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Author Topic: 9th Grader Arrested for Bringing a Clock to School
JoshCrow
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TomD: To clarify, I don't think he was "trying to scare his school". I think he was just being a wise ass kid who wanted to see if he could push some buttons by toting around his suitcase-clock. I grew up around plenty of such kids.

This is not to say that I am certain of it, as none of us should be, since none of us know this kid. It would be easy enough, I think, to talk to people who know the kid (outside of his family) to get a better sense - something nobody has done in the media, which is really weird.

It is not somehow unacceptable of me to have suspicions, given the circumstances that have been pointed out (his father's notoriety, the fact of his clock being a casemod rather than an invention as he claimed). I would say it is quite reasonable to cast doubt. The alternative is to be naive. The important thing is to investigate.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
It would be easy enough, I think, to talk to people who know the kid (outside of his family) to get a better sense - something nobody has done in the media, which is really weird.
Without addressing anything else about this, I want to call this out.

Think about what you've just written: that it's weird that no one in the national media (as far as you know) has interviewed people outside a 14-year-old's family to do a detailed character study of him. That it is for some pressing reason important to investigate -- as you put it -- whether he's a callow jerk or a political opportunist or just a kid who's learning how to use a soldering iron. That this is something that we the people must know, because the alternative to giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming that he's a decent kid is unacceptable naivete.

That's a world I don't want to inhabit, Josh.

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Fenring
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It's funny, Tom, because in the insistent desire to show he was wronged (maybe because of his race; a liberal agenda) you are dismissing outright the possibility that he did intend it as a 'bomb joke', which if that was actually the case would make him a legit criminal. I'm not saying that's the case, but I wonder how you can definitively say it's not. Based on what - 'human nature'?

Right now I guess I'm leaning more towards my conclusion that he's dumb. But man, he must be really dumb, because if I had committed a dunderhead mistake like bringing a contraption to school that I was told made people think I had a bomb, I'd have been so embarrassed and scolding myself that I hadn't foreseen the confusion. I would most definitely not innocently claim that I did nothing wrong or that it was a great idea gone wrong. I'd say "Holy s**t that was dumb of me. Sorry everyone." So one would either have to be overly dense or else...shameless?...to retain the air of innocence after an event like this. That doesn't mean he should have been taken away in cuffs, but then again I'm not 100% sure that was an overreaction. It depends on the details that may or may not demonstrate he knew people would find it scary or bomb-like. If he knew it all along then it was certainly a police matter, even if it was clear it wasn't a real bomb. A bomb hoax is almost certainly considered 'terrorism' by Homeland. If it was a total accident then I hope his parents have a long talk with him, and in addition some internal disciplinary action would probably be appropriate, such as a brief suspension.

[ September 20, 2015, 12:09 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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JoshCrow
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It's the world we live in, Tom. Dylan Klebold was 17. Andrew Lyons was 15. Hammad Memmon was 14.

To think that because a kid is a kid doesn't mean they can't do horrible things - even if they don't fully comprehend what they're doing.

I'm sorry the world is in this state - I really wish it weren't. But I think a little prudence isn't too much to ask. I maintain that in this case the police overreacted, but I also think caution on the part of teachers is warranted. And I would add that what was going on in Ahmed's head is unknowable but critical here - the range of possibilities includes "he knew it looked like a bomb" to "he was oblivious to it".

If this were an investigation into whether this was an intentional bomb hoax, a joke, or just naivete, wouldn't his character be at the heart of it?

[ September 20, 2015, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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NobleHunter
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quote:
Right now I guess I'm leaning more towards my conclusion that he's dumb. But man, he must be really dumb, because if I had committed a dunderhead mistake like bringing a contraption to school that I was told made people think I had a bomb, I'd have been so embarrassed and scolding myself that I hadn't foreseen the confusion. I would most definitely not innocently claim that I did nothing wrong or that it was a great idea gone wrong. I'd say "Holy s**t that was dumb of me. Sorry everyone." So one would either have to be overly dense or else...shameless?...to retain the air of innocence after an event like this. That doesn't mean he should have been taken away in cuffs, but then again I'm not 100% sure that was an overreaction. It depends on the details that may or may not demonstrate he knew people would find it scary or bomb-like. If he knew it all along then it was certainly a police matter, even if it was clear it wasn't a real bomb. A bomb hoax is almost certainly considered 'terrorism' by Homeland. If it was a total accident then I hope his parents have a long talk with him, and in addition some internal disciplinary action would probably be appropriate, such as a brief suspension.
The innocence could be from the fact you'd have to be paticularly stupid to actually think it was a bomb. He may be self-assured enough not to feel guilty about other people being clueless.

