Cartoon: Muslim Ban

muslim-ban-1200

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This is another one inspired by current events (as I’m sure you’ve already figured out). The point being made – that folks favoring the Muslim ban because of terrorist attacks would never hold Christians, white people, or men to the same standard – is obvious, but sometimes it’s important to make these obvious points. (And make them again, and again, and again….)

In my first draft script, two of the panels referred to Christianity. I changed that because many Christians have been advocating for the US’s duty to help refugees, and in light of that I didn’t want to seem to be picking on Christians. So I changed one of the panels to be talking about men and mass-murder, instead. And having three different topics (four including the last panel) improves the cartoon.

Artwise, I felt it was important to get this strip out promptly, so some of the things I sometimes do (full backgrounds, nine-panel strips, etc) weren’t right for this strip. Instead, I focused on keeping the drawings loose and lively (as best as I can, anyhow – my drawings usually come out stiffer than I’d prefer). I also worked on making each of the characters from the first three panels very distinct and clear, so that they’d be recognizable as the same characters when they reappeared in the final panel.

Related: Why Trump EO is Still a Racist Muslim Ban | Informed Comment

We’ll See You in Court, 2.0: Once a Muslim Ban, Still a Muslim Ban | American Civil Liberties Union

TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON

Panel 1
A woman with cat’s-eye glasses is anxiously explaining something.
GLASSES WOMAN: The people who murder abortion doctors don’t represent Christianity.

Panel 2
A man in a suit and tie is explaining something, looking very concerned and raising his arms for emphasis.
SUIT MAN: The white guy who shot up a Sikh temple was just one guy. We can’t tar all white people with that brush!

Panel 3
A balding man in a black t-shirt is speaking calmly, his arms crossed.
BLACK TEE MAN: Sure, about 98% of mass murders are committed by men. But the vast majority of men are nothing like that!

Panel 4
A new character, a woman with black hair and reading from a smartphone, has entered. The three characters from the first three panels are reacting with panic and yelling.
NEW WOMAN: “Police speculate that the attacker may have been Muslim–”
ALL THREE OTHER CHARACTERS YELLING: MUSLIM BAN!

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102 Responses to Cartoon: Muslim Ban

  1. 1
    RonF says:

    I think that a blanket ban on Muslims from immigrating into the U.S. might be unconstitutional and would certainly be un-American. OTOH, suspending immigration from 6 countries that are either failed states or run by people virulently opposed to the U.S. until such time as the State Department and the current Administration is satisfied that they can find a way to distinguish possible terrorists from among the people wishing to enter from those countries is a good idea.

    Yes, I know that some people see this as a stalking horse for an actual “Muslim ban”, and that there are others (possibly including some people in the current Administration) who would truly favor a ban on Muslim immigration. But that’s not what this actually is. The implementation of the previous E.O. on the matter interfered with people who had legitimate business in the U.S. and even people with visas and resident aliens (might have been some actual U.S. citizens in there, I forget). On that basis I’d say that the Trump administration showed gross incompetence *at best*. But that doesn’t invalidate the actual concept, which I think with regards to these 6 countries is fine.

  2. 2
    Jake Squid says:

    RonF,

    Does the fact that the total number of deaths from terrorism perpetrated by citizens of those 6 countries on US soil is zero effect your opinion on the importance of distinguishing possible terrorists from those countries? Or your opinion on the purpose of this executive order?

  3. 3
    Sam Cole says:

    RonF,

    You’re right that this second travel ban is marginally more likely to be legal than the first. But it’s still a cruel, pointless policy that has little, if any, legitimate national security rationale.

    I would encourage you to read this article from Ben Witte, someone who know what he’s talking about. I think he said it well:

    To be sure, the new version of the executive order will have consequences—all of them bad. It will keep large numbers of people from six countries out of the United States for no good reason. It will delay resettlement of large numbers of refugees and prevent altogether resettlement in the United States of a smaller number of refugees. As with the earlier version of the executive order, the overwhelming majority of people affected by this one will not be terrorists or even people against whom there is whiff of suspicion. The overwhelming majority of those affected, rather, will be innocent victims of horrific violence and folks who just want to come to the United States for reasons of tourism or business. It’s terrible policy that will, I suspect, have implications almost as negative for counterterrorism effectiveness as it will for this country’s moral standing and self image.

    All that said, I guess it’s finally competently drafted enough to have a sober discussion about why it’s bad policy. A stupid and harmful policy is, I’ll concede, better than a crazy and evil one. That’s… progress?

  4. 4
    Ortvin Sarapuu says:

    “until such time as the State Department and the current Administration is satisfied that they can find a way to distinguish possible terrorists from among the people wishing to enter from those countries is a good idea.”

    That’s a big ‘until’.

    In fact that looks like a recipe for an indefinite ban.

  5. 5
    JutGory says:

    Sam Cole,
    So, ALL of the consequences of the ban will be bad? Do you believe Ben Witte when he says that? It will keep people out for no good reason? Do we need a good reason? Can’t we simply say, good or bad, we are not accepting any immigrants, students, or tourists this year? Are we obligated to let people immigrate here? Whom should our immigration policy serve? Is the goal of our immigration policy to serve this country, or the rest of the world?
    -Jut

  6. 6
    Chris says:

    Man, if only national security experts from across the aisle had already told us what they think of this ban. If only they would say whether it would help or hurt our counter-terrorism efforts, or whether it will help or hurt ISIS. If only we knew whether the Department of Homeland Security found any reason for its existence. If only we knew whether Trump relied on the intelligence community in drafting it, or simply allowed it to be written by extremist bloggers.

    I guess we can only speculate.

  7. 7
    Sebastian H says:

    This is an interesting and correct parallel to draw.

    Equally correct is the insight that if you want to stop Muslim terrorism, the best bet is to normalize relations with the majority of Muslim groups in such a way that the extremists have trouble gaining traction.

    That same advice applies equally well to how to deal with violent racists and Christian communities in the US…

  8. 8
    Sam Cole says:

    Jut,

    I think all of the additional consequences are bad compared to what we have now. It’s not like the choices are “travel ban” or “open borders.” To use a wacky analogy, if someone proposed duct taping people tightly to their seats instead of using seat belts, I would say that “all of the consequences” of that are bad, even though that it would presumably be safer than riding without a seat belt.

    I think the ban will harm refugees (and visa applicants) without making people here safer.

    Unlike Trump, I don’t believe immigration is a zero sum game. So, when you ask “Whom should our immigration policy serve? Is the goal of our immigration policy to serve this country, or the rest of the world?”, I would say, at least in this context, “Thankfully, we don’t have to choose.” I think the ban serves neither.

    First, the ban obviously harms people from the six affected countries in minor (unnecessary inconvenience) and major (inability to escape violence) ways. I assume this is undisputed?

    Second, the ban almost certainly harms people here. It makes it less likely that Muslim-majority countries will cooperate with the United States (admittedly, removing Iraq ameliorates some of that). In fact, I’m not aware of any national security expert who thinks it is a good idea. It increases distrust of the government in Muslim communities (though, to be fair, that ship has probably sailed). It decreases international goodwill and our moral standing. It could harm local economies that rely on refugees or visa holders from those six countries. It hurts companies’ ability to recruit and increases transaction costs and bureaucracy for anyone who wants to bring someone from the six countries here. Banning people from Iran harms the already fragile diplomatic situation there. It’s a boon to ISIL propagandists, even though there has not yet been an official statement. And there are all sorts of smaller costs, inconveniences, and problems that it causes. To take one anecdotal example, one of my friend’s roommates is a Syrian visa holder. If his visa expires and the Trump administration declines to renew it (there’s a lot of discretion under the order), my friend will have to find someone else to help pay the rent. A small thing, yes (though not for his roommate), but there is going to be a lot of stuff like that. I don’t really have time to list all the negative consequences of the ban to the U.S., because they are legion.

    Finally, the ban will not reduce terrorism and is likely to increase it, for the reasons I laid out above (decrease in goodwill, less trust, etc.). Others have already pointed out that no one from the six affected countries has committed a deadly terrorist attack in the United States. (There are a few incidents involving non-deadly knife attacks by Somalian refugees, but (1) increased stigmatization will likely increase, not decrease, that sort of thing and (2) Somalia is just one of the six countries). Also, intuitively, why would a terrorist go through the rigorous two-year refugee vetting process when he or she could more easily obtain a visa through one of the many loopholes in the visa portion of the ban?

    In sum, yes, all of the consequences of this ban are negative when compared to the status quo. Nothing in my comment raised the question of whom our immigration policies should serve, because the travel ban harms U.S. residents and people in other parts of the world.

  9. 9
    pillsy says:

    @RonF:

    Yes, I know that some people see this as a stalking horse for an actual “Muslim ban”, and that there are others (possibly including some people in the current Administration) who would truly favor a ban on Muslim immigration.

    It seems like it should be relevant that not only would people in the current Administration truly favor a ban on Muslim immigration, they themselves view the EO as exactly this sort of stalking horse.

    @JutGory:

    Whom should our immigration policy serve? Is the goal of our immigration policy to serve this country, or the rest of the world?

    This dichotomy seems curiously irrelevant, as people advocating for this bill have yet explain how it makes our immigration policy better serve this country. The argument based on national security appears to be a total bust, and so far I’ve seen no alternative rationale.

  10. 10
    pillsy says:

    @Sebastian H:

    That same advice applies equally well to how to deal with violent racists and Christian communities in the US…

    So no drone strike on Richard Spencer?

    I think I can live with that.

  11. 11
    pillsy says:

    Also, Amp, the guy in panel two has memorably amusing hair, so I think that was a success.

  12. 12
    Tamme says:

    “Do we need a good reason? Can’t we simply say, good or bad, we are not accepting any immigrants, students, or tourists this year? Are we obligated to let people immigrate here?”

    Depends what you mean by ‘can’. Legally, yes, of course, the US has a sovereign right under international law to exclude anyone it wants, up to and including everybody, or whole groups of people.

    On the other hand, generally in a democracy we require more of policy than it simply meeting a standard of technical legality. The government also has the legal right to mandate everybody paint their front doors red, but this would be widely considered pointless, wasteful and inadvisory.

    So if you want to show that an immigration ban is good policy, you need to ask more than just “do we have the legal right to impose this policy”?

    “Whom should our immigration policy serve? Is the goal of our immigration policy to serve this country, or the rest of the world?”

    You’re assuming that a policy has to serve one or the other, and can’t serve both. Nobody would ask “Should our education policy serve parents, or children?”.

  13. 13
    Tamme says:

    “Equally correct is the insight that if you want to stop Muslim terrorism, the best bet is to normalize relations with the majority of Muslim groups in such a way that the extremists have trouble gaining traction.”

    While I’m sympathetic to what you’re saying, I think it’s Americocentric. A lot of the Islamicised violence we’re seeing has its origin in purely domestic conditions within majority Islamic countries (Egypt, Yemen, Algeria) or in international conflicts that don’t involve the US (Kashmir, Azerbaijan). Improving Islamic groups’ relationship with the USA might insulate the USA from the effects of Islamicised violence, but I doubt it will actually stop the violence itself.

  14. 14
    Mookie says:

    @RonF

    suspending immigration from 6 countries that are either failed states or run by people virulently opposed to the U.S. until such time as the State Department and the current Administration is satisfied that they can find a way to distinguish possible terrorists from among the people wishing to enter from those countries is a good idea.

    It remains to be seen if and why this would be a good idea, much less if it is at all possible to make such assurances, but of course you must know that there are more than 6 countries that, by any definition of the word, count as “failed” states, ditto countries that “oppose” the US, so that rationale has no internal logic. In light of your acknowledgement that not every immigrant is a terrorist-in-the-making (terrorism in the US, irrespective of its impetus, is overwhelming committed by people “radicalized” from within rather than from without), I don’t understand why the US would not want to embrace and provide a path towards citizenship for people who are interested in abandoning such “failed” states, who are attempting to reach the US not because they oppose it but because they deem it a friendly refuge from their own domestic terrorism and their own authoritarian governments, who are seeking the opportunity to work and raise families in a pro-capitalist country that yearns for more skilled labor, a higher birth rate, and a replenished inventory of eager tax-payers.

    I am especially puzzled by conservatives crafting anti-immigrant policies that will inevitably reject and alienate people who are much more likely to vote conservative if given the opportunity.

    Finally, you seem to be suggesting that governments are enlisting citizens to emigrate under false pretenses in order to act as mercenaries for the state via the woefully inefficient tool of mass murder. Is this a legitimate concern with a strong basis in reality?

  15. 15
    MJJ says:

    I am especially puzzled by conservatives crafting anti-immigrant policies that will inevitably reject and alienate people who are much more likely to vote conservative if given the opportunity.

    Because most of these people will not vote conservative if given the opportunity. For example, polls show Latino Americans to be more liberal than Americans as a whole on just about every issue. The idea that there are large numbers of immigrants who would be conservative except for the immigration issue, or that promoting more immigration will ingratiate the Republican Party to immigrants does not seem to be borne out by the evidence.

  16. 16
    MJJ says:

    This comic is interesting primarily because it shows such a great insight into the liberal mindset. Namely, that most liberals see themselves as the insurgents speaking truth to power to the system even though they have controlled the system for several decades.

    In reality, the media and almost the entire political class go out of their way to avoid blaming Muslims for any terrorist attack committed by people who are Muslims, but are very willing to blame white males and Christians whenever one of them commits a terrorist attack.

