Do you know a good tomato from a bad one?

Posted: April 27, 2010 by datechguy in internet/free speech, media, opinion/news
Tags: , , , , ,

My arch enemy friend Chris asked a reasonable question in comments on my Bryon York post. To Wit:

Pete, what circumstances would give an officer reasonable suspicion that a person was not a legal resident?

It’s the type of question that the media is all over today, it deserves an answer so here it comes.

You are asking the wrong person, let me explain why:

One of the things you learn in a job is how to recognize signs, for example, when debuging a system certain performance signs or browser actions will indicate a spyware issue. Others will indicate that temp files haven’t been cleaned out since sometime the Red Sox won the Series. I’ve found after a decade of doing this that I can watch a system for several minutes and have a pretty good idea what is going wrong.

This is true in any good profession or hobby. Mike the butcher can recognize the differences between different grades of meat in the shop. Bob the hardware guy knows a good door from a cheap one. Marge at ZuZu’s Petals knows a good flower from a bad one. Bill at the Border Grille & Bar knows the difference between a tomato that can be used in a salad, a sandwich or a salsa and one that is only usable during a bad performance onstage.

Likewise a police officer who has been trained in law enforcement and spending years or decades in an area where they’ve had to deal with illegal immigration on a daily basis would recognize things that you or I, not having having had said experience would not even think of looking for.

But Pete you say, we can’t trust the police to enforce the laws fairly. We can’t? Look at the record. Do you feel intimidated by the police in town? Do you feel scared or worried. They have all kinds of legal authority over you yet you don’t quake in fear? Why are you so ready to trust your local police but are unwilling to allow people from Arizona that same courtesy? Because they are different from you? Because they are republicans and/or conservatives? Because they are as Larry Baer called the tea party people “Stupid White People”? Talk about profiling!

Lets look at the record in one high visibility area. The police forces in the United States in cooperation with Federal and Homeland security have managed to successfully defend this nation from terrorist threats without the curtailing of individual rights particularly of American Muslims.

Can the American Muslim community honestly say their ability to work, or worship or live have been curtailed over the years? I think not. Can anyone rightly say that their ability to protest the war and call out President Bush was unreasonably restricted? It is to laugh.

I also think it is facetious to think that with national attention upon them said police are going to act capriciously when their jobs and futures are at stake, particularly in this economy. The ACLU, La Raza, Al Sharpton, The Free Muma, ANSWER, ACORN et/al and other who make their living ambulance chasing are drooling at the chance to catch them overstepping their authority. These cops know the score if you don’t realize that the you have not paid attention to our litigious society nor to the politics of the left.

So no I don’t know what would constitute a reasonable suspicion but the officers enforcing the law will, and if anyone is victimized by an officer going overboard there will be a plethora of lawyers and media to go after them that Ken Gladney never has and never will see after being beaten on film.

That’s why I and others don’t take people who are willing to call Arizona a police state seriously. They wouldn’t know a police state if it hit them upside the head and are only interested in feeling better about their self righteousness. Perhaps they should take a closer look at what is happening just across the border these days.

  1. Chris Lackey says:

    I’ve noticed a trend, Pete. When you are faced with a question you can not answer in an intellectually honest manner for your side, you use quite a lot of words to say, “I don’t know.” You did it here, and you did it many times during the debate. It’s an interesting way of avoiding the question. :)

    Police are due a lot of credit, but you’re giving them too much here. They don’t have illegal immigrant radar.

    Michael Graham mentioned this morning that a scenario would be if the person they just pulled over for speeding didn’t have a license or insurance paperwork (and didn’t speak English – which is profiling so I’ll ignore that), then there would be reasonable suspicion.

    The problem is, my wife was pulled over last year for speeding (slightly) and she didn’t have her paperwork on her, because she was coming home form the gym and didn’t bring her purse.

    I was happy the officer let her go along, but in Arizona, would the officer have to arrest her? For not showing him her paperwork? Of course he wouldn’t, because she speaks English, has blond hair, white skin, and blue eyes. And that’s where the profiling occurs.

    What if someone in the same scenario was a legal immigrant, but left their license at home when running to the gym? Perhaps this person didn’t speak good English? Does that person deserve to be arrested? I would think no.

