Tapping Into Fear — Trump

Big Red Car here in the ATX on another glorious day. Going to be 75F and sunny. Yawn. On Earth as it is in Texas.

So, The Donald has created another controversy with his call for a “temporary” ban on Muslims entering the United States.

Apparently, many folks are troubled by this. Of course, we are living in troubled times, no? So what are we to make of it?

Balancing acts

We have a President who is, apparently, unconcerned about the implications of immigration (Syrian refugees having been one of the groups who triggered the discussion) from the Middle East.

On the other hand, you have The Donald who is fixated on the notion of preventing Muslims from entering the United States.

In this discussion, The Donald suggests his notion is “temporary” until the government can figure this business out. In its temporariness, it would ban business visitors, students, tourists — anybody who is Muslim.

Is this really going to happen, Big Red Car?

The short answer is: NO!

The long answer is: NO!

So, why, Big Red Car?

That is also simple.

The United States is scared and the guy who is supposed to comfort us, President Obama, just gave a “Nothing to See Here, Move Along” speech telling us he’s got it under control and we just need to stay the course.

That course is strewn with a meaningful number of dead Americans and that is unacceptable.

It was not his best speech on either delivery or content. So, many are left with more fear, not less fear.

That fear is what The Donald is tapping into. It is real.

Pattern recognition

Pattern recognition is the beginning of intelligence. This applies to native, personal intelligence and military intelligence.

The pattern that folks are seeing is this — a lot of this terrorism is being undertaken by folks who are Muslims, under the guise of Islam, in accordance with the Qu’ran’s instructions on dealing with infidels and jihad, and by guys yelling “Allahu akbar!” Translates to “God is greater” or “God is the greatest.”

Is this right, Big Red Car?

Yes, this is an identifiable pattern. It is a fair assessment of the problem. Deal with it.

Is it the Muslims, Big Red Car? Level with us, dammit!

Dear reader, there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world. They are of varying levels of devotion and of varying sects. Sort of like the Presbyterians v the Episcopalians. Some of whom only see the inside of a church on Christmas and Easter. Not everyone is a zealot.

Of that number, approximately half are men.

Of that number, 800 million, approximately 25% fit into the demographic which has been causing all the trouble. That’s about 200 million.

Of that 200 million, approximately 40,000 have rallied to ISIS and there are another 20,000 ISIS zealots who are where they may need to be — dead and buried.

ISIS is a pimple on the world’s ass but one that probably should be dealt with sooner rather than later. The President’s failure to deal with it effectively is where the fear is coming from.

And that fear is REAL!

You didn’t answer the question, Big Red Car

OK, the answer is that part of the pattern is that the terrorists are doing horrific things in the name of Islam. Yes, that is true.

Are all Muslims doing it? No — that also is true.

The Donald is suggesting we need a pause to figure this out. He wants to halt entries to the United States by all Muslims. ALL MUSLIMS.

And therein lies the problem.

Tapping into the fear

The Donald is tapping into a righteous and real fear but he’s using a baseball bat when maybe a scalpel would be better. But it is because the fear is real that he is getting traction.

There are some anecdotal references — FDR’s rounding up the Japanese in the United States after Pearl Harbor, the decision by President Carter in the wake of the Iranian seizure of the American embassy in Tehran to deny Iranians the use of their passports to enter the United States — which make for an interesting discussion.

They are not dispositive nor are they convincing nor are they exactly comparable. Still, they are thought provoking and the folks who are looking for The Donald’s lobotomy scars need to check their own in a mirror. A pause is not an outlandish idea though The Donald may have framed it in such a manner that a knee jerk kicks in that direction.

The fear is real and until there is some plan to relieve that fear, The Donald will get some not insignificant traction on this subject because America is scared. We are fearful.

