April 17, 2007

Ismail Ax? (Updated)

The Virginia Tech shooter had a history of odd behavior, and his professors had gone so far as to recommend him for counseling, the Chicago Tribune reports this morning. Seung-hui Cho left behind a note that blamed the "debauchery" of "rich kids" for his shooting spree, and had the words "Ismail Ax" written on his forearm when he died:

The suspected gunman in the Virginia Tech shooting rampage, Cho Seung-Hui, was a troubled 23-year-old senior from South Korea who investigators believe left an invective-filled note in his dorm room, sources say.

The note included a rambling list of grievances, according to sources. They said Cho also died with the words "Ismail Ax" in red ink on the inside of one of his arms.

Cho had shown recent signs of violent, aberrant behavior, according to an investigative source, including setting a fire in a dorm room and allegedly stalking some women.

A note believed to have been written by Cho was found in his dorm room that railed against "rich kids," "debauchery" and "deceitful charlatans" on campus.

Cho was an English major whose creative writing was so disturbing that he was referred to the school's counseling service, the Associated Press reported.

No one is sure as of yet what the phrase "Ismail Ax" means. It appears to be a reference to Abraham/Ibrahim, in which Ismail and Abraham take an axe to the idols of a temple as part of his conversion to monotheism. Is this a cryptic reference to Islamist or Christian radicalism? It certainly suggests one of the two. Hot Air has a more compelling theory -- a reference to James Fennimore Cooper's "The Prairie", which makes sense, given that Cho majored in English.

Other than that, it seems rather clear that Cho had a reputation as a disturbed loner. Once the first shooting occurred in the dorm, one might have presumed that VT officials would have considered that reputation as a security risk and locked down the school -- and perhaps have gone to Cho's room to see if he was still there and where he might have gone, if not.

UPDATE: ABC News reports that Cho shot himself to end the spree, and that identification became more difficult because "part of his face was missing". Meanwhile, VT students and families want the resignations of the university president and police chief for the manner in which they handled the shootings, especially the first:

John and Jennifer Shourds of Lovettsville, Va. demanded the immediate firings of University President Charles Steger and Virginia Tech Campus Police Chief W.R. Flinchum who he said "screwed up" the handling of separate shooting incidents that left 33 students dead, including the shooter.

“My God, if someone shoots somebody there should be an immediate lockdown of the campus,” said John Shourds. “They totally blew it. The president blew it, campus police blew it.” ...

He said no apology or excuse will meet his satisfaction without the ouster of the university’s top officials. He wasn’t pleased with the Steger’s comments after the incident, either.

“I hold this president completely accountable,” said Shourds. “They are cowards. They can’t come out and say they made a mistake.”

It seems a little early to be fetching the tar and feathers, although I also think that the university has a lot of explanations due for their performance yesterday.

UPDATE II: The Smoking Gun has a copy of Cho's writing -- a play called "Richard McBeef". It's barely coherent and pretty disturbing. Small wonder that his teachers felt he could use some counseling.


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» Cho’s Chilling Play from Macsmind - Conservative Commentary and Common Sense
Smoking Gun has a copy of Cho’s play which caused concern with staff at Va Tech. “The play by Cho Seung-Hui, a 23-year-old English major, was submitted last year as part of a short story writing class. Entitled “Richard McBeef,”... [Read More]

» Ismail Ax? (Updated) from NoisyRoom.net
Courtesy of Captain’s Quarters: The Virginia Tech shooter had a history of odd behavior, and his professors had gone so far as to recommend him for counseling, the Chicago Tribune reports this morning. Seung-hui Cho left behind a note that blam... [Read More]

» TUES APR 17 Evil Person, Bad Parenting or a Lost Generation? from The Pink Flamingo

For those who did not read yesterday’s post, I have been delving into the roots of Mexican ille...

