The End is Nigh

I like Joe Gandelman (turns out Joe didn’t write this, Michael Stickings did, and since I don’t know him from Adam, I can’t very well say I like him), but this sort of attitude is everything that is wrong with this country and everything that is wrong with discourse in the United States:

There certainly has been misrepresentation of his “view,” particularly by those who have taken his statements out of context. But this should not let Bennett off the hook. I don’t think he’s a racist — anyone who looks at his career and at what he’s said and written over the years can see that — but he shouldn’t have used a sensitive racial example to make a point about how reductio ad absurdum arguments are philosophically and politically problematic.

As a public figure with a good deal of experience dealing with the media — indeed, as a high-profile member of the media himself, as someone with high-level political experience — he should have used his head before his mouth and considered just how his comments would likely be taken once out there in the public domain. In short, he should have known better.

I’m not sure who needs to apologize to whom, nor even if apologies are necessary, but this is already an overblown story that should go away. Bennett’s critics should think about what he actually said before calling him a racist, but Bennett himself should take some time to mull over what was an astonishingly stupid thing to say.

In other words, he isn’t a racist, he isn’t advocating racist views, he was using a certain type of argument to make a point, and he has clarified what he meant in subesequent discussions, YET, according to Joe (and others), he still was stupid and should have known that some jackasses would intentionally distort his commentary, so therefore maybe he should apologize.

Brilliant. It doesn’t matter what he was saying. It doesn’t matter that we KNOW what he was saying. There exists the possibility somewhere that someone might get offended, or, as it is in this case, FEIGN deep offense, so “he should have known better” and therefore should not say such “astonishingly stupid” things.

Find me a more chilling or Orwellian concept than that.

(Might I add that most of the people outraged (SHOCKED! APPALLED!) at Bennett’s comments are members of the esteemed “John Kerry Nuance Brigades.”)

More here.






229 replies
  1. 1
    Tim F says:

    When I called this Larry Summers, v2.0, you know I was right. This argument will never die.

  2. 2
    Sean P says:

    Well, he’s half right in that Bennett was stupid to not realize how his comment could have easily been taken out of context. But I agree with the rest of your opinion. The apology should come from those who have intentionally misrepresented Bennet’s comments, and those who are still trying to score points based on what they know was a misrepresentation of Bennett’s comments.

  3. 3
    ppGaz says:

    Might I add that most of the people outraged (SHOCKED! APPALLED!) at Bennett’s comments are members of the esteemed “John Kerry Nuance

    That’s just silly.

    You are now a parody of yourself, John, you are trying so hard to mine this Bennett thing for page views that you are trolling your own blog. You are DougJ in reverse.

    Oh … no Steelers today. Sorry. Carry on.

  4. 4
    demimondian says:

    Actually, there is a strongly racist strain in Bennett’s comments, just not the one people are focussing one.

    Let’s break down his core claim carefully. In the midst of a long and logically correct discussion of why consequentialism is a bad basis for a moral code, he raises the following example as a _reductio ad absurdum_: “For instance, if you were to abort all black babies tomorrow, the crime rate would certainly fall.”

    The implicit argument behind his claim is “because black women are generally poorer than Americe women in general, and because the newborn children of poorer mothers are disproportionally more likely to commit crimes, you would reduce crime by aborting these fetuses.” This argument hides a classic logical error. (Cole, I’m disappointed in you on this, by the way: a professor of communications ought to have seen through that particular sophistry.)

    It’s true that black women are generally poorer than American women in general _when you control for age and marital status_. Bennett didn’t say anything about aborting just the fetuses of poor young unmarried black mothers, though; he talked about black mothers-to-be in general. Aborting fetuses of older and/or richer mothers would actually eliminate children who would not tend to become criminals. (This ignores the issue of crime rates in populations which are artificially deprived of younger females. This would be a knock on effect of the broader point above.)

    So here’s the racist point in his argument: it claims that black women are having babies early, despite their socioeconomic status. Levitt looked at that fact, and found that exact claim isn’t true. Women tend to base the decision to actually become mothers on their social status at the time they bear the children. Black women who become pragnant when young do tend to be more likely to abort the fetuses they bear then. They also tend to have more babies later, though, when their SES supports it.

    So Bennett’s argument is, in fact, false, and only appears to be true because of the “jungle monkey” stereotype of young urban blacks. That _is_ racist, and there’s no escaping it.

  5. 5
    ppGaz says:

    Let’s break down his core claim carefully. In the midst o

    Oh, lord.

  6. 6
    Hugh Frank says:

    So what about the many people who in fact were deeply offended by Bennett’s remarks and consider them racist? Do we just tell them to jump in a lake?

  7. 7
    rilkefan says:

    See my comment on the last post for why true statements are not always good things to say. I think I started with, “What an ugly baby!”

    Another example – I think cats are the coolest creatures on Earth, but believe strongly that human beings have more rights, and I oppose the death penalty; but I wouldn’t write “If ppGaz put Tunch in your oven at 400 for thirty minutes, I would totally understand if you shot him down, but would approve a life sentence, but I’d be really upset if you got the death penalty, because I oppose it”, because that would make you, ppGaz, and especially Tunch mad, and why would I want to do that, even to prove a point? Well, maybe proving a point is more important than what people feel, who knows.

  8. 8
    John Cole says:

    Oh, lord.

    My thoughts, exactly.

    Demimondian, thanks for being part of the problem. Put aside what you think Bennett was saying, and look what Bennett was actually saying.

  9. 9
    John Cole says:

    So what about the many people who in fact were deeply offended by Bennett’s remarks and consider them racist? Do we just tell them to jump in a lake?

    Sure. I prefer to just mock them, though.

  10. 10
    rilkefan says:

    Actually, demimondian, Levitt referred to blacks in the original paper and writes that the black crime rate is, after correcting for external factors, the same as the mean crime rate except for a higher homicide rate (thanks, crack). And race is still a good proxy for those causitive variables. Are you really saying that “let’s kill the poor” or “let’s kill the poor blacks” is a better basis for a reductio ad absurdam than “let’s kill the blacks”? (Creepy sentences to type, yech. G*d damn Bennett for starting this awful conversation. While I’m at it: Summers, if you’re reading this blog – you’re not helping domestic tranquility in the rilkefan household.)

  11. 11
    Hugh Frank says:

    Wild guess, but are you an Ayn Rand fan?

  12. 12
    CaseyL says:

    Find me a more chilling or Orwellian concept than that.

    This is satire, right?

    Let me try again to explain what was reprehensible about Bennett’s remarks.

    He said (in a nutshell): “If we aborted all black babies, that would reduce crime. But it would also be abhorrent and immoral.”

    The people appalled by what Bennett said are looking at sentence number one: If we aborted all black babies, that would reduce crime. That sentence is the premise of his remarks. He’s saying that black people commit most of the crimes in this country, and getting rid of the next generation of them would therefore reduce crime.

    His next sentence is a disavowal of the method. It isn’t a disavowal of the premise.

    The people appalled by his remarks are appalled by the premise.

    The people defending Bennett – not defending his right to make the remarks, which is incontestible, but whether he was actually correct – are either ignoring that question or hinting around (or, sometimes, saying right out) that he is factually accurate. That is: they accept the premise that “Black people commit most of the crimes in this country.”

    Is the premise a factually valid one?

