The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Profiling - What rights are actually being violated?

AICS, Thank you so much for the invitation and the kind words. They mean a lot to me (probably more than you know.) And thank you, regular visitors, for the words of invitation (and challenge.) What I have enjoyed so much about this blog is the free flow of ideas that is allowed and encouraged here. It is a pleasure being able to debate issues and even get into heated arguments, and still know that we're all welcome back. It's a lot easier to do it here than at family get-togethers where it seems all too easy to make enemies just talking about politics and religion.

One of AICS's latest posts dealt with the inevitability of profiling and the suggestion that we begin now. Whenever racial profiling comes up in whatever context (terrorism, law enforcement, etc.) people get up in arms about people's rights being in jeopardy. My question is, whose rights are being violated by profiling? Again, we're not talking about rounding people up and throwing them in prison based on their race, as the great hero of the liberal left, Franklin Roosevelt, did during WWII. We're simply talking about taking common sense measures to target a group of people who potentially pose the greatest threat in a given situation. I would appreciate it if someone would point out to me the article in the Constitution that guarantees the right of an individual not to be searched a little more thoroughly at an airport or train terminal based on his profile. If I, a white Christian male, were visiting or lived in a country that was predominantly of different ethnicity, and over the previous ten years or so, many terrorist attacks had been carried out in that country and others by white Christian males, I would expect to be treated with more scrutiny than those who did not match my description. Would my rights be violated in such a situation?

The fact is, profiling takes place all the time, and we don't complain. Young male drivers pay higher insurance premiums than young female drivers because studies have shown that they are involved in more collisions. School teachers are subjected to an FBI background check when they apply for a teaching job, while most people applying for other jobs are not subjected to such a check, because many school teachers have abused their position. Is there anything wrong with this type of profiling? If not, then why is there such an outcry over racial profiling? Profiling, racial or otherwise, should be used in any situation in which one group shows more of a propensity for dangerous behavior than other groups.

14 Comments:

  • At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Welcome R2W. Look forward to reading your views. They should be a good addition to AICS. You had some very good points on the racial profiling that is already in place in our country. People don't seem to consider those racial profiling but they are. Have a great vacation AICS.

    Mom

     
  • At 12:13 PM, Blogger SkyePuppy said…

    R2W,

    You're right, but there's no talking sense to the people whose living (and it's a good one) is based on keeping the flames of racism accusations fanned.

    If Jesse Jackson or CAIR were to say, "Yes, racial profiling is reasonable," the funding for their lucrative jobs would dry up in a heartbeat.

    Nope, the beat must go on, and they'll call you a stinkin' racist for even suggesting this.

     
  • At 3:20 PM, Blogger Return to Westernesse said…

    skyepuppy,

    Profiling or no profiling, I'm already considered a racist by many because I am a conservative who listens to Rush Limbaugh. But you'd better watch out - just bringing up Jesse Jackson in a discussion like this will get you tagged with the racist label.

     
  • At 4:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I look forward to the day that everyone who looks like Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are profiled at every turn, publicly humiliated and forever marked as a potential terrorist, not to be trusted.

    Seems like all of you are conveniently forgetting about McVeigh and Nichols. They were those nice, average looking white boys who blew up that building in Oklahoma City in 1995 and killed 170 innocent men, women and children. The guys responsible for the worst terrorist attack on American soil until 9/11.

    Or how about those nice white kids, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold? They killed 12 kids and teachers at Columbine. You probably conveniently forgot about them too. Look at their yearbook pictures. They probably look like your sons. You probably look like McVeigh and Nichols.

    You all need to call your local FBI and ask them to come to your house immediately and with proper force to handle a potential terrorist threat. After all, since you look like a terrorist, you probably are one.

     
  • At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Hammer said…

    Annonymous

    Do you really believe that white people are not profiled? There are too many daily examples (especially in law enforcement) to seriously advance the proposition that white people are not profiled.

    How do you bridge the credibility gap when you attempt to lump a grown up disgruntled McVeigh with pubescent high schoolers with a social problem and then consider them to be comparable to the terrorist group of today that has had special training to kill innocent civilians at random?