  2. Chris Lackey says:

    I didn’t notice any examples of intellectual dishonesty, I’m really just complementing you in a roundabout way for not giving a dishonest answer, which would be required to answer the question in support of your side.

    I would hate to have to support a position when such an incredibly important detail must be ignored.

  3. Is it not also the State of Arizona that is requiring anyone appearing on their ballots in November to have provided a birth certifcate?

    This issue at hand. I don’t live in Arizona, I don’t plan to live in Arizona, laws on the state of Arizona don’t affect my life in any way. Just as I don’t particularly care for out of staters coming to my state/district to campaign or protest for a candidate or issue I don’t particularly care so much about another state’s laws.

    The laws I worry about are our nation’s laws, and also since I am in Massachusetts I’ll worry about my following my state’s laws including ‘not allowing a gorilla in the backseat of my car’, not frightening pigeons’, ‘not eating more than three sandwhiches at a wake’.

  4. Chris Lackey says:

    DaHospitalityGuy – did you know it’s illegal to blaspheme God in massachusetts?

  5. TaterSoup says:

    The twenty four sun dried passengers tied up in the pick-up bed with a couple of burlap bags thrown on them for good measure. The Mexican border is becoming a powder keg and were discussing whether or not Jose and Julio have papers. Jose and Julio got their papers from the Federal Department of Immigation and Naturalization or they had them professionally done for a price of which they will work for along time as indentured servants else their family members in Mexico or Honduras will be found decapitated in the street tomorrow. Slavery, Prostitution, and Drug Trade are big business so is money laundering and if we don’t get our ducks lined up we’ll be fighting this battle from Denver, Colorado not Phoenix. Read the papers in El Paso lately.

  6. Chris Lackey says:

    TaterSoup – perhaps some proper grammer and punctuation may help make your responses a bit more legible and respectable?

  7. Cousin Sam says:

    From Chris’s original remarks above: “….and didn’t speak English – which is profiling….”

    How is this profiling?! This is what is called, in the parlance of criminal investigations, “EVIDENCE”. Note that I did not say “proof”, as there is an obvious difference – proof convicts, whereas evidence leads one to investigate further. If a bank has been robbed, and the cops spot a guy running down the street with a gun and a sack of money nearby, are they unfairly profiling guys who run down streets with guns and sacks of money? By your logic, anything that points towards someone being guilty of a crime is apparently “profiling”.

    For that matter, I think we have forgotten entirely the reason why we, as a society, decided at some point that “profiling” was wrong – it was because it was being used to single out groups in ways that had nothing to do with the crime being profiled, and because it was used to the exclusion of actual evidence of those crimes. In this case, in Arizona, 100% of the people guilty of a particular crime share a certain characteristic (which is obviously *not* the same as saying that 100% of the people with that characteristic have committed that crime). If that characteristic were anything other than race, where would the argument be? What is so special about race? Only our past mistakes make race a special case. Yet I maintain that our past mistakes in one direction do not require us to make equally stupid mistakes in the other direction just to assuage our guilt. But of course, Liberal Guilt over past offenses is supposed to be the motivation behind every social and legal decision we make, regardless of the consequences to our current society. Neither feeling guilt over past racism which caused/resulted from inappropriate profiling nor a firm desire to avoid future racism-caused inappropriate profiling is justification for avoiding *appropriate* profiling, regardless of if it is by age, gender, or any other characteristic.

  8. Chris Lackey says:

    Cousin Sam, the problem we’re seeing is that we don’t agree that someone not speaking English is ‘evidence.’ There are legal citizens of the US that don’t speak English, or it is their second language (like seems to be the case for TaterSoup.)

    So therefore, it isn’t evidence. It certainly can’t be used in a case against them in court, it does not always mean they are not a legal citizen, and it’s an ugly thought to anyone who believes in human rights and decency towards other people.

    I don’t think people who aren’t proficient in the english language should be deported or arrested, even in TaterSoup’s case. :)

  9. Cousin Sam says:

    Chris, I still think that you are confusing the terms “evidence” and “proof”. If every legal citizen spoke fluent English, and only illegal immigrants didn’t, then not speaking English would be proof. Of course, that’s not true. You seem to think that they are going to convict someone, or deport them, solely on this basis. That is obviously not the case.