    Do black people commit most of the murders, thefts, robberies, kidnappings, arsons, sexual assaults, non-sexual assaults, child abuse, spousal abuse, drug use, drug dealing, drug manufacture, elder abuse, blackmail, extortion, fraud, embezzlement and treason committed in the US?

    No, they do not. They might commit a majority of certain crimes in certain areas. But to say black people commit “the majority of crime in America” is inaccurate. And racist.

    It’s racist because the logical correllary to the premise is that black people not only commit most of the crimes in the US, but that they’re inherently, genetically coded to commit most of the crimes in the US. Not that there are other factors involved – educational, socio-economic, whatever – but just because they’re black.

    Bennett made an inaccurate, racist claim. It doesn’t matter that he disavowed the method. It especially doesn’t matter in light of how many people are defending the premise.

    I agree it’s wrong to say Bennett had no right to say that. He has the right to say anything he wants. But he doesn’t have the right to not be criticized for it, or to not be called a racist, since the premise is a racist one.

    And the premise does need to be singled out and criticized, because too many people believe it’s true. Believing a racially-charged claim is true when it isn’t is destructive to attempts to address racial issues in the US.

    It’s also destructive to attempts to address poverty issues in the US – and, for that matter, drug policy, domestic abuse issues, and white collar crime issues. Because black people don’t commit most of those crimes. And because most Americans don’t think of some of those crimes as crimes, esp. the white collar ones.

    Bennett’s premise is racist, inaccurate, and dishonest.

    I hope this clarifies matters a bit.

    One more thing. In your rush to condemn, you missed the name of the post’s author: Michael Stickings, not Joe Gandelman.

  13. 13
    rilkefan says:

    That is: they accept the premise that “Black people commit most of the crimes in this country.”

    CaseyL, you’re confusing “a reduction in rate” with “a >50% reduction”. Very very very different things. In fact, as far as I know there are no serious commenters disputing the rate reduction part of Bennett’s argument. The main dispute is whether he should have said “poor”, whether he believes in social causation at all, and whether the whole thing is too horrible to discuss.

  14. 14
    Tim F says:

    John wins, I surrender. We might as well all accept that the primary cause of crime is blackness. If only mass abortions weren’t reprehensible and wrong, we could solve America’s crime problem tomorrow.

    Since we can’t abort the criminal underclass, I now understand that the problem of criminally is hopelessly intractable. What can we do? I tell you now that the only answer is to buy guns and gate our neighborhoods.

  15. 15
    DougJ says:

    The unfortunate thing is that Gandelman is right. The apology police will hound him until he apologizes and he should have known that when he was saying it.

    Look, we don’t live in a society that believes in rational debate, in which people consider the words of other’s carefully before calling them a “communist” or a “fascist” or a “Saddam-lover” or a “racist”. Why would we even pretend that we do?

    We live in a world where voters hear a phrase like “stay the course” and think “I like that, it sounds strong”. Doesn’t matter what course we’re staying. The course could be a plan to bankrupt the nation with pork and people would still want to stay it if there was even the feeblest of explanations about why bankrupting the nation with pork was a good idea. In fact, that’s pretty much what’s going on.

    It’s great, John, that you host a cite which encourages people of different persuasions to argue in a relatively good-natured manner. But let’s not pretend the rest of the world operates that way because it doesn’t.

    Go read the memos of Frank Luntz (who is a genius) or the book of George Lakoff (who does a pretty good job of describing contemporary public discourse from a high-brown point of view but doesn’t really understand the nitty gritty of it) if you want a better idea of what goes in the public “discussion” of politics and policy.

  16. 16
    Hugh Frank says:

    I’m with Tim, but would go one step further. I advocate the private ownership of tactical nuclear weapons. If the crime situation continues to deteriorate, I am going nuclear.

  17. 17
    John Cole says:

    John wins, I surrender. We might as well all accept that the primary cause of crime is blackness. If only mass abortions weren’t reprehensible and wrong, we could solve America’s crime problem tomorrow.

    Oh, fucking christ.

    I never said that, nor did Bennett.

    This is the most patently dishonest piece of crap you have ever written, Tim.

  18. 18
    demimondian says:

    Demimondian, thanks for being part of the problem. Put aside what you think Bennett was saying, and look what Bennett was actually saying.

    I did. His argument is valid — I said that. What I said is that his premise was not. Cole, you in particular should know the difference.

    If he’d wanted to make the same point, he could have said “If we aborted the fetuses of all poor, unmarried, non-high-school graduates in this country, it would have reduced the crime rate” That statement would have been true — but it would have lacked the emotional punch of talking about genocide. He could have said “If we aborted the fetuses of all poor, unmarried, Jewish/Muslim/Native American junior high-school students, it would probably reduce the crime rate in this country” — any of those is likely to be true, depending on the sample size. Each one of them would have been as good a counterexample.

    No, he picked blacks, John. If you were discussing this in a class, wouldn’t you point that out to your students?

  19. 19
    Darrell says:

    He’s saying that black people commit most of the crimes in this country, and getting rid of the next generation of them would therefore reduce crime.

    No he didn’t. You are lying. Blacks in the US commit a disproportionate amount of crimes here. You can argue until you’re blue in the face about the validity of that ‘premise’, but that would be no different than arguing that it’s ‘inaccurate’ to claim the sky is blue.

    CaseyL demonstrates well the dishonesty and stupidity of the left

  20. 20
    rilkefan says:

    “Since we can’t abort the criminal underclass”

    Ah, but Levitt says we’re already doing so. Not efficiently, but effectively enough to make a sizable difference.

  21. 21
    John Cole says:

    No, he picked blacks, John. If you were discussing this in a class, wouldn’t you point that out to your students?

    He wasn;lt picking on blacks, and the chief reason he chose the argument he chose was because it is such an offensive idea- the forced abortion of all babies of a certain race to achieve an end, making his point that you do not make utilitarian arguments about moral issues.

    There is an association (not causal, dear Tim and Casey) between race and crime rates. That is well known.

  22. 22
    demimondian says:

    Are you really saying that “let’s kill the poor” or “let’s kill the poor blacks” is a better basis for a reductio ad absurdam than “let’s kill the blacks”?

    As a matter of fact, rilkefan, that is exactly what I’m saying. [shudder — I don’t like advocating for mass murder, even in the abstract.] (As you say, G*d damn Bennett for picking that sentence.)

    I’m saying Bennett picked blacks because of built in bias, and we’ve bought it, again because of built-in bias.

  23. 23
    rilkefan says:

    “What I said is that his premise was not.”

    But that was wrong. You were arguing that the distribution includes a component that commits less than the societal mean crime rate, but that says nothing about the mean crime rate of the distribution, which is known to be greater than the societal mean crime rate.

  24. 24
    demimondian says:

    The unfortunate thing is that Gandelman is right. The apology police will hound him until he apologizes and he should have known that when he was saying it.

    DougJ, you’ve out-subtled me. Are you snarking, or being serious?

  25. 25
    Darrell says:

    I’m saying Bennett picked blacks because of built in bias

    There is not a shred of evidence backing that statement. Blacks in point of fact, commit a higher rate of crime in the country overall. Nothing “biased” about it.