    Your argument may be better presented if you didn't attempt to lump so may divergent social misfits together. I doubt if you could craft a really good agrument for your position (as I understand it) but it would be interesting to see a reasoned attempt.

     
  • At 8:50 PM, Blogger Return to Westernesse said…

    anonymous,

    You are correct that Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were white men. Now name the rest of the white men responsible for terrorist plots that have resulted in the deaths of thousands over the last dozen years. I am not claiming that any one group is incapable of terrorist activity. I am saying that when the vast majority of bad behavior is being carried out by a particular group, we shouldn't shy away from treating all within that group with more scrutiny than other groups. The list of 9/11 terrorists, the list of those arrested in the most recent air related terror plot, the list of those who attacked the World Trade Center the first time, the ones who claim responsibility for virtually every international terrorist strike over the past decade, have something in common. When I want to make a common sense argument, I use the rule. You use the exceptions instead of the rule, so your argument is based in anything but common sense.

     
  • At 11:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The vast majority of serial killers are white middle aged males. So white middle aged males are profiled everyday. They are usually the first suspects when there is a serial killer loose as well they should be. What makes young Arab men so special that they can't be scrutinized the same way?

     
  • At 5:40 AM, Blogger Merete said…

    Anonymous, refreshing to have you here :-)
    //Now name the rest of the white men responsible for terrorist plots that have resulted in the deaths of thousands over the last dozen years.//
    I know! George. W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfelt, Karl Rove and Ehud Olmert. They are the biggest terrorists and the biggest threat to world peace at the moment. Stupid, white guys. Do you know a bigger terror plot than the invasion of Iraq?! Please tell me, I am all ears!

    So what's your point R2W? White Christians like yourself are men of God and can't possibly be responsible for the killing of thousands? Or is that something only a Muslim is capable of?

     
  • At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Isn't it interesting that R2W and hammer are unwilling to classify McVeigh, Nichols, Harris and Klebold as terrorists? R2W and hammer are making excuses for these white people's acts of mass murder and will not explain why these people shouldn't be considered terrorists. I bet R2W and hammer were certain it was some "Middle Eastern terrorists" who took down the Murrah building when it first happened. But now that we know it was only two white guys, suddenly they're not terrorists, but merely "social misfits," "disgruntled grown ups" and the Columbine massacres were just kids with "social problems."

    "Your argument may be better presented if you didn't attempt to lump so may divergent social misfits together."

    hammer's feeble swipe is based on the hopes that noone will remind him that this whole racial profiling thread is based on lumping together men, women and children of all ages and religious and ethnic backgrounds. What's the difference between a Sunni, a Shiite, a Sufi, a Wahabi, a Persian, an Arab, a Kurd, a Palestinian? You don't have a clue, do you hammer? R2W and hammer are hypocrites because they can't accept that white people are historically prominent terrorists, which by their logic should subject them to the same treatment they advocate for brown skinned people. Since your stubborn ignorance is blinding you, here's more examples of white people who's terrorism has resulted in millions of deaths:

    Hitler and the entire Third Reich. Thousands of whites there. As a matter of fact there was nothing but white self-proclaimed Christians in the Reich, killing and torturing millions. The Inquisitions. Again nothing but Christian white men ordering the deaths of thousands. White "Christian" Americans who populate the KKK, Aryan Nations, etc who have lynched, firebombed and killed countless Americans right up to this very day. The white Afrikaaner government of South Africa. America would not even exist if it were not for the terrorism of Africa, the Carribean and its own Native American populations, its history full of kidnapping, slavery, torture, rape and executions. All combined, these thousands and thousands of white people have killed millions more than any other group you can point to in all of history.

    "I am saying that when the vast majority of bad behavior is being carried out by a particular group, we shouldn't shy away from treating all within that group with more scrutiny than other groups."

    Still willing to stand behind this statement of yours now R2W?

    R2W and hammer would have us believe that targeting buldings and killing thousands of innocent civilians with planes is terrorism but that targeting buildings and killing thousands of innocent civilians with planes is just part of war and "collateral damage." What makes killing civilians with missiles less of a terrorist act than killing civilians with missiles? Which instance is 9/11 and which is the invasion of Iraq or the Israeli bombings of Lebanon? Which instance is the Hezbollah rockets into Haifa and which is the Israeli shelling of a civilian beach? You can't tell, can you?