    After the San Bernadino and Pulse Nightclub shootings, we were chided by the media not to blame Muslims, and in fact, groups like the ACLU tried to blame conservative Christians who opposed same-sex marriage or who tried to pass legislation that said that not wanting to participate in a same-sex wedding should not result in a business being bankrupted. This, despite the fact that one of the companies associated with such politics, Chic-Fil-A, actually went to the scene of the Pulse Nightclub shooting to offer food and drink to those who were in the club and to the first responders.

    On the other hand, after the Charleston Church massacre, one of the first responses was for PayPal to blacklist the Council of Conservative Citizens, because its publishing of black-on-white crimes is one of the things that had stoked Roof’s anger. It also served as the impetus to remove Confederate flags and monuments in various areas around the country. No concern there about whether or not such an act would alienate southern whites and drive more of them to terrorism.

    For another example, look at how the Washington Post cautioned against holding Muslims responsible for the San Bernadino shootings or the Paris attacks, but was perfectly willing to hold white Americans responsible for the Charleston massacre.

    If there are double standards, the one presented in this cartoon is much less prevalent than the reverse, at least within the mainstream media and mainstream politicians.

  17. 17
    Sam Cole says:

    Legally, yes, of course, the US has a sovereign right under international law to exclude anyone it wants, up to and including everybody, or whole groups of people.

    Not to quibble, but technically this isn’t true under international law or domestic law. (There’s also this old document we found in a basement somewhere, but the Trump administration, so far, does not seem to be too concerned about that archaism.)

    Then again, the United States has, let’s just say, a mixed record of compliance with international law, and the applicability of 8 U.S.C. § 1152(a)(1) and the Establishment Clause to the revised travel ban is debatable. But it’s certainly not accurate to say that “[l]egally, yes, of course, the US has a sovereign right . . . to exclude anyone it wants.” Legally, no, practically, maybe.

  18. 18
    Jake Squid says:

    … liberals see themselves as the insurgents speaking truth to power to the system even though they have controlled the system for several decades.

    What? I had to stop reading at this point. In what way have liberals controlled the system for the last 30 to 40 years?

  19. 19
    pillsy says:

    @Jake Squid:

    Remember, getting some articles published in newspapers is a much better proxy for power than controlling Congress and the White House, and, you know, actually promulgating an EO banning Muslims [1] with San Bernadino as a justification for it.

    [1] Can we just skip the part where conservatives piss on our legs and tell us it’s raining on this one? I really like this pair of pants.

  20. 20
    Sarah says:

    I had to stop reading after this:

    … the ACLU tried to blame conservative Christians who opposed same-sex marriage or who tried to pass legislation that said that not wanting to participate in a same-sex wedding should not result in a business being bankrupted.

    That is not how I would describe the stance of a business advocating for the right to reject some nth fraction of their own customers. Unless you meant that bankruptcy would reasonably follow a mass boycott of a business that discriminated against its customers? But I don’t remember any legislation being proposed that would have banned boycotts, so I’m at a loss to explain this.

  21. 21
    Ortvin Sarapuu says:

    “Not to quibble, but technically this isn’t true under international law”

    OK, well, the US has signed up to a convention saying that it would allow refugees in. But it also has the right, if it chooses to, to withdraw from that convention.

    It’s true that right now the government seems to think it can remain compliant with the convention while still passing laws that contradict the conventions’ obligations. But that’s the way international conventions are usually discarded – not explicitly, but implicitly through conflicting laws.

    Please note just for the record I’m not saying the US -should- do that. Just that as a sovereign state, it has this right.

  22. 22
    MJJ says:

    First of all, I am thinking most specifically here of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon.

    That is not how I would describe the stance of a business advocating for the right to reject some nth fraction of their own customers.

    I am not talking about rejecting customers, just rejecting certain ceremonies; the bakery owners were perfectly willing to sell baked goods to gay people, they just did not want to bake a cake that celebrated a same-sex wedding ceremony.

    Unless you meant that bankruptcy would reasonably follow a mass boycott of a business that discriminated against its customers?

    Do you honestly not know that not baking a cake for a same-sex wedding can result in 6-figure fines?

    But I don’t remember any legislation being proposed that would have banned boycotts, so I’m at a loss to explain this.

    No one is talking about boycotts, we are talking about state-imposed fines. That’s what a lot of the “religious freedom” legislation was about, making certain that businesses that declined to participate in same-sex weddings and the like would not be put out of business by massive fines.

    Were you really unaware of these fines, or that they are what I was referring to?

    Remember, getting some articles published in newspapers is a much better proxy for power than controlling Congress and the White House, and, you know, actually promulgating an EO banning Muslims [1] with San Bernadino as a justification for it.

    [1] Can we just skip the part where conservatives piss on our legs and tell us it’s raining on this one? I really like this pair of pants.

    Can we skip the part where we pretend that history started this year? I think it is pretty difficult to deny that liberals have been in charge of the direction of our social culture for the past several decades.

  23. 23
    Ampersand says:

    MJJ:

    You’ve shifted the goalposts by about a mile.

    In your earlier post, you wrote:

    … liberals see themselves as the insurgents speaking truth to power to the system even though they have controlled the system for several decades.

    So in this version, liberals control the system, and have for decades. Since the original post was about a change in the legal system enacted by an executive order, I read this as meaning liberals control the government.

    Now you say:

    I think it is pretty difficult to deny that liberals have been in charge of the direction of our social culture for the past several decades.

    So now, instead of having “control” of “the system,” liberals are only “in charge of the direction”; and instead of “the system,” it’s “our social culture.” That’s an enormous change in what you’re claiming.

    It’s obviously true that liberals have not had control of the system – meaning government – for decades. Control has shifted back and forth between the parties, and even when the Democrats are in control, that doesn’t mean liberals have control, or that Republicans aren’t able to have an effect on what laws are passed. (For example: If it had been up to liberals, we would have gotten single payer health care, not the ACA. But liberals had to compromise both with centrist Democrats and, in some ways, with the GOP, leading to the actual law we got). So when you say liberals have controlled the system for decades, you were flat-out wrong.

    But I think it’s true that liberals have had more influence on the direction of cultural change – feminism, LGBT rights, civil rights, etc – for decades. (Although “more” influence doesn’t mean that liberals have had total control, alas, or the changes would have gone further and faster than they have.)

    * * *

    I’ve made a new thread for discussion of Wedding Cakes and Gay Weddings. Please take any further discussion of that subject there. Thanks!

  24. 24
    Jake Squid says:

    Reagan, Bush the Elder, Bush the Yunger. That’s 20 of the past 36 years. GOP control of the House for 18 of the last 36 years and 18 of the last 20 years. GOP control of the Senate for 18 of the last 36 years and 12 of the last 20 years. Majority of SCOTUS justices nominated by GOP 36 of the last 36 years (I think – correct me if I’m wrong).

    I’m flabbergasted by your claim, MJJ, and await evidence supporting your assertion. Please don’t disappoint me.

  25. 25
    pillsy says:

    @Jake Squid:

    To be scrupulously fair, the Court has been evenly split since Antonin Scalia died. The GOP then refused to let Barack Obama seat a Justice and proceeded to collide with the Russian intelligence services to ensure that, among other things, Donald Trump would get to fill that seat.

  26. 26
    Jake Squid says:

    My mistake. So cut that penultimate sentence to 35 of the last 36 years.

  27. 27
    Ampersand says:

    Focusing on “mass murders” is silly because they’re incredibly rare and the total cost is actually not that high.

    I agree. However, since the people arguing in favor of the Muslim ban do, in fact, focus on mass murders (and terrorism), it’s fair to point out that this standard is not used by them when it comes to white people, Christians, and men.

  28. 28
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    GLASSES WOMAN: The people who murder abortion doctors don’t represent Christianity.

    Sure they do, at least to some degree. And if we were considering voluntarily admitting people who seemed like they would support that; it would be a bad idea. If you’re on the “we dox abortionists using photos of rifles” mailing list that should disqualify you. Most of those folks are citizens, though. not much you can do about those. And fortunately it seems like most Christians actively oppose murdering folks. Still, this one is largely accurate.

    SUIT MAN: The white guy who shot up a Sikh temple was just one guy. We can’t tar all white people with that brush!

    Well, we–which is to say liberals and liberal groups– actually do tar white people with all sorts of brushes. This comparison might not be apt. But we should also perhaps pay a bit of attention to accuracy, while we’re at it. It’s a question of rate and proportionality: Are the 210 million white folks in the U.S. are disproportionately violent? We don’t normally go there because it would lead folks down the “analyze crime rates by race” road (which liberals avoid for various reasons,) but if you’re going to suggest it’s unfair perhaps we should look that way again.

    BLACK TEE MAN: Sure, about 98% of mass murders are committed by men. But the vast majority of men are nothing like that!

    [shrug] Men are much more criminal, relatively speaking. And unsurprisingly, we treat them as such. We jail them more. Police shoot them more often. Juries give them longer sentences than women, for similar crimes. And so on. Moreover, we do that even though men are half of the population and are obviously pretty well represented in the power structure.

    Focusing on “mass murders” is silly because they’re incredibly rare and the total cost is actually not that high.

    If you look at how people actually evaluate and respond to increased risk, it would not support the cartoon. Those populations which are feared to be higher crime/risk actually DO get treated as such, it’s just that the overall risk of mass murder in particular is so low as to be meaningless. Here, people use “terrorism” as a catchall but they’re talking about more things than blowing up skyscrapers.

    no one from the six affected countries has committed a deadly terrorist attack in the United States.

    This is not sensible.

    First of all, it takes no account of attempts, plannings, or anything which was successfully stopped. “Even though lots of men attempted rape this month, we managed to stop them all, so we don’t think men will attempt rape!” would be silly for the same reason.

    The proper analysis is whether they have supported, abetted, fomented, aided, attempted, or otherwise increased the likelihood of terrorism. It doesn’t matter whether they manage to achieve the goal.

    Second, the whole concept of terrorism tends to be that it is very rare. You might only get one major attack a decade but if it includes anything major it can be thousands. And someone will probably pull off a really lethal attack at some point–biological, nuclear, etc–which will kill tends or hundreds of thousands. The fact that we have not yet had this group commit a terrorist act does not mean that the group is not at higher risk for committing those acts. It’s hardly much data at all.

    Third, it implies that we should only care about the commission of a terrorist act. But we can also be concerned about all of the lower level stuff.

  29. 29
    Pete Patriot says:

    However, since the people arguing in favor of the Muslim ban do, in fact, focus on mass murders (and terrorism), it’s fair to point out that this standard is not used by them when it comes to white people, Christians, and men.

    Is it really a double standard? Suppose a group of ultra-Christian White Nationalist Male Chauvinists launched a series of Crusades in six Eastern European countries, and that these effectively destroyed any semblance of a functioning government in those states and reduced them to civil war. Oh, and assume they also had the avowed plan of overturning the US Constitution and replacing it with a Christian Dominion.

    Do you seriously think pro-Muslim ban supporters wouldn’t have a problem with this? We’re currently in advanced Red scare paranoia over Russia merely hacking emails, they would absolutely lose their minds.

  30. 30
    Sam Cole says:

    Is it really a double standard? Suppose a group of ultra-Christian White Nationalist Male Chauvinists launched a series of Crusades in six Eastern European countries, and that these effectively destroyed any semblance of a functioning government in those states and reduced them to civil war. Oh, and assume they also had the avowed plan of overturning the US Constitution and replacing it with a Christian Dominion.

    Your scenario is not analogous at all. Suffice it to say, the situations in the six countries (well, five, since most people agree that Iran is not a failed state) are way more complex than “Muslim fundamentalists destroyed everything.” (This is an internet comment, not a book. But I’ll just say this: You really think the violence in Syria was caused by Muslim fundamentalism? Really?)

    But even in your non-analogous scenario: yes, it would still be gravely immoral, stupid, and cruel to ban people fleeing the violence from coming into this country, especially if we relied on Christians around the world to fight back against this ultra-Christian White Nationalist Male Chauvinist group.

  31. 31
    Mookie says:

    The idea that there are large numbers of immigrants who would be conservative except for the immigration issue, or that promoting more immigration will ingratiate the Republican Party to immigrants does not seem to be borne out by the evidence.

    Incorrect. And again. From that first link:

    American-born Muslims (a group that includes many African American Muslims) tended to vote Democratic, while immigrant Muslims—a group that included many professionals, especially doctors and businessmen—leaned more Republican.

  32. 32
    Humble Talent says:

    I replied to this comic when you put it n Twitter, but I figured I’d expand it a little here.

    The difference between Christian and Muslim violence is scope.

    Christianity makes up about 70% of America’s 318 million people, or 244 million people. When a Christian murders an abortion doctor, for instance, the fraction of Christians in America who has murdered an abortion doctor is 1/244,000,000 or about 0.00000041%.

    Muslims on the other hand, account for about 3% of the American population, or 9,540,000 people, so when a self-hating gay Muslim shoots up a nightclub, or when a disgruntled Co-worker thinks it would be appropriate to behead his coworkers with his wife at a Christmas party, they represent 1/9,540,000 or 0.00001% of their population. This is still a staggeringly small percentage…. So it wouldn’t be fair to mar all Muslims with the same brush.

    But… And this is the huge but…. There are just as many Muslim mass murderers as there are Christian mass murderers. Depending on who’s numbers you use, what you want to count in on as “mass murders”, the number varies slightly, but generally they’re still close to parity. Same if you count Christian extremist violence (like bombing abortion clinics) against Muslim extremist violence. Some progressives even cite that as proof that Muslims are no more violent than Christians.

    This is sadly misinformed.

    You see… There are more than 23 Christians in America for every Muslim, so you would expect that the raw number in incidents for Christian violence would be 23 times higher than that of Muslims. It isn’t, remember: parity. That means that the average Muslim is 2300% more likely (plus or minus a couple hundred percent) than your average Christian to perform these kinds of acts. The number becomes even more stark if you record the numbers by body count (Funny aside: When left leaning outlets compile these numbers, they always use a start date after 9-11 but before the Pulse Nightclub shooting. I wonder why.)

