Letters to the Editor

Irrational view

July 6, 2010


To the editor:

It makes rational sense to keep black teenagers out of Westport, Kansas City, but it’s wrong.

It makes sense because some black teenagers have caused disturbances there and keeping them all out could actually cure it. It’s wrong because most black teenagers aren’t causing disturbances, and it’s bigoted. Also it wouldn’t prevent white teenage disturbances.

Charles Krauthammer’s (Journal-World, July 2) proposal to treat “Islamism” as “THE risk factor” for “great terror attacks of this century” (including “Fort Hood and Times Square”) is wrong because it’s bigoted. However it lacks the virtue of making rational sense, because it couldn’t possibly work.

Leaving aside facts (e.g. Times Square had zero fatalities whereas “Christianist” Scott Roeder caused one fatality right here in Kansas) no one knows what an Islamist is except that we don’t like them. Risk factors aren’t much good if we can’t define them.

But let’s try. Say we define “Islamist” as a devout Muslim who feels angry at America. International polls suggest that up to half of all Muslims are angry at America, or about half a billion people worldwide, of whom well under 50,000 are terrorists. That makes “Islamism” a 1-in-10,000 risk factor, which, technically, simply isn’t a risk factor.

It’s not like persecuting black teenagers. You can’t surveil a half billion people. You can’t stop a half billion people from going anywhere they want. Not all of them will get through your barriers, but enough will get through to conceal the 1-in-10,000 terrorists.

David Burress,



Dan Eyler 7 years ago

David, Your liberal racist thoughts are bubbling to the surface. You attempt to explain a very serious and deadly Islamic movement that is spreading death and destruction in all parts of the world. Europe, Asia, America, Middle East, Russia, etc. We read and we witness the carnage daily. This isn't all Muslims but it has the support of many including massive funding of many if not most all Muslim states at some capacity. But deep in your own self you dare compare this world wide hate movement to black men. Your comparison demonstrates the typical liberal racist issues that continue to plague liberals toward black men. I continue to wonder why blacks in America find comfort with friends like you. Being color blind is very difficult for all races as we are human. But for you, it's impossible.

rbwaa 7 years ago

and your assumption that David is a white liberal shows your inner rascism as well

rbwaa 7 years ago

it doesn't matter if it's a fact or not, it's still an assumption

John Hamm 7 years ago

"no one knows what an Islamist is except that we don’t like them." Incorrect. I don't dislike members of Islam. I hate individuals who kill innocent men, women and children for a religious belief. Irregardless of their religion. The main problem, as I see it, is Islam seems to harbor and support terrorist behavior.

Jimo 7 years ago

So how does one deal with a recent President who loudly and boldly claimed adherence to Christianity (and was embraced by many who also so define themselves) yet was well documented as a war criminal ordering the deployment of numerous acts of terrorism against innocent men, women and children?

I guess by ignoring it or insisting it just didn't happen.

cato_the_elder 7 years ago

Rbwaa, the letter writer is a white liberal, although perhaps he would be more accurately described as an ex-hippie who has never grown up. If you don't know that, you haven't lived in Lawrence very long.

Peter Allen Macfarlane 7 years ago

Could we possibly discuss the issue of the letter without getting into personalities and name calling? Many of you are so busy labeling each other, it is entertaining at best but not very satisfying.

cato_the_elder 7 years ago

Dowser and mud_flap, I was simply enlightening rbwaa that what kansasfaithful said was not necessarily an assumption. The letter writer has been a public figure in Lawrence for some time, most notoriously having served on the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission for a number of years. Chill out.

tomatogrower 7 years ago

How is saying he's never grown up, not name calling? Don't play innocent. You are one of the worst name calling stereotyping posters on this forum.

cato_the_elder 7 years ago

No pouting here, Bozo. The Dow's up today.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

I can only surmise that you're an "ex-hippie" too.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 7 years ago

Yay. God moolah is winning. Yay. The gut god almighty of the temple of trade shines his light upon us beyond the upturned tables. Yay. All is right with your world. Yay. All praise the gut god of moola. More power to the moola which serves the masses. Yay verily, I say unto thee and thee alone in the profit of the almighty dinar, et alia.


Richard Heckler 7 years ago

Our government has been killing thousands upon thousands of innocent Muslim men,women and children for several years now in Iraq,Afghanistan,Pakistan and soon to be Yemen if not already. My guess is there are tons of new angry family members which should not be a shock. Shouldn't they be angry?

The USA government is invading Iraq,Afghanistan,Pakistan and Yemen. The USA government provided weapons to the Taliban to beat Russia down. Why is it NOT okay for Russia to invade but okay for the USA government to invade?

In the process 35,000-40,000 disabled vets have been created and 7000 dead vets. WE taxpayers will be responsible for these disabled vets and their families for at least another 50 years.

We must support our disabled vets and their families! How is any of the rest of the above scenario okay?

Does Islam = terrorist ? No

cato_the_elder 7 years ago

No way, Bozo. The Haight-Ashbury crowd and I were never friends, and are no closer to each other today than we were back then. It is, of course, rewarding occasionally to meet an ex-hippie who's repented and become a productive member of society, but a certain number of them will never grow up.

BigPrune 7 years ago

Would this be like saying?.......... "It makes rational sense to keep new businesses out of Lawrence, Kansas, but it’s wrong.

It makes sense because some new businesses have caused disturbances here and keeping them all out could actually cure it. It’s wrong because most new businesses aren’t causing disturbances, and it’s bigoted. Also it wouldn’t prevent existing business disturbances."

in the meantime, sales taxes are way down.

cato_the_elder 7 years ago

And, tomatogrower, you've earned every tomato I've thrown at you.

jaywalker 7 years ago

Burress makes some decent points though they're muddled in some fuzzy logic. Towit:

"Leaving aside facts (e.g. Times Square had zero fatalities whereas “Christianist” Scott Roeder caused one fatality right here in Kansas) no one knows what an Islamist is except that we don’t like them."

First of all, what "facts" are being left aside? That's probably just poor writing. But equating the attempt in Times Square with Roeder's act of murder is just plain silly. Roeder isn't a terrorist, he's a murderer. Period. He committed one act of violence against one very specific target. Times Square, had it been successful.....? Who knows how many would have been killed or hurt, all of them random, and the terror and paranoia that would have ensued around the nation would have been immense. It's laughable when someone tries to equate the outer fringe of the Christian Right w/ Al Qaeda or the Taliban and merely goes to show how desperate some are to widen the divisiveness in this country.

"Say we define “Islamist” as a devout Muslim who feels angry at America."

Whhaaaat?! That kind of definitive analogy process would get ya bupkiss on the SAT's. Gimme a break.

Didn't read the Krauthammer column referenced, and if the point cited is accurate then Charles definitely jumped the shark. But the LTE writer needs to rein in the hyperbole if he wants this to be taken rationally and fairly.

uncleandyt 7 years ago

The Dollarists are killing the largest number of innocent humans.

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