The shifting rationales in the story of the Texas kid who brought a jury-rigged digital clock have been amazing. There’s been a steady progression of new excuses brought up to excuse throwing him in jail.
Early on, it was that it was simply precaution — they had standard procedures for dealing with potential threats. That’s patent nonsense. A standard response to a potential bomb would not involve throwing the “bomb” into the police car with the “bomb maker”. The school and the police knew it wasn’t a bomb from the beginning.
Then the complaint was that he didn’t properly explain what the device was. Simply not true: he said over and over precisely what it was, and all it was: it was a clock. Demanding that he say that it was something more when it wasn’t is absurd.
Then the yahoos all came out of the closet and said it sure doesn’t look like no clock to me. Yep. It was a collection of components strung together with wires, it was ugly and not too practical, but functionally, all it was was a clock. Sorry you don’t know much about electronics.
Then there were the detailed deconstructions of the clock, from the few pictures we have of it. This bit came from here, that bit came from there, here’s a dangling wire that has no purpose, there’s a cable that could be used to tap into the signal output from the clock. A terrorist could use this to set off a bomb! Sure. But they could also buy a $5 travel alarm from Wal-Mart even more easily to do the same thing. Can we arrest Wal-Mart now?
Then there were the nay-sayers: the kid was lying. He didn’t invent anything. This is true: a lot of us tinkered with old electronic components when we were his age, and assembled basic gadgets. I built a crystal radio, and made electric motors (looping those thin copper wires around and around was tedious). There was nothing revolutionary and lot that was clumsy in the clock. He disassembled and reassembled a Radio Shack digital gadget, nothing more. But so what? He’s 14! It’s excellent that he’s curious and is experimenting with technology, and is also enthused about it. That’s how scientists and engineers get started.
And now, at last, that lunatic Sarah Palin weighs in:
Friends, consider the kids disciplined and/or kicked out of school for bringing squirt guns to school or taking bites out of a pop tart until it resembled (to some politically correct yahoo) a gun,Palin rambled.Or the student out deer hunting with his dad early one morning who forgot he had a box of ammo in his truck when he parked in the school’s lot later that day. Kids humiliated and intimidated for innocent actions like those real examples are often marked the rest of their lives and made to feel really rotten. Whereas Ahmed Muhammad, an evidently obstinate-answering student bringing in a homemade “clock” that obviously could be seen by conscientious teachers as a dangerous wired-up bomb-looking contraption (teachers who are told “if you see something, say something!”) gets invited to the White House.
I thought we’d reached Peak Paranoia with Palin, until I read the comments on her post.
Guys, can’t you see between the lines? This was nothing less then a dry run, to test school security, had no one noticed it, next time, it would be the real thing
This little Muzzie was practicing his bomb making skills not “inventing a clock”.
It was a dry run to see how far they could get. They use their kids to bomb all the time in their country. They don’t care if their child dies in the process.
So now the demented right wing is convinced that Ahmed was actually planning to make a suicide attack on the school.
I’d like to believe we’ve reached the limit on this evolving set of excuses, but I’m not going to shortchange the astonishing imaginations of the American people.