Leading Off (9/22/15)

Ahmed Mohamed leaves Irving ISD, calls for Susan Hawk to quit.

Ahmed Pulls Out of Irving ISD. While Ahmed Mohamed’s dad was pulling his three kids out of Irving ISD, his famous clock-making son was hanging out in California, at the invitation of Google. I’ll just throw this out there: Mark Cuban has spoken with Ahmed. On Friday, taping an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, he said, “All [Ahmed] had to do was engage with the teacher, and he didn’t. That’s the point that was missing. It was wrong that he got arrested, but all that he had to do was talk to the teacher, but he didn’t.”

John Wiley Price Item GIVES ME EXCUSE TO CALL ATTENTION TO COOL NAME. This thing isn’t really big news. JWP wrote a strongly worded letter to the vice president of advocacy for the League of Women Voters of Dallas. Read more about it, if you’d like. What I’d like you to know is that the name of the vice president of advocacy for the League of Women Voters of Dallas is — Susybelle Gosslee. Put her name in the Pantheon. She joins the ranks of Shamoil Shipchandler and Bruce Sherbet (do your own googling, if you’re curious).

DMN Begins ‘Hawk Should Quit’ Drumbeat. Read this Jacquielynn Floyd column and tell me if — seeing how thin the column is on fist-hand observation or cited sources — you think it reads like someone suggested to J-Floyd, “You should write a column titled ‘Does Susan Hawk Even Like Being Dallas County DA?’ in which you engage in wild speculation and imply she should step down.” Meanwhile, Cindy Stormer, that recently fired prosecutor, is unloading both barrels, describing what the DA’s office was like when she worked there, and Hawk has said she won’t return to work till October 2 (which is a Friday).

Gene Simmons Comes to Dallas. Yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Dallas, Gene Simmons, the former Kiss frontman who will soon open a restaurant in The Colony, gave a pep talk at the Multi-Unit Foodservice Operators Conference. Read that sentence again. Go ahead. Really let it sink in.

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Comments

  • JamieT

    I think it’s reasonable at this point to expect the Mohameds as a group to move further away from the original material elements of this incident, the school, its teachers, the police, and especially the actual clock itself, and closer to the penumbral array of meta-narratives and their opportunities which those original elements have now spawned.

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but even though the Irving police have asked him to come get it, I don’t believe Ahmed took his famous clock with him to show around at the Google fair he’s attending. He’s there as a celebrity guest meeting and greeting the young inventors attending on the basis of his fame alone. The actual thing he’s famous for could render that whole experience problematic.

    Similarly, the LaunchGood proceeds will provide useful seed money in retaining the family’s attorneys in their recently announced lawsuit. What will be interesting about that suit will be how narrowly the complaint is drawn as well as the range of testimony and evidence ultimately deemed admissible. Too wide an inquiry or too much factual context could complicate things for the family.

    • Mavdog

      “closer to the penumbral array of meta-narratives and their opportunities which those original elements have now spawned”

      that’s quite the over-the-top effort to impress readers with your deft ability with vocabulary….

      “He’s there as a celebrity guest meeting and greeting the young inventors attending on the basis of his fame alone.”

      what, the “young inventors” are attending the Google event “on the basis of [Ahmed’s] fame alone”? Aren’t the young inventors attending due to what they themselves have done? odd….

      “the LaunchGood proceeds will provide useful seed money in retaining the family’s attorneys in their recently announced lawsuit”

      an “announced lawsuit”by the family? I haven’t read or heard of a lawsuit, where did you get this information?

    • Lynda Byrd Smith

      Where did you read or hear that there was a lawsuit?

    • JamieT

      Yes, I need to clarify and correct one thing. Because Ahmed Mohamed didn’t invent or even construct anything new or of any value but rather only re-encased the guts of a 1980’s digital clock in an aluminum pencil case, he is being feted by Google only for his being famous. In effect, enablers using him for their own agenda have catapulted young Ahmed into the position of being the Emma Sulkowicz of young African inventors, a notoriety he will almost certainly live to regret, likely mostly from his own peers who have and continue to do more for less while endangering no one.

      Were he being feted for his clock itself, he would necessarily be showing it off there at Google. Wisely, he has chosen to leave the actual device in the mists of the social buzz which have already overgrown it. In point of fact, had the loose transformer shown in the center of the widely disseminated photo touched the casing while it was plugged in and another student touched the case, they would have received a nasty jolt of amperage/voltage. Simply put, Ahmed built something stupidly dangerous and exposed other students to it.

      To correct, it appears that Linda Moreno and the Mohameds have not in fact yet pulled the trigger on the legal options she has publicly spoken of them considering. Even though they probably have at least a narrow case for Ahmed being detained without access to his parents, it would probably be wisest overall if the family ultimately chose not to cause all the facts involved in the case to be to be publicly assembled and collated for examination, for the same reason Ahmed’s actual clock has probably seen the light of day for the last time.

