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Profiling should not be illegal

Posted by John Reed on

Profiling based on statistics, not bigotry, is legit

Racial profiling is considered taboo in the U.S. The nation was too quick to make that change. They should undo it.

Furthermore, only racial profiling was taboo, not any other kind of profiling. Americans have unconsciously grafted onto racial profiling the whole litany of race, creed, color, religion, sexual preference, and so on.

The U.S. Supreme Court actually approved racial profiling under certain circumstances in the 1996 Armstrong case.

We have had laws that discriminate against foreign Muslims since 2002: men over sixteen years old who enter the country from twenty-five Middle Eastern countries and North Korea are required to be photographed, fingerprinted, interviewed and have their financial information copied, and have to register again before leaving the country.

Profiling is a useful and statistically valid technique for various purposes. For example, it is used successfully to track down criminals. When you look up profiling in Wikipedia, you get a list of eight types. Racial is only one of them.

Here is the first definition of profiling from the Internet:

the recording and analysis of a person's psychological and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in identifying a particular subgroup of people.

Criminals including terrorists and mass murderers are  “particular subgroup of people.” Identifying terrorists or serial murderers is a legitimate, if not crucial, interest of society.

Depriving law enforcement of a legitimate tool to do that violates common sense and risks lives. The U.S. is the only country that bans racial profiling. 


The Merriam-Webster definition of racial profiling is

Racial profiling is the act of suspecting or targeting a person of a certain race based on a stereotype about their race.


How about rock-solid statistical correlation?

Here is the Internet definition of stereotype:

a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.

Therefore, it seems to me that the courts must inquire into whether the profile is based on an “oversimplified image or idea” or an accurate, adequate-size statistical sample.

No racism or phobia

I agree that it is wrong to say all Muslims are terrorists. It is also a straw man argument. No one says all Muslims are terrorists.

And banning all Muslims is not racist. For one, Muslim is not a race. It is an ideology with plenty of Caucasian adherents. For another, banning them from entering does not say we know you’re a terrorist, only that we know some of your are terrorists and we ca’t tell which, and we are not getting a lot of help from the good Muslims in identifying the bad ones.

Trump and Cruz and maybe Carson want to deny visas or citizenship to Muslims at least temporarily. There was not such ban prior to 9/11. There was also no need. Muslims were not murdering Americans then. Now many of them are and Muslim organizations like IS and al Qaeda are publicly calling for more Muslims to attack Americans, saying “American blood tastes the sweetest.”

The few spoiling it for the many

Trump et al. are saying we know all Muslims are not terrorists. But some are and we can’t tell which. It is just another case of the bad few spoiling it for the many. But to say the terrorists have a right to enter America because we don’t want to hurt the feelings of the non-terrorists Muslims is idiotic.

Another false charge hurled at supports of a ban on Muslims entering the US is Islamophobia. Prior to the first Muslim attack on the World Trade Center, there was plenty of Islam but no Islamophobia. The rise of al Qaeda, IS, Boko Haram did, and should have, given rise to al Qaeda-phobia, IS-phobia, and Boko Haram-phobia.

The problem, again, is we can’t tell which Muslims are IS and which are nice. And the further problem is the ACLU says that means we must allow all al Qaeda, IS and Boko Haram terrorists who want to enter the US, and on whom we cannot prove are terrorists, to enter.


Blacks racially profile other blacks

Black cab drivers profile against black passengers. They do that because statistically, they know they are more likely to get robbed by a black passenger than a white one. They are not racist. They are not saying all blacks are robbers. They are not afraid of blacks. They are afraid of robbers and they know there black passenger is more likely to be a robber.

Jesse Jackson famously said if he hears step behind him at night on the street, and turns and finds they are white guys, he is relieved. He feels bad about that, but admitted it’s true. 

That’s racial profiling. It is also logical. He’s not racist. Like the cab drivers, he does not want to die for the ACLU.

Juan Williams got fired from PBS for saying people in Muslim garb made him nervous on a plane. That was religious profiling on his part, and logical. (Actually, the terrorists typically avoid beards and Muslim garb and wear “sheep’s clothing” for deception purposes.)

Religion ain’t race; religion advocates behaviors, some of which are illegal

Religion ain’t race. Religions advocate a rage of stupid or harmful things. The pope says no birth control. He’s an idiot. Even the vast majority of Catholics ignore him.

Christian Scientists do not go to the doctor or dentist. Occasionally you see a court case where the child of a Christian Scientist has a life threatening or other very harmful health problem and the parent refuse on religious grounds to get normal medical treatment. That is a crime called child endangerment and negligence and other things. That particular practice of religion should not be included in First Amendment protection.

Some refuse to get vaccinated or get their children vaccinated on religious grounds. CA recently joined WV and AL in banning such refusals. Only medical-science-based refusals are permitted. Way to go AL, CA, and WV.

Religion is not, and should not be, a blanket, all-purpose get-out-of-jail-free card for any kook activity or crime you want to engage in from not using birth control to never taking your child to the dentist to never getting your child vaccinated to murdering infidels. 

