host of anti-conservative /Tea Party pages.

    Also-NYT weighs in on the parking dispute escalation.

    elissa (1486dc)

  74. ” People say nothing can solve the Middle East Problem –not mediation, not arms, not financial aid. I say there is something. Atheism.”

    elissa – I’m sure Gil will be right along to splain how that would work.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  75. The NC State students sound like 3 nice kids. What a tragedy.

    DRJ (e80d46)

  76. The people running ISIS are probably secretly, or not so secretly, atheists.

    Atheism, or near atheism, it is true, is more acceptable to Muslims than another religion because it is not actual apostasy.

    Sammy Finkelman (e806a6)

  77. you can tell it’s a tragedy cause of it has its own hashtag

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  78. I agree, DRJ. Very sad, and an event that will further aggravate tensions that certainly did not need further tinder to be added to the “fire”.

    elissa (1486dc)

  79. Definitely. Tragedy is the best word. I think Obama is far more likely to refer to these shootings as “terrorism” at some point, if they turn out to be religiously motivated, but that only goes to show his cowardice when it comes to referring to attacks like Charlie Hebdo by the same name.

    Leviticus (f9a067)

  80. In a way they were religiously motivated. The killer, Hicks, by all accounts and from the available evidence was a devout atheist who hated all religions. Here’s a partial screenshot of his Facebook page in which he declares his desire for religion to go away as an anti-Theist.

    He may have expressed anti-Muslim sentiments as well, but it appears he despised all religions equally. He seems to be the kind of guy who would be vigorously nodding in agreement when Obama drew a (false) moral equivalence between Christianity and Islam. No doubt he thinks God orders the Jews to commit genocide in the Old Testament. They’re all equally bad.

    According to his wife, who spoke to CNN, he really did shoot these students over a parking space. A$$holes like Hicks don’t need a “good” reason to commit murder. Any excuse no matter how small or petty will do.

    Steve57 (730903)

  81. parking lot violence

    mg (31009b)

  82. Lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other religion, remember that people have always committed terrible deeds in the name of atheism.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  83. Legal Insurrection has a nice post up about the Chapel Hill murders and a touching photo of one of the victims at her recent wedding with her own caption, “Dancing With Daddy”.

    elissa (1486dc)

  84. This vile act cries out for the sober take Gil always provides.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  85. 83. Legal Insurrection has a nice post up about the Chapel Hill murders and a touching photo of one of the victims at her recent wedding with her own caption, “Dancing With Daddy”.

    elissa (1486dc) — 2/11/2015 @ 5:23 pm

    That is a touching photo. I couldn’t help but think there were several things, though, in that photo that ISIS would have executed the dancers for doing. Or the Taliban. Or Boko Haram. Or any number of groups.

    It saddens me to think how many Muslims come here to escape zealotry. Yet these three young people got gunned down by a zealot in the US.

    Steve57 (560f3e)

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