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» Oedipus Ax from sisu
When we attended -- and later taught -- Sunday school back in the day, our Unitarian Church in Exeter, New Hampshire was more into revealing the wonders of creation to young minds through the study of animals and plants and [Read More]

» Oedipus Ax from sisu
When we attended -- and later taught -- Sunday school back in the day, our Unitarian Church in Exeter, New Hampshire was more into revealing the wonders of creation to young minds through the study of animals and plants and [Read More]

» Oedipus Ax from sisu
When we attended -- and later taught -- Sunday school back in the day, our Unitarian Church in Exeter, New Hampshire was more into revealing the wonders of creation to young minds through the study of animals and plants and [Read More]

» Oedipus Ax from sisu
When we attended -- and later taught -- Sunday school back in the day, our Unitarian Church in Exeter, New Hampshire was more into revealing the wonders of creation to young minds through the study of animals and plants and [Read More]

» Oedipus Ax from sisu
When we attended -- and later taught -- Sunday school back in the day, our Unitarian Church in Exeter, New Hampshire was more into revealing the wonders of creation to young minds through the study of animals and plants and [Read More]

Comments (45)

Posted by Mark [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 12:19 PM

That assumes that authorities are able to identify who shot the first two victims, and then access his records/talk to those who know him, in just two hours.

I rather doubt that would have been possible.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 12:26 PM

Do you think your kids are safe?

The hand-wringers love paperwork assignments. And, they're now loading up their plates.

The South Korean embassy says this is a deep-tragedy; but they don't want racism to result.

Well? Don't tell me what to do!

I know damned well other countries aren't giving "permanent resident status" to Koreans, Pakistanis, Saudis, and others. BUT HERE YOU ARE. You've made a discovery. If lawyers can feed like parasites off a subject; someone will sell them "papers."

You couldn't get a dog "pedigreed" under these circumstances. Hello. If you want to call your dog a pedigree, you can also call "it" a horse. But the "paper chase" ends when you don't file the proper credentials.

Yet, here we are. With ZOOMING college costs; that hit the middle-class with life-time debt, JUST BECAUSE THE SCHOOLS GRAB ALL THE STUDENTS THEY CAN GET. While Uncle Sugar foots the bills. Yes. To make matters worse; these are "free rides."

As if this NUT didn't give off clues while he was at Virginia Tech. Hello, again.

Upper level schools actually credential people. So they can go into management jobs. Or become social workers; and soft-science psychologists. Great with labeling stuff. Great at preventing you from seeing clearly. And, here, in this instance, just great at letting the problem fester.

Sick minds are keeping your kids in hostile and unsafe environments.

And, those kooks are out, now. In full display. The last thing they want to see is your anger. And, they've credentialed themselves to name-call you, if you even try to think for yourself.

Your kids are not safe. This nut went further than most. Most he did it on the backs of American taxpapers. Who cannot fathom why tax moneys get spent this way.

You know, I read someplace; (Professor Sykes?). That in any environment of 100 people, 10% are psychotic.

When I read this, under discussion was BERKELEY. Where this professor said the harms done by those loaded-up "classrooms." Where 200 students sit at one time for a lecture; always have 20 crazies. And, there's nothing the professors can do about it, either. The "intake process" does not eliminate mental illness.

It does eliminate, however, borderline folks who can't afford the price tags. And, don't qualify for grants with high grades, either. The pickle is to go into debt.

If you only looked at what came out, you might not buy this sausage.

What a terrible pity for the innocents killed yesterday.

Even worse, there's not a single corrective measure in site; but one. People, now, at home. Refusing to send their kids to "this place."

Imagine. Being the lucky lottery winner; these past few years, as your kids recovered from their rejection slips.

Oh, you don't know what to do? The US Army is a much better, after high school graduation place, than any particular college. More disciplined. And, more apt to turn boys into men. Women do well, too.

Yeah. The army has paper-shuffling. But it also stomps on the careers of idiots. Who do much better in academia, than any place else, with their "credentials."

Works, as long as you go along with this charade.

IF our colleges were managed better? You wouldn't have had the pile-on you got at Duke, either. And, no. This is not a disease limited to southern states.

And, the disases fester because lawyers make all this paper-shuffling possible.

Cho, the senior-student! gunman, killed two at first. And, the school didn't even go into lock down. Should there be people looking for new jobs? Start with the school's police. Totally innept. And, responsible for most of the 32 deaths. (The dead gunman had to shoot himself! How pathetic is that?)

Expect to be exposed the mia-culpa media frenzy. They, too, won't look at what really happened. Let alone, how you take an axe to programs, and cure away the dead wood.