      Again, having successfully launched themselves onto the self-sustaining publicity carousel, everything factual that got them there is now a liability threatening the opportunities for money and fame they’re already harvesting from it. So, very likely no more original clock, no signed privacy waiver for MacArthur, the whole family gets as far away from MacArthur ASAP, and very likely not even any lawsuit.

      Because ultimately only young Ahmed will suffer any blowback from this episode, offers and coverage from those who hope to profit from him as well will continue until returns significantly diminish. Copping to an admission that the Emperor might have actually been naked will only make such enablers look foolish, so few will, no matter how famous or highly placed.

      • Mavdog

        wow, that is the most tautological quasi-admission of being wrong I’ve ever read.

        • JamieT

          Having retained Ms. Moreno, the Mohameds’ options at this point are constrained in interesting ways either way.

          If they don’t sue, they signal that any harm done Ahmed was ultimately dismissable and a price well worth the bounty they have and hope to continue reaping from the deal.

          If they do sue, in addition to looking like justice-seekers they at the same time look even more like opportunistic golddiggers while, in addition, opening up every aspect of the case to detailed scrutiny, possibly under oath. One suspects at this point neither MacArthur nor the Irving PD is likely to just roll over docilely if sued.

          Either way. Ms. Moreno will collect her fee and suffer no more loss of reputation than any attorney doing what attorneys do. As I’ve mentioned before here, young Ahmed Mohamed remains a gold mine for all sorts interested in harvesting some quick PR rewards from one constituency or another at extremely low cost and liability to themselves.

          But a lawsuit puts the Mohameds in the same sort of do we?/don’t we? double bind which originally snared MacArthur and through them the Irving PD, a double bind now impossible for the Mohameds to escape from.

          • Mavdog

            yes, you were wrong. Interesting that you have such difficulty saying it.

            “Brevity is the soul of wit”. words to take to heart.

          • Ed Huff

            Of course, Mavdog– we all remember well how you supported the radicalized Jihadists who attempted to murder innocent Americans at the Garland Convention Center a few months ago… “yes-you were wrong–interesting that you have such difficulty saying it…”

          • Mavdog

            “we all remember well how you supported the radicalized Jihadists who attempted to murder innocent Americans at the Garland Convention Center a few months ago.”

            really? then your memory is as failed as your attempts to paint Ahmed Mohamaed and his family as radical islamists.
            You sir are a dishonest person who makes inaccurate false claims about others. I would say you should be ashamed yet I am confident you are absent the ability.

  • Jason Heid
    • Thank you for your comment. Who are you again?

  • Amy S

    I’m just wondering when the lawsuit will drop. You don’t say someone was fired for being incompetent in their job unless 1) you don’t mind being sued.

    It may be that they didn’t like the new Administrator’s answers about expenditures. But you don’t scream “incompetent” to the press – even if that person was 100% a nincompoop – unless you want to to end up in court (see 1) above).

    • Lynda Byrd Smith

      I have not heard of a lawsuit.

  • DubiousBrother

    Is there any truth to the rumor that the White House is planning a bring a clock to work day for their staff the day of Ahmed’s visit?

    • Ed Huff

      Funny!

  • Lynda Byrd Smith

    I am delighted that D magazine showed the common sense of recognizing a hoax when it sees one. At first, I believed that this was just a kid who made a bad judgement call but even then, I could not understand why the parents would have allowed such a thing. The IISD CODE OF CONDUCT, which is very clear about bringing devices that resemble bombs, had been sent home from school in less than a month and was presumably signed by child and parents. The parents would have had to sign it three times. Did they just forget?

    Many reports have tried to make this a case of “Show and Tell” gone wrong. But does that ring true? No, afterr being instructed by his engineering teacher to put the device away, but instead, Ahmed chose to take it into English class, allowed wires to hang out, and plugged it into AC current, it beeped and the alarm went off. That is when his teacher intervened.

    Next, there are photos of the device. To my untrained eye, it looked like a bomb. Subsequently, I saw several accounts that said, essentially, there was NO inventiveness, creativity or genius in taking a clock out of its case and putting the innards on a circuit board, not to mention that instead of DC, he used AC which could have given him quite a jolt.

    It was reported that he was passive aggressive in his answers to the police and school officials. He was never charged with a crime. His asked to put the handcuffs back on so his sister could take a photo. His father has been in national news several and had run for president of the Sudan more than once. CAIR, a known supporter of terrorist groups, moves in pronto, blowing this into a racial-religious incident and suddenly it is the mayor’s fault. (Everyone knows they had a big axe to grind there.)The parents refused to sign permission for the IISD to present their documented side of the story so that there was only side presented….the side that they wanted you to see. If it looks like a hoax, sounds like a hoax…..folks regardless of your political leanings, do not allow yourself look foolish by riding, or continuing to ride, this particular “Trojan-type” horse.

    Finally, I worked for IISD over 30 years. We have one of the most diverse populations anywhere. I know firsthand the dignity and respect that is accorded to students…..ALL students….as it should be. Do not let anyone tell you different. Discrimination in IISD would NEVER be tolerated.

