On a related Boing! Boing! arson story, are you EVER going to correct this story which claimed a series of church arsons in St. Louis was terrorism, when in fact it was not?

+1 for linking to the story in question when sharing your disappointment. -1 for not linking to anything backing up your assertion.

Also, for reference: topical posts might be updated while still relevant. Old posts are almost never touched. Because: blog, not newspaper. Sorry (again!) to disappoint.


If the objection is that the person that was arrested and charged with the arson is only on record as hating Muslims, therefore the crime isn’t terrorism, then I think your definition of “terrorism” might differ from the convention here.


Does it really matter what anybody calls it?

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Apparently yes. You might want to have a look at this thread for a discussion of why this kind of thing matters:


If you’ve read it, you will recall my criticism of “terrorism” having become a nebulous bugbear, which people exploit to further their political agenda. I take issue with terms being popularized not because they are used meaningfully, but because they provoke an emotional response.

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You were not the only poster on that thread.


That’s true - I am not even the only person typing this reply. There is a fair amount of overlap to who we are.

You speak of convention - as if we sometimes convene here to establish norms of society or our discussion of such. But in topic after topic, what I encounter is people defensively asserting that those norms have somehow already been established. That’s what I call the distinction between populism (who makes the most fuss), versus democracy (an actual vote that we can verify). It’s hard to trust people who are so formal as to trot out supposed norms - yet not quite formal enough to ever hold votes about them. Your (chosen measure of distance) may vary.

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Isn’t it all the easier for the OP to later make an “oops” entry in a blog?

I absolutely respect the desire of you, @popobawa4u, and @popobawa4u to have this kind of metadiscussion among yourselves. For many of the rest of us, questions about whether a crime had intent that renders it a hate crime or act of terrorism, however one defines these, are interesting and important questions, and I would hope that you would respect our desire just as you would have us respect yours, and let us have our discussion without excessive metalinguistic or 'pataphysical derailments.


Absolutely, and many timely posts do that on BB.

Not two years later, though. Thousands of posts happened in-between.


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