Thursday, November 18, 2010

Common Sense and Airline Security

Selwyn Duke writes at the "American Thinker". Excerpts:

“… behavioral-sciences specialists long ago developed the method called 'profiling.' Unfortunately, social-engineering specialists soon after discredited the universal application of profiling with a method called propaganda. Consequently, when we want to administer targeted treatment in the effort to thwart terrorism, we're told that it's 'racial profiling' and beyond consideration. This is utter nonsense.

('Racial profiling' is) emotionally charged term designed to manipulate the public. In reality, there are only two types of profiling: good profiling and bad profiling. What's the difference? Good profiling is a method by which law enforcement can accurately determine the probability that an individual has committed a crime or has criminal intent; bad profiling makes that determination less accurate. Good profiling considers all relevant factors -- age, sex, dress, behavior and, yes, race, religion and ethnicity -- without regard for political or social concerns. Bad profiling subordinates common sense, criminological science and security to political correctness.

Good profiling is also fair. That is to say, it discriminates on the correct basis: If a group -- any group -- commits an inordinate amount of a given crime, it receives greater scrutiny. Period.

If you cross the street upon seeing a bunch of rough-hewn young men walking your way, you've just engaged in profiling. You've also done so if you cut a wide swath around a leashed dog; after all, he may be a very nice pooch, but, since canines are known to sometimes bite, your action is prudent. And it doesn't mean you're hateful or bent on discriminating against rough young men and dogs but simply that you're in a situation in which the cost of obtaining more information would be too great. Consequently, as Professor Walter Williams wrote, 'We can think of profiling in general as a practice where people use an observable or known physical attribute as a proxy or estimator of some other unobservable or unknown attribute.'

He then goes on to write:

'Let's look at a few profiling examples to see which ones you'd like outlawed. ...Some racial and ethnic groups have higher incidence and mortality from various diseases than the national average. The rates of death from cardiovascular diseases are about 30 percent higher among black adults than among white adults. Cervical cancer rates are five times higher among Vietnamese women in the U.S. than among white women. Pima Indians of Arizona have the highest known diabetes rates in the world. Prostate cancer is nearly twice as common among black men as white men.

Knowing patient race or ethnicity, what might be considered as racial profiling, can assist medical providers in the delivery of more effective medical services.'

Now, should doctors be prosecuted for taking these statistics into consideration when delivering medical care? If not, why would we prosecute law enforcement for considering racial and ethnic factors (along with sex, age and other characteristics) when tackling the moral disease known as criminality?

The profile here (airplane hijackers) is very specific, as it's a rare person who will sacrifice his life to destroy an airplane. Protestants aren't doing that. Catholics aren't doing it. Nor are Buddhists, Taoists, Zoroastrians or Hare Krishna. In our age, this is a method of people who 100 percent of the time are Muslim jihadists and 99 percent of the time are non-white. And only the idiotic -- or the suicidal -- ignores such correlation."

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

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