Alt-Right, Politics, recent, Security

The Pitfalls of Too Much Security

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
—Benjamin Franklin

Earlier this year, my mother fell and broke her hip, requiring emergency surgery. The hospital at which the operation would take place was one to which I was no stranger. One of the specialists whom I saw as a child had been located there, so I had visited it many times growing up. This time, though, the sight that awaited me when I walked in the front door was very different from all those times before. What had once been a spacious corridor was now blocked off by gates. Visitors (and presumably outpatients) waited in line at a security desk where they stated their business at the hospital, showed their drivers’ licenses, and were issued temporary ID cards that they scanned at the gates to gain entry.

Being familiar with the arguments made by Steven Pinker in his book The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, I knew that it was highly unlikely that this heightened security arose in response to a legitimate threat that did not exist over the past several decades. Crime rates today are some of the lowest they’ve ever been. While such measures might be warranted in a high-crime neighborhood where there was a genuine threat, the county in which this hospital is located has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation. Given this situation, there are two questions that we ought to be asking: Is this really necessary, and what price do we pay for it?

Imagine the effects on a family fighting cancer or a similarly horrific disease. They already have more on their plate than anyone should have to deal with. Is it humane to add these ill-founded fears to the heart-wrenching experience that they are already enduring? I thought back to the time when I visited the hospital as a child to see my beloved grandmother who had been hospitalized there during the period before she passed away. I was already distraught with worry at the prospect of losing someone who had been so close to me. Had such heightened security been in place at the time, it would have only increased the perception of fear at this difficult time.

I saw the same reflex to reach for ever-tighter security again recently in the response of the Jewish community to the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. At a recent family gathering, my sister told of how she had joined a committee at the local synagogue working to increase security after the shooting. Windows throughout the building would be replaced with bulletproof glass. More visibly, the entrances would be kept locked, and visitors would gain access by speaking to an employee at a “bank window” that would be installed and passing their ID through a small space under the glass. The cost of implementing all of this added security would be significantly high as to require the synagogue to solicit sizeable donations earmarked specifically for this purpose.

It is understandable that many would feel the instinct to react this way and seek to protect themselves and their families and neighbors from this type of attack by any means necessary. One death is of course one too many. Yet again, it would be wise to assess the level of the threat actually posed before jumping to take drastic action. The Pittsburgh shooting killed 11 people out of 7.2 million Jews living in the United States. This type of violence is not a regular occurrence, being believed by some to be the deadliest anti-Semitic attack to ever take place in the country. Previously, the deadliest such attack had taken place in 1960, more than half a century earlier. Therefore, it is unlikely that such attacks will become commonplace. Yet even if—God forbid—an attack of this magnitude were to take place every year, the probability of any particular Jew being killed would be less than 1 in 650,000. For comparison, the probability of an American being murdered in a one-year period is about 1 in 19,000. The probability of being killed in a car accident is 1 in 9,500. The probability of an American committing suicide is about 1 in 7,500. If our goal is to save as many lives as possible, then we would be well advised to invest in preventing gun violence, driving while intoxicated, and major depression rather than turning synagogues into fortresses.

It is important to keep the threat faced by Jewish-Americans in perspective. While it is true that the hate crime rate for Jews is one of the highest for any minority, hate crimes are relatively rare. In 2017, the most recent year for which data are available, there were 976 hate crimes against Jews, for an incidence of about 1 in 6,000. Of those, 71% were vandalism, not violent crimes where the victim’s life or safety was in danger. None of these hate crimes were homicides. In fact, prior to the Pittsburgh attack, the last time that a homicide was classified as an anti-Semitic hate crime was in 2000. Contrast this with the risk of terrorism in Israel and the resurgence of anti-Semitism in Europe, and the United States in the 21st century is perhaps the safest place to be Jewish since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.

This did not happen by accident. It happened because tolerance of those who are different is one of our core values as Americans and because, over the decades, Jewish-Americans have demonstrated that they seek only to live in peace and harmony with their fellow citizens of all faiths and races. When my grandparents and great-grandparents immigrated to this country, they lived in tenements and faced the threat of anti-Semitic violence by groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. The world in which I live is one in which almost half of Jewish-Americans have six-figure household incomes, more than any other religious group. This success is only possible because we live in a tolerant country and have built good relationships with citizens of other backgrounds.

Yet, there is reason for concern that this progress could be endangered if Jews overreact to the attack in Pittsburgh. If we equip our synagogues with a level of security fit for a military base, especially if no such steps are taken by houses of worship belonging to other faiths, we could create the perception that we view the larger community as posing a threat to us. Certainly, this is not the intent of the Jewish community, but it could nonetheless have this effect. People do not enjoy being viewed as threatening and may come to resent those whom they perceive as viewing them that way. As such, these measures run the risk of unintentionally inflaming the very anti-Semitism from which they are intended to protect us. Our own actions can affect the risk of hate crimes as much as anything coming from Donald Trump. In fact, by promoting the perception of a conflict between minorities and the majority, rather than an alliance in which minorities and the majority work together to build a better future for all Americans, we may be increasing the probability that Mr. Trump will be re-elected.

The synagogue proposals have their origin in practices that are now widespread in schools, another place where the security environment is very different today from what it was several decades ago. In 1999, only 19% of schools were monitored using surveillance cameras. By 2016, this had increased to 81%, more than quadrupling. Requiring faculty and staff to wear their ID cards on their bodies has also become far more prevalent, more than doubling from 25% to 68% of schools. These increased security measures were instituted while crime rates in schools were decreasing.

Lenore Skenazy

In her book Free-Range Kids, Lenore Skenazy documents a broader climate of fear surrounding the possibility of the unthinkable happening to children, leading to ever-increasing restrictions on children’s freedom. She advocates for allowing them to have more opportunities to experience the world without constant adult supervision, as was done in the past and continues to be done in other cultures, arguing that the fears driving this trend are unfounded:

Over at the Crimes Against Children Research Center, they track these things (as you might guess from their name). David Finkelhor, the founder of the center and a professor at the University of New Hampshire, says that violent crime in America has been falling since it peaked in the early nineties. That includes sex crimes against kids. He adds that although perhaps the streets were somewhat safer in the fifties, children today are statistically as safe from violent crime as we parents were, growing up in the seventies, eighties, and nineties.

So, when parents say, “I’d love to let my kids have the same kind of childhood I had, but times have changed,” they’re not making a rational argument.

Times have not changed. Especially not where childhood abductions are concerned. Those crimes are so very rare that the rates do not go up or down by much in any given year. Throw in the fact that now almost everyone is carrying a cell phone and can immediately call the police if they see a kid climbing into a van filled with balloons, a clown, and automatic weapons, and times are, if anything, safer.

Skenazy argues that the lack of autonomy given to children, and the resulting decrease in opportunities to play outside and interact in person with other kids, has led to a host of adverse outcomes, including obesity, diabetes, vitamin D deficiency, depression, and difficulty learning to function independently when the time comes to make the transition to college.

One of the best examples that Skenazy provides of how widespread fear is not always indicative of a genuine threat pertains to Halloween candy. When I was a child, the elementary school that I attended had an annual assembly at which a police officer gave a presentation about staying safe on Halloween. We were admonished not to eat any candy that was not sealed in a wrapper from the factory, as such candy might have been poisoned. In my home, we were forbidden from eating any candy obtained from trick-or-treating until it had been inspected by a parent.