  26. 26
    Darrell says:

    In other words, he isn’t a racist, he isn’t advocating racist views, he was using a certain type of argument to make a point, and he has clarified what he meant in subesequent discussions, YET, according to Joe (and others), he still was stupid and should have known that some jackasses would intentionally distort his commentary, so therefore maybe he should apologize

    When he’s on, John Cole has an incredible ability to zero in on the meat of an issue. This is a great example. It highlights that most leftists cannot honestly discuss issues dealing with race. They can’t do it. This issue is but another in a long list of examples proving it

  27. 27
    demimondian says:

    You were arguing that the distribution includes a component that commits less than the societal mean crime rate, but that says nothing about the mean crime rate of the distribution, which is known to be greater than the societal mean crime rate.

    I was arguing that the current distribution of the SES of black mothers so closely mimics the distribution of mothers in general that the disproportion of criminality would not be found in the babies of today. If he’d talked about retroactively aborting black fetuses eighteen years ago, he’d have made a true statement.

  28. 28
    DougJ says:

    Serious, demi. I don’t think there’s any moral reason why he should apologize. It’s pretty clear what he was trying do with that argument, and what he was trying to do is not offensive. People are pretending to be offended by it to score political points. Which is their prerogative. That’s the way the world works.

    I have limited patience with those who pretend we live in a magical fairyland of informed public discourse, though. If he doesn’t know by now, he’s going to have to apologize or kiss that radio show good-bye, then he’s an idiot who deserves to lose his job. It’s the same thing a friend told me about job interviews: he would never hire anyone who didn’t seem to be enthusiastic about the job, not because he wanted people who were enthusiastic (he, like all right-thinking people, has a deep mistrust of genuinely enthusiastic people), but because if someone is too stupid to pretend to be enthusiastic at the interview, then they’re too stupid to do the job.

  29. 29
    rilkefan says:

    “most leftists cannot honestly discuss issues dealing with race.”

    You can’t discuss any issue honestly. Dumb of me to read your comments.

  30. 30
    rilkefan says:

    “the current distribution of the SES of black mothers so closely mimics the distribution of mothers in general”

    When did this happen? Where’s evidence to support this claim?

    I mean, when did the infant mortality rate among American blacks change from the 15/1000 level in 2003 to the 5/1000 level of American whites?

  31. 31
    Jordan says:

    “You can’t discuss any issue honestly. Dumb of me to read your comments.”

    When arguments fail, just go for the good ol’ ad hominem. Thank you for proving the point you were arguing against.

  32. 32
    Brian says:

    I do think there is some evidence of what you can call racism. Here’s a portion of the quote:

    “BENNETT: All right, well, I mean, I just don’t know. I would not argue for the pro-life position based on this, because you don’t know. I mean, it cuts both — ***you know, one of the arguments in this book Freakonomics that they make is that the declining crime rate, you know, they deal with this hypothesis, that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up. Well —

    CALLER: Well, I don’t think that statistic is accurate.

    BENNETT: Well, I don’t think it is either, I don’t think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don’t know. But I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.*** That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.”

    Look in between the stars, and he says that Freakonomics states abortion decreases crime (which if I recall it does) and then he segues into the black baby quote, tying in race. However, Freakonomics never addressed race in its argument. Bennett placed that qualifer in there. Leavitt himself says:

    “I mean it when I say that, from a purely fact-based and statistical perspective, race is not in any way central to our arguments about abortion and crime.”

    I think this could show a bias in this off-the cuff comment. It doesn’t mean he’s racist per se.

  33. 33
    Darrell says:

    I mean, when did the infant mortality rate among American blacks change from the 15/1000 level in 2003 to the 5/1000 level of American whites?

    Interestingly, lower income hispanics have on average, lower infant mortality rates and higher birth weights than whites

  34. 34
    Tim F says:

    This is the most patently dishonest piece of crap you have ever written, Tim.

    Answer honestly, did Bennett argue that his “solution” was based on a false premise, or merely immoral? We all understand that he was arguing against actually aborting people so we can move past that now.

    You and every other Bennett defender have pointed to the statistical correlation between blackness and crime. Super, you’re right, blackness correlates with crime. What does that mean to you? Does correlation imply causation?

    I can correlate the number of country music stations in a city with suicide rate. Sounds like country music causes suicide, n’est pas? It doesn’t. If you control for the size of the city the influence of country music disappears. Big cities have more suicide and more country music stations. Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    The right is rife with people who absolutely love the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. You could say that the Southern Strategy depends on it. On the other hand you have those of us who understand that correlation does not imply causation, AKA the left, who understand that solvable problems like poor neighborhoods, broken families and economic insecurity correlate better with crime than does race. They call us ‘bleeding-heart liberals’ for a reason.

    A person who understands the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy would never base an argument on the premises that Bennett did. On the one hand it’s pointlessly inflammatory, as practically everybody acknowledges, and on the other you could reduce crime more effectively by aborting the demographics that correlate better than does race.

    So far your statistical arguments have dwelled in the grey area between correlation and causation. Clarify where you stand and you won’t be vulnerable to barbs like my post above.

  35. 35
    Darrell says:

    Brian wrote:

    I do think there is some evidence of what you can call racism

    First you accuse him of racism, then you backpedal with this

    It doesn’t mean he’s racist per se.

  36. 36

    JOHN: I just sent you an email. I didn’t write that post it was my blogger, as the byline shows. Here’s the link to what I wrote — and people may hate it, but I did write the earlier one, but not the one you’re discussing. MY post was this one (not the one you’re discussing)

    http://www.themoderatevoice.co.....2303.shtml

    I normally would just do this by email but I do think my name needs to be removed from discussions of the above post since that wasn’t my post (just put in Michael Stickings’ name instead).

  37. 37
    EricH says:

    This is frankly silly.

    Bennett was making an off-the-cuff statement about the immorality or amorality of utlitiarianism. He was postulating an absurd – immoral and evil to be sure – example of that type of thinking.

    If he had given the example in a prepared speech, I think some of the criticism might have merit. E.g., sensitivity charges, et cetera.

    But geez, haven’t all of us made imaginary off-the-cuff analogies or propositions that on second thought sound stupid or poorly drawn?

    Sound and fury signifying squat.

    EH

  38. 38
    Brian says:

    Darrell:

    It’s hard to verbalize/write, but here’s why I said that.

    You can have racist thoughts – i.e. the assigning of values/traits based on nothing more than race – without being a racist. If you hear “great basketball player” and think of a black man, that’s a racist off-the-cuff thought. (Yes, and sexist too, but I don’t want too deep a grave.) However, I don’t think that makes you a racist per se – I reserve that label for someone who actually feels X race is better/worse than others simply because it is X race.

    So Bennett can have a racist thought, especially in an offhand commment, but not be an out-and-out racist.

  39. 39
    jobiuspublius says:

    Ah, oh great enlightened ones, how do you reduce crime if you don’t address the causes of crime?

  40. 40
    ppGaz says:

    To really understand this heap-o-churn, I really recommend that you read it while listening to Pavarotti. Then it all becomes clear. Crime is caused by all those little pickaninnies, and in the end, Bennett is a hero to the right for being fat clever enough to say so and get away with it.

    The Bushmonkeys troll the left to get them to yell about it, and insures that the rednecks on the right “get it.”

    [ insert winks here ]

    That is what this is all about, right?

    But seriously, try the Pavarotti while reading this stuff. You’ll laugh, and cry, and get a craving for Chianti. After a liter or so, you’ll feel motivated to go out and buy Bennett’s books.

  41. 41
    EricH says:

    Brian:
    “So Bennett can have a racist thought, especially in an offhand commment, but not be an out-and-out racist.”