If not? You own a dead wood credential. Happy now?

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 12:32 PM

I think "modern" parents teach their kids to expect way too much from life, way too early, and with too little effort. That was not the way it was three or four generations ago, when it was believed by most that children should be seen and not heard. When young people start earning their way in life, then they can expect some of the perks, and not before that time. If you expect great success, just by birthright, you will be very disappointed. And if you're mentally unbalanced as well, you might get a little too angry about it.

Posted by Adjoran [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 12:57 PM

I agree completely with Mark. It is asking rather a lot for the police to come to the scene, investigate the dorm shooting, "solve" it by identifying the shooter, get the background on the shooter after identifying him, determine that he was a threat beyond the initial shooting, and notify the student body and/or shut down the campus - all in LESS than two hours.

Real life ain't "Law and Order," ya know . . .

The simple fact is that such episodes of psychotic violence are very rare and almost impossible to prevent. For every "sign" the shooter gave of his "disturbed" nature, there are thousands of others with similar symptoms who never become violent at all. What are we going to do? Commit everyone who writes something "disturbing" or shows signs of depression to a secure facility for a full-blown psychological work-up?

We don't have the beds, nor would any cost-benefit analysis justify doing it - for the same reason we don't reduce highway fatalities to near-zero by lowering the speed limit on the interstates to 25 mph.

Blaming the Tech cops or administration for this is like blaming Congress for highway accidents.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:16 PM

The authorities at VA Tech doubtlessly had to run everything they did after the first two shootings through legions of lawyers, to avoid being sued for being insufficiently sensitive, for violating someone's rights or for negligently causing a panic, etc.

So while they were getting Dewey, Cheatem and Howe LLP to bless their plan, a lot more people got killed.

Because once those first two shootings occurred, you have to assume that someone at VA Tech was going to get sued.

Making people avoid lawsuits, rather than doing the right thing, is not helping matters.

Posted by TomB [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:18 PM

Ismail Ax??
Was he a MUSLIM by any chance?

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:27 PM


Here is something to tell your kids:

Rumbledog, at Lucianne, posted this. And, it's something everyone can do, if they're ever in such a terrible situation. Or one even like it, at a mall, somewhere.

"It's too bad none of the students thought to pull a Fire Alarm when they heard the shots."

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:33 PM

Among the things you now know, the Virginia Tech administrators, and their "chummy" police chief, SAT ON MORE APPROPRIATE RESONSES!

How did they get away with their incompetences for so long, huh?

You mean it really takes a terrible event, before people SEE WITH THEIR EYES, that they could have been "better served?"

You bet, I'm telling my son to REACH FOR THE FIRE ALARM. Without concerns that something like this makes "administrators angry." They can go shove their anger where the sun don't shine.

Posted by LTC [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:36 PM

"Ismail Ax" ?

Ismail....a literary term

Moby-Dick is an 1851 novel by Herman Melville

The first line of Chapter One ("Call me Ishmael.") is one of the most famous in American literature.

...the narrator, Ishmael, who introduces himself with the famous line "Call me Ishmael".

Moby-Dick is a highly symbolic work...themes include racism, hierarchical relationships, and politics.

The name has come to symbolize orphans, exiles, and social outcasts-in the opening paragraph of Moby-Dick,

Ishmael tells the reader that he has turned to the sea out of a feeling of alienation from human society.


Ax ...a electronic gaming term

...Nintendo Game...two different versions...AX for the arcade...GX for the Gamecube


PC baangs
...South Korea's gaming addicts


Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:37 PM

What I took away from this incident personally, is a reinforcement of what happened on 9/11.

The people at VA Tech who survived (Derek O'Dell) or who helped other people to survive (the Holocaust Professor), took action.

Waiting for the fire dept (who would probably not be armed) to show up, or hoping for the gunman to show some humanity, is no longer an option.

I don't know what we can do individually or as a society to prepare for an incident like this, other than thinking about it.

Posted by traxxas [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:37 PM

Don't you think an english major would know how to spell the word 'Axe'? Everyone jumping to conculsions that is this is related to Islam is just plain reactionary. Stop to think before you publish rubish.

Posted by james23 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:42 PM

Ed--your post assumes the VT police knew Cho was implicated in the first shooting before the second shootings occurred. I've heard no evidence of that.