Throughout all of this, we were led to believe that these precautions were being taken in response to tragedies in the past, that some adult with a very sick mind had been handing out poisoned candy to unsuspecting children. Yet Skenazy reveals to her readers that the total number of cases in which this has actually happened is exactly zero. She was able to locate a grand total of three cases in which a child was poisoned on Halloween. In every single one, the culprit turned out to be a member of the child’s family, not a neighbor handing out candy at the door. One of these cases involved a father who took out a life insurance policy for his son and then poisoned him, believing that he would be able to escape prosecution by blaming it on candy from an unknown stranger. If he had not been led to believe that he would be able to get away with his crime by the hysteria surrounding this non-existent threat, perhaps his son would still be alive today.

Of course, none of this should be read to imply that there are no other circumstances under which such high levels of security would be necessary. If there were to be problems with poisoned Halloween candy, then it would become necessary to take steps to protect children from being harmed. Jews in Israel, who have long faced the very real threat of suicide bombings and rocket attacks, are justified in instituting heightened levels of security that those of us living in the United States have been fortunate enough to not need.

Yet even when such measures are necessary, we should always be willing to listen with an open mind to those who are skeptical, as they may provide valuable warnings of otherwise unforeseen consequences of our actions and even alternative proposals that might allow us to gain the same safety benefits without the adverse effects. We should not summarily write off such people as being unsympathetic to those who have suffered. We should also periodically re-evaluate whether increased security measures are still necessary or if the threat has passed. If it is the latter, we should begin to gradually remove the additional measures and evaluate the effects of doing so. If there is little or no adverse impact, then we should return to the way things were before the threat arose.

That life entails a certain level of risk is an inherent part of the human condition. What is within our control is how we respond to this reality. We can react constructively by taking steps to reduce unnecessary risk, with a focus on the places where the danger is greatest as supported by data. We can also react rashly, rushing to take extreme measures in response to any threat that presents itself without thinking about the consequences, which could in some cases could be just as destructive as that from which we seek to protect ourselves. The three phenomena described in this article are only examples of a pattern that has repeated itself throughout history. From Japanese internment and McCarthyism to the erosion of civil liberties under the Patriot Act and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, many of our greatest mistakes have resulted from failing to respond constructively to risk and instead rushing to take action without regard for its unintended effects. By pausing to consider the best approach when confronted with a threat and listening respectfully to the voices of all those who have something to add to the dialogue, we can reduce the chance of repeating history. The choice is ours.

 

Gideon Scopes is a software engineer. 

Filed under: Alt-Right, Politics, recent, Security

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The author is a software engineer. Gideon Scopes is a pseudonym. Given the current climate surrounding political expression in the technology industry, his real name has been withheld.

81 Comments

  1. Pretty good stuff. Two things though:

    1) Trump? He’s the problem regarding violence or anti-semitism?

    2) Gun control? Penalize the 99%+ for the actions of the few?

    Otherwise, I must stress how much I agree with our mess-ups with the Patriot Act, Iraq, helicopter parenting, and much much more…

    • Evander says

      Trump is like the tear in the Persian rug that guarantees the legitimacy of any contribution to political discourse. Even a one-line swipe qualifies as a shibboleth.

      Here’s my question: were casual barbs at Obama, more or less irrelevant to the piece as a whole, a sine qua non of news articles and opinion pieces in moderate journals like Quillette?

      I don’t care if you’re for or against Trump. I just can’t tolerate lemming-mindedness and fashion-over-principle. Don’t assume your points; argue them.

      Why are you people so retarded?

      • ga gamba says

        I realised something very peculiar was occurring when I found swipes at Trump in the sports pages’ reports of cricket matches. Progressives have bigged him up as a super villain to justify any effort, fair or foul, required to ensure he’s not ‘normalised’. I suppose the writer thinks s/he’s dished-up a jaffer, but most frequently they’re daisy cutters.

      • @Evander
        Sorry, didn’t follow any of that??? I did not see the point stuffing Trump into that paragraph. Was the author of this piece intimating that Trump is fulcrum of minority distrust of the majority – which is laughable, of course. Am I safe to assume the retard is the author?

        • curiositas says

          The author’s point with the Trump comment was directed to those who don’t like Trump — the point being something along the lines of, “We shouldn’t just blame anti-Semitism on Trump. We should consider how our own actions might influence our risk. And if you don’t like Trump, your current choices may actually help him get re-elected, so that doesn’t benefit you either.” It was a small piece of the author’s argument, meant to persuade those who don’t support Trump.

          Your reaction here is a bit defensive — if one is hypervigilant, looking for ways to be offended or outraged, one will always find them. It’s true that the left is hysterical about Trump, but the right is developing an oversensitivity in rooting out perceived digs at him. Not everything is an attack.

          • @curiositas
            ahh got it. It has gotten so hard to tell these days. Reactions tend to become visceral when the attacks are so constant. It happens involuntarily – even someone who didn’t initially support the Donald grows weary and lashes back without proper thought. Guilty.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @Evander

        Speaking of assuming points, I can’t see how your post addresses anything that was said above.

        • Evander says

          @curiositas

          I re-read the passage and I think my interpretation stands. The implication is that Trump is a division-stoking figure. This wasn’t argued; it was assumed. But there’s sense in what you say.

          The shoehorning of Trump-swipes into written communication tires me out. It plagues the discourse. We had one at the end of a piece with Ryan Holiday only a few days ago.

          The choice is let it go or call it out. Point well-made about hypersensitivity, though.

          • What I find amusing is that during the Primary period, it was Bernie and “Bernie Bros” that was the division-stoking figure(s) standing in the way of the pre-ordained President HRC.

  2. tamoraslover says

    Decreases in violent crime statistics are in part due to the pressure that police departments are under to demonstrate reductions in crime. This leads to felonies being classified as misdemeanors, and the use of other tricks that improve the metrics. The ReplyAll podcast released a fascinating show about this.

    • ga gamba says

      Barring homicide, which is difficult to gloss over, yours is an accurate comment about the phenomenon. Change the definition and you’ll change the outcomes. And it isn’t just the police doing so.

      • Ray Andrews says

        @ga gamba

        Or, just don’t attend the crime at all thus making sure there is no statistic of any kind. They say that the Germans are solving the problem of Moroccan crime by simply not responding to it at all. No statistics, nothing to worry about, no problem.

    • TarsTarkas says

      There’s also the very real fear that there isn’t really a reduction in crime, it’s just not being reported by the police to ensure there’s no blowback for not doing their job. The Stoneman Douglas shooting is a classic example of crime reduction by redefinition resulting in a horrible tragedy.

  3. Freidrich Goatse says

    The problem is diversity. You don’t see anything like this in Poland, Hungary, or Japan. You do see it in every country where people who would rather not live together are forced to live cheek-by-jowl with those who they do not wish to live near, and do not wish to have others imposed upon them with all of the costs associated with it. Random flareups of things like this happen. Which is why these hospitals have all of these security checkpoints, why schools have metal detectors, and so on.

    The guy who shot up that Synagogue made it quite clear why he did it, and no one seems to be preferring any argument that he was WRONG about what he was talking about–that a large segment of the moneyed, well connected Jewish community seem intent on turning America (and other European countries) into non-White countries, which amounts to ethnic cleansing. This again though is a result of GROUP CONFLICT.