    Perhaps pedanticism on my part, but racist or racialist thoughts?

    Maybe Bennett was engaged in racialism, not necessarily racism. Big difference between the two concepts.

    EH

  42. 42
    demimondian says:

    when did the infant mortality rate among American blacks change from the 15/1000 level in 2003 to the 5/1000 level of American whites

    Are those numbers absolute, or corrected for hospital quality?

  43. 43
    David says:

    It highlights that most leftists cannot honestly discuss issues dealing with race. They can’t do it. This issue is but another in a long list of examples proving it

    This highlights how Darrel cannot honestly discuss issues without using it to somehow bash Liberals. He can’t do it. This example is but another in a long list of examples proving it.

  44. 44
    Brian says:

    Eric:

    I do like your defintion choice better even though I’m not sure “racialism” covers his comments. Maybe I should have stuck with “bias” vs. “racist”.

  45. 45
    ppGaz says:

    Darrel cannot honestly discuss issues without using it to somehow bash Liberals.

    When Darrell is driving, he shakes his fist at drivers making left turns.

    “Commie bastard!”

  46. 46
    Tim F says:

    This is frankly silly.

    In my first post on this subject I pointed out that in a fair world nobody should give a shit what Bennett said on the radio. I still think that.

    The argument has legs not because Bennett matters but because it picks the scab off of a much more significant and unresolved dispute. cf. Larry Summers. I could give a shit whether Bennett apologizes and I could care less whether Summers gets or doesn’t get a reprimand. The questions they raise are bigger than they are.

  47. 47
    Darrell says:

    This highlights how Darrel cannot honestly discuss issues without using it to somehow bash Liberals

    I’ll bet many of those same leftists who defended Kayne West’s remarks, are the same ones now accusing Bill Bennett of racism.

  48. 48
    demimondian says:

    The questions they raise are bigger than they are

    From a meta-communicative standpoint — there’s an anaphora in that sentnce, I think. Do you mean “The questions that these issue raise are bigger than the people involved”?

  49. 49
    rilkefan says:

    ppGaz: “get a craving for Chianti”

    Did you get a craving for some fava beans? And some Tunch liver?

    demimondian, that’s straight up. Can’t see why it matters, though. Everybody knows that being black means being less likely to get good infrastructure, which is of course a part of the big mess leading to higher crime rates.

  50. 50
    Darrell says:

    how do you reduce crime if you don’t address the causes of crime?

    Should we then criminalize out of wedlock births? What ’causes’ should we address, and how?

  51. 51
    demimondian says:

    [T]hat’s straight up. Can’t see why it matters, though. Everybody knows that being black means being less likely to get good infrastructure, which is of course a part of the big mess leading to higher crime rates.

    I feel all slimy for saying this…but Darrell nailed why it matters. If SES were the primary cause of the infant mortality disparity, then poor Hispanics would have a high infant mortality rate. They don’t.

  52. 52
    Darrell says:

    Everybody knows that being black means being less likely to get good infrastructure, which is of course a part of the big mess leading to higher crime rates

    How big a part infrastructure plays is debatable. There have been studies showing that Vietnamese American children in families earning less than $25,000/yr living in sh*t neighborhoods score higher on SAT tests and have lower crime rates than black teenagers from upper middle class income families

  53. 53
    Cutler says:

    “So what about the many people who in fact were deeply offended by Bennett’s remarks and consider them racist? Do we just tell them to jump in a lake?”

    Yes.

  54. 54
    Darrell says:

    I feel all slimy for saying this…but Darrell nailed why it matters. If SES were the primary cause of the infant mortality disparity, then poor Hispanics would have a high infant mortality rate.

    An honest lefty. A rare breed. Re-read the thread. All this talk about lack of infrastructure etc, “causing” crime is mostly bullshit. But it’s part of the leftist mantra.. not wanting to hold people responsible for their own choices, but instead passing the blame to other factors like not enought government assistence, not enough infrastructure, etc, ‘causing’ the poor dears to commit crime. I’m sick of the excuses made by the left

  55. 55
    ppGaz says:

    hold people responsible for their own choices, but instead passing the blame to other factors like not enought gov

    So, put it all together for us, Darrell. If “responsibility” is what it’s all about, then how is Bennett’s hypothetical “kill all the black babies” remark supposed to be taken?

    In other words, what part of his remark makes him right, exactly, in light of your focus on “responsibility?”

    We need closure here. Tie it up, explain it, please.

  56. 56
    Cutler says:

    …and throw the rest of the thought police in after them.

  57. 57
    scs says:

    I think its funny that if you critcise the impoliteness of Bennett’s remarks, people come back with “Gee I didn’t know we couldn’t talk about race openly in this country anymore”. That is not the issue. Talking about aborting every black baby in this country is, sorry to say, not exactly an “intelligent” discussion of race in this country. Bennett’s remark was impolite and silly because it brought up an inflammatory statement linking blacks to high crime without any contextual background and for no good purpose other than to illustrate a silly point. If people want to have a forum for honest discussions on crime and race relationships, examining the causes of all crime and black crime, etc, I’m all for it. Let’s just not start it out with “let’s abort all the black babies.”

  58. 58
    srv says:

    All this heroic contextual rallying for poor Bill. I’m so glad there are so many to tell us how he really wanted it parsed for his listening audience.

    Bill clearly states that it would be impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible to do, but your crime rate would go down. If you aborted every black baby. He believes this is a true statement.

    Blacks are incarcerated disproportiantly per-capita for ‘crime’. Either he believes it’s true because of their environment, genes, or because our laws and law enforcement focus their efforts on that segment of society.

    Which of these three options is the reason he says: I do know that it’s true?

  59. 59
    ppGaz says:

    And some Tunch liver?

    Obviously, my many references to the four cats who hold us hostage here have not gotten through to you.

    Please lick yourself when your name is called:

    Squeaker Doodle.

    Mothercat.

    Frank Lee Mydear.

    Dweezil.

    Four of the most spoiled felines on the planet.

  60. 60
    EricH says:

    PPgaz:
    “How is Bennett’s hypothetical “kill all the black babies” remark supposed to be taken?”

    Simply as an off-the-cuff example, perhaps poorly chosen one, of the immorality (or amorality) of utilitarian thinking when applied to public policies.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    If we’re going to hold everyone, especially those in academia, to this new “Bennett Standard” of intellectual musings, then debate in this country will grind to a complete halt.

    Not a good thing.

    EH

  61. 61
    Darrell says:

    Blacks are incarcerated disproportiantly per-capita for ‘crime’. Either he believes it’s true because of their environment, genes, or because our laws and law enforcement focus their efforts on that segment of society.

    Or he believes that blacks are incarcerated disproportionately because they commit a disproportionate amount of crimes

  62. 62
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:
    What ‘causes’ should we address, and how?

    Exactly, what do we know about crime and ultimately what does such a sloppy non-scientific thing as race have to do with it?

    Don’t you guys think that those crime stats may be a little skewed? What if we caught more white collar criminals and gave them longer sentences? Oh, why bother, Bennett knows.

  63. 63
    demimondian says:

    impoliteness of Bennett’s remarks

    Jesus H. Christ on a crutch!

    That’s what pisses Cole off…and, I regret to say, me to. Bennett was consciously picking a tremendously impolite suggestion, precisely *because* it was impolite. He was making a modest, but disgusting, proposal in order to make a point.

