Rough week at work so pardon another shorty.

The man pictured below was invited on national television to spread "intelligence reports" that he received, possibly from his imagination, of "Quran books" found on the border that indicate an imminent ISIS-Muslim-Mexican Immigrant attack on the United States. I just want to throw this out there – even if this was true, which it isn't, I am certain that the first rule in life is that if you want to be taken seriously by a nationwide audience you should never wear one of these hats.


The blood of hundreds of dead Americans will be on that hat if the good sheriff is right.


  • As an American living abroad, it's truly shocking to see how easily it is to manipulate my countrymen into shitting their pants with fear.

    And I'll add that Obama is definitely part of the problem here. Not that Cruz and Huckleberry aren't 100 times worse, but Jesus Christ — a pack of medieval goat-fuckers going wild in the security vacuum directly created by a failed American occupation is not a threat, actual or existential.

  • Like wetcasements, I live abroad and am similarly shocked at how easy this stuff works.

    But more interestingly to me, is that the Congress members, religious leaders, and TeaParty members are adults. I mean that seriously.

    I am in my 40's and these are people my age and older saying demonstrably stupid things over and over. It stretches my abillties to see how one can reach my age and still not – at some point – take a long look at all of this absolute bs and think, if for a private moment, that it's exactly that. It truly boggles my mind.

  • I believe the technical term is "all hat, no cattle".

    Expatriates often veer off the rails quickly. If you weren't predisposed to it, you probably wouldn't be there.

    I was living in Germany during the Iraq war buildup, and once spent an afternoon wallpapering a hallway while listening to German call-in talk radio. The theme was "who's got the better propaganda machine, Saddam or George?" After about 5 minutes they realized they had no show, and shifted to a more interesting improvised theme "why are Americans being such idiots?".

  • Remember that the entire Bush reich was about terrifying the rubes. Anyone else remember the Terror Color of the Day? Not to mention the elaborate precautions we were to take at every shade. Remember the "rill 'murkins" running to the store to buy all the rolls of duct tape and plastic sheeting? IIRC, this was also the time Glen Beck and the other shysters came out with their own lines of freeze-dried food that "rill 'murkins" were supposed to buy for a year or more of survivalist living should Red Dawn happen in their backyards.

  • I'm an American living abroad too. First time I heard of ISIS and what it was supposed to stand for, I thought: Scariest. Name. Ever.

    Brilliant. The name alone is worth forfeiting the rest of our rights for.

  • Look up!
    And look out!
    ISIS has captured Saddam's model planes, and loaded them with Anthrax and nukes, and will soon be raining death on the Murkin Fatherland!

    I'll never forget the fistfights I was on TV news when I was living in Chapel Hill, NC, after 9/11 and the Anthrax attacks.
    People were fighting over plastic-wrap.

    One weekend morning, when I could still power-walk in the mornings – now, I can hardly walk at all – I saw several houses where the folks were wrapping their entire homes in plastic: windows, doors, Every thing!
    And I had to stop and laugh.
    If you're that set to keep Anthrax out, you'll also Oxygen out – and asphyxiate yourselves.
    Feckin' eedjits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • IIRC, this was also the time Glen Beck and the other shysters came out with their own lines of freeze-dried food that "rill 'murkins" were supposed to buy for a year or more of survivalist living should Red Dawn happen in their backyards.

    You can still get that from an outfit called Thrive Life (which previously bore the charming moniker Shelf Reliance). Stuff's supposed to be edible for up to 25 years or one year after opening the can. And they make certain products available only to those customers who host Tupperware style parties to market their stuff to potential new customers. I live in hurricane country and an author whose twitter I follow says she has a bug-out bag (because she's an African-American living in Brooklyn and there is a real possibility that a repeat of Ferguson might happen in her neighborhood), so I can understand preparedness for disasters and civil unrest, but stuff like this takes it pretty far.

  • @Sarah

    Ed probably knows a fancy name for the particular cognitive/ statistical bias, but people tend to fall into a logic trap. It is actually a really really good idea to have a week's worth of food and water, bug-out bags, etc. Following that, people think two weeks would be even better, and by the end people are literally buying pallets of these kinds of preserved foods to last years, which they have absolutely no way of moving in a true emergency.

    Same with the plastic wrap. If covering the door cracks are good, covering the whole house must be best. As an aside, if anyone is curious, your house should have a vapor barrier, so as long as it is intact your walls are already plastic sealed from the outside.

    Anyway, that's my take, interested what you guys think.

  • @Sarah and SafetyMan; people don't stop to think about water. If they're living in an irradiated wasteland, a year's worth of food will do no good if they have no potable water. My family has a 3-day bugout bag for tropical storms (we've lost power for 2 – 3 days) and winter storms, but I think it's ridiculous to spend money for a year. There are a lot of Mormon pyramid schemes companies based on selling the rubes a year's supply of food (which is way more than anywould would need).

  • Maybe the desire to stockpile supplies in the cave and hold off the ravening hordes is hardwired into the human mind?

    In the high and far off times, people were doing the same thing because Nuclear War!!11!

    It might seem to make slightly more sense in that case — there was some actual chance it could happen — but the canned goods themselves would have been about as useful as water wings after a shipwreck.

  • I will admit to actually watching Blast from the Past, wherein Brendan Fraser's mother asks him, on his foray from their bomb shelter to what they think is the post-nuclear topside, to see if he can find a place called "a liquor store."

    So, to hell with the freeze-dried chow, a cellar full o' booze would be barter gold. Plus, explosive.

  • Well, it's still summer, so he's wearing his straw hat. But in the winter, his authority automatically increases, seeing as it takes 42 beaver belly felts to make a high quality Stetson. Beaver totem authority in the winter. Just so that's clear.

    ISIS is skeered of beavers.

  • Sometimes I'm tempted to buy a few hundred copies of the Koran and scatter them in the streets around this guy's neighborhood, just to fuck with everyone's heads.

  • Tell you what, kids: I promise….PROMISE to let you know the minute those ISIS tourists come streaming in town. I predict they'll be here in a couple of weeks for the big balloon fiesta Albuquerque has every year.

  • @mothra: you're carefree now but just wait until those ISIS tourists ram their balloons into the Stratosphere tower in Las Vegas or the Albuquerque Plaza Office Tower.

  • Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    I still can't help wondering if Archer is going to show up every time people talk about how scary ISIS is…

  • Davis X. Machina says:

    I am in my 40's and these are people my age and older saying demonstrably stupid things over and over.

    Think like a politician — or a salesman.

    These are people my age and older saying demonstrably effective things over and over.

  • I remember a TV movie called "Amerika", about a Soviet takeover of the USA.

    From 1987.

    The Soviets couldn't even take Afghanistan, and they were supposedly going to achieve *that*? It looks ridiculous in hindsight, and so will this. By then, we'll probably be facing an existential threat from the South Mollucans.

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    To the next! All the best!!

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