    The idea that these groups with competing, conflicting and almost always antagonistic interests will get along living in the same territory, competing for the same resources under the same form of governance which naturally either one group or a coalition of groups will come to dominate and wield as a weapon against others to extract resources and enact punitive measures against rivals groups–that is pure fantasy.

    You claim that “tolerance” of this insanity is a core American value. Since when? How did it become such? That country had an immigration policy limited to Europeans only until 1965 which is why the country has been historically known as a White country and why when people in other countries think of an American, they think of a person of European ancestry. This is all recent insanity. People with my views were simply called people with common sense some 60-70 years ago.

    Speaking of reducing risks, this is one that everyone paying attention foresaw in the 1960s but everyone who pointed out what would happen was just labelled a slew of pejoratives instead of engaging with the arguments. Turns out they were right. Yet curiously there is no talk of ending immigration into the west or heaven forbid reversing the deadly demographic damage with repatriation. “The West” is a European construct–make no mistake. Without that people, that biological entity’s very physical survival, there is no “west.” There is just a territory that used to be the civilization of that European people but will become over time much like the character of the homeland of the new inhabitants.

    You see, magic dirt isn’t real. Detroit looks like Africa propped up by redistributed tax money because that’s what it is. London is increasingly looking like Islamabad, acid attacks and all, because that’s what it’s becoming. These immigrants and their descendants do not become like us. Culture is not a magic talisman that can transform the behavioural biology and other baseline traits (like general level of intelligence) of other peoples into a European. It is actually rather a product largely of biology IN an environment.

    • Evander says

      “These immigrants and their descendants do not become like us.”

      Evidence, please.

      But since you’re using anecdotes, indulge me likewise. I’m from Australia, a country that has pursued a deliberate policy of multiculturalism since the 1970’s. Much of it has been successful, though there are some rough patches. Throughout my schooling, I had good friends who were South Korean, Chinese, Indonesian, Sri Lankan, Indian – all of non-European ancestry. Every single one of them today, last time I checked, were well-adjusted, mainstream Australians.

      There’s sense in what you say, but you’ve mixed in some reckless propositions, like biology being a steel-strength obstacle to assimilation. That one can get stuffed.

      • Peter from Oz says

        Australia’s multi cultural policies failed. All your immigrant mates are Australians, not hyphen Australians. They integrated. This isn’t the multi culturalism that the activists wanted, But a triumph of the British roots of our culture.
        The big secret is to bring in people in a measured fashion. Yes we have a problem with certain immigrants not assimilating well. But thank God we ignored all that multi cultural rubbish and just got on with blending people into Australian life.

        • Evander says

          Pete, I was mainly responding to the dickhead claim that non-Europeans can’t be assimilated into Western countries.

          My understanding of multiculturalism was that it initially meant openness to non-European immigrants. My father-in-law’s parents came on a boat from China and made a good life for themselves.

          Later, however, it accrued a relativistic character where integration wasn’t the inflexible expectation. Which led to the difficulties we face now – though Oz has done far better than almost everyone the experiment has been tried.

          I’ve heard and read Latham claiming that Gough’s vision for multiculturalism was the whole ‘melting pot’ idea, and that he was actually against ghettoisation. I don’t know if that’s revisionist or not.

          • Freidrich Goatse says

            Evander,

            You are a mental child relying on anecdotes about how you have this collection of anecdotal friends so kind-of-sort-of fit in and calling people who point out the big picture macro reality “dickheads.” Virtually all of these groups do not fit in, and even the ones that are not economically a drain (like northeast Asians) still maintain their distinctiveness, separativeness, and still retain loyalty to those home countries and peoples above their host nation. That word, by the way, nation? It means people with real shared ancestry, the most important part of which is genetic, or “blood” ancestry.

            Australia is becoming a Chinese colony where one cannot talk about the impositions of the Chinese upon your country and the founding stock Australians’ interests, which are at odds. Enjoy being treated like the Uighurs in the future by your Chinese ruling class once they begin to outnumber you. The same is true on the west coast of Canada, by the way.

            It’s not even just a matter of economics, either. I don’t want my people replaced by people of foreign ancestry even if they’re slightly better at many things than we are, like the Japanese could be said to be. It’s not arbitrary; Why in the world would anyone pour blood, sweat and tears into building and maintaining a country only to hand it over to foreign interlopers? There is no “greater humanity” here. You are simply a naive dupe who is whistling past the graveyard by those who are taking advantage of you, either that or you’re just a disingenuous shill.

            Ideas about “assimilation” and “integration” are just a poison pill used to sell a euthanasia package to invaded and imposed-upon populaces.

          • Ray Andrews says

            @Evander

            There is an unfortunate tendency to see the thing as binary. I see it as a sliding scale. Some people integrate quickly and well, others take time, one group in particular has what I call ‘negative assimilation’ which means that the second generation are less assimilated, and more troublesome, than their parents. In the great migrations to America of the previous two centuries it was notable that the Norwegians assimilated before they’d gotten off the boat, the Germans took one generation, the Italians three, the Irish four (note this is inspite of being very ‘white’). Asians tend to make little trouble, yet maintain a certain separateness. Jews ‘adapt’ very quickly but are exceptional for keeping a separate identity. And so on.

            Further, any society has a sort of immigration tolerance coefficient. It’s not one or the other. A few, carefully chosen immigrants can be very welcome. A tidal wave of the most incompatible people on the planet is going to cause trouble.

      • E. Olson says

        Evander: The difference is Australia is VERY selective in who they let in legally, and very tough on who tries to sneak in illegally. The U.S. used to be like that also, as immigrants going through Ellis Island had to pass a physical and mental health test, and even before the introduction of the welfare state they had to demonstrate that they had financial means or a sponsor so they would not be a financial burden to their new country. If the would-be immigrant didn’t pass they were sent back to where they came. Australia is also different because the bulk of their recent immigrants come from Asia (China, India) or Europe (UK), while very few come from Africa or Middle-East, or Muslim majority countries, and hence Australia gets the cream of the crop from non-violent/relatively high IQ places. In contrast, the recent immigrant/refugee streams into Europe and the US have much more frequently been from some of the most violent and low IQ places on earth, and by and large they have not been carefully selected to demonstrate financial independence or cultural compatibility.

        If immigration laws are rational and enforced to only let in people with the financial means, mental capacity, and skills to not be welfare dependent in an advanced economy (and/or not eligible for welfare), and are not members of terrorist groups or violent gangs, and allowed in only at the level that can be utilized by the economy and allow assimilation, then I believe 95+% of immigration opposition would disappear. The problem in Europe and the US is that 60 to 90% of the immigrants/refugees don’t meet these criteria and hence end up on welfare, and/or increase crime and violence, and/or depress wages and increase unemployment among native populations, and/or don’t assimilate.

        • Ray Andrews says

          @E. Olson

          Exactly. The globalist-homogenist people like to use words like ‘bigot’ and ‘hater’ and ‘xenophobe’ for those who oppose homogenization, but we aint, we just have the common sense to see where bad policies will end up. Malmo today is only the start, wait until caliphate is declared.

          • Evander says

            @Friedrich Goatse

            “You are a mental child relying on anecdotes about how you have this collection of anecdotal friends so kind-of-sort-of fit in and calling people who point out the big picture macro reality “dickheads.””