If it was a total accident, no disciplinary action was necessary. If they were really concerned about it being mistaken for a bomb, they should have held onto it until the end of the day and then told him not to bring it back.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
But man, he must be really dumb, because if I had committed a dunderhead mistake like bringing a contraption to school that I was told made people think I had a bomb, I'd have been so embarrassed and scolding myself that I hadn't foreseen the confusion.
I'm going to call B.S. on that. The one person on Ornery who might have that reaction would be D.W. [Smile]

Do you remember a few years back, when Adult Swim arranged to have a couple conceptual artists hang LED sculptures under highways in Boston and got in trouble for scaring people with their "makeshift bombs?" The artists did not have the reaction, "Oh, we're terrible people who made a boneheaded mistake." Rather, they had the perfectly ordinary reaction of, "Oh, these people who thought these were bombs and are demanding money and apologies from us are total idiots." It wasn't until mealy-mouthed lawyers got involved that the tone changed.

----------

quote:
I'm sorry the world is in this state - I really wish it weren't.
But here's the thing: what I was criticizing was not the possibility that teens might also do horrible things, but your attitude that the national news media owes it to an otherwise naive and trusting public to investigate every kid who attains national attention for being wrongfully slandered, just in case he isn't angelic or otherwise flawless enough to deserve the pedestal that some people believe victimhood accords him.

He's a 14-year-old kid who modded a clock. What harm is there in "naively" assuming that's all anyone needs to know about him?

[ September 20, 2015, 12:24 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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AI Wessex
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I find this thread both fascinating and tiresome at the same time. First, it's an excellent example of the new dictim of news, that all news that is local is global, and all global news is intensely personal. Why else would so many people have drawn conclusions and expressed fears about an exceedingly common sort of event that is so typical of 14-year old boys everywhere?

I call this the Probability of Dragons Theory, which I expressed here several years ago. If something you are afraid of is remotely possible and rumor says has happened far away, then we can conclude that it's actually probable and it will happen here sooner rather than later. Jason and others should crawl out from beneath your desks; this dull boy is no threat to you.

There's another pattern that happens all too often on Ornery that this story repeats. People like Tom and I undoubtedly seem too wishy-washy "liberal" to those who understand the real and/or potential threat this episode uncovers. Speaking just for myself, I'm only challenging that those who have made up their minds about the true nature and/or real threat really have almost no good information from which to draw those conclusions. You project your own biases and neuroses onto events unrelated to you and gain some sort of satisfaction by confirmation from it. I won't even go to what I think Rafi/G gets out of it.

Last, one local news station did talk to Ahmed's classmates, who they say said building the clock was typical of Ahmed, who loves to tinker with things. That didn't make it into the national news because boys who tinker with things aren't newsworthy; boys who build bombs or try to scare people into thinking they have are.

Let it go. He's a boy, fairly bright, very curious, and now for good and ill, famous and a new excuse to be afraid of the dark. Add this to the Ebola mules and AQ slipping across the Mexican border and every other fear under the bed that never materializes.

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
He's a 14-year-old kid who modded a clock. What harm is there in "naively" assuming that's all anyone needs to know about him? [/QB]

What harm in accepting ignorance instead of knowledge that could clarify a situation? Is that really a question you want to ask on this forum?
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AI Wessex
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quote:
It's the world we live in, Tom. Dylan Klebold was 17. Andrew Lyons was 15. Hammad Memmon was 14.
How many *actual* such acts committed by young adults and teenagers were seen coming ahead of time? How many were *not* committed with legally purchased weapons? Shouldn't you be frisking every kid who walks down the street and doesn't smile and say, "Good afternoon, Mrs. Cleaver"? They all look just as suspicious as every real killer their age.
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
Shouldn't you be frisking every kid who walks down the street and doesn't smile and say, "Good afternoon, Mrs. Cleaver"? They all look just as suspicious as every real killer their age. [/QB]

Al, nobody wants to move the slider all the way over to "frisk every single kid", so please cut the hyperbole. There's a security slider, and we're arguing about whether it should include or exclude kids bringing things that can legitimately look like bombs or not to school.