    He owes nobody an apology for picking a rude example — he wasn’t seriously suggesting it or in any way suggesting that it was a good thing. I question the accuracy of his example, but not the thought behind it.

  64. 64
    Darrell says:

    Bennett’s remark was impolite and silly because it brought up an inflammatory statement linking blacks to high crime without any contextual background and for no good purpose other than to illustrate a silly point

    Sounds as if you have no clue as to the ‘context’ of Bennett’s statement. It was in the context of a discussion on the Freakonomics book. Specifically on the topic of linking abortion with declining crime rates.. hardly a “without any contextual background” situation

  65. 65
    EricH says:

    I believe the statistic (FBI Uniform Crime Statistics) is that about 95% of crime in America – violent and non-violent – is committed by young males.

    And that 80% of those 95% of young males were raised in fatherless homes.

    And that 67% of African American males are raised in fatherless home.

    Moynihan: “A society that raises a generation of young males in fatherless homes is a society that’s asking for trouble.”

    Interesting note that in China, by the year 2020 there will be roughly 50 million young males with no eligible females to marry. This is because women are aborting (in some cases committing infanticide) of female babies/fetuses.

    China is society that’s asking for trouble.

    EH

  66. 66
    rilkefan says:

    demimondian, I’m not hanging my argument on SES. Of course Hispanics face less discrimination and (I should think) are less subject to segregation and subsequent infrastructure and discrimination issues (not to go into the age at birth and two-parent household issues). Also you should be aware that any statistics involving Hispanics are complex, given immigration and reporting issues. It’s also dumb to compare Vietnamese immigrants (people incredibly motivated to come here and self-selected for strong social structures) with poor natives.

    I asked a leading health policy expert about those numbers recently, and age of mothers giving birth, the crappy health care afforded the poor, and community support for mothers all play a role.

  67. 67
    Andrei says:

    “There is an association (not causal, dear Tim and Casey) between race and crime rates. That is well known.”

    (Man, you leave for a day around here and you feel like coming back from a two vacation and 2,000 emails, so you can only skip to the front.)

    First, citation please. You of all people John Cole should be linking to back up this sort of statement on your own blog.

    Second, are you saying then, that 13% of the American population that is black is at the root cause of 80% or so of the crime in the United States? And if so, how is it that blacks only occupy 40% of the prison population while whites occupy 45%? Are blacks committing 4 times the number of crimes as their criminal white counterparts before getting caught or something?

    “So far your statistical arguments have dwelled in the grey area between correlation and causation. Clarify where you stand and you won’t be vulnerable to barbs like my post above.”

    /agreed

  68. 68
    Darrell says:

    Don’t you guys think that those crime stats may be a little skewed? What if we caught more white collar criminals and gave them longer sentences?

    This is another excuse repeated by leftists, and by criminals themselves if you’ve seen them interviewed. Blacks are disproportionately incarcerated because society doesn’t prosecute white collar criminals. It’s how most of the left really thinks

  69. 69
    rilkefan says:

    ppGaz, you didn’t read my first post in this thread, intended to disabuse John of the notion that truth is a sufficient raison d’etre for a statement.

  70. 70
    scs says:

    hardly a “without any contextual background” situation

    I was talking about qualifying his statistics with allowances for poverty, single parenting etc, which would put the idea in a little more context.

  71. 71
    adam says:

    I don’t think Bennett was being intentionally, overtly racist, and what he said was technically true. But Bennett, along with every other broadcaster-type, should know that you can’t single races out (particularly blacks) in America. It seems like at least once a year, some sportscaster gets fired for saying that black people can run faster or jump higer than whites because of genetics/being bred as slaves/etc. Most likely true, but you just can’t say it.

  72. 72
    Darrell says:

    China is society that’s asking for trouble.

    Good observation. All this talk about China overtaking the US in economic growth overlooks the fact that US population growth is on fire, while China is faced with a declining population with a relatively old, wrinkled workforce and military in the not too distant future

  73. 73
    rilkefan says:

    Ack, made the mistake of reading a Darrell post agaiin – he can’t see the difference between skewed and inverted.

    Of course blacks are more likely to be arrested per crime than whites, and probably for some reasonable metric the societal damage/white crime is higher than sd/black crime, and of course drug behavior by blacks is more heavily pursued and punished than drug behavior by whites, yadda yadda. The argument still stands despite the zeroth order effects of racism on the measurement.

    If anyone actually cares, blacks commit all crimes at the same rate as whites when the rates are corrected for SES (modulo crack homicides).

  74. 74
    Darrell says:

    It seems like at least once a year, some sportscaster gets fired for saying that black people can run faster or jump higer than whites because of genetics/being bred as slaves/etc. Most likely true, but you just can’t say it.

    Yes, but you can make a hit movie titled “White Men Can’t Jump” without anyone saying a word about it

  75. 75
    ppGaz says:

    It was in the context of a discussion on the Freakonomics book.

    Well, I have a copy of the book over in another room. I’m moving the office here this weekend, so the book is sort of buried at the moment … don’t make me go dig it out, please.

    Now, does the book make reference to blacks in its correlation of abortions to crime rates?

    If not, why did Bennett do so? Why did he need to single out a racial group in order to make his point?

    Concerned “honest lefties”, and righties too, want to know.

  76. 76
    Darrell says:

    If anyone actually cares, blacks commit all crimes at the same rate as whites when the rates are corrected for SES (modulo crack homicides).

    Can we see your evidence for that claim?

  77. 77
    demimondian says:

    Can we see your evidence for that claim?

    You can indeed. Go down to the local bookstore, and buy a copy of Steven Levitt’s book _Freakonomics_. That book points you towards his original joint paper.

  78. 78
    rilkefan says:

    ppGaz, Levitt’s original article discussed blacks. The point was, um, not received calmly in all quarters, and the book does not mention that facet of the argument. I have no idea if Bennett reads primary source material, or if he was just picking a frigging horrifying example because he was making a reductio ad absurdam.

  79. 79
    John Cole says:

    First, citation please. You of all people John Cole should be linking to back up this sort of statement on your own blog.

    Second, are you saying then, that 13% of the American population that is black is at the root cause of 80% or so of the crime in the United States? And if so, how is it that blacks only occupy 40% of the prison population while whites occupy 45%? Are blacks committing 4 times the number of crimes as their criminal white counterparts before getting caught or something?

    I am not going to spend the afternoon going over stats 101 with you, because when I finish, you will still argue with me anyway. Suffice it to say, there is a correlation between race and crime stats.

    Now, that does not mean that race causes crime, or that one race is predisposed to crime, as there are any number of other correlations and relationships that are at play (racism, poverty, family situation, education, economic opportunity or lack thereof, and so on). That doesn’t mean that the crime statistics may not be wholly accurate, or the way we measure crime statistics may be biased (we count more drug offenses and pay less attention to unprosecuted white collar crimes, etc.), but as crime rates are currently calculated, African-Americans, who make up roughly 12% of the population, are given credit for a significantly higher percentage of the crime rate, and have been for years, and there is nothing to suggest this trend will stop any time in the short term.

    But you guys know that, and just want to argue anyway.

    And I don’t want to hear another god damn thing about the so-called ‘intellectual honesty’ of the left vs. the right.

  80. 80
    Bob says:

    When he was talking about morality, he didn’t include gambling.