Posted by TomB [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 1:45 PM

Check Webster.

Posted by Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 2:30 PM

I excerpted and linked at Virginia Tech: The Day After. There's a problem with that James Fennimore Cooper suggestion: His character's name was Ishmael Bush, not Ismail. OTOH, that muslim web page you link to refers to "Ismail." This Old Dog's smellin' something strange that just might be jihad.

Posted by docjim505 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 2:45 PM

I don't know what that psycho bastard meant by Ismail Ax. Unless and until somebody turns up something he said or wrote to explain it, I'm going to pass it off as the act of a deranged mind. He might as well have written "Bugs Bunny" on his arm; it would make as much sense.

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 2:48 PM

Cho's writing (at Smoking Gun) looks like a big cry for help. I've heard, that before people commit an exceptionally violent act like his, they usually spend quite a bit of time talking or writing about doing violence. So maybe, spending money and time looking for those danger signs, talking to students, would pay off a lot more than any extra gun control.

Posted by AMR [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 2:52 PM

I place little blame on the college administration for the response to this act of violence. Many have complained about there not being a lock down of the 25,000 person campus after the first incident. My question is would a small down go into lock down if there was an initially suspected murder/suicide or worse, a double murder. I wouldn’t think so; and at least I can’t remember any such instance. With a situation where a murderer moves through a town killing people, yes, there would be a lock down AFTER it was recognized a serial killer was on the loose. I’ve seen that happen.

What came to mind, though, after reading the following in your post, “Cho had shown recent signs of violent, aberrant behavior, according to an investigative source, including setting a fire in a dorm room and allegedly stalking some women” was why wasn’t he arrested and expelled? If so, security could have had him placed on a watch list, assuming he made bail. That is at the very heart of so many problems at colleges. Being non-PC and breaking the speech code has consequences, but too often conduct bordering on or actual violence must be someone’s else’s fault and have some deep rooted cause we just don’t understand; so little or no consequences. The recent Columbia University administration’s non-punishment verdict against those engaged in the mini-riot against the Minutemen leader’s attempted speech is a perfect example. Both of the college’s leadership should be forced to resign because they allow a lack of respect for the rule of law and civility on their campuses.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 3:16 PM

I think people are too quick to look for someone to blame. The shooter is to blame, not the college president. The parents are upset and I understand that, but it is not realisitic to think anyone can "shut down" a university the size of VT. There are tens of thousands of people on campus and the campus itself covers thousands of acres. There are all kinds of ways onto and off of that campus, it is not as if there is a just an entrance and exit that can be shut down.

Let the authorities get the facts together and then a determination can be made as to whether or not someone screwed up. It seems like anymore, all people want to do is assign blame.

Posted by Fritz [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 3:31 PM

I agree with AMR. Take a look around you and tell me that your police department locks down an area of better than four square miles if a murder occurs. It isn't going to happen unless they have a lot more evidence to suggest the need of such a thing than finding a couple of bodies. Virginia Tech is not one big building, it is more like a small city. If those screaming that it should have been locked down are truly so able to predict that it was necessary to lock it down because of finding two murders, they can make an excellent living from being able to see into the future.
And for those screaming about not properly warning the students, once again I suggest that they consider what they are talking about. Does any city try to warn all the people in a four square mile area because of one crime scene unless they have other reasons to believe it necessary? Be realistic.

Posted by brainy435 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 3:58 PM

After reading the guys play, I can't figure out how he was PASSING English, let alone majoring in it.

Posted by retire05 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 4:00 PM

Ismail ibn Jafar; considered to be the original imam of Shi'ite Muslims and it is ibn Jafar that they honor. The other branch of Islam (Sunnis) are considered "twelthers" (as in the Twelfth Imam) and is the sect of Iran.

AX: a vidio game term as well as the nickname of a sci-fi series where the hero, Ax, defends right even at the expense of humanity.

Posted by Lew [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 4:00 PM

But..but...but, it all seem's so OBVIOUS....afterwards!

Like almost every cataclysmic event in history, the sequence of events roles off our brain so easily that we stand in awestruck wonder at the collossal blunders of those in command. How could they not know???