Religious freedom only applies to a narrow range of behaviors that do not affect children who are not old enough to choose a religion, or adult non-believers. When a religion claims jurisdiction over the crime of child endangerment—and refusal to get vaccines endangers not only the child of the refusenik parents but also other persons with whom the unvaccinated person comes in contact—or the right to engage in honor killing of Muslim girls who assimilate into America or the right to behead Americans for not converting to Islam, those behaviors have no First Amendment protection.

Racial profiling is supposedly prohibited by the probable cause and equal-protection requirements of the Constitution. Religious profiling is supposedly prohibited by the First Amendment and the equal protection clauses.

TSA searches unconstitutional?

I got searched November 19th when I flew from Las Vegas to Oakland, by TSA. They had no warrant. Was I profiled? Yeah. They were searching me because I wanted to ride on a plane. Given 9/11, I understand why, but the search was unconstitutional because they had no probable cause and no judge issued a warrant to search me.

Was I being treated equally with all other citizens? Depends on what level you look at it. I was not being treated the same as train, bus, and car travelers. But I was treated the same as other plane passengers. When I go into many buildings, like where my wife works, I get screened, again without a warrant because they have no probable cause. Ditto museums, county fairs, theme parks.

Should the Constitution be amended to permit such searches for the safety of the larger group? Must it be amended for that purpose? Yes, although no one seems to be complaining. But the main practical reason for the amendment would be to hash out this no-profiling nation.

Whose needs take priority?

It is true to say not all Muslims are terrorists.

But it is also true to say that a Muslim from certain countries is more likely to be a terrorist than any other religious/cultural group.

So given those facts, whose needs take priority? Those Muslims wishing to enter the US or the Americans wishing not to have an elevated risk of being murdered?

One punishment for a warrantless search is to exclude the evidence found in the search from a criminal prosecution. Fine, all the Muslims who are denied entry into America during a Trump Administration can avoid having any such evidence entered against them in a U.S court.

But saying the punishment for a warrantless search based on Muslimness is that all Muslims must be allowed into the U.S. makes no sense. It is merely the few spoiling it for the many and that is purely a Muslim problem that the various flavors of Muslims can sort out over there. Not our problem.

The argument that banning Muslims from entering the US will make all Muslims hate us is a dubious reason to risk another 9/11. For one, quite enough of them seem to already hate us in spite of not profiling them. If they are going to hate us, better they hate us from 5,000 miles away.

No phobia before WTC

The quasi-open minded Muslims know we did not hate or fear them prior to their attacking the World Trade Center and other Americans. Islam needs to clean up its act within its own community, or tell us how to distinguish between the good ones and the bad ones. There is no prospect of that happening. So they can stay over there and think about whether the “moderates” should do something about the radicals.

A recent caller on Rush said a Christian church got together with a mosque to try to understand each other better. The caller asked why the moderate Muslims don’t condemn the radicals more loudly and often. They explained that doing so would cause those radicals to turn their guns on the moderate Muslims rather than the infidels.

Oh, well that makes perfect sense. You moderate Muslims are a bunch of freaking cowards! And you are perfectly happy to watch us infidels die for a couple centuries before the radicals turn on you and then, maybe, you’ll screw up the courage to defend Number One.

Trump’s ban, which would stop additional cowards from coming here, serves them right.

None of which solves the problem I raised yesterday. How will Mr. Trump tell which are the Muslims and which are the Muslim terrorists who shaved off their beards and dress like westerners the better to infiltrate us, my dear.

So here’s my conclusion. Keep the ban on racial profiling with regard to admission of evidence. Start racial and any other statistically-correlated profiling to protect the safety of large groups like plane passengers, crowds, and the American people as a whole where violating the Constitutional ban against searches is merely an inconvenience. A foreigner not being able to travel to the US because they are a member of a group with a lot of bad actors is merely an inconvenience as far as I’m concerned. Muslim nations are welcome to enact similar bans against Americans entering their countries. We will cry ourselves to sleep over it.

Put neural network computers in charge

I have long said that we should let profiling matters be decided by neural network computer programs. Those look at all the variables that are or may be predictive then make decisions accordingly. You cannot accuse the program of being a bigot. it is an algorithm. It searches everything for cause-effect correlations then excludes immigrants or visitor or whomever for whatever purpose based on statistics that show persons with characteristic A cause law-breaking B. It knows nothing about political correctness.
Early example of it. Police in LA noticed that persons who tole credit card often went immediately to a gas station and bought about one dollar worth of gas to see if the card had been cancelled yet. If not, they would try to spend it fast. The police put out a nationwide bulletin telling banks that. Mellon Bank in Pittsburgh said, “Thanks, but our neural network program spotted that a long time ago and has been canceling cards as soon as they see a $1 charge for gas.”
Reed’s Rule of Thirds probably applies. If you put neural network computers in charge of who gets guns, entry to the US, on a plane, etc., probably about 1/3 would be what you what you would expect, 1/3 pleasant surprise, and 1/3 unpleasant surprises—including some about race and religion. The ACLU is not a source for discussing profiling. Mathematics departments at Cal Tech and MIT are.

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