That's our argument. Don't make it about something fictional slippery slope. Not I nor Jason nor anybody on this thread has called this kid a "threat", despite you throwing that word around no less than 3 times. I don't even think anybody here is defending his being cuffed.

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AI Wessex
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We know he wasn't a real threat, but terrorizing 14-year old boys and making him a symbol that confirms our worst fears is not defensible. Read back through this thread and you'll see all the insults and reluctant conclusions that attack him (and those who defend or simply won't attack him).
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
We know he wasn't a real threat, but terrorizing 14-year old boys and making him a symbol that confirms our worst fears is not defensible. Read back through this thread and you'll see all the insults and reluctant conclusions that attack him (and those who defend or simply won't attack him).

"Terrorizing" him by suggesting he might be a wise-ass or a dullard? "symbol that confirms our worst fears"... do you think a wise-ass kid is my worst fear?

Just what are you accusing us (and I exclude Rafi here) of doing?

[ September 20, 2015, 12:50 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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AI Wessex
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Being too willing to be suspicious:
quote:
Fenring: "Best case scenario he's a total moron and scared people for no reason." and "Also based on his responses to question he also does strike me as dull in the head. And this is giving him full credit in honesty."
quote:
Jason: "He sounds like an ass", and "I am not sure what exactly was going on here but I get a certain jackass vibe from this kid. "
quote:
JoshCrow: "I truly suspect he's actually the opposite of gifted. Not merely because his clock isn't his invention, but because his responses are those of a dullard, not a sharp 14 year old. " and "He knew what he wanted it to look like, and was specific about it, and about touring it around to get reactions."
You three all went to the dark side. What little "evidence" you have makes it clear that you rode there on supposition and not on actual facts. I say that because it's pretty clear that none of you got it right.
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JoshCrow
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From the quotes you pulled, Fenring openly lets him off the hook for his actions (kid was just ignorant), Jason describes "vibes" from observation, and I basically call him out as a case-modder rather than a clock-inventor and make the point that the case he put it in was the most deliberate choice he made.

Fenring lays out scenarios. Jason says "sounds like" and "vibes". I "suspect" things. Between all of us here, how is it that YOU are the only person who is asserting to fully know the truth, saying "it's clear none of you got it right", while the rest of us leave room for doubt? Isn't it far more arrogant and unproven as a statement?

You accuse us of being suspicious in the absence of facts. I accuse you of being certain in the absence of facts.

[ September 20, 2015, 03:05 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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AI Wessex
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Let me be more clear; none of you have facts, yet none of you are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He's a dullard, an ass, a moron, the opposite of gifted, he knew what he wanted it to look like (a bomb, I assume you mean). If as a 14-year old he appears not to be completely articulate in his first nation-wide TV interview, the interview was BIZARRELY edited.**

Are any of those things true?

What he has said is that he built a clock and took it to school to impress his teachers. He took it around to several classes for the same reason. His parents insist he builds things like that all the time; fellow students say the same thing. Nevertheless, he was arrested, suspended and made the target of insinuations of possibly being a Muslim terrorist by conservative media outlets all across the country framed in the form of honest questions. Many such insinuations were still being made after it became clear he hadn't built a bomb. That's the Rafi connection that I'm *not* accusing you of buying into. The apologies are coming in much more slowly. Your questions and suppositions are sympathetic to everything that happened to him, and not at all sympathetic toward him.

** I have a good friend who is an expert on health care outcomes and medical claims fraud. CNN came to his office here in Ann Arbor and interviewed him for 6 hours. The following day he was given about 45 seconds on the air where snippets of comments he made were interspersed with commentary by the show's hosts to make it seem that he was delivering profound answers to what he had been clear were unanswerable questions. You could claim that *that's* bizarre, because he appeared to be saying things he didn't. Ahmed was shown answering questions in full, even if the total Q&A was edited to avoid repetition or for time in a tight program segment.