BTW, you do know that The Donald is married to an immigrant, right? He says he vetted her extensively and personally before he decided to marry her. Sounds plausible, no? This is their little cub.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car but I also am fearful as to the implications of immigration from the Middle East. We must do something better than we are currently doing and our President is not getting it done. Fear, it will make you say  and do some crazy stuff.


11 thoughts on “Tapping Into Fear — Trump

  1. The problem with bluster from the Right is that you guys are never right. These issues are not addressed in idiotic sound bites designed for PR distribution not any real action. Putin is moving our direction and our efforts now are more realistic than any I’ve not heard from any Republican candidates.
    We need to act nastier and more small scale and please stop with the boots on the ground. Bush paid for ISIL’s guns and trucks and we certainly don’t want to pay for their future ad campaigns.

  2. As we can easily tell from reading history of the 20th century, especially the first half, generally we need to be like a grade school child crossing a street — stop, look, and listen. We needed to do that in 1914, 1929, 1933, 1938, 1940, 1945, and some more.

    From that history and stop, look, and listen, we can observe now:

    (1) As at


    since 1972, in the US, there have been 82 terror attacks and Islam-related honor killing by Muslims.

    (1) In their area of Iraq and Syria, ISIS is has been doing ugly, medieval, violent things — killing anyone not a Sunni devoted to ISIS except girls they turn into sex slaves and sometimes sell for $10.

    (2) ISIS has stated their goal as taking over all the world as a Caliphate, and they have made progress also in Libya and Chechnya.

    (3) ISIS has made it clear that they want to hurt the US and would like to nuke the US. It is fair to say that ISIS has declared war on the US.

    (4) Obama has opened our southern border with Mexico to massive immigration and has proposed admitting to the US thousands, tens of thousands, of people who are nearly all Muslim young men and claim to be refugees from the war in Syria.

    As for the Muslim attackers recently in San Bernardino, we have no effective way thoroughly to investigate these people to see if they should be accepted.

    These people are an obvious threat to the US, and Obama seems not to be concerned about the threat.

    (5) In his early life, Obama had a lot of strong connections with Islam and now refuses to say “radical Islamic terrorism” and, instead, in his recent speech said that “Muslims are our friends”.

    (6) In a recent speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition Conference, The Donald (TD) said about Obama “There is something wrong with him that we don’t know about.”

    (7) In the recent mass shooting in Paris, the shooters were significantly connected with ISIS.

    (8) The San Bernardino shooters were significantly connected with ISIS.

    (9) Apparently all around the world, a significant fraction of Muslims have sympathy for ISIS.

    (10) TD claims that some areas of London and Paris have essentially been taken over by Muslims, that the local police avoid going there, and that no one else is welcome.

    (11) Apparently in the US, a shockingly high fraction of the Muslims support Jihad against the US.

    (12) For the US, since the first World Trade Center bombing, radical Islamic terrorism has been a total unanesthetized upper molar root canal procedure with massive time and money wasting disruption of our air and other public transportation systems, from the massive security needed for any large sporting or other event, with lots of metal detectors and video surveillance, with massive surveillance of our shipping and ports of entry, and even off our shores and out to sea. Total bummer. We should be totally pissed off.

    (13) The US needs to be concerned about radical Islamic terrorists from ISIS, the rest of Syria and Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and maybe more.

    Something very much appears to “be going on”, and we have to stop, look, and listen.

    So, TD wants the US to block nearly all Muslims who are not US citizens from entering the US, temporarily, hopefully for just a short time, until “our leaders figure out what the hell is going on.”.

    From a recent poll reported on December 9, 2015 at


    we have

    Bloomberg Politics Poll: Nearly Two-Thirds of Likely GOP Primary Voters Back Trump’s Muslim Ban

    So, already a lot of people agree with TD.

    TD’s proposal sounds entirely prudent to me. To me, until we implement this proposal or something at least this promising, we are being dangerously irresponsible and failing to protect the US.