    I’m not insinuating that this means that your average Muslim is violent. I want to be very clear: These are vanishingly small numbers, and should be treated as such. But… And this is another huge But… I think that Islam as a whole has a violence problem. Remember that American Muslims are actually more integrated and therefore have lower violence rates than their European counterparts. There’s a legitimate discussion to be had about Islam’s violence problem, and I think it’s derailed when people tout out false equivalencies and try to pretend that it doesn’t even exist.

  33. 33
    pillsy says:

    Islam may have a “violence problem”, but it’s a rather strange violence problem if you’re focused on the US, where Muslims commit a disproportionately small amount of violent crime. The focus on rare mass murders where a bunch of people die is… actually pretty dumb across the board. It’s dumb when it’s being used to justify Trump’s EO, it’s dumb when it’s being used to justify bans of expensive, scary-looking firearms that people almost never use to commit murder, and it’s dumb when it’s being used as an excuse to people suffering from mental illness. Shit, it’s dumb when it means we have to take off our fucking shoes to get on an airplane. I guess we can all be glad that Richard Reid’s failed attack didn’t involve cramming a bomb up his ass, or flying would be even worse.

    We end up talking about stuff that kills well under 1 in 1,000,000 people/year. Most people will literally not cross the street to avoid that level of risk. If you really want to make it a priority for law enforcement, you can make the case, but using these screwed-up outlier events as an excuse to deform the lives of millions of people is ridiculous, and people really need to stop doing it.

  34. 34
    Mookie says:

    Remember that American Muslims are actually more integrated and therefore have lower violence rates than their European counterparts.

    Hmm. That “therefore” is interesting. While I do wonder about the precise question being begged, “integrated” is also doing yeoman’s work. What value is integration as a metric for gauging propensity towards certain types of violence when second-, third- and fourth+ generations of non-white Americans feel, with near uniformity, alienated by the dominant culture, which in turn has a Violent Racism Problem.

    It’s probably useful to note, when comparing such acts, that there is a whole history prior to comparatively large-scale immigration of Muslims into the US where the whole of its domestic terrorism was committed by Americans of European descent practicing the Christian faith, often against Americans of color and more often against one another, whereby any one instance of violence by a Muslim suddenly, in light of this, assumes disproportionate statistical significance in an entirely different way than simply noting that there are comparatively few Muslims living in the US, fewer still who are violent criminals or terrorists.

    Gleaning from this a “violence problem” unique to Muslims requires more heavy lifting and special-pleading than attributing violence to men, full stop. Also, white communities probably have some ‘splaining to do, given the scale and scope of white-on-white violence.

    Finally, we’ve a red herring about “European Muslims,” who are overwhelmingly of European and Middle Eastern descent. In the US, this is not the case.

  35. 35
    Humble Talent says:

    pillsy says:

    March 16, 2017 at 8:40 am
    Islam may have a “violence problem”, but it’s a rather strange violence problem if you’re focused on the US, where Muslims commit a disproportionately small amount of violent crime. The focus on rare mass murders where a bunch of people die is… actually pretty dumb across the board.

    It’s… true. You have a great point. My only rebuttal is that the crimes that Muslims tend to disproportionately commit are… maybe “more offensive” is the right term, but I struggled there… Honour killings, beheading, spousal abuse, mass murder, throwing acid, rape gangs, hate crimes… What makes these crimes different isn’t JUST that they’re unusual in Western democracies, but that they’re all rooted in the kinds of things that progressives usually care about: misogyny, homophobia, religious zealotry.

    It should be hard to take seriously a movement that purports to care deeply about the plight of gay people, for instance, while purposefully ignoring the minority demographic that kills more of them in raw numbers than the group they most often protest.

  36. 36
    Humble Talent says:

    Mookie says:

    What value is integration as a metric for gauging propensity towards certain types of violence when second-, third- and fourth+ generations of non-white Americans feel, with near uniformity, alienated by the dominant culture, which in turn has a Violent Racism Problem.

    I don’t… Understand… What you’re asking here. If the question is “Does integration help the children of minority immigrants, and are they less likely to commit violence?” Then the answer is… Complicated. Books have been written on it. They’re much less likely to commit the kinds of crime I associate with Muslim extremism… Honor killings, mass murder, beheading… But violence in general? Less clear. Maybe?

    I also think your assertion that White America, specifically, has a “Violent Racism Problem” is factually inaccurate, and borderline manic. A racism problem, we could talk about, you might even be right. A violent racism problem? That’s an uphill climb to prove.

    It’s probably useful to note, when comparing such acts, that there is a whole history prior to comparatively large-scale immigration of Muslims into the US where the whole of its domestic terrorism was committed by Americans of European descent practicing the Christian faith, often against Americans of color and more often against one another

    Only if you’re trying to set up some kind of moral equivalency. While our history might be important to learn from, saying “This group is just as bad as that other group was a couple generations back.” Is patently useless. Where’s the value, except in trying to excuse the current problem away? And does it even do that? You’re comparing current Muslims to Christians in a time where American Christianity was at its worst… What do you think that says?

    whereby any one instance of violence by a Muslim suddenly, in light of this, assumes disproportionate statistical significance in an entirely different way than simply noting that there are comparatively few Muslims living in the US, fewer still who are violent criminals or terrorists.

    That’s mathematically illiterate. The fact that the Muslim population punches at the same weight class as a population 23 times it’s size is significant. Mass murder statistics always suffer from small sample sizes because of their relative rarity, but this trend continues year over year and has for decades.

    Gleaning from this a “violence problem” unique to Muslims requires more heavy lifting and special-pleading than attributing violence to men, full stop.

    What? Why? It’s the exact same math… Frequency of crime, divided by population size, and compared to the same calculation from another population. Saying something like that REEKS of partisan hackery.

    Also, white communities probably have some ‘splaining to do, given the scale and scope of white-on-white violence.

    Factually inaccurate. Violent crimes with a white victim tend to be about 10% more likely to be non-white than violent crimes with a black victim tend to be non-black. Also, white people tend to commit violent crimes at a per capita rate less than black people. There’s a whole lot of reasons for that, but there’s no universe where “white people have ‘splaining to do” that doesn’t require some other “‘splaining ” first.

    Finally, we’ve a red herring about “European Muslims,” who are overwhelmingly of European and Middle Eastern descent. In the US, this is not the case.

    I’ve never heard that cited before, but even it it’s true… What’s your point? Regardless of where they’re from, they’re more integrated and less violent. If Muslims from a certain geographical area are culturally more similar to us to make that easier… Yay?

  37. 37
    Ampersand says:

    Humble Talent, your comments seem to me to contain a lot of implied disdain for the people here on this forum who disagree with you. For example, the snide implication that lefties (including, presumably, the ones here) “purport” to care about gay people but actually don’t. Or that if someone disagrees with you about what racism is, that’s a “conspiracy theory.” This sort of passive-aggressive sneering at people who disagree with you is a consistent (although not universal) pattern in your comments.

    Please try and do better if you want to continue posting here. And if you don’t like the comment polices here, that’s totally fine, but the solution is to stop submitting comments here.

    * * *

    while purposefully ignoring the minority demographic that kills more of them in raw numbers

    Do you mean in the USA, or worldwide? And in either case, citation needed.

    [Edited to revise a bit that came out unintentionally snarky.]

  38. 38
    pillsy says:

    It’s… true. You have a great point. My only rebuttal is that the crimes that Muslims tend to disproportionately commit are… maybe “more offensive” is the right term, but I struggled there… Honour killings, beheading, spousal abuse, mass murder, throwing acid, rape gangs, hate crimes… What makes these crimes different isn’t JUST that they’re unusual in Western democracies, but that they’re all rooted in the kinds of things that progressives usually care about: misogyny, homophobia, religious zealotry.

    I’d need to see some convincing evidence that Muslims in the US are disproportionately likely to commit spousal abuse than non-Muslims. It’s a very common crime, and unlike the others, the only one that contributes significantly to overall risk of violent crime victimization.

    I’d also be very surprised to learn that, in terms of absolute numbers of victims, Muslims committed a majority of anti-LGBT hate crimes in the US.

  39. 39
    Sarah says:

    I don’t think that claim is very credible. The FBI’s 2015 hate crime statistics don’t identify offenders’ religions, but they do identify them by race (and ethnicity, but just Latino, non-Latino, or multiple/unknown, which isn’t very helpful here).

    Of 1,219 incidents motivated by sexual orientation bias and 118 motivated by gender identity bias:

    515, 38.5%, were committed by white offenders
    370, 27.7%, were committed by Black/African American offenders
    14, 1.0%, were committed by Asian, Nat. Amer., or Pac. Islander offenders
    213, 15.9%, were committed by offenders of unknown or multiple races
    225, 16.8%, offenses did not have a known offender

    So, for Muslims to have committed more than 668 anti-LGBT hate crimes in the U.S. in 2015, most of the white and/or African American offenders would have to have been Muslims, and that’s really unlikely. Even if all the unknown offenders and all known offenders with unknown race were Muslims, we’d still need more than 200 from the other groups.

    I would be interested to see statistics on hate crimes that do take into account the offender’s religion, but the FBI, at least, doesn’t appear to collect them.

    Sources
    Table breaking down the hate crime motivation by offender’s race:
    https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2015/tables-and-data-declarations/5tabledatadecpdf

    Index for the rest of the data:
    https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2015/resource-pages/tablesbytitle_final

    The 2014 and 2013 tables tell a similar story:
    https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2014/tables/table-5
    https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2013/tables/5tabledatadecpdf

  40. 40
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    pillsy says:
    March 23, 2017 at 10:32 am
    I’d also be very surprised to learn that, in terms of absolute numbers of victims, Muslims committed a majority of anti-LGBT hate crimes in the US.

    Of course they don’t. “Absolute numbers” won’t ever apply to a tiny minority.

    Islam is roughly 20% of the world population. However, Islamic-majority countries are a disproportionate %age of those countries which are anti-gay. I don’t know the answer but I would not be surprised to find out that Muslims committed a disproportionately high %age of anti-gay crimes, mostly based on facts like this:
    In 13 countries, being gay or bisexual is punishable by death. These are; Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, UAE, parts of Nigeria, parts of Somalia, parts of Syria and parts of Iraq.

    Also, an incredibly high percentage of Muslims (don’t know an average but it looks north of 90%) in this Pew poll believe homosexuality is immoral.

    In fact, that whole Pew poll is fascinating. You learn things like this:

    In four of the seven countries where the question was asked in the Middle East-North Africa region, at least half of Muslims say honor killings of accused men are never justified: Jordan (81%), Morocco (64%), Tunisia (62%) and Lebanon (55%). Smaller percentages share this view in the Palestinian territories (46%), Egypt (41%) and Iraq (33%). But in only two countries in the region – Morocco (65%) and Tunisia (57%) – does a majority reject honor killings of accused women. In the other countries surveyed in the region, the percentage of Muslims who reject honor killings of women ranges
    from 45% in Lebanon to 22% in Iraq.

    Do you think the views in that poll are OK? I don’t. I don’t want to be around a lot of people who think like that, and I don’t really want to admit them into the U.S. so that they can proceed to do their best to nudge social acceptance of those views.

  41. 41
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Muslims make up roughly 1% of the population (January 2016 estimate.)

    If Muslims commit those crimes at the same rate as the general population, they would be expected to commit ~1%, or ~13 offenses/year.

    Unlike larger groups like “whites” or “blacks,” the number of offenses for Muslims is so small that it would be highly variable in practice (IOW, you should neither be overjoyed at “6” or appalled at “26”), but 13 is the expected long term average.

    U.S. Muslims are not committing more than half of the absolute number of crimes, because that would require a 50-fold difference, either in criminality or reporting. This mostly goes to show why claims based on absolute numbers are often absurd; we should be talking about rates.

  42. 42
    Chris says:

    Humble Talent, I wouldn’t be surprised if Muslims worldwide commit the majority of anti-gay violence, given the policies of many Muslim theocracies.

    That said, I agree with those who’ve said they’d be surprised if this is the case in the U.S. or in your home country of Canada.

    The idea that it’s strange for U.S. (and Canadian) progressives to spend most of our time protesting anti-gay rhetoric, action and policies from Christians also doesn’t hold up for me. It makes perfect sense for an activist group to focus their energy on the things that most affect them, and a gay individual in the U.S. or Canada is far more likely to have their rights constrained by Christians than by Muslims, simply because of the fact that Christians make up a majority of anti-gay politicians in these countries. I expect progressives living in Muslim theocracies likely focus most of their energy on Muslim anti-gay bigots.

  43. 43
    Mookie says:

    Violent crimes with a white victim tend to be about 10% more likely to be non-white than violent crimes with a black victim tend to be non-black.

    This is, with respect, unnecessarily convoluted. We are not discussing predictions (no one mentioned ‘likelihood’) and what you write above doesn’t address, much less contradict, what I wrote. To repeat it, white victims of violence are overwhelming victimized by white offenders.

  44. 44
    pillsy says:

    @gin-and-whiskey:

    Of course they don’t. “Absolute numbers” won’t ever apply to a tiny minority.

    Well, yes, but that appeared to be Humble Talent’s claim.

    Do you think the views in that poll are OK? I don’t. I don’t want to be around a lot of people who think like that, and I don’t really want to admit them into the U.S. so that they can proceed to do their best to nudge social acceptance of those views.

    Hey, remember that time that the chief advocate of the Muslim Ban got elected President after bragging about committing sexual assault on tape?