ETA: FWIW, I think the reverse reaction was also out of line. The kid did nothing special by slapping together a rudimentary clock, and doesn't (yet) merit the attention from Silicon Valley, MIT and the WH. He's just a kid; let him go back to tinkering in his room.

[ September 20, 2015, 03:23 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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JoshCrow
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Where are you getting this "none of you have facts" business? I read the same facts you did. We've stated several in this thread. Can you knock it off with that? Then you go and put words in our mouth - when we expressed doubt you shoved certainty down our throats. "He's a dullard" is not what I said.

Stop it. Just stop. Stop building a strawman to knock over and deal with our suspicions as such.

You accuse me of not being sympathetic? What - to a kid who just hit the modern equivalent of the lottery jackpot? Does he need my sympathy right now? This is the best thing that has ever happened (and may ever happen) to this kid - all thanks to the amplification chamber that is our media system. This isn't about him - this is about the foolishness of people being certain without facts. I don't want nor need this kid to be a wise-ass - I'd be happy to be wrong. If I met him and we hung out all day I might come out on the other side saying he's a cool guy.

[ September 20, 2015, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
What harm in accepting ignorance instead of knowledge that could clarify a situation? Is that really a question you want to ask on this forum?
My next-door neighbor once committed a crime. You don't know which crime. This situation needs clarification. Does the national media owe it to our country to make sure you know? Or are you okay without knowing?

quote:
Fenring openly lets him off the hook for his actions (kid was just ignorant)...
Why is there even a hook? There should be no hook. This kid, for showing some intellectual curiosity, is being called "best case, a total moron."

That's not just calling him ignorant. It's saying he's moronic at best.

quote:
What - to a kid who just hit the modern equivalent of the lottery jackpot? Does he need my sympathy right now? This is the best thing that has ever happened (and may ever happen) to this kid...
The next time some conservative dipwad makes it into national news for being "oppressed" and gets sent a half-million dollars by other dipwads, I'm going to remind you of this one.

[ September 20, 2015, 03:36 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
What harm in accepting ignorance instead of knowledge that could clarify a situation? Is that really a question you want to ask on this forum?
My next-door neighbor once committed a crime. You don't know which crime. This situation needs clarification. Does the national media owe it to our country to make sure you know? Or are you okay without knowing?
I would want to know! But in your scenario, my neighbor is not already the undeserved subject of a national conversation. I don't see how it compares. A more appropriate situation would be if the neighbor was being accused of some crime and nobody asked me to be a character witness.
quote:

quote:
[qb]Fenring openly lets him off the hook for his actions (kid was just ignorant)...
Why is there even a hook? There should be no hook. This kid, for showing some intellectual curiosity, is being called "best case, a total moron."

That's not just calling him ignorant. It's saying he's moronic at best.

You found someone being hyperbolic on the Internet? But yeah, I'd say it would make the kid pretty dumb if it were the case.

quote:
quote:
What - to a kid who just hit the modern equivalent of the lottery jackpot? Does he need my sympathy right now? This is the best thing that has ever happened (and may ever happen) to this kid...
The next time some conservative dipwad makes it into national news for being "oppressed" and gets sent a half-million dollars by other dipwads, I'm going to remind you of this one.
This was Chick Fil A a few years ago with their anti-gay activism. They hit the jackpot too. What's your point? It was stupid then, and it's stupid now.

[ September 20, 2015, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: JoshCrow ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
But yeah, I'd say it would make the kid pretty dumb if it were the case.
Is that the best case? He's either pretty dumb, an *******, or a foreign agent?

quote:
This was Chick Fil A a few years ago with their anti-gay activism. They hit the jackpot too.
Let's try to find an example that's a person and not a corporation, shall we? Go with those "we won't bake gay cakes" bakers, maybe. Did you feel any sympathy for them, or were you glad they got rich?
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JoshCrow
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
Is that the best case? He's either pretty dumb, an *******, or a foreign agent?