            I called your claim a dickhead, not you. Calling me a mental midget is a gronk move.

            I gave you empirical, albeit anecdotal, evidence of immigrants and their children who have fitted into Australian society. They didn’t kind-of-sort-of fit in; nice framing to suit your assumptions. Rather, they assimilated/integrated and are now culturally indistinguishable from other mainstream Australians.

            I can be persuaded that are different speeds and extents to which different groups assimilate to a culture. I can even accept that some people from some cultures will vigorously resist this. But the claim that blood and race are insuperable obstacles for integration is retarded. I’ve seen in refuted with my very eyes.

      • Charlie says

        How willing are immigrants willing to change and adopt knew customs, be it honesty, treatment of women, patriotism, treatment of those from different groups, etc, etc? In immigrating to a western country what helps is intelligence, employable skills and a belief system which does not make a person remain different. A Muslim who is highly educated westernised such as an Upper Class Sunni Lebanese is very different to a Sunni Muslim Salaafi who supports Bin laden. Many Muslim hate Hindus and consider them inferior. I do not think many Muslims wold be happy for a son to convert to Judaism in order to marry a Jewish women.

      • @Evander
        maybe Australia didn’t shout down everyone who encouraged(insisted) on melting pot ideology. In the U.S. it is considered racist to encourage immigrants join the dominant culture -which starts by speaking the language.

        Believe me plenty of Europeans faced (ethnic/language) hardships coming to America – but they learned English and joined the culture and added their native cultural norms to the mix. Today just try to insist requiring immigrants to use English only… Anyone in a official capacity will lose their jobs if they even think it.

    • Freidrich Goatse says

      It is NOT a set of ideas that any can take on and emulate. If it were so, you would expect non-White countries to have done so what with the absolute wealth of knowledge that has been shared with them and in many cases infrastructure built for them. Yet it hasn’t happened. Even countries like former Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) fell into complete ruin in the absence of those who started and built it. South Africa is now going down this road. Parts of Europe are.

      It hasn’t happened, and it won’t. Race isn’t mere skin color. It is the total result of an evolutionary process which created far more differences than mere “skin color.” Things like behavioural differences in predilections between groups, general intelligence differences between groups, and much more. Maybe read a book or two on the subject–a good starting place is something like “The Bell Curve” so you can stop being so wilfully ignorant. You can think of it like the difference between any other animal subspecies, unless you’re a liberal creationist who thinks the evolutionary process magically skipped over this one type of animal, which is us.

      These other peoples will NEVER “assimilate” on a macro level, because it’s not possible on a macro scale and we have hundreds of years of attempting to “civilize the savages” as proofs, as well as the disaster of the last half century. Mass immigration is no different from invasion and warfare. Same end results. The questions are really how to end the immigration and how to incentivize repatriation.

      • Evander says

        @Freidrich Goastse

        “You are a mental child relying on anecdotes about how you have this collection of anecdotal friends so kind-of-sort-of fit in and calling people who point out the big picture macro reality “dickheads.””

        I called your claim a dickhead, not you. But calling me a mental child is a gronk move.

        I gave you empirical, if anecdotal, evidence that many immigrants and their children have perfectly integrated into Australian society. They didn’t kind-of-sort-of fit in – nice framing to suit your thesis – they integrated, assimilated, are culturally indistinguishable from other mainstream Australians.

        I’m happy to accept that there are different speeds, even extents, to which people assimilate to the norms of a society. Even that some people from some cultures will refuse to fit in, for their own reasons. But to claim outright that blood and race are massive impediments to integration – no, I don’t see evidence of this in my own country.

    • TarsTarkas says

      The problem has little to do with biology, it is a refusal (or an encouragement by powers that be) by immigrants (or the underclass) to culturally assimilate with the majority culture, or in some cases a refusal by the majority culture to allow immigrants to assimilate (See Turks in Germany, Koreans in Japan). Immigrants to the US into the 1960’s within a generation or two assimilated into US cultures (cultures as there are many different mainstream cultures within the States).

      • Freidrich Goatse says

        Assimilation in the way you’re describing it is actual racial genocide. If you impose an influx and pressure, coerce or force mixture by whatever means, that is the END of a people group. You have effectively ended their bloodlines via genocide by genetic absorption. You can try to go tactically nihilist on me here and claim everyone’s mixed or some other deflection but this isn’t a result of natural forces of history. It’s not something that’s just happening. It’s deliberate.

        Also, you are not making the case for how WESTERN countries, which virtually have anti-native, anti-white race laws and policies on the books (euphemistic “affirmative action,” quotas, set asides, lowered standards for non-white racial groups in education and hiring opportunities, the list goes on really) and how these places that bend over backwards for these foreigners, are somehow refusing to allow these people to try to fit in. They’ve tried everything, trillions have poured into it and no results. If anyone is being discriminated against, it’s the indigenous populations in Europe and the native founding stocks in Canada, United States of America, Australia and New Zealand who are rapidly being ethnically cleansed by these policies, and big surprise things are taking drastic turns for the worse as it progresses.

        The problem is 100% biology. The reason you refuse to look at the mountainous wealth of data proving this is that you’re a liberal creationist ideologue who thinks race is just skin color because magically, in your pea-sized brain, evolution only created very superficial appearance-related differences. All of these people and their descendants generations on are still just like the first generations at best. Never better. Sometimes worse.

        You also can’t make a case for how this influx of foreign peoples is a moral good nor can you make a moral case for it in the first place given the deleterious effect on native, settled populations.

        • Evander says

          Seething with rage, I see.

          “The problem is 100% biology.”

          Let’s try once more. My father-in-law is full-blooded Chinese, the son of immigrant parents. He grew up in Australia and fully absorbed its values. How did this happen?

          Less racist misanthropy, more rebuttal of my point.

          “You also can’t make a case for how this influx of foreign peoples is a moral good nor can you make a moral case for it in the first place given the deleterious effect on native, settled populations.”

          Using the example above, my father-in-law is an active contributor to society. His parents immigrating here worked out for my country’s good. Does this frustrate you?

          • Freidrich Goatse says

            So you have a personal, anecdotal dog in the fight and you’re trying to talk as if you’re an objective observer and as if you’ve looked at any macro-level data like, say, voting patterns of foreign groups even generations on. Curious.

            If you had actually looked at this data–and it’s across multiple countries–you’d find that even the “BASED” northeast Asians will still vote for parties that run policies against the interests of the actual western (read: European) people who settled a country and built it up. It’s all about group interests, and when the anti-white party says “vote me for and I’ll give you his stuff,” then why would you be surprised that they’d vote for that party? Also, why would you even want to live under such a system of oppressive redistributive tyranny?

            You still didn’t make a case about how ethnically cleansing Europeans out of their own countries is a moral good.

          • Evander says

            You claimed biology is 100% determinative of cultural outlook and social practice. I countered that I’ve witnessed culture transcend biology in multiple lives. You dismissed that as non-macro and therefore invalid.

            There might be some truth to what you’re saying. I’m openminded about some of your points. But your refusal to refute a very simple example is a sign of weakness in your thesis.

            Account for immigrants assimilating meaningfully, which I’ve witnessed first-hand, then we can continue the conversation. Otherwise, you must plainly be a fugitive from countervailing data.