    Reagan considered the Contras and the Afghani mujahadeen (where Bin Laden got his start) to be "freedom fighters" and "the moral equivalent of our founding fathers" at the same time he considered Hezbollah and the PLO "terrorists" - all four groups were engaged in the same tactics of torture, murder, kidnapping and executions, as were the US-supported governments of El Salvador, Honduras, Gautemala and Israel. All this damning information is widely available in history books of many stripes, but R2W and hammer want to be able to make these same distinctions as Reagan, even though they are completely illogical and unreasonable.

    R2W and hammer should humor us with their definition of "terrorism" so we can see how it is that when Palestinians fight back against a 40-year occupation it IS terrorism, but when Palestinians are killed and imprisoned and there homes levelled by bombs and bulldozers it's NOT terrorism. And while you're at it, go tell your "middle aged white guy serial killer" profiling sob story to a group of black Americans. So there's no need to feel threatened, give that speech to a group of highly educated black Americans who have signed an oath of non-violence and open the floor to some Q&A.

     
  • At 3:28 PM, Blogger Return to Westernesse said…

    merete,

    The problem with your argument is that you don't differentiate between terrorist activity and a nation's leaders waging war. Was Winston Churchill a terrorist? How about Franklin Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington? I'm sorry I don't know enough of your country's history to name war leaders. If I did, I would. The fact is, there is an undeniable difference between nations waging war and people purposefully killing civilians to make a political statement. If you don't see that, then you and I cannot possibly come to agreement on this issue. (Not that there's any harm trying)

    As to your question about white Christian "men of God" not being capable of killing thousands, I don't remember making that point or anything remotely similar.

     
  • At 3:40 PM, Blogger Return to Westernesse said…

    anonymous,

    Thanks for reminding me of Hitler, the Third Reich, the Inquisition, the KKK, etc. I must have forgotten about all of them. Or maybe it's that these people have absolutely nothing to do with this dicussion. I am addressing the CURRENT problem of international terrorism. But since you wish to bring up the past, my argument still holds up. If I were a white German member of the Nazi Party around 1945, and I were traveling through areas heavily inhabited by Jews, I would expect to be profiled as a potential threat.

    And by the way, I don't remember making any excuses for McVeigh, Nichols, Harris, or Kliebold. If you can find a quote by me making such excuses, show it to me and I will be happy to recant. What I said was that McVeigh and Nichols were the exception to the rule, and that I don't use the exception to try to prove my point. I use the rule.

     
  • At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Hammer said…

    Annonymous

    you forgot the part about "special training to kill innocent civilians" in your (admittedly much better attempt at persuasion, albeit still hostile rather than illuminating). Your response to the points I made first tortured my points and then the railing starts. I made no excuses for terrorists of any stripe. I merely questioned the lumping of trained terrorists with non-trained terrorists,, a point you either missed or chose to distort. In any event, if you choose to discuss ancient history as opposed to the current discussion, I accept your choice of greater interest and look forward to more illumination.

     
  • At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Why is it that R2W and hammer don't think that Hitler and the KKK and McVeigh and all these other instances of mass genocide and intimidation by white people and white governments aren't relevant here? Perhaps its because these very severe and irrefutable examples don't support their barely veiled if not subconscious opinion that white people are good and brown people are bad. What gives R2W and hammer any authority to pick and choose what parts of history are relevant to the very serious discussion of worldwide terrorism, its practice and its roots?

    And please stop being drama queens about "ancient history." McVeigh, South Africa and the KKK/etc are all current within "the last dozen years" that R2W seems to think he can narrow this discussion to, so deal with it honestly. You cannot squirm out of it any longer.

    Also, if you are unwilling to look at history, your analysis suffers heavily from being completely out of context and having no basis in the real world. No event exists in a vacuum. You cannot logically or reasonably suggest that the Palestinians are just pissed off for no reason when you recognize they have been hammered by Israel for 60 years, starting back around WWII, that piece of "ancient history" you think is irrelevant to today's discussion.