  45. 45
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Mookie says:
    March 24, 2017 at 3:04 am
    To repeat it, white victims of violence are overwhelming[ly] victimized by white offenders.

    Um… yeah. So what?

    Look: Air is 78% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, plus some other stuff. All of those little air-bits are bumping into each other all the time. Let’s call those bumps “violent.” To make an equivalent statement, Nitrogen victims of violence are overwhelmingly victimized by…. Nitrogen! And so are Oxygen victims! But this is entirely expected, so the only thing you can get to is a deadpan level of complete unsurprise.

    People aren’t atoms, of course. But we treat them like that for the null hypothesis. And therefore what we look for is a change from the initial expectation–like, say, if ~78% of the violence was not committed by 78% of the population.

    So for example, we could discuss why Asians are roughly 5% of the U.S. population, but are only recorded as committing** 1% of hate crimes. Or you could do the same analysis for whites, or blacks, or any other subset which has results that differ from the null hypothesis “everyone has the same risk and behavior as everyone else.”

    Those results are interesting. For another example, if everyone was evenly distributed (like molecules) then you would expect only a small minority of black/black violence (non-blacks are 85% of the U.S. population.) But in reality 77.7% of reported** black violent victims were attacked by a black offender (see p. 5, bottom left), which is of course related to segregation, population clustering, reporting**, and all sorts of other stuff.

    Anyway. There are hundreds of interesting things to discuss about crime and race and victimization. But the one you chose, which equates to a claim that “the 70% majority is mostly victimized by the 70% majority”, is not one of the interesting ones.

    **”recorded as committing” is quite probably a huge source of error, which combines reporting, access to police, police response and investigation, record-keeping, etc. I have no reason to assume it is the same for every race/race classification, and plenty of reasons to assume it is different.

  46. 46
    Humble Talent says:

    Hey Barry,

    For example, the snide implication that lefties (including, presumably, the ones here) “purport” to care about gay people but actually don’t.

    What I actually said was: “It should be hard to take seriously a movement that purports to care deeply about the plight of gay people, for instance, while purposefully ignoring the minority demographic that kills more of them in raw numbers than the group they most often protest.”

    And I will stand by that until the cows come home. Far too often, I believe, there is a fundamental insincerity to the outrage.. Most commonly on the left, but not uniquely.

    As an example… For years, Democrats fostered the BDS movement close to their bosom, and then all of a sudden, seemingly because the narrative is that Trump is a Nazi, Democrats have found a new appreciation for Jews and are on watch for Anti-Semitism.

    This wouldn’t be a bad thing… Jews are, year over year the most common victims of hate crimes in America. This is something I think we should care about… But if this is a genuine policy shift, it’s certainly a subtle one, because I haven’t seen a whole lot of declaration against even the most extreme and obvious of BDS bad apples.

    It… seems… and I could be wrong, and please feel free to demonstrate how I’m wrong, because I would love to be wrong, but it seems like this newfound Jewish appreciation is more of a weapon against Trump that a genuinely held position. And that’s problematic to me because Trump won’t be president forever, and once he’s out, maybe even before then, depending on the new outrage of the day, I have the impression that a large portion of Democrats will sink back into the habit of Jewish indifference.

    Over this last cycle, time and time again we’ve seen this happen, it’s a woman’s issue, it’s a trans issue, it’s a gay issue it’s a black issue, it’s an Jewish issue, it’s an Asian issue… The narrative pingpongs back and forth so fast that sometimes when I take a weekend off from the internet, I come back to find I’ve completely missed out on some outrage du jour. And “Miss” it is a completely accurate term, because these issues have a ridiculously quick turn over, the mileage may vary depending on how much traction the issue gets, but generally…. A week? Maybe two?

    I have a hard time believing that the people who say they care so deeply actually do, I’m exhausted sometimes just trying to keep up. But who knows? Maybe there are true believers out there. Maybe you’re one of them. Maybe all of your left-leaning readership are as well. Regardless: When talking about massive groups of people you rarely, if ever, come across true absolute conformity of thought. If you don’t think that applies to you, then assume it doesn’t.

  47. 47
    Humble Talent says:

    I’d also be very surprised to learn that, in terms of absolute numbers of victims, Muslims committed a majority of anti-LGBT hate crimes in the US.

    I specifically said “kills, in raw numbers”. and after the Pulse Nightclub shooting, it isn’t even close.

  48. 48
    Harlequin says:

    g&w:

    Do you think the views in that poll are OK? I don’t. I don’t want to be around a lot of people who think like that, and I don’t really want to admit them into the U.S. so that they can proceed to do their best to nudge social acceptance of those views.

    In my experience, the immigrants who come here are disproportionately the ones who are socially liberal; it’s one of the reasons they want to leave.

    Edit: and also, I think it’s more likely that immigrants here would have their opinions changed by exposure to the US social mores than the other way around.

  49. 49
    Humble Talent says:

    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Muslims make up roughly 1% of the population (January 2016 estimate.)

    If Muslims commit those crimes at the same rate as the general population, they would be expected to commit ~1%, or ~13 offenses/year.

    I find that statistics on religion tend to vary, and I think that’s because they tend to be self-reported, controversial and subjective. Some variation of the Bradley effect (Certain people might be embarrassed to tell the truth to a pollster, so they lie.) might be in play. I use 3% for Muslims and 70% for Christians as overly generous figures to prove my point, because even then the rates of certain crimes are horrendous. I’ve seen studies that show less than 1% as being Muslim and as high as 80% being Christian, but if I used those numbers, I think I’d have people attack my figures more than my argument.

    That said, I agree with those who’ve said they’d be surprised if this is the case in the U.S. or in your home country of Canada.

    “Violence”, or even more broadly “Hate Crime”? You’re undoubtedly right. But I said “kill” specifically, before Pulse it was close, after blew the stats right out of the water, and again… We’re talking about a very small minority that punches in the same weight class as huge majorities.

    a gay individual in the U.S. or Canada is far more likely to have their rights constrained by Christians than by Muslims, simply because of the fact that Christians make up a majority of anti-gay politicians in these countries.

    You aren’t… wrong… Especially on a policy level. But I think that the level of significance matters. I’d take a 100% chance of being denied a cake over a 0.1% chance of death any day of the week, for instance.

    To repeat it, white victims of violence are overwhelming victimized by white offenders.

    Right, and if you think about that, it’s like saying that jumping in water will usually cause you to become wet. The vast majority of “violence” in those reports are familial or acquaintance violence, and statistically we are usually related to and associate with people that look like us. Saying that 80% (plus or minus) of violence against white people is committed by a white person and 90% (plus or minus) of violence against black people is committed by a black person… shouldn’t be that surprising. What blows my mind here is the seriousness with which you treat the 80% and the the indifference with with you treat the 90%.

    Well, yes, but that appeared to be Humble Talent’s claim.

    It was… Very narrowly I pointed out that in raw numbers, Muslims have killed more gay people in America. And that’s true… It might not be particularly fair to the arguement because it relies on the outlier of The Pulse Nightclub shooting… But it’s still true. Any more than that and I’d be back to talking about per capita statistics.

  50. 50
    pillsy says:

    I specifically said “kills, in raw numbers”. and after the Pulse Nightclub shooting, it isn’t even close.

    No, you’re still going to need a citation for this, because I’m reasonably sure that at least 98 people have been murdered in anti-LGBT hate crimes in the history of the US.

  51. 51
    Ampersand says:

    It might not be particularly fair to the arguement because it relies on the outlier of The Pulse Nightclub shooting… But it’s still true.

    I’m confused by this. The fact that the Pulse shooting was committed by a grand total of one person (Omar Mateen) makes any generalization about Muslims based on that one shooting total bullshit. It makes all the arguments you’ve made here, based on that one outlier, bullshit.

    And here you seem to acknowledge that you know it’s bullshit. But you made the argument anyway. Why?

    Right now you’re acting as if your goal here is to score points, however meaningless, and without any regard for substance. But I assume that isn’t your goal, because that would be ridiculous. But I don’t understand what your goal is, or why you think these sorts of arguments serve any substantive goal.

  52. 52
    Ampersand says:

    It might not be particularly fair to the arguement because it relies on the outlier of The Pulse Nightclub shooting… But it’s still true.

    I’m confused by this. The fact that the Pulse shooting was committed by a grand total of one person (Omar Mateen) makes any generalization about Muslims based on that one shooting completely meaningless. It makes all the arguments you’ve made here, based on that one outlier, completely without substance.

    And here you seem to acknowledge that you know it’s an argument that lacks all substance. But you made the argument anyway. Why?

    Right now you’re acting as if your goal here is to score points, without regard for substance. But I assume that isn’t your goal, because that would be ridiculous. But I don’t understand what your goal is, or why you think these sorts of arguments serve any substantive goal.

  53. 53
    Humble Talent says:

    No, you’re still going to need a citation for this, because I’m reasonably sure that at least 98 people have been murdered in anti-LGBT hate crimes in the history of the US.

    I *can* cite that if you need me to. But I think that we’re talking on different levels. In the history of the US? You’re probably right. There was a lot of time between founding and today where Muslims didn’t make up even a fractional minority, and Christian attitudes towards homosexuality was even less tolerant than it is now. But I’m thinking of a more recent timeline. You go back five, ten, maybe even 20 years… The numbers climb as we get closer to today, and especially post 9-11.

  54. 54
    Jake Squid says:

    There was a lot of time between founding and today where Muslims didn’t make up even a fractional minority…

    They were certainly enough of a presence that there were essays written about “Musselmen,” contemporary to the founding, so I’m not sure what you mean by that.

  55. 55
    pillsy says:

    But I’m thinking of a more recent timeline. You go back five, ten, maybe even 20 years…

    Because obviously if we’re going to do a real comparison you would look at an average across several years…? Otherwise it’s just gaming the statistics.

  56. 56
    Harlequin says:

    More than 50 trans people have been murdered in the US since January 1, 2015, according to the list on Wikipedia (which I would assume is neither complete not 100% accurate). And not all of those, of course, were hate crimes. Still, Humble Talent, I think your statement that it “isn’t even close” is obviously false, if you really meant LGBT and not LGB.

    The statement that you’ll just pretend 3% of the US is Muslim is also quite wrong: there is uncertainty, but those statistics simply don’t miss 2/3 of the Muslim population. Christianity has significantly more uncertainty, true, but that’s because of confusion in reporting between Christian and nonreligious for people raised Christian but who no longer practice in significant ways. The minority religious groups are more stable between surveys.

    If you’re going to make statistical arguments it is helpful to include numbers and their sources (as some, but not all, participants in this conversation have been doing). Interpretation also matters; I would point out, for example, that approximately 1/4 of American Muslims are African American, and they are likely to have quite distinct statistics from recent Muslim immigrants from MENA and South/Southeast Asia (as there are also likely differences between immigrants from Morocco and Indonesia, for example).

  57. 57
    Humble Talent says:

    Sorry that it took so long to respond, I’m used to a format that gives me a notification when something I write gets a response.

    Barry asked:

    I’m confused by this. The fact that the Pulse shooting was committed by a grand total of one person (Omar Mateen) makes any generalization about Muslims based on that one shooting total bullshit. It makes all the arguments you’ve made here, based on that one outlier, bullshit.
    And here you seem to acknowledge that you know it’s bullshit. But you made the argument anyway. Why?

    I depends, I think, on the argument being put forward. My original statement was:

    “It should be hard to take seriously a movement that purports to care deeply about the plight of gay people, for instance, while purposefully ignoring the minority demographic that kills more of them in raw numbers than the group they most often protest.”

    If I were trying to use the stat to say that Muslims were more likely on a per capita basis to kill gay people, and somehow used the individual victims of Pulse to inflate that, then yeah… That would be bullshit. But this point wasn’t from the standpoint of the Muslim populations, it was from the perspective of the gay community. It probably doesn’t matter much to the victims of the Pulse shooting how many attackers there were.

    The point I was trying to make was more a commentary on the left… I honestly don’t understand the relationship between Progressives and Muslims, even Moderate Muslims can hold views that should be anathema to progressive values, especially concerning women, minorities, LGB, and Jews. The discussion got sidetracked by the stat almost immediately, and maybe I tried too hard to defend it… The point I was trying to make would have been functionally identical had I said “the minority demographic that, per capita, kills more gay people than any other.”

    Right now you’re acting as if your goal here is to score points, however meaningless, and without any regard for substance. But I assume that isn’t your goal, because that would be ridiculous. But I don’t understand what your goal is, or why you think these sorts of arguments serve any substantive goal.

    I’m not trying to ‘score’ points, I’m trying to make them. I find it… challenging to go into places that have strong communities built around beliefs that I don’t hold and throw down the gauntlet. It’s funny… Or depressing… How often communities like that have become so… insular… that they see people like me as extreme. I’m probably closer to Bill Maher on a lot of Issues than I am to Sean Hannity. Hey, maybe if you tolerate me for a while we can teach each other something.

  58. 58
    Humble Talent says:

    But I’m thinking of a more recent timeline. You go back five, ten, maybe even 20 years…

    pillsy says:

    Because obviously if we’re going to do a real comparison you would look at an average across several years…? Otherwise it’s just gaming the statistics.

    Of course you would. Look, I talk in generalities, and if I’m called I’ll dig a little deeper. Heck, sometimes I’m surprised and I’ll offer a mea culpa. Pick your timeframe, and I’ll do some digging.

    My one caveat is that it’s important to keep the timeframe relatively recent… I don’t think it’s particularly helpful or relevant to what’s happening today to go back to a time before anyone around today was alive.