    Might TD have suggested blocking immigration just from Syria? Well, as we know, there is a lot of radical Islamic terrorism from Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Gaza, Lebanon, Pakistan, and more. Russia and India have both been attacked by radical Islamic terrorists from within their own areas, and if such terrorists can come to the US they could attack us — e.g., the Boston Marathon bombers.

    There were radical Islamic terrorism attacks in Bali. From a map, flying from Bali to Libya has one fly over or near a major fraction of all the Muslims there are. But, who wants to fly in a commercial airplane over that area anyway?

    There are just too many young men and their brothers named Ali Abdul al Jihad al Fatwah bin Boom Boom. These guys are just walking bottles of unstable nitroglycerin, and we need to keep them out of the US

    And, then there is that word ISIS used — nuke. To me, that is very much the wrong word.

    We don’t want to wait for a smoking gun, and we very much do not want a smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

    This stuff with ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism is just no joke.

    We just had another December 7th. The one we had in 1941 we just would not — not, not, not, not, not, not, NOT, our feet locked solidly in concrete, deaf, dumb, and blind, totally determined NOT to — believe. Then as the evidence came in, (A) we didn’t know where the Japanese carrier fleet was, (B) due to some little effort by the Japanese in SE Asia we concluded that anything that would happen would happen there, (C) when, from our breaking of the Japanese diplomatic code, General Marshall had nearly rock solid early warning, he just would NOT take the information seriously and just would NOT just pick up a phone, call Admiral Kimmel and General Short, and just f**k’n a TELL them, (D) the worst we would entertain at all was an attack on the Philippines, (E) when the radar on a hilltop in Hawaii clearly detected the Japanese planes on the way, which is exactly what the radar was for, we cooked up whatever wacko, guesstimate explanations that nothing was wrong, (F) when the reports of the actual attack did reach DC, the DC people just kept concluding that the reports had to be in error.

    When the pictures of the fleet and airports on fire reached DC, then people started to believe. Dumb-de-dumb dumb.

    Why? Everyone wants to fit in with the consensus as of yesterday, to accept the status quo, wants to be part of the huge group that is wrong, and is reluctant to be different, to claim we are at risk, to disturb the tranquility, to cry “Wolf”, to be the first person who is right, to take any chance of being wrong.

    To get the US to believe in the attack beforehand, had to grab nearly everyone at the top of the White House and the Pentagon, slap them in the face, kick them in the ass, break a 2 x 2 over their heads, dunk them in ice water, grab them by their nose, punch them in the gut, all just to make sure they were awake, then do it all again, twice more, just to get their attention, then grab’m by the backs of their necks, stuff their nose into the telegram copies while shouting at 140 dB into their ears just to get them to listen. We’re back to that now.

    So, TD is about right for now just to block nearly all non-US citizen Muslim immigrants.

    Look at the record, say, above, of the attacks by radical Islamic terrorists: It’s close to certain that there will be another such attack, including in the US, plus more outside, before the presidential election 11 months from now and maybe more before the primaries are over. So, TD’s warning stands to be appropriate and correct. It would be totally foolish for anyone to reject his warning.

    Here TD is just using overwhelming evidence, grade school prudence of stop, look, and listen, and common sense — really simple, rock solid means — to step out ahead as the first and only public person and propose a simple, obvious step. In less than a year, TD stands to look like the best leader we have. Obama, Hillary, and the news people who now are laughing at TD stand to look dangerously foolish, stupid, irresponsible, and incompetent.

    Of course Obama believes that the US is not at risk, that ISIS is the JV and contained, and that climate change is a bigger problem, that we should encourage Muslim immigrants to have more Muslims to help us stop terrorists, that Muslims are our friends, etc.

    Where can we get the really strong funny stuff we’d need to be smoking to take that seriously?

    Then we need to WTF “figure out what the hell is going on.”. Like right away, now, y’hear?