          • Freidrich Goatse says

            I don’t need to account for your anecdotes. Policy is not made based on the fact that a few WEIRD individuals can sometimes fit in. It’s made on macro-level data. If the overwhelming majority of a group will still vote for policies that dispossess and loot the host population for the benefit of the immigrant and immigrant-descended group, then that is a losing policy for the host population.

            No one can even tell me what we, the European peoples, even get out of this. Loss of the only homes we’ll ever have? Not seeing the benefit. The only thing I see is some deflection by urban bourgeoisie types about “food” as if cookbooks don’t exist. Japan doesn’t need all of these foreign people in Japan to win all sorts of awards for its restaurants and food since you can actually just learn how to make these things yourself.

          • Evander says

            ‘I don’t need to account for your anecdotes.’

            Anecdotes / counter-examples. Actually, in a dispute you do have to.

            ‘Policy is not made based on the fact that a few WEIRD individuals can sometimes fit in. It’s made on macro-level data. If the overwhelming majority of a group will still vote for policies that dispossess…’

            Thanks for partially addressing my point. So, my father-in-law is weird presumably because he acts counter to how you claim groups normally operate? I guess biology isn’t 100% determinative, as you had maintained up to this point. Then we should explore the question of why individuals within a group are able to assimilate. What factors assist and what factors inhibit such assimilation?

  4. And hen you have to remember that murder rates may be lower than they would otherwise have been because hospitals are getting better at saving people with life-threatening wounds.

    Also, hospitals will be more targeted than other areas because that’s where victims are brought. Anybody wishing to finish the job will probably follow.

    Much the same argument can be made about Jews: even if there are few criminals in an area, they will be drawn disproportionately to the Jews – some driven by genuine hatred, others who pick them because they’re rich and it’s safe to assume that haters will take the side of the criminals in a pinch.

  5. Stephanie says

    Another naive, superficial article designed only to slide in some attacks on the right. “Our own actions can affect the risk of hate crimes as much as anything coming from Donald Trump.” Seriously? You’re going to say the president with the Jewish daughter, influential Jewish son-in-law, and most pro-Israel foreign policy in decades is the source of any hate crimes against Jews whatsoever? The author better hope Trump wins reelection, or else whatever family of his still goes to synagogue or is visibly Jewish is in danger. Has the author not noticed the omnipresence of anti-Semitism on the American left? Astonishing.

    The historic amnesia is also painful. The “only” 11 people murdered in an anti-Semitic attack should not be so easily dismissed. In the late 19th, early 20th century progroms in Europe “only” killed a dozen or two people each. Dismissing these early warning signs was foolish at the time, and it’s foolish now. The author mentions the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, but neglects to mention that it is unprecedented since the Holocaust and driven by the same demographic trends that are increasingly taking hold in North America. Just like in Europe in the 20th century, Jews will be squeezed by both sides.

    I do agree that throwing security apparati over everything might be excessive at times, but failing to do anything leads to “soft” targets. Because people on the left have worked so tirelessly to disarm Americans and leave public squares undefended, they have necessitated this situation. Particularly since they’ve also prevented the government from getting any handle on illegal immigration, meaning there are guaranteed to be bad actors who can and will target civilians where they are the most vulnerable. The immigrants they have let in integrate better than in Europe, but expect that to change as their numbers increase and they can form distinct communities.

    Sorry to my fellow Jews, but either learn to shoot a gun, or accept the presence of people who can. After the progroms, Zionists wrote harsh poetry about how pathetic and weak Jewish men were. “Never again” was never a statement of idealism, it was and is a statement of resolve and power, when Jews chose to not be victims any more, to fight for our survival. It is not surprising that some Jews, like then, are weak, broken men who fail to do this. I hope more find the motivation to abandon the leftist ideology that antagonizes Americans and feeds our most dangerous enemies.

    American Jews need a serious wake-up call. If they experienced a fraction of what Israelis experience, they would not hold onto such toxic ideologies. It’s time to take to recognise the threat, the same threat that faces America as a whole, and be unapologetic in fighting it.

    • Yes, @Stephanie, Trump is responsible. See, he’s pro-Israel, and Jew-friendly; therefore, the hysterical anti-Trumps must attack the Jews and Israel. They will attack anything Trump-positive and champion anything/anyone Trump-negative. Michael Cohen? Bad! Avanetti? Good!

      So clearly, the attacks on Jews is because Trump is a friend of them. Once he points out that the vilification anyone associated with him parallels the BLM complaints, and becomes a champion of law enforcement change to the benefit of the BLM movement, they’ll start attacking BLM and Antifa will counter-BLM protests.

    • Charlie says

      According to Moshe Dayan it was Orde Wingate who taught the Jewish settlers how to fight: he set up the Special Night Squads in 1936-1939 to protect the settlements. Wingate spoke Arabic and Hebrew ;won the DSO three times and founded The Chindits. Wingate’s tactics and policies largely influenced the IDF.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Night_Squads

      Perhaps it is time for Jewish people to relearn Wingate’s methods?

    • Everett Brunson says

      Stephanie, I don’t mind Scopes’ calling for a little sense in hyper-reacting to events that are statistically unlikely to happen to others. Fear can be paralyzing. At the same time I think he is off base in thinking the hardening of soft targets by Jews might somehow send the wrong signal to Gentiles. What a silly reason for opening one’s throat to the guy with the knife! Perceived offense? Give me a break.

      As a Gentile myself I feel the hardening of soft targets to be a very prudent measure regardless of who might be offended. The recent court ruling in Broward County where the judge found “schools, sheriff’s office had no constitutional duty to protect Parkland students.” is but an echo of other rulings that have found that law enforcement officers have no legal compunction to protect or to serve. Such is the country we have become.

      The whole thing brings to mind the trope, “When seconds count, the police are minutes away.” And now, we cannot even depend on them acting once they get there.

      So I am very much with you when you advise “. . . either learn to shoot a gun, or accept the presence of people who can.” That is very good advice indeed.

  6. There is no doubt that modern society has illogical and damaging attitudes to risks with very low probabilities of occurence. It is evenst which are extremeley rare and have significant consequences which society seems to fear most and as the occurence of the event becoems less and less common the fear and reaction to the event seems to get greater.

    The unhealthy cossetting of children and obsession with the dangers posed by predatory men is paticularily obvious and damaging. The rate of murder of children by strangers is incredibly low in teh UK and has been constant for my entire life yet children especially young children no longer play unsupervised outside something that was once common place. I am sure this has a stunting effetc on childrens development. Perhaps worse when I was a boy all adults felt empowere dif not obligate to inetrvene if they saw bad behaviour by children and would have no hesitation in verbally chastising us if we deserved it, sometimes even administering mild corporal punishment. Nowadays paticularily as a man I am terrified to intervene in anyway even to help a distressed child, something I myself find quite distressing, because of fears about the response of the parents and accusations that might be made against me. I have had to fetch a female shop assistant in this situation, a paticularily perverse requirment when you realise that most child abuse is committed by family members not strangers and the most common abuser is the mother and the safest the father. Despite this as a society we obsess about the dangers of men to children and in doing so stop teh contributions of society as a whole to rasing children.

    In teh UK our fear and reaction to terrorism has increased as it has decreased from the 70s when bomb attacks and deaths were commonlace and we had an attitude that we woudl not let the attacks change society to today when extremely rare attacks cause us to introduce security measure after security measure.