  59. 59
    Humble Talent says:

    Harlequin says:

    More than 50 trans people have been murdered in the US since January 1, 2015, according to the list on Wikipedia (which I would assume is neither complete not 100% accurate). And not all of those, of course, were hate crimes. Still, Humble Talent, I think your statement that it “isn’t even close” is obviously false, if you really meant LGBT and not LGB.

    I tend to separate the LGB from the T, I think that it was useful from a support perspective to group together people who felt marginalised sexually, but from a functional standpoint, aside from some overlap where a trans person might also be gay, there’s very little overlap in issues.

    I say that generally, but it’s especially pertinent to this conversation, Islamic policy on trans people is… oddly progressive. In Iran, for instance homosexuality is illegal, and punishable by death. Being trans, however, is not… they’ll actually allow men to transition into women, and then treat those people as women. In fact, Article 20 in clause 14: “a person who has changed his/her sex can legally change their name and gender on the birth certification upon the order of court.”

    So, to be honest, I don’t think including trans people in that statistic is particularly useful.

    The statement that you’ll just pretend 3% of the US is Muslim is also quite wrong: there is uncertainty, but those statistics simply don’t miss 2/3 of the Muslim population. Christianity has significantly more uncertainty, true, but that’s because of confusion in reporting between Christian and nonreligious for people raised Christian but who no longer practice in significant ways. The minority religious groups are more stable between surveys.

    If you’re going to make statistical arguments it is helpful to include numbers and their sources (as some, but not all, participants in this conversation have been doing). Interpretation also matters; I would point out, for example, that approximately 1/4 of American Muslims are African American, and they are likely to have quite distinct statistics from recent Muslim immigrants from MENA and South/Southeast Asia (as there are also likely differences between immigrants from Morocco and Indonesia, for example).

    I’m not entirely sure what you’re saying here… Are you saying I’m being too generous in my numbers? Maybe I am. I think that so long as I’m open about the numbers I’m using, we can still have a discussion. If the Muslim population is in fact less than 1% And Christians are in fact 80%, then the math is easy, and similar rates of certain violence means that Muslims are about 8000% more likely to commit those acts of violence.

    Look… There was a study done quite a number of years ago, it was the ACE study… “Adverse Childhood Effects”. It tallied certain adverse things that could happen to a child; their parents hit eachother, their parents hit them, single parenthood, emotional neglect, food stress, ect. Then it measured ACE frequency against certain negative tendancies in adults.

    (I’m abridging this horribly, but feel free to Google it, it was a great study.)

    Anyway, they found that someone who had three or more ACE markers was 1600% more likely to be addicted to Meth as an adult. Still a small percentage of the population as a whole, but an amazingly significant statistic. I remember taking that one to one of my college instructors, who was a master in math, and after verifying that I didn’t have a reading comprehension problem, he said to me: “You don’t often see correlations a couple of hundred percentage points strong without designing a test in search of an answer… 1600% is insane.”

    Whether the number is 2300% of 8000% or even as “little” as 500%, I think this is still a legitimate conversation.

  60. 60
    Ampersand says:

    How often communities like that have become so… insular… that they see people like me as extreme.

    Look around you; you’re FAR from the only person here with views that I disagree with. For example, some of the regular comment-writers here are closer to Hannity than Maher, to put it in your terms. (And some have been here for many, many years, so if you’re assuming that I always ban people from the right, you’re mistaken.)

    If someone comes here and is like “this place is so insular!,” that strongly suggests that you’re too wrapped up in stereotypes of what you’re expecting to find here, to be able to actually observe what’s going on here. Maybe you could learn something here, and teach me something; but I think that would require you approaching this forum with less condescension.

  61. 61
    Ampersand says:

    “It should be hard to take seriously a movement that purports to care deeply about the plight of gay people, for instance, while purposefully ignoring the minority demographic that kills more of them in raw numbers than the group they most often protest.”

    If I were trying to use the stat to say that Muslims were more likely on a per capita basis to kill gay people, and somehow used the individual victims of Pulse to inflate that, then yeah… That would be bullshit. But this point wasn’t from the standpoint of the Muslim populations, it was from the perspective of the gay community. It probably doesn’t matter much to the victims of the Pulse shooting how many attackers there were.

    I really don’t think you understand the statistical question here at all.

    From the point of a lgb person trying to decide “who am I at greatest risk of being shot by?,” any statistical answer which would completely and utterly change by dropping one single outlier is not useful and should not be relied upon.

    All of your Pulse-related arguments here come down to you claiming that leftists are obligated to judge all Muslims by that single example. That’s ridiculous, and it’s a bigoted argument. (Because the argument that we should judge all of _______ by the extreme actions of a single, incredibly unrepresentative individual, is an argument for bigotry.)

    That you think your Pulse-related arguments bear any resemblance to the ACE study (which you’ve mis-remembered in a whole bunch of ways: the numbers, what was studied, and even the name of the study) shows your lack of understanding of statistics. Yes, it is possible to draw interesting conclusions from a relatively low N in some cases. But that doesn’t mean that drawing broad conclusions about Muslims from a single outlier example is justified, and you could not find a single example of either Kaiser or the CDC (the creators of the ACE study) doing such a thing.

    * * *

    Putting the Pulse shooting aside (which you would be wise to do as well), of course there’s a problem of anti-LGBT bigotry among some Muslim groups, although anti-LGBT bigotry is not unique to Muslim groups. I don’t see any contradiction between acknowledging that, and being against anti-LGBT bigotry, and also being against anti-Muslim bigotry.

    A few weeks ago, I went out to a demonstration to support a local Catholic church that had a problem with some racists. (It’s a Latinx congregation). Given that they’re a Catholic Church, I’m sure I disagree with many of them (and certainly with their international organization) about issues like LGBT rights, abortion, etc. But I still demonstrated, because I can disagree with them about these things, and still think racism against them is wrong and should be stood against. Where’s the contradiction?

  62. 62
    Grace Annam says:

    Humble Talent:

    I tend to separate the LGB from the T

    The people who kill us tend not to. Look at all the men who write in to advice columnists asking if they’re gay for being attracted to a trans woman. As Helen Boyd put it,

    Sometimes it’s easy to tell who’s on your team by knowing who else the people who beat you up like to beat up. By that logic, the LGBT as a boat for both sexual orientation and gender variance, makes perfect sense. The one thing I’m sure of is that there are a whole bunch of people out there who are willing to sink it, and all of us with it.

    Humble Talent:

    …aside from some overlap where a trans person might also be gay, there’s very little overlap in issues.

    A lot of trans people are gay, lesbian, bi or pan. In my own experience, and going on the statements of people who have met a lot more trans people than I have, trans people run about 30% to 50% non-straight.

    Grace

  63. 63
    Humble Talent says:

    Look around you; you’re FAR from the only person here with views that I disagree with. For example, some of the regular comment-writers here are closer to Hannity than Maher, to put it in your terms.

    This is true, but it’s also true in the week… or so?… That I’ve been here, two of your commenters have referred to me as an ‘extremist’. I don’t understand how anyone with a grounded view on politics can put me anywhere but moderately right of center without having basically zero conception what the political landscape actually looks like.

    (And some have been here for many, many years, so if you’re assuming that I always ban people from the right, you’re mistaken.)

    To be fair… The only time I mentioned banning was when you threatened to do it. Having an insular community doesn’t require banning though, it could be the result of an environment hostile to the positions you hold, for instance. Not saying that’s what going on here, I’m just saying that there are several ways to get there from here. More and more, despite the interconnectivity of the internet, we block ourselves out in echochambers, usually without realising we’re doing it. Twitter came out with a connection map to show the bubbling around the climate change conversation, for instance:

    https://medium.com/@swainjo/climate-change-twitter-analysis-6657b6f69f1e

    (keep scrolling, the full map is about a third of the way down)

    The green space is the mainstream discussion, Orange is the Australian discussion and light blue is the Canadian discussion. Those discussion have connections, but you see that group, way in the upper left corner? That’s the climate skeptic discussion, and the connections between them and the mainstream discussion? Tenuous and probably mostly consisting of shitposting.

    Which is a bloody shame… because the way ideas grow is by being tested. One of the most important parts of the scientific method is peer review, the point in which you say “I have an idea.” and hand your peers a bag full of hammers to throw at your idea to see if they can make a dent. The problem with bubbling is that people with the same ideas as you have no interest in denting yours. It… arrests the development of the conversation.

  64. 64
    Mandolin says:

    I would like to suggest that HT’s musings on the validity of trans identity as part of the queer umbrella are perhaps off topic, and could be moved to an open thread (or dropped).

  65. 65
    Ampersand says:

    Humble Talent, I saw that Sebastian called you an “extremist” – but he’s also called lots of other people extremists here in the last week or two. He’s basically arguing, if I follow his points correctly, that “extremists” like me on the left are what’s causing “extremists” on the right to succeed (by opposing voter ID laws rather than proposing a moderate voter ID law). Or at least, that’s how I remember it – I’m being lazy at the moment, and not looking it up. Sebastian, I hope, will correct me if I’m wrong.

    Also, while I’m not sure where exactly on the political spectrum Sebastian is, he’s pretty clearly well to my right. (Which doesn’t necessarily make him a right-winger; a lot of centrist democrats are to my right, for example.) Sebastian can weigh in if he wants, but I’d suspect he’d identify himself as some form of moderate, and in most “Alas” discussions he’s disagreeing with most of the posters here from our right.

    So when, responding to what he said, you suggested he’s metaphorically standing on the coast of California – which I took to mean, in part, “he’s far to the left” – that suggests to me that you have mistaken where he stands.

    Can you say what you mean by “echochambers”? All communities are insular to some degree; if it’s not insular in SOME fashion, then nothing distinguishes the community from the rest of the world. But as political blogs go, “Alas” is not an echo chamber. Yes, we’re a left-wing blog, but if merely having a political viewpoint means we’re an echo chamber, then I don’t think it’s a meaningful critique. The truth is, we’ve always had commenters here who disagree strongly with the main posters, and – except on a few specific topics (for example, I don’t want any Holocaust deniers here) – we have a tradition of not banning people just for disagreeing with us politically.

    I agree that, especially in the sciences, an echo chamber – which is certainly what climate deniers have, from that map you linked to – is a bad idea. But on the other hand, an unrestricted free-for-all, in which unsupported and evidence-free ideas are given as much weight and attention as well-supported ideas, would also be bad. (I’m not assuming you disagree with me about that). No human institution will ever be perfect, but I think the mainstream scientific consensus on global warming reflects some pretty good norms, and some healthy ways ideas can be challenged and evolve over time. The minority of scientists in the 70s who argued for global cooling weren’t driven out of the community; they just ended up not having the evidence on their side, and (afaict) most of them switched their views eventually in response to the mounting evidence. That’s how it should work.

  66. 66
    Ampersand says:

    Yes, Mandolin, you’re right. HT, if you (or other folks) want to continue that discussion, please take it to the most recent open thread.

    Or, if Grace says it’s appropriate, future discussion could be moved to The Mint Garden. That’s up to Grace, though.

  67. 67
    Grace Annam says:

    Mandolin, good call. Thanks.

    As far as it went, I don’t think it’s quite on-topic for the Mint Garden. If it goes farther in the Open Thread, then I’ll assess as we go along.

    Thanks.

    Grace

  68. 68
    Elusis says:

    Putting the Pulse shooting aside (which you would be wise to do as well), of course there’s a problem of anti-LGBT bigotry among some Muslim groups, although anti-LGBT bigotry is not unique to Muslim groups. I don’t see any contradiction between acknowledging that, and being against anti-LGBT bigotry, and also being against anti-Muslim bigotry.

    A few weeks ago, I went out to a demonstration to support a local Catholic church that had a problem with some racists. (It’s a Latinx congregation). Given that they’re a Catholic Church, I’m sure I disagree with many of them (and certainly with their international organization) about issues like LGBT rights, abortion, etc. But I still demonstrated, because I can disagree with them about these things, and still think racism against them is wrong and should be stood against. Where’s the contradiction?

    Indeed. HT complains that “I honestly don’t understand the relationship between Progressives and Muslims, even Moderate Muslims can hold views that should be anathema to progressive values, especially concerning women, minorities, LGB, and Jews.” It’s almost as if people can advocate for the rights of others who don’t believe exactly the same things they do, based on a humanistic value system that abhors an us/them worldview, an ethic of inclusivity, and a belief that exhibiting generally consistent openness to dialogue will aid society’s progress toward more tolerance and fairness.

    In other words, it’s almost as if liberals don’t view the basic rights and worthiness of people based on whether they belong to our own self-defined in-group.

    (See also: Haidt’s work on moral orientation, and studies that show that Republicans in the US have high “social dominance orientation”.)

  69. 69
    Harlequin says:

    In other words, it’s almost as if liberals don’t view the basic rights and worthiness of people based on whether they belong to our own self-defined in-group.

    I think a lot about this quote:

    “The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe people are fundamentally bad, while Democrats see people as fundamentally good,” said Mr. Watts, who was in the area to campaign for Senator Rand Paul.

    Because, of course, lots of Democrats don’t believe people are fundamentally good. For example, I simply don’t think even bad people should starve to death in a country as wealthy as the US.

  70. 70
    Ruchama says:

    My Democratic family always told me that, if we’re currently doing OK, and we’re going to keep on doing OK no matter whose policies get enacted, then the moral thing to do is vote for the person whose policies will most help the people who aren’t doing OK — that it’s selfish and wrong to vote for people who’ll make our lives even better when there are people who have serious problems. (And that giving to charity, while a good thing, was NOT a substitute for fixing the structural problems in society — it wasn’t enough to say, “I’ll vote for the person who’ll lower my taxes, and then I’ll give my extra money to the poor,” because just one person doing that wasn’t enough — everyone has to do their part. I remember a Hebrew School teacher talking to us about how the Hebrew word tzedakah, which is often translated as “charity,” comes from the root word meaning “justice,” while the English word “charity” comes from a root word meaning “kindness” — kindness is nice and all, but justice is something that we’re specifically told to pursue, over and over. Being unjust is far worse than being unkind.)