I don't know where that foreign agent thing came from, but the first two are the most likely scenarios, with the 'dumb' for being oblivious to what his own device looked like being the best.

quote:
quote:
This was Chick Fil A a few years ago with their anti-gay activism. They hit the jackpot too.
Let's try to find an example that's a person and not a corporation, shall we? Go with those "we won't bake gay cakes" bakers, maybe. Did you feel any sympathy for them, or were you glad they got rich?
No sympathy for them whatsoever, and I don't know that any got rich, but if so it was utterly undeserved. I abhor the media amplification chamber we now live in. I'm also not sure you know my politics - have you mistaken me for a conservative?
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cherrypoptart
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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/richard-dawkins-accuses-ahmed-mohamed-of-committing-fraud_55fed260e4b08820d918fe9b?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592

Did the kid just disassemble a clock and put it back together in a case so that it looked like a bomb?

Of course I have no idea and I suspect that now since Obama and the liberal media are all over this I never will.

But this would be easy enough to find out. Did these components come separately like at an electronic components store? Or are they all part of the same clock that was just taken apart and reconnected enough so that it could still sound an alarm with the wires hanging out all over the place?

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NobleHunter
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He took apart a clock and put it back together with a different case. ETA: I'm inclined to say he did it because he could or because he thought it was fun. But I don't really have data on his motivation and I think that, in the absence of that data, people should refrain from suggesting he had nefarious or unscrupulous motivations. It just seems like common decency to avoid saying maligning a 14-year-old based on nothing than pessismistic speculation.

[ September 20, 2015, 05:10 PM: Message edited by: NobleHunter ]

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cherrypoptart
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That's a lot different from most of the stories I'm seeing that say he "built a clock".

I'm leaning to this being a scheme. To what end? Who can say? A joke all good fun, to go viral, lawsuit bait. It's like someone disassembling a replica rifle and putting it mostly back together with a laser sight now and then taking it to school and showing everyone. If calling in a fake bomb threat is a crime then bringing one should be trouble too.

I hesitated to offer this opinion because I know how it looks as far as being prejudice, closed minded, and whatnot, but common sense and a simple understanding of all the crazy stupid things kids do on youtube for attention is pulling me in a certain and obvious direction. This is like when a bunch of Muslims stand up on a plane at the same time and yell, "Allahu Akbar!" and then sit back down like nothing happened. And then if anyone wants to scold them the liberals start freaking out about free speech and the first amendment, tolerance, diversity and being inclusive. Some people are just so naive. It all got old a long, long time ago.

Edited to add: Sorry but I'm too old and have seen too much to give people the benefit of the doubt as easily as I once would have. As far as him being a Muslim? Well that's the real punchline of this joke and good for him for trying to play it so straight. We've got a real Andy Kaufman on our hands. In a way I have to give him some props because it is kind of funny. In a way. I get the joke and that's kind of why I think it is one.

And then again maybe he is innocent of joking around here. That's what makes the delivery so beautiful. But I know kids his age and they do much worse than this all the time while claiming they are completely innocent too. Whippersnappers nowadays are by and large a bunch of hooligans. And good for all of you if you've had better experiences.

[ September 20, 2015, 05:27 PM: Message edited by: cherrypoptart ]

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jasonr
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quote:
Everything Fenring and Jason surmise that says otherwise is based entirely on fantasy and a will to demonize him from a distance where you only know what the opinion-based media you listen to and read tell you.
First off, I didn't "demonize" him. I said he was a wise ass teenager. If that to you is "demonizing" I don't know what to tell you buddy. I guess, to be fair, teenagers could be considered demons by some.

Second, you seem to be be the one here consistently missing some key facts, which to my knowledge, are not in dispute.

The science teacher warned him what the device looked like prior to him being caught with it in class.

Let me repeat that: it is a fact that he knew it looked like a bomb, because the science teacher told him this.

Thus, even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and presume that he didn't build the device specifically to look like a bomb, by the time it was beeping in class, he certainly already knew what it looked like because someone specifically warned him.

I will concede that my assumption that it beeping in class was deliberate is supposition - but not a very large one given the context. It's exactly the kind of foolishness you'd expect from a teenaged boy. Hardee harr teech, tick tock tick tock, what's that in my box?