    I would criticise the article for implying that anti-semitism is rife in Britain. It isn’t what seems to have happened is that incidents that are not anti-semitic are now claissified a santi-semitic and/or reporting is much higher. I am not Jewish so I am not sensitise dot this but when I was a boy Jewish ‘jokes’ wer epar tof popular culture they no longer are. I used to travel frequently to Israel so listened to a radio program on the BBC interviewing a jewish campaigner about the ris eof anti-semitic articles in European newspapers. He was asked for the worst example and quoted a cartoon which showed a young palistinian child with a halo surrounded by soldiers with guns. He said this was an example of the blood libel. The problem is that this cartoon was a comment on an incident when I had actually been in Israel in which a terrified young palestinian boy had been pinned down with Israeli troops and palestinians firing. His fatherwas seen trying to reach him but after several minute he had been shot and killed. The IDF claimed he was shot by a palestinian in cross fire, the palestinians that he had been deliberately targetted by the IDF. The truth is probably somewhere between. Whatever was true a cartoon commenting on this sad event is not anti-semitic and if this was truely the worst newspaper article in eruope then europe was in good shape at that time. In the UK we have had a wave of accusations that that labour party is anti-semitic all of the accusations because the labour parties cod eof conduct prohibits anti-semitisim but did not prevent criticism of Israel as being for example a racist state. As I have visted Israel mor ethan 30 times as well as many other states I am very conscious that it is by far the most overtly racist state I have been to, witnessing many directly racist acts against colleagues who were incorrectly suspected of being Muslim. The result for me is I now discount all accusations of anti-semitism as baseless propoganda unless there is some concrete evidence of some genuine anti-semitic act.

    • “As I have visted Israel mor ethan 30 times as well as many other states I am very conscious that it is by far the most overtly racist state I have been to”

      Really? Stats please.

      You’ll have to do better than you “witnessed many racist acts against colleagues.”

      Do you know what “overtly racist” means btw? You know that Islam is a religion/ideology? So when people in Israel – the majority of whom are Brown and Black now, and who come from North Africa and the Middle East – say mean things to people suspected of being Muslim, they are not being racist. They are profiling based on suspected ideology, Sometimes rightly and sometimes wrongly. Because extremist Muslims (not all) state outright they want to murder Jews across the globe and wipe out Israel. So yeah, context helps.

      So specify the acts you witnessed in your supposed visits over 30 times to Israel. And if you do talk about it with actual data, please compare to all other countries, not an idealized non-existent one.

      What other countries have you visited? Japan? India? Yemen? I’m genuinely curious what your rule of measurement is when you Jewsplain what anti-semitism is and at first discount “all accusations of anti semitism as abaseless propoganda.”

    • xyz and such says

      it’s weird that it is apparently understandable, based on the premise of past oppression, for african americans and other ‘people of color’ to not be considered ‘racist’ when they continuously bash ‘white’ people, ‘deplatform’ them, tell them they need to take a backseat, etc, *because* of this past oppression and abuse; BUT for the Jewish people, who have historically – over thousands of years- been one of the most oppressed, subject to genocide numerous times through history NOT given the very same exceptions and understandings. Israeali Jews are subject to extreme double standards on the world stage, are threatened on a daily basis with their extermination by the overwhelmingly large Muslim population that surrounds them and who have openly declared the intent to ‘wipe Israel off the map’ as well as to kill Jews for being Jewish and yet this extensive and continuing trauma is not considered relevant to their behavior? I am flabbergasted on a daily basis the level of hypocrisy directed toward Jews as well as the State of Israel from this perspective. There is no principle that applies to the Jews consistently by either the Left of the Right.

      • xyz and such says

        .. and btw, to not acknowledge that there is indeed antisemitism ingrained in much of the anti ‘zionist’ and anti Israel rhetoric is also a form of antisemitism. Please note that’s actually NOT the same thing as saying there aren’t legitimate criticisms of the State of Israel – but to try to conflate those two statements is also a from of antisemitism.

    • Stephanie says

      AJ, if you think the worst anti-Semitism in Europe is cartoons, you simply haven’t been following the news.

    • Can you please provide evidence for your claim that “most child abuse is committed by family members not strangers and the most common abuser is the mother and the safest the father.”?

  7. Brian says

    I don’t like the added security because I would prefer to do the job myself….I carry a gun every day (legally of course).
    These places that have checkpoints don’t allow conceal carriers to carry in them, which places me and my family at the mercy of others.
    And before anyone spouts off about how dangerous it is for ordinary citizens to carry guns, consider that as a group, holders of concealed carry licenses are one of the most law-abiding groups in the US. We are over twice as law-abiding as police officers themselves.

    • Steve says

      I’m sympathetic to the Second Amendment, but endlessly thankful I live in a place where there is effectively zero need to carry a gun. Why anyone would choose to live like that is to me a mystery.

      • Freidrich Goatse says

        In areas where there’s effectively zero need to carry a gun the principle still holds true. An armed populace often prevents tyrants from engaging in the worst of excesses, and in dangerous areas like the third worldized (by immigration) parts of Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand could ave your life.

        The principle goes back to the ancient world; Only slaves are forbidden from owning the means to defend themselves. A free people reserve this right. Nothing has changed in this regard. If those who wish to subjugate, exploit and enslave you in whatever means can do it, they will, and only the credible threat of force will prevent them from doing so. All power is backed by force or the credible ability to use force. This is a pretty basic libertarian idea so you’d think people around here would be familiar with it.

      • Stephanie says

        Steve, you had better hope that where you live stays that way. With the spread of Islam into the West, and with it rising terrorism, there will be few places where it is not wise to be armed. No one thinks it will happen to them, until it does.

        • My daughter came home from school yesterday spouting the “Trump just wants a wall, he’s stupid” nonsense. From her teachers, of course. I asked her to challenge them and ask why her school now had locked doors and a “security enclave” you have to pass through to get in. Clearly, the teachers believe they don’t need doors/windows with locks at their school, right? I suggested she asked them if they locked their phones, or the doors of their cars/houses. I mean, isn’t it ok if I walk through their house while they’re at work? She got back “they’ll just climb over the walls” and she said “but the doors are just glass, can’t they break thru them too?” That ended the conversation apparently.

      • Tome708 says

        You are very civilized Steve. You seem to live in a very civilized space. Good for you. But you are still a man. You should understand that it wasn’t always that way in your space and may not always be that way. You will then depend on someone that has “chosen to live that way”. Maybe too civilized makes men soft. (Or too much soy I hear)

  8. Richard says

    I think the author should be railing against the vast majority of media then. The media’s incessant, never ending, attacks on virtue, morality, the civil society, rule of law, endless stories promoting their leftist ideology, and primarily protecting we the people from our government. Today the media protects the government from us. Think about the tax payer funded sex slush fund congress members use, and on and on and on? Even worse I think today’s media shapes what our government says and does to and against us on a daily basis starting fresh first thing in the morning.

    For some reason the media and government tell us it is our fault, that we need to be more tolerant and open minded, that we should pay a little more of our hard earned money to them, that we are bigots, that we should not be allowed to defend ourselves while they have armed guards walls fences, that there is something wrong with us, that we should applaud and worship Hollywood elites flying around the world in their private jets and limo’s and get behind their green disarming meat free yoga induced movements with our money and backing, that we have “racism in our DNA”, that we cling to our guns beliefs traditions customs too much, that if we would just trust our elites lording over us in Washington and Hollywood and in Academia that all would be so much better for us.