  71. 71
    Harlequin says:

    I’m having trouble pointing to specific bits of quotes, but Amp and Humble Talent, your comments ~57-61 helped me clarify some of the thoughts in my head, so thanks :).

    My bit of clarity: it may be (it likely is) true that, taken as a group, Muslim immigrants commit more anti-LGB hate crimes than the American population as a whole (per capita). But that still doesn’t address the question of why Muslim immigrants as a whole are a reasonable category to judge as an undifferentiated group–as Amp’s original cartoon points out. That is, you care about not only the average, but also the variation within the group; Muslims are between 1/5 and 1/4 of the world population, there’s a lot of internal variation in a group that large. There are much more useful, more precise qualities you could use to divide the population–say, the kinds of background checking we already do on immigrants. No need to tar every follower of a religion with the same brush there.

    (Trump’s immigration order attempted to look like they were being precise by not banning all Muslims, but rather banning Muslims from specific countries. But you’d have to show some relevant reasoning about why those particular countries, and, of course, the administration has been unable to do so; I feel safe in saying this is because they have no good reason.)

    If the Muslim population is in fact less than 1% And Christians are in fact 80%, then the math is easy, and similar rates of certain violence means that Muslims are about 8000% more likely to commit those acts of violence.

    You should use the best numbers for the simple reason that they’re the closest to the truth. But also–most people can’t judge the difference between a very large, ~1000% risk increase or something that’s different from that by a factor of 2 or 3; humans are bad at statistical reasoning (this applies even to people with a lot of mathematical ability and training). On the other hand, if you think that increased risk is coming from 3% of the population and not 1%, that’s a difference that most people can judge, or at least judge better, and it seems scarier. If you tell people “1% of the population has a 3000% increased risk of harming you” or “3% of the population has a 1000% increased risk of harming you” (without giving them the other number to compare), most people would be more frightened by the second thing, even though the absolute chance of being harmed is equal in the two scenarios. So even if you’re trying to be as conservative as possible and understating the risk by lowering the ratio of Christians to Muslims, inflating the number of Muslims in the US is actually more likely to have the opposite effect.

    (I’m using 1000% there only as an example, because nobody’s yet presented reliable numbers on violence in this thread that actually have religion as a measured variable.)

  72. 72
    Humble Talent says:

    That you think your Pulse-related arguments bear any resemblance to the ACE study (which you’ve mis-remembered in a whole bunch of ways: the numbers, what was studied, and even the name of the study) shows your lack of understanding of statistics.

    I’m having a real hard time connecting the dots… I didn’t even mention Pulse and ACE in the same comment… My point in bringing up the ACE study was in response to someone questioning my population percentages, and I wanted to highlight (anecdotally, admittedly) that regardless of whether we’re talking about 2300% or 8000%, we’re still talking about exceptionally strong correlations.

    I also think you might be confusing the study with something else, because that IS the name of the study, they did correlate ACE markers, which I identified correctly, to negative adult behaviours, and it wasn’t a low N study (17,337 respondents). Links below.

    http://www.preventchildabuse.org/images/docs/anda_wht_ppr.pdf

    http://www.acestudy.org/index.html

    So when, responding to what he said, you suggested he’s metaphorically standing on the coast of California – which I took to mean, in part, “he’s far to the left” – that suggests to me that you have mistaken where he stands.

    That’s fair, I assumed that anyone who would use me as an example of an extremist would most likely be from the left. I didn’t know that, and it looks like I was wrong. Mea Culpa.

    But that still doesn’t address the question of why Muslim immigrants as a whole are a reasonable category to judge as an undifferentiated group–as Amp’s original cartoon points out. That is, you care about not only the average, but also the variation within the group; Muslims are between 1/5 and 1/4 of the world population, there’s a lot of internal variation in a group that large.

    I… think… that’s… disingenuous. Look… Trump’s travel ban wasn’t in fact a ban on all Muslims, despite colloquially being called that. I don’t like the ban, I don’t agree with the premise of the ban, but the vast majority of Muslims on Earth CAN still travel to America. Facts are facts. If you want policy that’s more discreet that a blanket ban on the faith (as in, perhaps, one tailored to specific problem areas) then one might be confused when such a tailored approach is smeared as a blanket ban.

  73. 73
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    “The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe people are fundamentally bad, while Democrats see people as fundamentally good,” said Mr. Watts, who was in the area to campaign for Senator Rand Paul.

    Odd. Ignoring the oversimplified aspect, that seems backwards.

    If you think people are fundamentally good and that they will make fundamentally good decisions and do fundamentally good things, then you would probably conclude that we should have fewer regulations and less government. And that is the Republican model. Democratics, OTOH, apparently make decisions based on the presumption that people are fundamentally going to do the wrong thing, so they support an ever-expanding set of restrictions and laws and controls to force them to do otherwise.

    Anyway:

    But that still doesn’t address the question of why Muslim immigrants as a whole are a reasonable category to judge as an undifferentiated group

    First of all, there is absolutely no requirement for it to be “reasonable,” much less “reasonable in the eyes of Alas readers.” There’s an enormous amount of national discretion here, which is really only limited by the laws we chose to pass. Remember, the default is “don’t get in.”

    Second, they are not being judged as an “undifferentiated group”; as noted above there are distinctions based on country of residence, and further distinctions for screening. You may not like the distinction but it isn’t “undifferentiated” by any means.

    Third, it happens that out of some of the major immigrant groups which we currently happen to be discussing, “muslim immigrants from those seven countries” are believed by some folks to be higher risk than some other groups.

    Fourth, it’s important to recall that many opponents are including issues which we don’t think are even on the table. For example, my starting views on immigration policy have nothing at all to do with how a change in immigration policy might make a U.S. citizen feel. Nor do my starting views take into account such complex and subjective claims as “this will make it more dangerous for U.S. citizens in 10 years because it will make us look worse.” Of course those things may be relevant, but not until we can at least agree on the underlying basic stuff.
    Fifth, it appears that, on average, the particular subgroup of Middle Eastern Muslim immigrants under discussion may be more likely than other subgroups to possess views which many people find distasteful, giving yet another reason (not that one is really needed so much.)

    Sixth and finally, it isn’t always clear whether opponents are taking into account the interests of U.S. citizens, or whether they’re balancing the interests of everyone else. By and large, out government is only responsible for taking care of us.

  74. 74
    Harlequin says:

    Humble Talent:

    Look… Trump’s travel ban wasn’t in fact a ban on all Muslims, despite colloquially being called that.

    I wasn’t discussing just the specific implementation of Trump’s travel ban. Lots of comments since about the 30s on this post have been discussing, say, the supposed propensity of Muslims to be violent in certain ways, without reference to specific subgroups of Muslims based on country of origin. So I thought it was worth talking about whether it made sense to talk about Muslims as a group, since that’s what most people in this comment thread have been doing on and off (including me). My mention of Trump’s particular ban was only an aside.

    And, of course, Trump and lots of his supporters wanted a blanket ban and couldn’t figure out a way to do it legally; I think talking about the underpinnings of that kind of belief are useful, even if they don’t narrowly apply to the specific, most recent EC.

    g&w: I think at least some of your comment is addressed by my reply to Humble Talent, but specifically:

    First of all, there is absolutely no requirement for it to be “reasonable,” much less “reasonable in the eyes of Alas readers.”

    I’m not sure what there is to disagree with about that. Of course the people in control of government are free to pass laws that are unreasonable, or unreasonable in specific ways, or whatever–again, I’m sure both sides of the aisle do this all the time, and if I paid more attention I’m sure I’d have more examples. If I sit over here and try to convince people they’re making faulty assumptions (or performatively say something that so people who agree with me can use the argument in the future, which is typically, like, at least half of what I’m thinking about when I write here), there’s nothing that says anyone has to listen to me.

    I guess I’m just confused–what argument did you think I was making, other than the one I wrote, which is that it’s unrealistic/unreasonable to talk about Muslims like they’re one uniform group, and also that people are bad at reasoning statistically?

  75. 75
    Charles S says:

    There’s an enormous amount of national discretion here, which is really only limited by the laws we chose to pass

    For instance, the law that we chose to pass that banned nation of origin discrimination in immigration law…

    are believed by some folks to be higher risk than some other groups.

    Not by many people with expertise (for instance, the Department of Homeland Security analysts), but yeah “some folks”.

    my starting views on immigration policy have nothing at all to do with how a change in immigration policy might make a U.S. citizen feel.

    Yeah sure, no concern for whether they feel safer or less safe, or if some of them think that some folks who might possibly be an iota of a scintilla of a penumbra more dangerous, or with (point 5) whether some citizens might feel that other people’s views are distasteful. Nope, your views are doubtless based on hard cold reason and national security…

    Nor do my starting views take into account such complex and subjective claims as “this will make it more dangerous for U.S. citizens in 10 years because it will make us look worse.”

    Okay, not national security either. We wouldn’t want to incorporate anything complex into our consideration for national policy….

    I guess “my president hates Muslims and I do too!” is a valid basis for an immigration policy. Oh wait, the courts disagree…

  76. 76
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Charles S says:
    March 30, 2017 at 11:17 pm
    For instance, the law that we chose to pass that banned nation of origin discrimination in immigration law…

    Yup. That isn’t a Constitutional issue, merely a legal one.

    are believed by some folks to be higher risk than some other groups.

    Not by many people with expertise (for instance, the Department of Homeland Security analysts), but yeah “some folks”.

    The DHS is an arm of the government; it is an inherently political body. It has a job to do and there is expertise, but the people who work in DHS are just as biased as anyone else towards their own point of view–as evidenced by the leaks. Moreover, DHS itself has a strong vested interest in maintaining the position that it is capable of doing great screening, because that allows for DHS funding.

    Did you trust DHS before the shit hit the fan? I didn’t, so I don’t magically decide to trust them now.

    your views are doubtless based on hard cold reason and national security…

    [shrug] I do my best. It helps to be able to think in shades of gray and not black and white (see below). What are your views based on? Love/hate dichotomies?

    Nor do my starting views take into account such complex and subjective claims as “this will make it more dangerous for U.S. citizens in 10 years because it will make us look worse.”

    Okay, not national security either. We wouldn’t want to incorporate anything complex into our consideration for national policy….

    Oh look, it’s a dishonest partial quote, typical for you, in which you cut off the answer to your rhetorical question and respond as if I didn’t already address it. Don’t be a dick. Like I said, those things can certainly be relevant.

    I guess “my president hates Muslims and I do too!” is a valid basis for an immigration policy. Oh wait, the courts disagree…

    Nice. Responding in kind won’t pass w/ Amp, but… nice.

    Is the world really so black and white for you? Some groups are more likely to have good behaviors, so those groups get treated better. Those are called “relative” terms; you should learn what they mean. They permit you to treat a group better or worse without committing you to loving or hating them.

    W/r/t certain limited groups of immigrants from certain areas of the Middle East, where there is a large concentration–relatively speaking–of people who actually do “hate” the U.S. and our culture, the proper attitude is healthy skepticism and mild distrust. Both can be overcome by rational folks, though I don’t think you’re helping.

  77. 77
    Humble Talent says:

    I thought it was worth talking about whether it made sense to talk about Muslims as a group, since that’s what most people in this comment thread have been doing on and off (including me).

    I…. think that’s a novel arguement… and verges on special pleading. I think that if there were a relatively easy way to do that, we could… But there isn’t so we don’t. We don’t even do that with groups with large populations; Do you say “Protestants do X.”, for instance, or do you say “Christians do X.”? Heck, sometimes we’re so unconcerned with group differences that congregations like the Westboro Baptist Church get conflated with Christianity as a whole, despite having a membership of about 20 people that are mostly related to eachother.

    And it’s only harder to make those distinctions as you scale down… You want to differentiate what? Naturally born American Muslims from African Muslims from Asian Muslims? North African from South African? Egyptian from Iranian? Sure… the cultures in those areas will be different, and so their behaviour could be different, but how on earth would the average person on the street know how to make the distinction? No, I think it’s an exercise without particular value.

  78. 79
    pillsy says:

    Do you say “Protestants do X.”, for instance, or do you say “Christians do X.”?

    Depends on the value of X. There are a relatively small number of possible Xs for which I would feel comfortable saying the latter, and not all that many more for which I would say the former.

  79. 80
    Charles S says:

    g&w,

    It is true that I have no idea if you hate Muslims, although your consistent positions seems to me to be on the far side of “healthy skepticism and mild distrust.”

    However, the administration you are defending has been consistently pushing hatred of Muslims and has elevated numerous people who are mostly qualified by their hatred of Muslims or who were previously disqualified by their hatred of Muslims. The policies you are justifying are based in hatred of Islam, and the courts have ruled against the policies on that basis (among others).

    Mere laws still bind the president. If the Trump administration were trying to push through a law allowing country of origin discrimination in immigration, then the question would be purely “is this a bad idea?” because, as you have repeatedly pointed out, there is no constitutional right to immigration. However, back in reality, the administration isn’t trying to pass a law, it is simply violating the existing law that forbids country of origin discrimination. Explaining that we could pass laws to have whatever discriminatory xenophobic immigration laws we want is a non-sequitor (and sort of obvious).