In answer to your final point, about crawling out from under my desk, you seem to have missed the part where I said the kid was a wise ass, not a terrorist.

I also called the authorities in this case idiots for having him arrested. A suspension would have done fine to discourage such behaviour in the future.

[ September 20, 2015, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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Rafi
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In all the pictures of this device, what time was in the display?
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JoshCrow
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It was set to blinking 9:11 */snark*
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cherrypoptart
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If you think the doubters are giving this kid too much credit, you may well be right. Read up on his father a bit.

The stunts that his father has pulled and the attention his father has sought paired with this "clock" incident seem like more than a coincidence.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
It was set to blinking 9:11 */snark*
Please link to a picture of the clock as Ahmed set it that shows the time being 9:11.
quote:
The science teacher warned him what the device looked like prior to him being caught with it in class.

Let me repeat that: it is a fact that he knew it looked like a bomb, because the science teacher told him this.

AND LET IT GO, because he knew it wasn't.
quote:
The stunts that his father has pulled and the attention his father has sought paired with this "clock" incident seem like more than a coincidence.
Which were what...?

[ September 20, 2015, 07:03 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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Fenring
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So let me get this straight. Tom is saying the real best case scenario is that the kid was assured that the contraption didn't look like a bomb, even though his science teacher told him it did, and he was similarly assured that no one else would think it looked like one either. For this scenario to be plausible two things must be true:

1) The kid didn't trust the opinion of his science teacher. You know, the guy he was trying to impress. "You think it looks like a bomb? What do you know anyhow." The presumption is that the kid believed no one else would think it looked like a bomb other than his grossly mistaken science teacher.

2) The average high school student and staff member have watched lectures and attended briefing on bomb-making technology and know exactly what components a bomb must contain and are able to easily tell when something with wires and a timer isn't a bomb. No one in a school would be fooled by a movie-esque bomb or else by a home-rigged gadget with wires that beeps.

I don't believe (1) for a second even though it's technically within the realm of possibility (like quantum tunneling). And (2) is obviously ridiculous even though it's actually the more necessary of the two in order for the kid to really have thought no one would think it was a bomb. And I'll repeat - if the kid did think people would think it was a bomb and brought it to class then his actions would be criminal.

I think I do the kid some credit by calling him dumb, as this asserts that he (a) didn't understand what his teacher told him, (b) didn't foresee any trouble, and (c) in subsequent interviews found nothing questionable about what he'd done. If it had been an adult bringing a bomb-looking thing into the subway he would currently be in prison pending a criminal investigation.

The very first thing I heard about in the media informing me of these events were claims that he was discriminated against because of his race. That was my media injection onto the topic. If anything his race (and the backlash against the perception that racism occurred) is the reason he's been given a trip to the White House. Not that this is his fault, but it does bespeak how much mayhem can ensue from the wording of headlines.

[ September 20, 2015, 08:19 PM: Message edited by: Fenring ]

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
It was set to blinking 9:11 */snark*

: [LOL]
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by Fenring:
So let me get this straight. Tom is saying the real best case scenario is that the kid was assured that the contraption didn't look like a bomb, even though his science teacher told him it did, and he was similarly assured that no one else would think it looked like one.

That's words he's using, what's the message though? In other words, what does he really want you to know?

His message is the standard liberal message, that America is a bigoted, evil place made up of people that need to be forced to behave in kinder, more understanding ways. The very idea that a young, middle eastern male carrying a metal box filled with circuitry, wire and a timer would cause suspicion or alarm is his proof.

The new saying: If you see something, say something...unless it's a young middle eastern male with a package that looks somilar to a bomb.

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AI Wessex
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According to this, he wasn't showing it to every teacher. After his engineering teacher looked at it and knew it wasn't a bomb (and didn't take it from him), he told him not to show other teachers because they might think it looked like one. Ahmed then kept it in his bag, until...
quote:
During English class, the clock beeped, annoying his teacher. When he brought the device up to her afterward, she told him “it looks like a bomb,” according to Mohamed.

“I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me,’ ” he told the Morning News.