    It is, however, true that the percentage of illegal immigrants who do not speak English is much, much higher than the percentage of citizens who do not. If you have someone who does not speak English, it is statistically much more likely that they are an illegal than if you just pick someone at random out of the population. Therefore, it is evidence. It is not conclusive evidence, but it allows one to narrow down the field of possiblities. If you are a cop, and you are told there was a bank robbery nearby by a red-headed Caucasian male with a blue t-shirt, Yankees cap, and green pants, with a goatee and you see someone running nearby who is a red-headed Caucasian male with a blue t-shirt, Yankees cap, and green pants, with a goatee, you’re going to stop and question them. There are probably hundreds of people around who match that description – matching that description is not proof of guilt, but it is evidence, because it is far more likely that a person matching that description is your culprit, but it’s certainly not proof. You stop the guy, question him, and let him go, or not, based on further information. Obviously you are not going to haul him off to prison for 20 years just for matching the description, but it helps you direct your investigation, and is quite legal, even though it is an inconvenience to any red-headed Caucasian male with a blue t-shirt, Yankees cap, and green pants, with a goatee who happens to not be guilty.

  10. Cousin Sam says:

    ….and just so you don’t think that I’m against all Mexican immigration: Apparently, Mexico has passed a law that any doctor who wants to stand up for his/her pro-life beliefs by not discussing the “option” of murdering her baby with a patient may be subject to up to 4 years in prison. I firmly believe that any Mexican national in the medical profession who is subject to this edict should be granted full asylum and citizenship here in the U.S. just as our policy has been in the past to grant asylum to the victims of barbaric political persecution in foreign nations.

  11. Chris Lackey says:

    Cousin Sam, I think you are over interpreting my position. It’s this clear: I find it disgusting to ask anyone who isn’t proficient in English (just one of many things that could be construed as “reasonable cause”) for their proof of citizenship. You do not. It’s that simple.

    I understand the difference between proof and evidence, and I realize they won’t be booked solely on that, I hold the line in the sand further than you do on checking people’s citizenship on the street. I feel that is is a far further injustice than you do, clearly. And I’m sure we disagree on many injustices.

    I see you are defensive about being seen as a bigot. I can understand that; it’s a terrible label. How about this: should I have inferred you were a bigot, because 100% of bigots support this move by Arizona? Sure, not 100% of people who support it are bigots, but 100% of bigots support it. Therefore, is it evidence to infer you are a bigot? I would think not.

  12. Cosuin Sam says:

    Chris, maybe I am overinterpreting your position, I guess you are saying now that not speaking English is evidence, it’s just evidence that we should not consider when deciding who to investigate further, due to the ramifications of considering it. Believe it or not, I am bothered by it also, I don’t like the image of cops going around asking people for their “papers” like we’re in some 3rd world nation, but rather than being disgusted, I am only mildly discomforted by it, simply because the alternative, non-enforcement of our borders, is more disgusting to me. Strictly speaking, by the definition of evidence, supporting the legislation would be considered evidence of bigotry, since I would assume that a high percentage of bigots would support it for their own reasons (probably not 100%, after all, there are probably a few bigots that own businesses who are ticked that their supply of abuse-able sub-minimum-wage labor is going to dry up and they’re going to have to pay Americans full wage now). However, it is very WEAK evidence, and therefore not useful – the reason being that while a high percentage of bigots would support the legislation, apparently a high percentage of non-bigots supports it also. To use my bank robber example – if the only detail you had about the bank robber was that he was right handed, that would be evidence, but it would be very weak evidence because 90% of the general population also is. On the other hand, inability to speak English is at least moderately STRONG evidence, since only a very low percentage of citizens cannot speak English. Strong evidence is useful in making a decision, weak evidence, though still technically evidence, is not.

    I would ask you, assuming that a nation has the right to control access to its borders, and assuming we are going to have immigration laws and assuming that if one has a law it should be enforced, how then would you suggest that law enforcement identify those who are breaking that law, if they cannot consider as evidence those attributes that are common to those who break that law? Obviously they can’t just pick people at random and demand ID – I would find that disgusting. What attributes would you allow them to consider as evidence?

    (And of course I am “defensive” about being seen as a bigot – since that seems to be the Left’s only argument they have remaining these days. Not that I’m saying that’s your argument.)