And that's exactly the point to remember; we can't put ourselves back in their time and in their shoes and look out from their eyes to judge their acts, because we know how the story ends. We are forever crippled by the fact that we know, and we can never stop knowing or pretend that we don't know.

Remember that the next time you read a history and come away shaking your head in dumbfounded amazement at the stupidity of those past actors who fumbled the ball because they couldn't see into their own future. Just remember, you can't see into your future any better than they could see into theirs, and right now you are doing something, or assuming something, that years from now people are going to be shaking their heads in dumbfounded amazement over.

A little humility from all of us might be a very wise thing about now!

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 4:06 PM

Ishmael's ax is a literary device. It has been a long time since I read James Fenimore Cooper but in his book the Prairie there is a character named Ishmael o Ismael or has an ax that he can use to either destroy or build. \Cho is an English major, he may have been making reference to the symbolism of conflict.

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 4:10 PM

Cho's one-act play doesn't mention anything about Islam. He wrote about Catholic priests, pedophilia, obesity, food and dysfunctional family relationships. Breakfast bars and rice krispy treats keep popping up, for whatever that's worth.

Faculty and students who knew Cho are apparently dealing with feelings of guilt in addition to everything else right now. Look what one creative writing classmate had to say:

"We made jokes around the class about his work, because it was just so fictional, so surreal, we just had to laugh," Derry said, "We had to laugh because it couldn't ever be real or truthful, I mean who throws hammers or chainsaws around?"

"But we always joked we were just waiting for him to do something, waiting to hear about something he did," Derry said. "But when I got the call it was Cho who had done this, I started crying, bawling."

Posted by Lightwave [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 5:00 PM

I really don't know what's more disgusting, the fact that the warning signs about Cho were there and ignored as he was just another faceless student in the Indoctrination Mill, or the fact the Leftards are licking their lips and saying "Shootings of 30+ people are par for the course in Baghdad."

Posted by NahnCee [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 5:10 PM

If this student was keeping guns AND ammo AND a bullet-proof vest in his dorm room, then not only should the University's administration be fired, but the families of the victims should sue them into bankruptcy.

What are the laws on privacy in dorm rooms, vs. the concept of "in loco parentis" now? Once upon a time, university authorities had the right to check dorm rooms for things like marijuana lying about, candles burning in illegal ways, and other stupid things that naive kids have been known to do.

I can't believe that the residence hall counselors didn't know he had an armory. And chose to do nothing about it?

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 5:19 PM

"university authorities had the right to check dorm rooms for things like marijuana lying about"

When was that? I lived in college dorms from 1983-1984 and no one ever once searched my dorm room. Or found our marijuana stash.

And while it possibly a seach could have happened then, I guarantee you today if any dorm gets searched without cause, someone is going to get sued.

I doubt anyone knew this guy had guns.

Posted by Jim [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 6:00 PM

I know it's awfully fashionable to place blame on the administration and the police, but the reality is that this is the fault of one person and one person only -- Cho seung hui.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 6:27 PM

Here's why the FIRE ALARM BELL would have worked.

The first two people were killed "in the dorm" at about 7:15 AM. GUNSHOTS were heard! And, the school administration took over. WORTHLESS. Which is on par for academics, anyway. And, will long linger after this episode tends to fade.

Parents spend fortunes for semesters in these boondoggles.

Costs, alone, will have a remedial affect, ahead, too. The school loses a million dollars just in lost tuition. Let alone the costs that will come from the students who weren't killed. Let them go "hand-wring" that one!

Now, if kids knew the best option was bringing on the fire department; the first loser would have been the campus police chief who was way out of his element. Much too incompetent FOR the job he held. And, let's hope it goes into "past-tense" for him. And, he's FIRED. Out on his ass. Would suit me just fine, too.

Anyway, IF the Fire Department HAD BEEN CALLED; the ALARM FROM ALL THE NOISE would have jarred some of the kids, to be a bit more pro-active. Instead of LULLED by the administrators with an meaningless email.

How lulled? Wait till the LAWYERS sue. Ya know, I don't think Virginia Tech at this point even realizes how it's ass hangs out there. Might not be covered, ya know? Heck, acts of terrorirsm. And, fancy language. Always meet when Insurance Companies issue policies.