    Speaking of WWII, I must take issue with this comment to merete:

    "The fact is, there is an undeniable difference between nations waging war and people purposefully killing civilians to make a political statement."

    This is an ignorant statement obviously based on the unsupportable assumption that nations do not purposefully kill civilians and that "terrorism" in R2Ws skewed worldview is only about making "political statements." R2W conveniently forgets that Hiroshima and Nagasaki (whose 61st anniversaries were mere days ago) were civilian targets in which the US killed over 250,000 people instantaneously. The Central American governments propped up by Reagan regularly killed civilians to terrorize them. Do you have no knowledge of this?

    Nations wage wars, but when nations wage wars on civilian populations, the only way civilians can fight for their dignity and sovereignty is to fight with whatever tools they have. No doubt this is how R2W and hammer would like to define a terrorist, as a person not fighting in a uniform, and with whatever tools they have. Like the American Revolutionaries fighting British occupation. Like the Palestinians fighting Israeli occupation. Like the Iraqis fighting US occupation.

    "McVeigh and Nichols were the exception to the rule, and that I don't use the exception to try to prove my point. I use the rule."

    The Rule? What is The Rule? This is painfully vague despite trying to sound definitive.

    R2W and hammer have tried to insinuate that they have made no excuses for McVeigh, Nichols, Harris and Klebold, so I ask them now to stop playing games and make their views plain. Are those four people terrorists or not? Yes or no? If not, why not?

    As for my "hostile rather than illuminating" posts hammer, why be so thin skinned and avoid addressing even a single point I made? My lengthy post was full of a lot of information but you ran away from all of that. You cannot escape the fact that you avoided dealing with anything I said, instead just focusing on how it was said. All fluff, no substance.

    The question of "trained versus non-trained" terrorists is just grabbing at straws, doesn't make a bit of difference in the end result, and falls flat on its face when you are reminded that McVeigh was a vet, trained by the US military, as are many current members of the white vigilante movements of the Aryan Nations, "militias" and their ilk. Don't you know ANYTHING about the skinhead and white power movements in the US and abroad? How far in the sand have you buried your heads to try to ignore this very real problem?

    And let's talk about another side of terrorism. Ever heard of Operation Rescue and their minions? They're white, overtly self-proclaimed Christians and they attack OB-GYN clinics, doctors and their patients. They've caused millions of dollars of damage and killed people for their "political statement." Will you also refuse to call these people terrorists?

    All of these examples, using R2Ws argument that "when the vast majority of bad behavior is being carried out by a particular group, we shouldn't shy away from treating all within that group with more scrutiny than other groups," would certainly suggest that every white person and most specifically every white churchgoer should be subjected to full FBI screening and profiling.

     
  • At 2:28 PM, Blogger Return to Westernesse said…

    Anonymous said...
    Why is it that R2W and hammer don't think that Hitler and the KKK and McVeigh and all these other instances of mass genocide and intimidation by white people and white governments aren't relevant here? Perhaps its because these very severe and irrefutable examples don't support their barely veiled if not subconscious opinion that white people are good and brown people are bad.

    Anonymous, You confuse my calling these groups irrelevant to the discussion with my supposed thinking that they are irrevelant to history. Am I saying that white people cannot be terrorists, or never have been? Of course not! But the groups you bring up have nothing to do with whether we should be profiling at airports! You also bring up those terrorists who bomb abortion clinics. If they were a potential threat to commercial airliners, then yes, we should profile them. But they aren't, so we don't. I love how you draw the conclusion that I think white people are good and brown people are bad. There's not much I can say to that one, except you are wrong, and you can choose to believe me or not.

    You bring up Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There could certainly be an honest debate on whether the U.S. was ethical in its dropping of atomic bombs on these cities. But again, what does it have to do with racial profiling concerning the current international terrorism issue?

    You also asked what I meant by the rule, not the exception. It has to do with numbers. How many recent terrorist bombings involving air travel have been carried out by young brown-skinned men, and how many have been carried out by young white men? If you look at the situation honestly, the answer will be obvious. Was McVeigh a terrorist? Of course he was. But do we profile at airports based on McVeigh's actions in Oklahoma City? That would be ridiculous.

     

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