    He should have said that if all of Mrs. Bush’s children had been aborted and her husband shot we wouldn’t be worrying about Social Security and huge budget deficits.

    That’s okay to say, right everybody?

  81. 81
    Tim F says:

    Do you mean “The questions that these issue raise are bigger than the people involved”?

    Thank you. I hereby relinquish my pedant card.

  82. 82
    Bob says:

    Oh, but it would be reprehensible…

  83. 83
    DougJ says:

    When he was talking about morality, he didn’t include gambling.

    No one could have anticipated that a million-dollar-a-year gambling addiction might be considered immoral.

  84. 84
    Tim F says:

    John,

    Black poverty and other crime-sensitive metrics named by Levitt are also increasing. There is a world of difference between dwelling on that and dwelling on the race factor alone. That has been my primary point since this debate began.

  85. 85
    EricH says:

    “If all of Mrs. Bush’s children had been aborted and her husband shot we wouldn’t be worrying about Social Security and huge budget deficits.”

    Sure, he could use it because like the real example Bennett used, it’s so absurd and farcical that only crazy people or ideological zealots (sometimes the same thing) would embrace it.

    EH

  86. 86
    ppGaz says:

    But you guys know that, and just want to argue anyway.

    Yes, that’s why they started this thread.

  87. 87
    John Cole says:

    Black poverty and other crime-sensitive metrics named by Levitt are also increasing. There is a world of difference between dwelling on that and dwelling on the race factor alone. That has been my primary point since this debate began.

    Sure. But the idea of aborting al lthe babies of one race is so abhorrent, or, to borrow a phrase, MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE, that it made his point perfectly.

  88. 88
    EricH says:

    Tim F:
    But Bennett wasn’t trying to start a discussion on race and crime in America.

    His point was the danger of using utilitarian thinking when we enact public policies or laws.

    It just seems to me that he was just trying to come up with an absurd example off the top of his head and this very odd scenario sprung forward.

    This Freudian psychoanalysis of whether he liked his Daddy or his Mommy more based on his example is a little bizarre.

    Granted, it’s a really ugly example he came up, so ugly that in a public forum it’s best not to use it.

    Okay, he’s made a lot of enemies over the years. If they want to get back at him, fine. Use this to hammer him. But let’s remember that that’s what they’re doing, they’re really not engaging (for the most part) in some serious sociological discussion of race. It’s just cheap politics.

    Not accusing you of the latter or even most people here. But some are and they know who they are .

    EH

  89. 89
    ppGaz says:

    ppGaz, Levitt’s original article discussed blacks. The point was, um, not received calmly in all quarters, and the book does not mention that facet of the argument. I have no idea if Bennett reads primary source material, or if he was just picking a frigging horrifying example because he was making a reductio ad absurdam.

    Does “original article” refer to the book?

    As for Bennett, he stumbled into his horrifying example because he is just what Cole said he is on Day One of this controversy: A pompous ass. Nobody but an arrogant fool could think that his utterances would not set off a shitstorm. Therefore, one can only conclude that he wanted the shitstorm. After all, lives, property and national security didn’t pressure him into it. It was just his mouth which is connected directly to his gigantic ego which put us here. Competely unnecessary.

    A “reduction” argument? More like a “I have my own radio program and nobody is really paying any attention to me” argument.

  90. 90
    Darrell says:

    Tim F Says:

    John,

    Black poverty and other crime-sensitive metrics named by Levitt are also increasing.

    Blacks in the early 1950’s faced more discrimination and more economic hardship than blacks today, yet they had lower crime rates back then. It’s fair to say that most lefties try to excuse crime by claiming poverty ’causes’ crime

  91. 91
    Darrell says:

    As for Bennett, he stumbled into his horrifying example because he is just what Cole said he is on Day One of this controversy: A pompous ass.

    It’s true that Bill Bennett is a flawed messenger. But he’s much less flawed than Ted Kennedy or Robert Byrd

  92. 92
    rilkefan says:

    ppGaz, the section in the book in question is based on an article co-written with somebody or other around 2000. It’s on the web somewhere – well, here, not sure if that’s the one I read back in the day or which the book chooses to reference.

  93. 93
    EricH says:

    “Bennett, he stumbled into his horrifying example because he is just what Cole said he is on Day One of this controversy: A pompous ass.”

    If liberals go nuts having to listen to lessons on ethics from Bennett, imagine how we feel having to listen to ethical lessons from the likes of Ted Kennedy on the Senate floor.

    At least Bennett’s bloviations disappear into the atmosphere. Kennedy’s bloviations are sometimes put into law.

    Even worse, we’re paying for Kennedy’s rhetorical flatulence.

    EH

  94. 94
    srv says:

    Darrell doesn’t think it’s because of genes, environment or laws/law enforcement. They just happen to be black, and that’s why Bennett believes it.

    John says:

    Now, that does not mean that race causes crime, or that one race is predisposed to crime, as there are any number of other correlations and relationships that are at play

    (environmental)

    … That doesn’t mean that the crime statistics may not be wholly accurate, or the way we measure crime statistics may be biased

    (laws/law enforcenment/statistics)

    And I don’t want to hear another god damn thing about the so-called ‘intellectual honesty’ of the left vs. the right.

    Just tell us which you believe, honestly. Is it because they’re black, their environment, or the way gov’t/society treats them?

    I know where Bennett stands on law & order. There are never enough prisons for this guy. So that leaves me with two choices. Pardon me if I don’t give him the benefit of the doubt.

  95. 95
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell Says:

    Can we see your evidence for that claim?

    You’re a fine one to call for evidence.

  96. 96
    ppGaz says:

    Bennett, he stumbled into his horrifying example because he is just what Cole said he is on Day One of this controversy: A pompous ass.”

    If liberals go nuts having to list

    “Bennett might be a horse’s ass but — LOOK! A jackalope!”

    Got it.

  97. 97
    Darrell says:

    You’re a fine one to call for evidence

    Care to name for us any false claims I’ve made that I didn’t own up to jackass?

  98. 98
    Darrell says:

    Is it because they’re black, their environment, or the way gov’t/society treats them?

    False choice. You don’t list culture and attitudes.

  99. 99
    EricH says:

    “Bennett might be a horse’s ass but—LOOK! A jackalope!”

    Got it.

    Whew, that’s a relief. I was trying to write as far down as I could.

    Tried to imagine myself talking to a 3-year old. With arrested development. ADD too.

    Once I got that scenario in my head, the rest was a piece of cake.

    EH

  100. 100
    DougJ says:

    I have a thought experiment of my own. What if, instead of saying what he said about aborting black fetuses, he had said it about eating black babies? What if he had said

    “I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose, you could have the president eat every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.”

    Would people be more or less outraged by his remarks? I’m thinking less, because the proposal would be more obviously ridiculous.

  101. 101
    John Cole says:

    Just tell us which you believe, honestly.

    I don’t think there is any racial component to an individual’s predisposition to committ crime, ie, I don’t think a black, white, red, green, yellow, whatever, baby is more likely, in a vacuum, to become a criminal later on in life.

    I do think that race play a factor in how people are treated when suspected of a crime, and I do suspect it has an impact on conviction rates and/or sentencing.

  102. 102
    Robert Chefrad says:

    John is surprised and appalled that the “esteemed John Kerry Nuance Brigade” has jumped all over national scold Bill Bennett? But who wouldn’t want to?
    John has clearly never met Bennett, a living amalgam of Tartuffe and the Pharisee at the front of the temple.