But the English teacher kept the clock, and during sixth period, Mohamed was pulled out of class by a police officer and the principal, who, the teen said, urged him to sign a written statement or he would be expelled. They took him to a room where four other officers were waiting. When he entered, one officer leaned back in his chair and said, “That’s who I thought it was,” Mohamed told MSNBC.

OK, she thinks it's a bomb, so she asks him to give it to her (which he does), and she holds onto it the rest of the school day. What would the principal make him sign to avoid being expelled, and what would he be expelled for? Really? Who's the dumb one here?

Everything that happened that day was a farcical chain of events, like any good screwball comedy that starts with a genuine gesture that gets misinterpreted and mayhem ensues until everyone realizes the truth and the movie ends. Except, this one won't end because the usual suspects are parading it around the conservosphere as yet more proof of whatever.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
The new saying: If you see something, say something...unless it's a young middle eastern male with a package that looks somilar to a bomb.
A better new saying might be: "Don't be a xenophobic ass and conjure up conspiracy theories for every unfamiliar situation. We're smarter than that."
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JoshCrow
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I would suggest "don't turn a simple misunderstanding into headline news for political purposes".
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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
It was set to blinking 9:11 */snark*

: [LOL]
I nominate the time 9:10, since everything he did fits a world that hadn't gone crazy over terrorism.

I must admit that our hyper-awareness has been extraordinarily successful, however. We've stopped every nuclear, cyber, disease and armed attack on our borders, infrastructure, water supplies, neighborhoods, schools, etc., that people have told us were happening or they had proof were about to happen. I wonder why Obama doesn't get credit for all of that diligent vigilance? The only one left to deal with is the presence of AQ/ISIS training camps, which Obama won't do anything about for obvious reasons but Donald Trump has said he will look into. The clock seems to have stopped at 9:11.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by JoshCrow:
I would suggest "don't turn a simple misunderstanding into headline news for political purposes".

I knew we would find common ground [Smile] .
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D.W.
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quote:
quote:
________________________________________
But man, he must be really dumb, because if I had committed a dunderhead mistake like bringing a contraption to school that I was told made people think I had a bomb, I'd have been so embarrassed and scolding myself that I hadn't foreseen the confusion.
________________________________________
I'm going to call B.S. on that. The one person on Ornery who might have that reaction would be D.W.

I don’t know if that’s a complement that I’m willing to accept my own mistakes or if I should just go have myself a good cry.
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Wayward Son
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With all this talk about what the kid's motivations were, what he was trying to do, who he was trying to scare, what he was thinking, we're all missing the important part of the story: what were the adults' motivation??

We've already shown it was not to protect students (they knew it wasn't a bomb). So what was it?

All this speculation about Ahmed's motivation and intent is blaming the victim. It was the school administration and the police who overreacted, who decided that trying for criminal prosecution was the appropriate response to someone bring a clock to school. [Mad]

So rather than worrying about why a 14-year-old kid brought a clock to school, why don't we worry about school teachers, administrators, and local police who think that arrest, interrogation and threats are the appropriate response to what they know is a hoax at worst, and an innocent mistake at best. About adults who think the only way to handle children is to treat them like criminals and murderers.

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NobleHunter
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I think the administrators thought he might stash the clock somewhere to be discovered, mistaken it for a bomb, and freak people out. I guess they'd figured that it started beeping early and they caught it before Ahmed could plant it in a washroom. And that would have been a criminal act.
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D.W.
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quote:
was the appropriate response to someone bring a clock to school.
Was it the appropriate response to someone bringing in an item the staff believed was meant to look like a bomb?

As they obviously were convinced it was NOT a bomb (no bomb squad called immediately) the decision to take the kid out in cuffs doesn't make a lot of sense unless it was just a "scare him strait" tactic. Which I would argue was not appropriate.

Just calling it "a clock" however misses the whole point. Yes, it's possible the kid's parents don't let him watch much TV or go to action movies. It's possible, but not probable that it wasn't meant to approximate Hollywood's boiler plate bomb prop.

I think it makes sense to be outraged at how this was handled. You can even debate whether this was an extremely sheltered kid, a joke or hoax in particularly poor taste or a red flag to watch him further.

Framing it as him ONLY "bringing a clock to school" makes me a little [Mad]

[ September 21, 2015, 11:01 AM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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