  3. Good point about pattern recognition.. but where are americans seeing these patterns? From the 5,000+ muslims that live in Austin and interact with Texas every day? Nope. They form patterns from what they see in the media. If Americans really wanted something to fear, they would pass gun control, not drive anywhere, and stay away from swimming pools.

    You could fit the number of people in America killed by Muslim terrorist since 9/11 in school bus. There have actually been more Americans who have died during that time inside school buses.

    So.. really, this fear is all a bit unfounded. But that doesn’t play well for the media. The media sells fear. It’s no wonder that Trump is in the media all the time. He knows what he is doing. It’s got nothing to do with America policy though.

    • .
      Most fears are unfounded but sometimes are drivers of otherwise wise decisions. I was fearful of my children drowning — I made them learn to swim and join the swim team.

      I am going to ask you to reflect on something that troubles me about this discussion.

      When you say that there are 5,000 Muslims in Austin who interact with Texas every day, that is not really true. There are 5,000 people who live in Austin whose religion does not manifest itself in their daily lives and whose religion is not relevant to those with whom they interact.

      One can change their religion thereby suggesting that religion is not the big driver of how we may act.

      I personally have never made any action as a Catholic, an Episcopalian, a Southern Baptist, or a Martian. It is the transparency of our lives that is the reality of it.

      OTOH, you are perfectly right that the media is the one bringing this to our attention. It is also the media that Trump is using like a rented mule. They do his work for free.

      The pattern is real. Are the proportions of enough significance to be addressable? It is a fear and thus it is as big as we let it be in our minds.


    • > You could fit the number of people in America killed by Muslim terrorist
      since 9/11 in school bus. There have actually been more Americans who
      have died during that time inside school buses.

      Likely true. But we should still be much more concerned about deaths from Muslim terrorists than ordinary school bus accidents.

      First, the death from radical Islamic terrorism (RIT) are not accidents — instead, they are deliberate. That is, what we are fighting is an active enemy, not just some random, exogenous force like being struck by lightening. And we care about that because? Because the deaths from RIT promise to increase. No ordinary school bus is nearly so dangerous.

      Second, the RIT deaths have ruined significant parts of our daily lives. E.g., our public transportation systems are a mess of take your shoes off, put your hands up on the wall, don’t have toothpaste in your luggage. And sporting events have to have security all over the place — metal detectors, various cases of monitoring. There are no-fly lists that are, really, violations of due process. And, the DHS has to gather data, look for patterns, watch people, etc. — and apparently they are doing a lot of it. It’s expensive. It’s vulnerable to false alarms. It would provide a lot of power to a dictator — Stalin and the East Germans would have wished to have had such surveillance powers.

      Third, RIT has spread through nearly all the Islamic areas of the world. So, they have attacked in Bali, India, Russia, Iraq, Syria, …, London, Paris, Boston, NYC, San Bernardino, and many more; these attacks indicate their intended scope for their intended goal of, right, as in a recent Saturday morning children’s cartoon show, and as we saw from Hitler, Tojo, Stalin, Mao, etc., take over the world. No ordinary school bus is nearly so dangerous.

      Fourth, ISIS has stated their intention to nuke the US. No ordinary school bus is nearly so dangerous.

      Fifth, the level of sympathy for ISIS techniques and goals among the Muslims in the world and in the US is shockingly high. So, RIT looks like a match that could create a fire spreading across all the Muslim areas. No ordinary school bus is nearly so dangerous.

      Lightening strikes, road accidents, tornadoes, etc. we understand and, for them, have excellent statistics. These dangers are not from an active enemy. An active enemy. ISIS and RIT, that wants to nuke the US and take over the world is much more dangerous. Heck, we should wipe out ISIS and RIT if only just to save money on the DHS budget.

    • Just an observation (on fear & thinking fast)
      “Short words are best and the old words when short are best of all” – Churchill
      “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity” – Yeats
      Happy Holidays BRC (when is your boss going to upgrade to LS3 power? Gen I is so outdated).

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