    Do I trust DHS? No, but I trust DHS analysts more than I trust the far right ideologues that control Trump’s policies, and I trust DHS analysts more when they disagree with the president, so if the president can’t even get his DHS analysts to back his policies, that seems like a point worth noting. It isn’t as though DHS analysts are the only ones arguing that the 7 (6) country Muslim ban is an ineffective and counter-productive policy. Who are the experts you trust who claim that blanket country of origin discrimination is an effective way of preventing terrorist attacks in the US?

  80. 81
    Harlequin says:

    Humble Talent:

    Do you say “Protestants do X.”, for instance, or do you say “Christians do X.”?

    Not usually, no. And what’s more, it’s rare that I hear other people say that, relative to people making those kinds of statements about Muslims, because I mostly talk to Americans and most Americans know lots of different Christians but few if any Muslims.

    (To be clear, I don’t think starting from a broad summary statistic is a bad idea–it’s stopping there that’s the problem.)

  81. I keep trying to find a way into this conversation, because I feel like I have something to add to it, but I keep getting stymied.

    On the one hand, Amp’s cartoon seems to me to be less about the facts of Trump’s executive orders than about people’s knee-jerk reactions not only to the potential for acts of violence committed by Muslims, but also, by implication, to actual acts of Muslim-commtted violence. In other words, it’s about Islamophobia and the way we, as a culture, don’t see Islamophobia for, or treat it as, what it is.

    Then, there are people talking about “Islam” having a problem with violence, as if Islam were a person, or a community, and not a religion, a practice, that, yes, has violent components within its texts and their (politically motivated and politicized) interpretations no differently than any other major institutionalized religion on earth that I know of. And if that is not an example of Islamophobia, then I don’t know what is.

    Then there is someone who, if I understand correctly, thinks it is pointless when talking about these issues to distinguish between and among not just different communities of Muslims, but different sects, with very different sets of beliefs. Which sounds very much to me like a different version of the racist “they all look alike.”

    Then G&W says this:

    Islam is roughly 20% of the world population. However, Islamic-majority countries are a disproportionate %age of those countries which are anti-gay. I don’t know the answer but I would not be surprised to find out that Muslims committed a disproportionately high %age of anti-gay crimes, mostly based on facts like this:
    In 13 countries, being gay or bisexual is punishable by death. These are; Sudan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Mauritania, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Qatar, UAE, parts of Nigeria, parts of Somalia, parts of Syria and parts of Iraq.

    Also, an incredibly high percentage of Muslims (don’t know an average but it looks north of 90%) in this Pew poll believe homosexuality is immoral.

    I’m not going to dispute the numbers he quotes, but it strikes me that there was a time when plenty of people in the US, the majority even, believed the homosexuality was immoral, and they were supported in their belief by a whole host of cultural and legal institutions, but I wonder how many of the people who believed that actually committed anti-gay crimes. And I am thinking here about people, not governments. My point is that it is a smear by innuendo to make the leap from what ordinary, every day people believe to what they actually do. (And I am, of course, not defending those beliefs or suggesting any sort of culturally relativistic argument that we ought not to critique them, etc.)

    In other words, it appears to me that there’s an awful lot of precisely what Amp’s cartoon is about going on in this thread.

  82. 83
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    I’m not going to dispute the numbers he quotes, but

    it strikes me that there was a time when plenty of people in the US, the majority even, believed the homosexuality was immoral, and they were supported in their belief by a whole host of cultural and legal institutions, but I wonder how many of the people who believed that actually committed anti-gay crimes.

    If you “wonder”, you can always read up on it ;) If you mean to imply that there wasn’t much worse treatment of gays back then, I don’t think that is true at all; my understanding is that (a) violence against gays was quite normalized then, in a way which it is not now; (b) that the violence was more common (and less reported) because of its normality; and (c) such violence was still putatively illegal, which arguably put at least some damper on it. And of course there is always some bleed-over from Europe; look what England was doing to Turing in the 50s!

    I think you’re making a false equivalence here. On the one hand you have “officially punishable by death.” on the other hand, you have “a whole host of cultural and legal institutions.” Those are not comparable. And it’s a very odd thing if you’re simultaneously looking to “cultural institutions” and rejecting as innuendo a 90% opposition poll.

    My point is that it is a smear by innuendo to make the leap from what ordinary, every day people believe to what they actually do (And I am, of course, not defending those beliefs or suggesting any sort of culturally relativistic argument that we ought not to critique them, etc.)

    Well, you’re applying a standard of analysis which seems pretty unusual. So it sure feels like you’re defending them.

    If you look at those 13 countries, you’re talking about cultures that fully normalize anti-gay violence by the state; in which a huuuuuge majority think being gay is immoral; and in which a surprisingly high percentages of folks will poll on violence being acceptable to satisfy some moral disputes–in this case honor killings, which AFAIK most frequently involve violence against a family member.

    My claim amounts to “such folks are likely on average to be pretty anti-gay, and more likely to commit anti-gay violence than folks without those scary traits.”

    If you think that level of specificity is “a smear by innuendo” then what on earth would get beyond the “innuendo” level?

    Or to put it differently: If 90% of people felt that Judaism was immoral and this belief was substantiated by living in countries where being Jewish was punishable by death, wouldn’t you expect that they would be much more prone to anti-Semitic violence than people who lived in, say, the USA?

  83. G&W:

    This is what you originally wrote:

    However, Islamic-majority countries are a disproportionate %age of those countries which are anti-gay. I don’t know the answer but I would not be surprised to find out that Muslims committed a disproportionately high %age of anti-gay crimes,

    In the context of this thread, which is not a purely quantitative discussion, more or less in the abstract, of what percentage of which groups commit anti-gay violence around the world, but is, rather, a discussion that has at its core a question about the place of Muslims in United States society and culture, that is a smear by innuendo.

  84. 85
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Richard Jeffrey Newman says:
    April 3, 2017 at 11:52 am
    G&W:

    This is what you originally wrote:

    However, Islamic-majority countries are a disproportionate %age of those countries which are anti-gay. I don’t know the answer but I would not be surprised to find out that Muslims committed a disproportionately high %age of anti-gay crimes,

    Yes, that is what I wrote. To clarify for other readers, this was intended to discuss worldwide (which RJN clearly understood.)

    As it happens, though, this may be wrong: some Muslim counties (like Chechnya) apparently don’t have any anti-gay violence, because they don’t have any gays:

    …Chechnya’s government has gone beyond denying that the men had gone missing — it rebutted the idea that there were gay men in Chechnya in the first place.

    “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic,” [President] Kadyrov spokesman Alvi Karimov told Interfax. “If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.”

    Karimov was alluding to the idea that in the deeply conservative republic, relatives of some of the gay men arrested would perform an “honor killing” to rid themselves of their shame.

    So there you go. I was wrong, at least w/r/t the gay-free land of Chechnya.

    In the context of this thread, which is not a purely quantitative discussion, more or less in the abstract, of what percentage of which groups commit anti-gay violence around the world,

    I agree this isn’t an abstract discussion at all. But you’re not getting at the core of it.

    is, rather, a discussion that has at its core a question about the place of Muslims in United States society and culture,

    Not at all.

    This is a discussion about the immigration terms as applied to groups of people from various specific countries which are majority Muslim and which have a ton of really horrible characteristics–characteristics which I for one do not want to promote here in the USA. And in that limited discussion, the facts–and these are facts, not innuendo**–are quite relevant.

    To stick to the gay-rights example, if a group is committing more anti-gay violence, or is more likely to commit anti-gay violence, I do not think it is in our interest to admit them to the USA.

    You can certainly take all sorts of counter-positions. Some of the obvious ones include, for example, some versions of a) “no matter what they think we should admit them anyway;” b) “those facts about their beliefs are inaccurate; here are other competing ones;” and/or c) “our screening process is capable of eliminating people who believe those things”.

    Any substantive position would be welcome.

    **Also, can you stop calling this “innuendo?” Seriously. I’m saying, straight out, that people with those characteristics are more likely to be dangerous to gays. And I’m saying that you appear to be defending them. There’s no hidden message here.

  85. 86
    Jane Doh says:

    I don’t think coming from a country with repressive laws should disqualify one from immigration. Immigrants leave their country because they are looking for something else, not more of the same. This is especially true for poor immigrants, who have next to no chance of visiting home any time soon.

    Furthermore, if we are going to start restricting immigration from Muslim-majority countries for repressive anti-homosexual laws, we should also restrict immigration from non-Muslim majority countries that have such laws. There are 70+ countries with such laws on the books, including majority Christian countries in Africa and the Caribbean (plus several Eastern European ones such as Russia are inching their way there as well, but haven’t gone all the way yet), majority Hindu India and majority Buddhist Myanmar and Bhutan. Oh, and 13 states in the US. No one suggests that California should prevent people from Louisiana from moving there because Louisiana criminalizes same sex intimacy.

    I think that when most people consider a Muslim ban, they think Syria or Saudi Arabia, not Indonesia or Malaysia (both of which, incidentally, have repressive anti-homosexual laws, though to be fair, it is only some provinces in Indonesia).

  86. 87
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Jane Doh says:
    April 3, 2017 at 6:04 pm
    I don’t think coming from a country with repressive laws should disqualify one from immigration.

    Well, it isn’t just the laws. It’s that the laws combined with the polls suggest that there is more likely (relatively speaking) going to be a problem. A law alone is insufficient, especially in a non-democratic society, although it does have implications regarding what people view as normalized. If anonymous polls were showing that people hated the law, then I wouldn’t care about the law so much.

    if we are going to start restricting immigration from Muslim-majority countries for repressive anti-homosexual laws, we should also restrict immigration from non-Muslim majority countries that have such laws.

    Sure; I support the same analysis for anywhere else. Right now we happen to be talking about a particular limited issue w/r/t Muslim immigration, but I see no reason that we should choose to import gay-haters from anywhere, Muslim or not.

    Oh, and 13 states in the US. No one suggests that California should prevent people from Louisiana from moving there because Louisiana criminalizes same sex intimacy.

    These statues were overruled by the Supreme Court, and are merely historical artifacts. Hell, Massachusetts still has an anti-sodomy law on the books.

    But in any case, we have always had free movement between states here in the U.S. of course, and we owe a duty to Louisiana citizens as well, and so on. So that’s a different argument. For immigration OTOH, we have a vast oversupply of people who would like to come here, and a limited number of admission slots. If you have ten applicants for every slot, you can and should be pretty picky: if you’re denying most applications anyway, why not try to avoid potential problems?

  87. 88
    Ampersand says:

    Well, it isn’t just the laws. It’s that the laws combined with the polls suggest that there is more likely (relatively speaking) going to be a problem.

    Is there any evidence-based reason to believe that polls of a country’s general population is representative of people seeking to leave that country?

    Is three any evidence that admitting Muslim immigrants has caused “potential problems” to a disproportionate degree?

    And what do you mean when you say “problems?” My main concern is about people voting for anti-gay politicians – that isn’t as headline-grabbing as other things, but arguably it’s more consequential – and Muslim immigrants seem less likely to vote for anti-gay politicians than other groups (because they’re less likely to vote for Republicans).

    As for “why not”: because discriminating against people based on their religion is wrong.

  88. G&W wrote:

    Also, can you stop calling this “innuendo?” Seriously. I’m saying, straight out, that people with those characteristics are more likely to be dangerous to gays. And I’m saying that you appear to be defending them. There’s no hidden message here.

    The innuendo I am talking about is not against the Muslims in the countries you identify who might want to immigrate to the United States. As you say, you’re smearing those people outright. Rather, whether you intend it or not, the innuendo is against Muslims who are already here—not to mention Muslims who live anywhere but the kinds of countries you are highlighting—whether or not they are immigrants, regardless of whether they were raised Muslim or became Muslim through conversion, and regardless of what their politics might be.

    Also, you wrote:

    This is a discussion about the immigration terms as applied to groups of people from various specific countries which are majority Muslim and which have a ton of really horrible characteristics–characteristics which I for one do not want to promote here in the USA. And in that limited discussion, the facts–and these are facts, not innuendo**–are quite relevant.

    How is a discussion of who should and should not be allowed into this country not also, by definition, a discussion of, as I put it, “the place of [in this case] Muslims in United States society and culture?”

  89. 90
    Chris says:

    g&w:

    Right now we happen to be talking about a particular limited issue w/r/t Muslim immigration, but I see no reason that we should choose to import gay-haters from anywhere, Muslim or not.

    You’re an intellectually honest person, so I believe you when you say this.

    The problem is that your proposal has no chance in hell of ever passing, because most people who say they want Muslim immigrants banned for not liking gays would never, ever accept that restriction placed on Christian immigrants.

    In practice, the policy you propose would only end up applying to Muslims anyway.

  90. 91
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Ampersand says:
    Is there any evidence-based reason to believe that polls of a country’s general population is representative of people seeking to leave that country?

    Is there evidence they’re not? I think you’re stuck with that proof: I’m assuming that people are largely the same (which is the usual null hypothesis) and you’re basically claiming that they’re selectively different. Do you have evidence that the views of potential migrants are significantly different?

    Is there any evidence that admitting Muslim immigrants has caused “potential problems” to a disproportionate degree?

    Depeneds what you are willing to consider “evidence”. For example, in Europe they have had serious problems with Muslim immigrants; those are the types of problems that I am hoping to avoid. We have not admitted as many numerically and not even close to as many proportionally. So we have not seen that level yet: however, the problems elsewhere remain relevant. That said, we seem to have growing issues w/ radicalization and certainly there are some problems.

    And what do you mean when you say “problems?” My main concern is about people voting for anti-gay politicians – that isn’t as headline-grabbing as other things, but arguably it’s more consequential – and Muslim immigrants seem less likely to vote for anti-gay politicians than other groups (because they’re less likely to vote for Republicans).