    How is the immigrant population in Martha’s Vineyard doing? Or in Chappaquiddick? If the border is so secure now and only needs a few cameras and drones to protect us why not move the Supreme Court, the White House, the Senate and House Chambers there?

    What is the difference in beliefs and ideology between Leftists/Democrats/RINO’s from commentators on CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, April Ryan, Jim Acosta, Shep Smith, Chris Wallace, George Stephanopoulos, and on and on and on…answer – nothing…

    What’s it going to take pitchforks and torches? I think today the media and our government could care less about average taxpaying American or Canadian citizens…

  9. deplorabledude says

    The people in charge build up any criminal activity in an attempt to convince people they are in constant danger so they clamor to be “saved” by the same people telling them they are in danger.

  10. Robably Me says

    All I’ll say is that regarding gun violence, either enforce the existing laws on the books, or don’t bother. Regarding so-called gun free zones, the reason the Capital, the White House, and various state and federal buildings don’t generally have an issue with gun violence is because their gun-free zone is enforced.

  11. Burlats de Montaigne says

    “… is because their gun-free zone is enforced.”
    At the point of a gun.

  12. Farris says

    From personal experience, I can’t help but believing that this pervasive feeling of insecurity has something to do with an over exposure to media. When I was 10 yrs old, my family moved from a small community to a big city. Each night I would watch the local news convinced we had moved to the most dangerous place on earth. Every night someone was killed, robbed or injured in an auto accident. I became convinced it was only a matter of time for me or one of my family members. My dad finally explained to me that are old home had little news or events because of its small size and that naturally a more populated area would have more news and events.
    I believe iPhones, computers 24/7 news coverage makes us feel more interconnected than we actually are. True people in Australia may read this post and when I was a kid to communicate with those folks would have required a short wave radio or an astronomical phone bill. So we are more interconnected in one sense. But the truth is I will probably never personally lay eyes on or meet these people. I’m not blaming the devices. I’m saying I think our perspective is a bit warped. So to those in Canada, the U.K., Australia and elsewhere be well and Merry Christmas. The majority of us are going to be okay.

    • stevengregg says

      My cousins lived for an extended time in Japan. Their little girls grew up there. When it came time to return to America, the girls were petrified. They had grown up on a diet of Japanese news showing America to be one big murderfest with people being shot dead constantly, all the time, everywhere. They were surprised to find that they could walk down the sidewalk in America without being shot or even hearing gunshots.

  13. O Tempora says

    I don’t think you need to stretch for complex sociological explanations for the phenomenon of ever-heightened security. The heightened levels of security are there not to deter criminals but to deter lawyers. If there is a violent incident at a facility it is a near certainty that there will be lawsuits filed claiming that the facility failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent the attack. Then as more facilities armor up it becomes “industry standard” to have ever-increasing levels of security, which, if a facility fails to implement, will be used as evidence of the facility’s negligence. I don’t know this for a fact, but it wouldn’t surprise me to learn that insurers are requiring their insured facilities to these install higher levels of security.

  14. Barney Doran says

    OBL succeeded at one thing: He made the whole world go insane.

    • stevengregg says

      OBL succeeded at showing us how the Muslim world was insane.

  15. Old Canuck says

    Excessive security now acts like a sociological autoimmune disease. Not unlike a nut allergy, it disrupts and disturbs the natural order in its vicinity sometimes with insane positive feedback loops.
    The costs involved by post 9/11 security are the total validation of terrorust asymetric warfare. Spend a few million on an attack, trigger the target country into spending billions if not more on assets and lost productivity guarding against a black swan

  16. Yes, the law makes it so you must show you took “appropriate” actions. It’s why nobody will hire an ex-felon, not because they think they are bad workers, but because they’ll be sued if they do anything bad, even if it’s not the proximate cause (workers does bad, sue corporation even if not the company policy and you win most of the time because juries are made up ordinary folks).

    The more security you add, the less secure you’ll be over time. We need good citizens, not enforced goodness which isn’t a thing. Add stress, fear and more tribalism, security will go down.

  17. “Hate crimes” (I hate the term) against Jews are committed in this country largely by African Americans. I state a fact, not an opinion. Yet the media refuses to report it – the NYT even said as much outright – because they *only* want the narrative of “White European nationalist = Evil = Trump” (Which is why the author starts even talking about Trump though he is actually far more of an ally to Jews than, say, Obama. That’s an opinion of course, but I’d be happy to provide data.)

    In Europe, the vast majority of attacks against Jews are committed by Muslims. (Obviously the opposite isn’t true; Muslims don’t all commit attacks against Jews). But the media also either a) ignores that it happens at all or b) blames the Jews for their own murders. I’m not kidding. When a little French Jewish girl was shot point blank in the head by a radical Muslim at a Jewish school, I read countless progressive articles opining that if Israel weren’t such a racist Nazi apartheid state, then Muslims wouldn’t be murdering little 6 year old European girls in cold blood. I’m only slightly exaggerating.

    At any event, this article is very shallow. It’s true that as a Jew, I’m at far less of a risk at a synagogue than I am driving my car, but so what? Where does the line get drawn? If every week a synagogue is bombed, am I supposed to say, “At least I”m not driving!”

    The other thing she fails to address is that as anti-Jewish racism grows (to use one example), soft targets will be more and more vulnerable. I prefer to defend myself, thank you very much. I don’t want to go to pray at my synagogue and wonder if I’ll get shot every time. If after all that, someone succeeds, then at least we tried. To lie down and take it seems the weakest reaction possible.

    To compare this to Halloween candy warnings is laughable and almost insulting. The Halloween candy scare wasn’t based on facts; this is. Also, the candy scare was a means not a target, unlike maniacs going after Jews.

    Sorry, but this was a poorly reasoned and poorly supported essay, and fell below Quillette standards.

    • Martin28 says

      If every week a synagogue is bombed, am I supposed to say, “At least I”m not driving!”

      Get a grip. A synagogue is not bombed every week. The last time something like this happened was 1960. You’re response is poorly reasoned, and you’re reaction is exactly the problem.

  18. You lost me at Trump. We’ve had racial tensions before Trump and we will have them after he’s long gone.

  19. Jim Gorman says

    Looking at simple numbers of crime statistics just doesn’t explain the effect crime has on a community. For example, the 9/11 attack killed about 3,000 people out of a population of 300,000,000. That’s 1 in 100,000. Does anyone argue that all of the airline security since then is unwarranted? Well, maybe some of it!

    The degrees of separation that are affected when a crime is committed also has something to do with it. A simple murder can directly affect parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins of many levels, in-laws, friends, etc. Think of a murder a week and how many people are affected over time, year after year.

    Throw in other crimes like domestic abuse, DUI, sexual abuse, abductions, rapes, etc. These all affect a wide range of people associated with a victim. Month after month, year after year.

    The effects of crime are not just a one time thing. The effects continually build over time making people more and more paranoid.