  • Lynda Byrd Smith

    I am delighted that D magazine showed the common sense of recognizing a hoax when it sees one. At first, I believed that this was just a kid who made a bad judgement call but even then, I could not understand why the parents would have allowed such a thing. The IISD CODE OF CONDUCT, which is crystal clear about forbidding devices that resemble bombs in school, had been sent home from school in less than a month prior and was presumably signed by child and parents. The parents would have had to sign it three times. Did they just forget?

    Many reports have tried to make this a case of “Show and Tell” gone wrong. But does that ring true? Not to me; after being specifically instructed by his engineering teacher to put the device away, Ahmed chose to take it into English class, allowed wires to hang out, and plugged it into AC current, it beeped and the alarm went off. This is the second time that he ignored the rules, almost as if he wanted the device to be seen…and heard.That is when his teacher intervened.

    Next, there are photos of the device. To my untrained eye, it looked like a bomb; if I had to make a judgement call it would have been that it definitely was designed to LOOK like a bomb. Subsequently, I saw several accounts that said, essentially, there was NO inventiveness, creativity or genius involved in taking a clock out of its case and putting the innards on a circuit board, not to mention that instead of DC, he used AC which points toward inexperience and could have given him quite a jolt.

    It was also reported that he was passive aggressive in his answers to the police and school officials. Although he certainly could have been, he was never charged with a crime. He asked to put the handcuffs back on so his sister could take a photo which has now been seen by millions. His father has been in national news several and had run for president of the Sudan more than once. CAIR, a known supporter of terrorist groups, moves in pronto, blowing this into a racial-religious incident and suddenly it is the mayor’s fault. (Everyone knows they had a big axe to grind there.)The parents refused to sign permission for the IISD to present their documented side of the story so that there was only side presented….the side that they wanted you to see. If it looks like a hoax, sounds like a hoax, well, you know. I urge you to at this closely, read a variety of news reports f you haven’t already, think about who in this situation stands to gain and who has an axe to grind. Just use the good ole common sense that God gave you.Think about what Ahmed and other children were taught by this incident. There will be other incidents because of this one and it will be the fault of those who used it to further a political agenda and did not care about the consequences of the message they were sending to children all over the world. “Do the wrong thing and it is possible that the president will invite you to the White House, Microsoft will give you all manner of goodies, you will be a celebrity, etc. You just have to have unscrupulous adults in your life to do the dirty work….at the expense of the city, the school and the police force.”

    Was this planned ahead of time? I have no idea. But whether or not it was, this kiddo was obviously pushing the envelope like crazy. Was the situation exploited to the max, were news items written that were half-truths and out and out lies? Yes. Was it politicized beyond recognition? Absolutely.

    Finally, I worked for IISD over 30 years. We have one of the most diverse populations anywhere. I know firsthand the dignity and respect that is accorded to students…..ALL students….as it should be. Do not let anyone convince you otherwise. Discrimination in IISD would NEVER be tolerated; it would violate every principle to which the employees and administrators of the District dedicate their lives. Education is not a job it is a passion; a passion to help ALL children. (All of this is just my opinion based on my own observations.)

    • jfpo

      Wow, all those words just to accuse the family of being terrorist sympathizers and let us know that you are not, ARE NOT, a racist. You and Jamie T should get a room.

      • JamieT

        The interesting thing to me is that, although the fear of being called a racist was certain to shame and fool a certain percentage of Mohamed enablers, the real play was on the larger technological ignorance of the American public, people clever enough to push buttons on a smart phone but not clever enough to question the possibilities of an AC cord leading to exposed terminals inside a metal case.

        That technological ignorance was depended upon not to fool the authorities and the public into thinking the contraption was an actual bomb but to fool the quick-to-button-push-and-Tweet public into thinking it actually was what it was claimed to be for reasons of plausible deniability, the inspired timekeeping invention of young technologist, not a dangerously repackaged obsolete device from 30 years ago.

        It’s pretty safe to say that no one will ever see Google’s or Twitter’s or Facebook’s or MIT’s or any other technologist’s logo in the same picture with Ahmed’s clock.

        BTW, charges of racism these days really only have the power of the late Joan Rivers’ fashion critiques: possibly damning to those trapped in the corral of the in-group that fears them, but more or less just amusing and silly everywhere beyond that.

        • jfpo

          Good God, you’re hilarious. Please tell me it’s intentional. I wasn’t accusing anyone of overt racism, I was amused by Lynda’s preemptive defense. My room suggestion was based on your common affection for copious voluminosity.

      • Lynda Byrd Smith

        I am sorry your reading comprehension skills are so lacking. That is not at all what I wrote.

        • jfpo

          This is what I love about dog whistlers. You get “offended” because we actually comprehend what you write.

          • Ed Huff

            Then you are aware that she effectively exposed you for the crude, name calling imbecile you are–and blew you off brilliantly. Amazing how the “racism” smear experts are so intolerant of any opinions contrary to their own.

      • Ed Huff

        Calling people “racist” for having an opinion about the Radio Shack improvised “clock” and the apparent opportunistic publicity craving family is rather unoriginal IMO.