    I sat with him at a Thomas More Society awards dinner a while back. He gave me the impression of someone who, had he been around for the creation, would have felt free to provide the Creator with some helpful hints.

    Robert in Georgetown, DC

  103. 103
    ppGaz says:

    I don’t think there is any racial component to an individual’s predisposition to committ crime, ie, I don;t think a black, white, red, green, yellow, whatever, baby is morelikely, in a vacuum, to become a criminal later on in life.

    I don’t think anyone here questions that, really.

    But can we say the same for Bill Bennett? And before we spring to keyboard to write the knee-jerk answer, why did he use that particular turn of phrase? Why did he talk about aborting black babies to make his all-so-important “point?”

    Any guesses?

    Let’s make it easier:

    a) He just goofed. An honest mistake.
    b) Poor choice of words. Durbinesque. Focus on what he meant, not what he said.
    c) He revealed himself as a boorish elitist, as if we needed more evidence.
    d) The Steelers are not playing today.
    e) He’s a racist pig.
    f) Other: ___________________________________________

  104. 104
    rilkefan says:

    ppGaz: “Fertility declines [after R v W] for black women are three times greater than for whites (12 percent compared to 4 percent). Given that homicide rates of black youths are roughly nine times higher than those of white youths, racial differences in the fertility effects of abortion are likely to translate into greater homicide reductions.” That’s the original paper.

  105. 105
    Tim F says:

    But the idea of aborting al lthe babies of one race is so abhorrent, or, to borrow a phrase, MORALLY REPREHENSIBLE, that it made his point perfectly.

    You will be shocked to know that we’re talking past each other.

    We, and by ‘we’ I mean I, don’t care much about the abortion thing. The issue is the premise that reducing blackness will reduce crime. Bennett intended for people to take offense to his example, of course. Not an uncommon rhetorical gambit. Problem is, Bennett wasn’t speaking in a vacuum or a history-free zone. The attitude that blackness causes crime has a substantial following in this country, represented here by our friend Darrell, and you could say that the race-causes-crime constituency is not without policy influence. Some would say that understates the case somewhat.

    I could give a shit what Bennett thinks about X, Y or Z. His star has faded. What we do have is an excellent rorscach test for the rest of us regarding an issue that makes a difference in our lives.

  106. 106
    srv says:

    False choice. You don’t list culture and attitudes.

    From John’s post, and my effort to make this simpler, culture is strongly related to environment. Attitudes are (mostly) a product of environment.

    Really offering a third choice is ambiguous, because popular (predominantly white, ‘christian’) views are what make up law enforcement and write the laws (their attitudes and culture).

    This doesn’t have to be a absolute choice. You can pick all, or parts thereof. You can pick a particular section of environment. Or gene, whatever. But I’m not going to buy that they just happen to be coincidently black. John says there’s a relationship.

  107. 107
    EricH says:

    “But can we say the same for Bill Bennett?”

    Well, before we string up Bennett (figuratively speaking) let’s look at his entire record.

    As a young man, he marched with Dr. King in civil rights protests. For equality and against Jim Crow segregation.

    Couple of points in his favor.

    I’d say, having marched with King gives him at least one free screwup 40 years later.

    EH

  108. 108
    Tim F says:

    I do think that race play a factor in how people are treated when suspected of a crime, and I do suspect it has an impact on conviction rates and/or sentencing.

    Holy shit, you’re a liberal.

  109. 109
    ppGaz says:

    before we string up Bennett

    We’ll need a thick rope.

  110. 110
    srv says:

    I don’t think anyone here questions that, really.

    Agreed, thanks. But I do wonder what others and Bennett think.

  111. 111
    Darrell says:

    The attitude that blackness causes crime has a substantial following in this country, represented here by our friend Darrell

    John Cole tells us not to question the intellectual honesty of left vs. right, but everytime race is discussed, it’s virtually always the left making the accusations of racism. It’s dishonest and despicable

  112. 112
    demimondian says:

    Thank you. I hereby relinquish my pedant card.

    You’re very welcome. I collect them, you know.

    (Sorry about the slow response. The oldest Demi-offspring wanted to take the rest of the family on a nature walk through the undeveloped part of Hartman Park. Fascinating — I didn’t realize that we had so much climax forest within just a few blockws of the house.)

  113. 113
    ppGaz says:

    Fan of rilke …. thanks.

    Was the author talking specifically about homicide, or generally about all crime?

  114. 114
    ppGaz says:

    always the left making the accusations of racism. It’s dishone

    Bzzzt. Penalty box, ten minutes.

  115. 115
    demimondian says:

    f) Other

    He revealed himself to have a poor grasp of probabilities.

    No surprise — people who have a strong grasp of probability lose only a little money gambling, because they know they won’t win.

  116. 116
    EricH says:

    Wait a second. Time out.

    As I noted above, Bennett marched with Dr. King in civil rights protests.

    I’d like to think that I would have done the same thing back then. But I’m not sure. I would hope I would. Took a bit of courage, didn’t it? Just a little?

    For everyone questioning his views on race, doesn’t that count just a bit?

    Can’t those who criticize him, give him one free pass 40 years later?

    After today, his slate is clean. No more freebies.

    But hasn’t he earned one foulup?

    I’m appealing to the liberal’s sense of fairness here.

    Are our my appeals worthless?

  117. 117
    Slide says:

    John Cole:

    There exists the possibility somewhere that someone might get offended, or, as it is in this case, FEIGN deep offense,

    The possibility? I would imagine that a huge majority of blacks would be offended hearing Bennett’s comments. Do you think that that offense is feigned? Get your head out of your ass and think about it for a moment as if you were black, you have someone suggesting that one way to reduce crime would be to kill all of the babies of your race? (yeah, yeah, even if he did say it would be impossibe to do so and morally reprehensible). To me it’s a no brainer. That is OFFENSIVE. VERY OFFENSIVE. Whether emperically true or not. Whether intended to be offensive or not. Whether a manifestation of a racist mindset or not. Its OFFENSIVE. VERY OFFENSIVE.

    Now you can argue all you want till your blue in the face as to whether or not it should be offensive, but that is really a very silly argument. The proof is in the pudding as my mother used to say.

    As I have said before, I hope the right keeps defending the racist comments of Bennett.

  118. 118
    rilkefan says:

    ppGaz, my (extremely limited) understanding is that homicide rates are of especial interest to those studying crime because they are accurate and hence a useful proxy for the overall crime rate. G*d knows how many rapes actually occur – reporting depends on SES and culture and …, but count up the bullet-ridden bodies and the suspicious disappearances and you get an excellent idea of the murder rate. Beyond that, check out the link above.

  119. 119
    Tim F says:

    Darrell, from you I’m getting equal impressions of black “culture” as a cause for crime and blackness in general. “Culture” as a general word is hard to separate from racial identity itself when you begin by defining the word in terms of race.

    Generally you haven’t been clear at all except insofar as voicing skepticism of the sociological ‘root causes’ that libs like. If you don’t believe that poverty or whatever root cause contributes, then what? Process of elimination.

  120. 120
    DougJ says:

    There is simply *no reason* to believe that Bennett was implying anything about a *genetic* tendency to commit crimes. Why are we even discussing that?