Scot Free is not an option, anymore.

And, the other thing? TO RING THE ALARM means that some of the kids would have been proficient with the idea that not everything SELFISH works in this world.

Oh, by the way. If the shooter decided to shoot at a fireman? You think the fie department would have asked the president of the college what to do?

You're pulling my leg, again, right?

Because IF you fire on the fire department, do expect the SWAT TEAM to show up.

Sure. Yesterday, they didn't. Doesn't mean it's not a topic of discussion. Doesn't mean the police are sleeping on this one, either.

Now, you tell me, what did the college do, in terms of paperwork, to keep this INSANE KOREAN paying their bills? Age 23. A senior! They didn't get enough information compiled that there were screws loose? And, this can be done on American taxpayers' dimes?

It takes something awful to open up a wound this size. Nope. You can't close it now, with hand-wringing.

It's a good idea, though, to STOP believing in the dreck you get from the academics and their leftward idealism; which contains a lying agenda.

Oh, some of them will get caught.

But the turn around time is slow.

Heck, Brodhead at Duke is still their president. Once these creeps get their jobs, they put super-glue on their chairs, I think.

Oh, and just to be sure you understand where I'm coming from, the KILLER GOT A FREE PASS, from the jerks who run the school. Don't go slipping that under the rug, jim.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 6:43 PM

There was also a dorm room fire.

The kid has a record.

And, what's so sad is that the record produced NOTHING that could have been roadblocks to this tragedy.

Here, you have Cho. With his sick mind. GETTING AWAY WITH STARTING THE FIRE IN HIS ROOM! Hello.

Subjecting ALL of the other students to this maniac; as it seems his rantings were quite the talk of his English classes classmates. Really makes you wonder at what it would take for a school to butt in. And, toss out a nut!

Instead? I guess the money was good enough, coming in as it did. Because even to have a "Green Card" this kid knew how the system worked!

And, it's NOT a system designed to be customized for students. Instead? Cho got to have his Green Card. And, he sailed through 4 years worth of school at this place.


The questions really do linger.

Oh. And, you can grow marijuana outside your dorm room window. (I've seen this on a campus, out here.) It's not really a big deal. It's not even a tip-off that you've got a kid in trouble.

But the lunatic, with his fantasies. And, his INABILITY TO SPELL! WOW.

Who designed this "English" curriculum?

What the hell is going on that gives administrators, and school officials, the ability to bulldoze away real course work that would stand up to scrutiny, better?

I'll grant that you can "accept" a kid, IN. But then your job's over? REALLY? What a magical carpet ride for a Korean. Show me any other country that has opened its schools up like this?

And, while you're at it, how could they teach junk? What happened to the failure rates that would have pushed someone like this out the door? Can you add to the list the names of professors who feared giving out bad grades?

What an open wound. I wonder if Virginia Tech will ever go back to doing "business as usual," though.

Posted by Dust Bunny [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 7:02 PM

Ismail YX is the name of a Turkish Band

"Ismail MLB (motherlandlover brothers), the handsome prince of the demdeath metal, is a Turkish arabesque performer. But he also has songs that easily can be categorized as rap (e.g. Sappur Suppur (means a sound when you kiss in Turkish)) and rock (e.g. Allah Belani Versin (means "God Damn You" in Turkish). His this ability makes him unique amongst other arabesque performers"


Possibly this is what was written on his arm? I know nothing about this music. Perhaps someone who can read Turkish can translate the lyrics or commentary.

Posted by myopinion23 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 7:42 PM

It's too bad that more people don't carry guns like the"old" days. I would bet that back then this kid would have been shot the first time he fired his gun. So many lives would have been saved. all these gun control freaks are only taking the guns out of the reach of the law abiding citizens and letting the criminals, and wackos obtain them illegally. Puts the general public at such a disadvantage.

Posted by ogopogo [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 7:54 PM

so much I like your writing carol .....he was 7 when he came to usa was 23 when did this unimaginable thing

Posted by Only_One_Cannoli [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 8:03 PM

I see another blog is talking about "Ismail YK" but how do you mistake "AX" for "YK" ?

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 8:30 PM

The only one at fault was the shooter. Trying to blame anybody else is foolish. The downside to the all our freedoms is that we can't stop a nutjob when he explodes.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 9:09 PM

Just a lone nut, huh?