    • A vast majority of the airline “security” is a facade. Some of it, like barricading the cockpit doors and air marshals, ok. The whole TSA nonsense is just that — nonsense. Think about the alternative — had they not imposed the draconian search procedures. Instead of the flights into the World Trades and Pentagon, there would have been a lot more flights like the one in PA. The entire airplane hijack scenario went right out the window as soon as they crashed those planes. At that point, the passengers would no longer be sheep because they had nothing to lose. It went from decades prior where “cooperate and eventually get rescued (most likely)” to “i’m already dead, but I can act and have a chance to survive.” We reacted assuming we needed to protect the former when in reality we have the latter.

  20. It seems that one you have a pro Trump hammer every comment looks like a nail.
    I have a lot of simpathy for the free range kids movement. And I feel guilty not giving my kids all the freedom they need. Both my wife and myself were raised in country site settings. We could roam free. We know raise our children in the center of 3million people metropolitan area. We are unprepared.
    I share the concern about heighten security. We are losing the plot.

    Jorge Espinha

  21. Pirus says

    We are losing the plot indeed. Some people are afraid of their own shaddow it seems.

  22. Peter Schaeffer says

    “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”

    The problem with this quote is that it means exactly the opposite of what people think it means. Yes, it is a real quote from B. Franklin. However, the ‘essential Liberty’ he is referring to is the power of the legislature to impose property taxes. Not freedom from property taxes, but the legal right of the legislature to impose taxes.

    At the time of this quote, the Pennsylvania legislature needed money to finance a war against the Indians. The proposed source of revenue was a property tax that would have cost the Penn family money. They claimed legal exemption from the property tax, but offered to provide cash instead.

    B. Franklin argued that this deal (with the Penn family) should be rejected and the ‘essential Liberty’ of the legislature to impose property taxes on everyone should be maintained.

    See “Ben Franklin’s Famous ‘Liberty, Safety’ Quote Lost Its Context In 21st Century” for a detailed explanation.

  23. Stephanie says

    @ Ray, I think someone impersonates Vicki to make these sorts of apologies. Downside of getting to choose your name for each post.

  24. Deserttrek says

    In the good ole USA and around the world, those who want the most security and heavy handedness in public areas, want open borders

  25. Martin28 says

    Thank you, Gideon Scopes, for this clear-headed analysis. We live in a society of fear, and our response to risk is irrational. The economic and social costs are astronomical. Those costs are rarely considered, or reconsidered once decisions to ramp up security are taken. A metal detector in a public building will cost six figures a year, and they make the public employees and officials inside that much more inaccessible. They often make no sense, but the costs keep piling up and we all pay. Paranoia about environmental threats are part and parcel of this mindset. We need more writing like this and more awareness of the costs. Just like the most reckless should not be given free rein, the most fearful among us should not be allowed to set the rules for everybody.

  26. D.B. Cooper says

    Our own actions can affect the risk of hate crimes as much as anything coming from Donald Trump.

    It’s difficult to describe this sentiment as anything more enlightened than unburdened ideology posing as a central endorsement of good ideas; never mind the fact you failed to provide an argument for your assertion. Putting aside Trump’s reelection bid, for a moment, there’s no doubt the man has his issues and peculiarities, and while his political convictions can be decidedly nativist at times – which I would argue is more than warranted considering his oath of office – the view that Trump’s somehow personally culpable for any such rise (latent, expressed or otherwise) in anti-Semitic behavior is dubious bordering on bad faith incitement. Moreover, it should be noted – since you purposely curiously did not – that if his Jewish progeny (Ivanka, the grandkids, and Jared by extension) counts for anything, I’m certain I’d take the Don in a trade for Obama, the Women’s March brigade, the Nation of Islam, and ten academic BDS pimps to be named later.

    That life entails a certain level of risk is an inherent part of the human condition. What is within our control is how we respond to this reality. We can react constructively by taking steps to reduce unnecessary risk, with a focus on the places where the danger is greatest as supported by data.

    In a successful attempt to expose the transparent, Gideon affirms what has to be one of the most uncontested claims of recent memory by correctly pointing out that there are concomitant levels of risk inherent to nearly every, if not every, human endeavor (e.g., driving, physical activity both recreational & labor, getting married, commerce, etc.). While this shrewd insight possesses a logical primacy, one would naturally expect from any other comparably self-evident claim, the question of what is (or isn’t) within our control – how we respond to reality – seems to me, considerably, less conspicuous than the specifying mechanisms that recommend them.

    Of course, this is not to suggest the reciprocal interactions that appear to stochastically emerge during any course of action (arbitrary or intentional), necessarily, renders man into a state of orphaned control (defeatism, fatalism). Man is quite capable of responding, and responding appropriately, to the reality that he inhibits. I believe in man’s sense of agency and I believe it is a useful concept when properly understood/applied. What’s more, I see no reason why this view can’t be defended on intellectual grounds. I have no plans of doing so, of course; but I likewise see no reason why the assumption of man’s impotence should be the null – this is statistical significance hostage-taking of the first order. Man is not impotent. At least, not all of us them. Not yet, anyways.

    But there’s a deeper question than phallicism in terms of what is/are the mediating unit(s) that distinguishes a particular course of action as one having an acceptable (i.e. not unnecessary) level of risk? “Acceptable” is the worrisome strawman, here. That is to say, what is “acceptable” is subjective; and therefore, contingent on a protean concept of value – for both moral and natural goods – that one (person/group/society) places on or imputes to the corresponding course of action. Thus, the question becomes: Is the juice worth the squeeze?

    Gideon seems to think that in many cases – most dangerous places – the juice is overvalued, and only by reacting constructively (a vague & innocuous term, by definition) to the reality that is can we mitigate the inherent risk down to some “acceptable” level, thereby leaving at best a residual level risk (risk post-precautions taken) to negotiate. And how would Gideon identify the most dangerous places? With an appeal to data, he claims; which you might think is not the most jaundice view he’s advanced until you consider it might be the most jaundice view he’s advanced:

    (1) The ubiquity of damn statistics. We can’t get the “better” part of society – nor our last President (#Obama) to be specific – to come to terms with any number of confounding variables to sexism as an explanation for the gender wage gap, much less appreciate the statistical illegitimacy of telling the data what to say in order to prosecute a sociological theory from ideological sophistries.

    Smartest president this side of Lincoln (or possibly ever), they said. Harvard Law grad and president of Harvard Law Review, they said. Constitutional law academic, they said. Yet, couldn’t adjudicate an Intro to Prob/Stat week 1 problem, they failed to mention; which means they’re either sincerely dishonest, or an allergy to basic math has now become a civil right – although having reluctantly considered both, I don’t think these are mutually exclusive. Apparently, being this wrong sometimes condemns you to being on the right side of history.

    (2) The unnamed evidential apologists (read Gideon) who advanced this jaundice view is the very same nom de guerre whose propositional logic led him to impute anti-Semitic culpabilities to the most Israeli-friendly president in recent memory. At best, you’d have to dig Reagan up to find a distant second and, honestly, with his condition he probably wouldn’t remember his opinion of the Zionist State. (is mental disease out of bounds?)

    In either case, just ask yourself the rhetorical question, what are the chances a data driven heuristic awakens this fraternity under compulsion to a reconciliation with the facts of a given place – of the dangerous variety? And if you know, tell me. I’ll take your call day or night.

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  28. stevengregg says

    Japanese-Americans were never interned in America. Japanese nationals were, but not Japanese-Americans.

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