    Are we talking about problems generally, or specifically problems w/r/t gay people?

    I operate on the assumption that, on average, beliefs have consequences. A country which has more vehemently anti-gay folks is probably going to be more anti-gay than one who does not. I don’t know precisely how. A country which has more religious folks is going to be less secular; I don’t know precisely how. And so on. I can speculate if you really want me to.

    As for “why not”: because discriminating against people based on their religion is wrong.

    We should not discriminate against Muslims. We should discriminate against people who hold a set of unusually backwards, nasty, and asocial* beliefs and behaviors. Sadly, at this particular point in history it so happens that those backwards, nasty, asocial beliefs happen to be shared by a bunch of Muslims–in fact for many of them, those views seem to unfortunately be included in what they call “religious belief.” I don’t consider religion an excuse. Do you?

    Horrible beliefs are also shared by a lot of other folks, ranging from violent Messianic orthodox Jews, to horrific Bible-thumpers, and so on. I don’t excuse those folks, as you surely know. We just don’t happen to be talking about them in this thread.**

    If you prioritize religion over morality, then you’re granting the power to everyone to do whatever the hell they want so long as they blame it on God, which, no.

    Moreover, Muslims are something like 20% of the world population, and there are, as people note, a ton of Muslims who believe a lot of different things and act in different ways. And on that note:

    Richard Jeffrey Newman says:
    April 4, 2017 at 12:09 pm
    Rather, whether you intend it or not, the innuendo is against Muslims who are already here—not to mention Muslims who live anywhere but the kinds of countries you are highlighting—whether or not they are immigrants, regardless of whether they were raised Muslim or became Muslim through conversion, and regardless of what their politics might be.

    The ban applied to seven specific countries and a tiny fraction of Muslims worldwide. The people who called it a “Muslim ban;” who tied it to all Muslims; and who have convinced everyone that it applied to all Muslims; are largely on the left. The responsibility for that innuendo is on you folks.

    But anyway, so be it. If discussing facts like those opinion polls serves to upset people, that does not make the facts less true and it does not suggest they should be suppressed from polite discussion.

    How is a discussion of who should and should not be allowed into this country not also, by definition, a discussion of, as I put it, “the place of [in this case] Muslims in United States society and culture?”

    This is maddening. It’s like I’m arguing for rye bread over wheat bread, and I’m being summarized as “anti-bread.”

    There are two sets of people:

    Set 1 has people with lots of nasty beliefs. Some (many?) of them happen to be Muslim. I don’t want them immigrating to the US. I don’t care what the source is, religious or otherwise.

    Set 2 has people with fewer nasty beliefs. Some (many?) of them also happen to be Muslim, no surprise since the world has a lot of Muslims. I don’t care about them one way or the other, and in theory I’m fine with them immigrating to the US, Muslim or not.

    “Muslim” is common across both groups, which is to say that it doesn’t control the outcome. “Higher probability of having nasty beliefs” controls the outcome.

    So w/r/t their place in U.S. society, I would say it should be like anyone else.

    *At least with respect to OUR society, which I like quite a bit.

    **So for example, I dislike a lot of stuff that Orthodox Jews do. However, since I’m Jewish I don’t usually get called anti-Semitic for saying so.

  91. 92
    Ampersand says:

    I’m having a real hard time connecting the dots… I didn’t even mention Pulse and ACE in the same comment…

    I’m sorry, I must have misunderstood the point you were making. My bad.

    I also think you might be confusing the study with something else, because that IS the name of the study, they did correlate ACE markers, which I identified correctly, to negative adult behaviours, and it wasn’t a low N study (17,337 respondents).

    Nope, I’m not confused.

    1. You called it the “Adverse Childhood Effects” study. The actual name is “Adverse Childhood Experiences.” Obviously, that’s a minor difference.

    2. You claimed that “they found that someone who had three or more ACE markers was 1600% more likely to be addicted to Meth as an adult.” But the study said nothing at all about “addicted to Meth.” That simply wasn’t something they measured.

    My guess is that you meant “addiction to illicit drugs,” which is a category that ACE did include. But:

    Compared with people with 0 ACEs, people with >5 ACEs were 7-to 10-fold more likely to report illicit drug use problems, addiction to illicit drugs, and parenteral drug use.

    That’s certainly a significant finding! But it’s not “1600%.” But you weren’t that far off; the actual figures are 700% to 1000%, if I’m understanding this correctly. But keep in mind that includes people addicted to relatively mild illicit drugs (like pot), not just meth users.

    So that’s why I said that. I didn’t mean to make a major issue of it; it was just a parenthetical aside.

    (Source.)

  92. 93
    Humble Talent says:

    2. You claimed that “they found that someone who had three or more ACE markers was 1600% more likely to be addicted to Meth as an adult.” But the study said nothing at all about “addicted to Meth.” That simply wasn’t something they measured.

    The ACE studies have been recreated dozens of times, I distinctly remember that percentage and it blowing my socks off. I tried looking for the study in particular, andI even thinkI found it, but I don’t have academic credentials anymore and it’s behind a paywall.

    I did however find this: Page 7:

    Injection of illegal drugs:
    In the United States, the most commonly injected street drugs are heroin and
    methamphetamine. Methamphetamine has the interesting property of being closely related to amphetamine, the first anti-depressant introduced by Ciba Pharmaceuticals in 1932. When we studied the relation of injecting illicit drugs to adverse childhood experiences, we again found a similar dose-response pattern; the likelihood of injection of street drugs increases strongly and in a graded fashion as the ACE Score increases. (Figure 4) At the extremes of ACE Score, the figures for injected drug use are even more powerful. For instance, a male child with an ACE Score of 6, when compared to a male child with an ACE Score of 0, has a 46-fold (4,600%) increase in the likelihood of becoming an injection drug user sometime later in life.

    Craziness, no?

  93. 94
    Humble Talent says:

    2. You claimed that “they found that someone who had three or more ACE markers was 1600% more likely to be addicted to Meth as an adult.” But the study said nothing at all about “addicted to Meth.” That simply wasn’t something they measured.

    The ACE studies have been recreated probably dozens of times, I distinctly remember that percentage and it blowing my socks off, but I tried looking for the study in particular, and I even thinkI found it, but I don’t have academic credentials anymore and it’s behind a paywall.

    I did however find this: Page 7:

    Injection of illegal drugs:
    In the United States, the most commonly injected street drugs are heroin and
    methamphetamine. Methamphetamine has the interesting property of being closely related to amphetamine, the first anti-depressant introduced by Ciba Pharmaceuticals in 1932. When we studied the relation of injecting illicit drugs to adverse childhood experiences, we again found a similar dose-response pattern; the likelihood of injection of street drugs increases strongly and in a graded fashion as the ACE Score increases. (Figure 4) At the extremes of ACE Score, the figures for injected drug use are even more powerful. For instance, a male child with an ACE Score of 6, when compared to a male child with an ACE Score of 0, has a 46-fold (4,600%) increase in the likelihood of becoming an injection drug user sometime later in life.

    Craziness, no?

  94. 95
    Humble Talent says:

    Actually… Coming back to it, that figure shows the injection drug use percentage of participants with 0 ACE markers at about a quarter percent, and the injection drug use of participants with 4 (or more) ACE markers at about 3.4%, which is a 13.6 fold increase. 1360% is closer to 1600%, but I digress, I was reciting from memory, I probably misremembered. And this is all kinds of off topic. Sorry.

  95. 96
    Ampersand says:

    HT: Thanks for that further info about the ACE studies! I withdraw my earlier comment. :-)

  96. 97
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Amp:

    How do you fit the recent Islamic terror attacks into your worldview? Earlier in this thread you talked about a lack of evidence; I’m trying to pin you down on the sort of evidence which you would accept.

  97. 98
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    I thought it might be worth renewing this question again, in the hopes that some of the “there’s absolutely no evidence” folks would respond. Seems fair to ask, since I’ve at least tried to answer questions that others have posed to me… And these days, sadly, there is often more evidence to look at.

    Also, FWIW, here’s a fascinating GAO office paper comparing ‘far right wing extremists’ and radical islamic extremist’ attacks in the US..

    It’s mostly fascinating as a political read. Who made the decisions to study this like they did and present it as they did? I have no idea how to find out.

    1) They start counting on 9/12/2001, which is odd. After all, if you’re trying to talk about violent extremist attacks, leaving out 9/11 seems about as valid as deciding to write about nuclear bomb fatalities starting in 1946 (“why be so concerned, they have hardly killed anyone at all!”) This is especially true if you’re trying to assign money or government resources to competing groups.

    2) It focuses very heavily on “number of incidents.” But that approach fails to capture the scale distinction that politicians and populists alike are worried about. People feel very differently about Dylan Roof then they do about the neo-Nazi who murdered a pedophile priest while in prison. People feel very differently generally about mass killings than individual ones–no real surprise, in a country with 15000+ homicides/year.

    3) It ignores wounded and as such misses some other scale issues. So if you wonder why Massachusetts doesn’t have a big red dot, it’s because the Boston Marathon bombing only killed three folks, although it injured 264 more and threw the city into turmoil. I’m not familiar with all of them, but certainly that decision for Pulse and Boston alone would have an enormous effect on one side.

    But anyway, read the whole thing.

  98. 99
    Jane Doh says:

    Thanks for the link g&w, but I don’t see how that report is exactly relevant to banning immigrants from Muslim majority countries. The listed attacks by Islamic extremists are not necessarily the result of immigration from Muslim countries. For one thing, the nationality of the attackers is left off. Just names is not enough–the Boston Marathon bombers are/were from Russia. For another, many of the perpetrators of the incidents are Americans (which makes sense, since all other data on immigrants and crime suggests that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than American born people).

    As to your specific points:
    1) Why not? It is a memorable date, and the start of much information gathering. There are loads of incidents pre-2011 that were not perpetrated by Islamic extremists. If they went back before 2011, I suspect that the “incidents” would be much more heavily weighted towards far-right extremists. Especially if they go back as far as Oklahoma City.

    2) Again, why not? I would rather have some idea about the number of incidents, which is more relevant in some ways than a scorecard of the number of deaths. The DC sniper thing was a slow moving mass killing, but you can bet that it seriously freaked people out much more than if the sniper had gone to a mall or school and shot the same number of people (which is unfortunately far too common). Access to guns is much better in the US than access to explosives (or airplanes). I am much more concerned that I will be shot in a mass incident than blown up, though I am not actually too concerned about either.

    3) I agree with you there–I think it would have been a good thing to include some indications of incident outcomes other than deaths. It is really weird that they didn’t.

  99. 100
    gin-and-whiskey says:

    Jane Doh says:
    April 26, 2017 at 7:24 am
    Thanks for the link g&w, but I don’t see how that report is exactly relevant to banning immigrants from Muslim majority countries.

    The conversation has expanded, including various discussions about things people are afraid of, and evidence of things that people want to prevent, and so on. I don’t know if you are deliberately using “exactly” as a limiting modifier, but it seemed relevant to the rest of the thread IMO.

    The presentation is interesting on its own: It is quite illustrative of the type of slippery/dodgy presentation that plays poorly to anyone who isn’t already well on the presenter’s team.

    As to your specific points:
    1) Why not? It is a memorable date, and the start of much information gathering.

    Well, most obviously it makes the authors (perhaps correctly) look like they are trying to find a false equivalence.

    You and I both know the study will at some point (and probably already has) be summed up as:
    Right Wing extremists; 62 incidents /106 victims
    Radical Islamic extremists; 23 incidents / 119 victims.

    But we live in a world where people know the reality includes all sorts of things, and is probably rounded up to be more like
    Right Wing extremists; 70-100 incidents /150-200 victims
    Radical Islamic extremists; 30-50 incidents / 3200 victims.

    So the first presentation may focus resources on what may be the wrong thing. Our nation can–does–absorb a surprising number of killings, when they’re one or two people. Our nation reacts poorly, and is more damaged, by larger attacks.

    There are loads of incidents pre-2011 that were not perpetrated by Islamic extremists. If they went back before 2011, I suspect that the “incidents” would be much more heavily weighted towards far-right extremists. Especially if they go back as far as Oklahoma City.

    Sure. Waco isn’t on there, either, and IIRC the Atlanta Olympics bomb isn’t on there either. But you’re wrong that it would be “more heavily weighted” because if you used any normal time frame, the 9/11 deaths would outweigh things if you included them.

    But I’m not sure I understand your viewpoint, so let’s be specific: In this context, do you think that it is is “worse” for 10 unconnected people to commit violent acts, or for one person to kill 10 others? I think the latter one is worse, in this context.

    2) Again, why not? I would rather have some idea about the number of incidents, which is more relevant in some ways than a scorecard of the number of deaths.

    I’d rather have both, but out of curiosity can you explain why you think the # of incidents is “more relevant in some ways”?

    Part of what we’re protecting against is the social harm from these sorts of things. As a practical matter, the smaller incidents don’t change social thought:
    even if a Nazi kills someone, the chances are high that it will be swept into the river of people who get killed every day–there are more killings in the Democrat stronghold of Chicago each year than are reflected on the total chart.

    The DC sniper thing was a slow moving mass killing, but you can bet that it seriously freaked people out much more than if the sniper had gone to a mall or school and shot the same number of people (which is unfortunately far too common).

    That’s an odd distinction which relates to an unusual case. IMO almost everyone would count that as one ongoing incident and it’s a poor ‘disproof’ of the distinction between isolated incidents and larger ones..

    Access to guns is much better in the US than access to explosives (or airplanes). I am much more concerned that I will be shot in a mass incident than blown up, though I am not actually too concerned about either.

    I agree that the overall risk is quite small, though like you I don’t really want to be killed either way.

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