And, smoking has nothing to do with cancer.

ogopogo, thanks for putting up with my comments. You add an interesting point. The kid came here with his parents at age 7. GOT A GREEN CARD!

Since the "immigration issue" is probably the hottest political button to touch. (No, I don't think it's Iraq, by a long shot.)

There's gotta be some implications that go with this "green card" business. Are they handed out, willy-nilly? You can't get it taken away?

Also, Cho was a senior at Virginia Tech. They've had four years of him! And, he seems to have a record of crazy behaviors. And, yet? Still has his green card. And, was considered a "student in good standing."

Back in the old days, when teachers had the tool of leaving a kid back; our schools were actually better. And, better run, too.

Here, it seems this kid got away with EVERYTHING.

So, some people have a "theory" it's a one-man-show.

Heck, even one man shows require "production slots." That keep lots of other folks busy. If not? Nobody would be around, selling tickets.

You bet there's dialog, now. Some events are so strange, that long after they are over; people remain aware of where they were when they "first heard." Just about everybody who has ever attended Virginia Tech, or lived down there in a neighborhood where a local high school was a "feeder school," will have felt this impact.

How safe are you?

You'd be a lot safer if we could depend on the professionals to develop both backbone, and requirements; so that your average loony is not provided an education, like this kid got!

Oh, yeah. His note states that he did this "because of you." The "you" being, probably, one of the nicest girls, who didn't have a brother in the mafia. For some reason, that sort of violence, quickly puts aside the more nutty behaviors of "dates."

Let alone, she called Mr. Clark, the straight-A student, who was the dorm adviser. To come help. And, "talk to this jerk."

Where the insane are concerned, even Dr. Freud knew there were no talking cures.

And, the administrators, professors, and other staff at Virginia Tech? Perhaps they feel they were blind-sided. I happen to think they were exposed.

Posted by robroy [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 9:40 PM

Im still having a problem with how the students lined up to be shot. Im sorry, but wheres the resistance? If im going down, someone (probably me) is gonna pay. He had to reload? What are we sheep?

Posted by The Bullfrog [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 10:29 PM

I think the question of motivation needs to be answered and answered soon. I hear the talk of jihad. I hear the talk of strange behavior - arson, stalking, other sociopathic manifestations.

The shooter here was 23 and still a college senior - a bit older than he should be. He majored in English but his attempts at drama were infantile. Who will speak to his parents? Who will find out how he became so damaged that this level of violence made sense to him?

The actions are not excusable or understandable, but someone or some ones made this person into what he became on 4/16/07. We all need to understand that much more than we need to modify our free society to restrict healthy and diverse intellectual discourse and behaviors.

Posted by BenD [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 10:55 PM

Its always disappointing to see people jump on the authorities instantly after a tragedy. Especially when they stand back, completely separated from the incident, telling the world how 'it should have happened'.

Until you are an administrator in a school that has a situation just like this, YOU WILL NEVER KNOW whats it like and how you yourself would react.

So don't sit up there on your little playhorse raining judgement down on others because it just makes ignorant.

After all who really knows who 'fault' it is, and is that really the most important question we can ask right now?

In fact maybe this guy was 'forced into this action' after reading your incredibly ignorant and incessantly sarcastic postings CAROL HERMAN.

So take a step outside of your lunchbox and into somebody elses shoes for change.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 17, 2007 11:19 PM

No, BenD, you took one too many bends in the road.

And, it's not up to you to give out permission slips. Where do you think you are? In a poorly run school, perhaps?

Most people, when they start talking, begin to try to figure out a puzzle. On how something this ugly came to pass.

The first murders occur in a dorm. And, this kid is loose for how many hours before he strikes, again?

Lunch boxes and shoes, BenD?

Sorry, fella. The guy, socio-pathetic as he is, was still scared after his first murders. He probably kept waiting for the school to "do something." He was ARMED TO KILL! But the cowards? They didn't put the school in lock-down. So he had to find innocent students to kill, instead.

My guess is that he was hoping to hit the police as they came for him. And, he was more wide-awake, following the 7:15 am killings, than you think. What was he doing?

And, how did he come up with "Plan B?"

Lots of people have stopped to look. Lots of people are trying to figure this one out.

From where I sit? Almost on every single college campus, today, the WRONG LESSONS are taught.

Start with this innocent woman, woken by the Cho lunatic. And, she calls her advisor. A senior student with a perfect, straight-A grade. Due to graduate.


Since when does talking cure insanity?

And, what about teaching kids to be wary of strangers. To take for granted, now, that schools will admit psychotic students. Because they have seats to fill.

And, no. You cannot count on the administratrors. Most of the time they're just passing bullshit, around.

Now, how do people line up, roboy, asks? That's easy. ONE BY ONE. No one thinks that anyone else on that line will help them out. They listen to instructions. And, they follow same. They also did NOT know what was coming!

Given how bad schools are at bringing in psychotic students, and then refusing to do anything about it, that would turn these monsters, away. You bet. NEW RULES ARE IN ORDER.

New respect for the military.

Want to draw conclusions that college campuses are also hostile to the military? Just look here.

And, for what it's worth. If you have a daughter. Tell her not to try "discussing" anything with a lunatic! Those conversations are bound to fail.

This GIMMICK, of "everything is a relationship," so you can talk your way to "understanding" is INCIPID. Plus, it doesn't work.

There's a reason this story has a lot of people following it; and looking in. And, commenting. You can almost sense this is something people want to discuss. Rather than not.

You see it in the volume.

The other thing? This time people are actually gooing to blogs. That means they're spending less time with the tele-prompter readers.

Sadly, Virginia Tech isn't the only school with incompetent administration. Finally, a terrible example. But keep kids ill-informed. Keep their heads full of fake-idealism; and really. Don't expect good stuff to come home to roost.

These college credentials are highly overrated.

We've allowed a bunch of idiots to take over the curriculums in far too many places.

And, BenD, bend elsewhere.

Posted by Neo [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 12:33 AM

There is the possibility, that after the first shooting at the dormitory, if the police and university officials had declared Monday a "streaker day" requiring all student to strip naked, that it may have been possible to easily identify the shooter while he was carry his guns.

Frankly, this idea has a much better chance to stopping carnage than the gun control tripe.

Posted by MarkD [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 7:33 AM

I have to admit I don't see how this could have been avoided.

Do you really think, in this country now, that anybody is going to propose revoking the green card of a kid who has lived here two-thirds of his life?

Are we really going to lock up kids who write stupid things? We turn people who are mentally deficient and dangerous loose, because we wouldn't want to violate their rights.

The gun control thing is a red herring. Syracuse police are picking people up with illegal, unlicensed handguns every week. The problem with criminals is that they don't obey laws. Laws are for the rest of us. The law made sure VT was full of unarmed victims. They trusted the authorities to take care of them.

Disarm the entire populace? Well, a disarmed populace didn't fare too well during the Holocaust, did it? I'll ignore the fact that there have been bigger mass murders with planes, fertilizer, and gasoline.

I don't know anything about the killer, but I do know that a coarse culture that trivializes insulting people doesn't help.

Posted by DaveG [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 18, 2007 10:08 PM

Questions have been raised about the meaning of Ismail Ax and I wanted to also seek more information on this. Is this similar to Rosebud used by H.G. Wells to bring a sense of meaning to a childhood tragedy? What I do know is that signature used on the Detension & psychiatric evaluation paperwork I looked at on MSNBC looks to me like it was signed Ismail Ax -- meaning the reference was in the first person context. This would appear to strengthen the theory that this has a religious/literary meaning to it's use. The ramblings of the video clips and manifesto do little to bring to light the coherent thought process going on, but I'm thinking that simple basic jealousy played a larger role in all this. A loner that had no friends, no family visitors, and a hatred for others turned to evil.

My point is that in trying to understand the WHY, I believe this to be a broader, much larger, topic.

Posted by jasonax [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 26, 2007 6:43 AM

Do you not think it is stricking that Cho Seung Hui drew the number 88
on a peace of paper, and when we look at
the name Ismail Ax we get the same number ?
using the A1B2C3 numerological encryption

9i 19s 13m 1a 9i 12l 1a 24x
9+19+13+1+9+12+1+24= 88

i was stunned when a friend of mine told me about this.