  121. 121
    skip says:

    Robert Chefrad cites Bennett at a Thomas More Society dinner. I hear he is Catholic. Obviously He never read the part, “judge not lest ye be judged.”

    Bennett is a permanent waggling finger.

  122. 122
    ppGaz says:

    But hasn’t he earned one foulup?

    Everybody gets one or two. But you have to redeem the coupon.

    Right now Bennett is acting like he’s shocked — shocked! — that he’s being misunderstood … and then refusing to back down from what he said.

    In order to get the Mulligan, he has to say something contrite.

    That’s not my rule, that’s pretty much what people expect.

    If somebody farts at the dinner table, it isn’t really expected that he will say “You all should apologize to me for complaining about my fart. How dare you presume that I farted on purpose?”

  123. 123
    demimondian says:

    Slide…may I make A Modest Proposal here? It would really be a Swift move to not get your Irishm up about aborting babies, any more than you wold about eating them

  124. 124
    Andrei says:

    I am not going to spend the afternoon going over stats 101 with you, because when I finish, you will still argue with me anyway.

    Nice duck and cover. All I asked for was a citation. Why is that so hard to find?

    But as crime rates are currently calculated, African-Americans, who make up roughly 12% of the population, are given credit for a significantly higher percentage of the crime rate.

    Again… citation please. And define “significant” while you are at it.

    And if what you say is true, how do you explain charts and tables like this where whites make up the majority percentage of offenders as a percentage to blacks according to our own FBI data on crime? FBI 2002 Crime report on persons arrested.

    No one is arguing that as a propotion of the 13% population of blacks, a larger proportion of them commit crime in this country as measured against how many of them they are, but to think that blacks commit more of the total crime in this country (and therefore making even the absurd argument that Bennett made that removing black babies from the population pool — even for the purpose of saying how stupid an idea that would be — would reduce the total crime rate as opposed to doing so with any other racial group) is foolish and absurd and teeters dangerously close on showing how little you know of what goes on around you, which is the kind of under the surface racism black leaders keep decrying constantly.

    I can’t wait to see how Chris Rock incorporates this whole fiasco into his next comedy act.

    Further, do you think that if blacks occupied 50% of the population, and given the adjustments needed in state of the country for that to occur and maintain our economic form of govenrment, tax contributions, corporate growth etc… Do you think the proportion of the crime rate committed by blacks in that scenario would remain constant? I hope not. It should be pretty obviousy it would drop significantly. It would have to. To believe otherwise is obviously racist.

    And that is the point. It’s not about race, it’s about economic status, pure and simple. So to use race, even in an attempt to make a patently absurd argument against something that one beleives is wrong, exposes what lies underneath the surface. Why did Bennet bother to use a racial trait in his foolish argument in the first place?

    You ever hear the saying?… “There’s a little bit of truth in every joke. That’s what makes the joke funny.”

  125. 125
    srv says:

    Can’t those who criticize him, give him one free pass 40 years later?

    I’ve given him plenty of passes, back when he was Sec. of Education. And when he wrote the Death of Outrage. Pot calling Kettle black there.

    I don’t think he’s really a racist, but his law-and-order and cultural warlordism past don’t particularly speak to him having any real insight into the other side of the story.

  126. 126
    Darrell says:

    Generally you haven’t been clear at all except insofar as voicing skepticism of the sociological ‘root causes’ that libs like

    If I wasn’t being clear, then why did you attribute to me the attitude that “blackness causes crime” which I never stated or implied?

    I’ll tell you why you did it… you did it because you’re a typical dishonest leftist. Although you don’t know a thing about me, because I ask certain questions or make certain statements you throw out unfounded accussations of racism. It’s who you are

  127. 127
    DougJ says:

    I’d forgotten about the “death of outrage.” What a jackass. The charges being leveled at Bennett are unfair…but it couldn’t have happened to a bigger asshole.

  128. 128
    demimondian says:

    because I ask certain questions or make certain statements you throw out unfounded accussations of racism.

    You’re right, Darrell. When you directly imply that “blacks are inferior”, we unfairly conclude that you actually believe that. It’s just who we are — simple, dull leftists, without the purity and honesty necessary to recognize that it isn’t that you believe that white people are superior, but rather that you, Darrell, are superior.

    Once I recognized that, I immediately acknowledged that you aren’t a racist. I haven’t quite figured out what you are, but I acknowledge that you aren’t a racist.

  129. 129
    EricH says:

    Srv:
    “but his law-and-order and cultural warlordism past don’t particularly speak to him having any real insight into the other side of the story.”

    Isn’t that, in part, the source of the animus directed at him? Not necessarily from you, but from others?

    They don’t like his statements on drugs or liberals or the cultural left or Hollywood or academia or some other issue that has enraged liberals or Dems or even libertarians (who hate him as well).

    And because he has angered them on other issues that this issue is sort of a cat’s paw or substitute for attacking him. By weakening his standing (such as it is) on this issue, his critics can then weaken whatever influence he has on the real issues they don’t like him, be it drugs or ideology, et cetera.

    They (for the most part) don’t think he’s a racist, they understand that he was speaking off the cuff, but they are so pissed off at him for other matters that they’ll use this anyway to get the bastard?

    Okay, politics ain’t beanbag, it’s a tough game. But at least for those doing this, be honest (like you are). Say you’re using this issue to hammer him because you just don’t like his stand on other matters.

    Get rid of the racist stick and talk honestly.

    Again, this isn’t intended at you or most of the others here who seem to be pretty straightforward as to what they’re postulating.

    EH

  130. 130
    srv says:

    If I wasn’t being clear, then why did you attribute to me the attitude that “blackness causes crime” which I never stated or implied?

    I think he meant coincidental blackness. Or what if he said anti-whiteness?

  131. 131
    srv says:

    EricH,

    Yep. But I think Bennett has got a huge ego. He would do something like this just for the attention. Just like Pat Robertson does every few months. Pat must have apologized 8 or 9 times in the last couple of years for one gaff or another. Right now, Pat is jealous.

  132. 132
    Darrell says:

    When you directly imply that “blacks are inferior”,

    Another prime example of a dishonest leftist scumbag throwing out unfounded accusations of racism to silence debate. Show us now demimondian where I directly implied that blacks are inferior..or anything close to that assertion. Show us where I did that, or have the honor to admit you took a despicable cheap shot

  133. 133
    EricH says:

    SRV:
    Well, Pat Robertson is just nuts. Flat out whackjob.

    What was that crazy book on the Illuminati and the Jews?

    Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo.

    EH

  134. 134
    Pb says:

    I’d just like to take a moment to say that, statistically speaking, black babies are responsible for no crime whatsoever. If you do assume that by aborting them, you will lower the crime rate, then you are assuming that they are somehow predisposed to become criminals at a higher rate than other babies (as well as predicting the future). Maybe that’s Bill Bennett’s vision for the future–he also wanted to short-change public schools after all–it isn’t mine.

    Also, for any amateur statisticians out there, the crime rate is calculated on a per capita basis, so total crime doesn’t matter as much as you might think. Keeping the amount of total crime constant while lowering the population would increase the crime rate.

  135. 135
    EricH says:

    PB:
    “Black babies are responsible for no crime whatsoever.”

    Well of course. But black babies grow up to be black men and women.

    And because for a whole host of reasons – ALL OF THEM ENVIRONMENTAL AND NONE OF THEM GENETIC OR INNATE – black young men committ crimes disproportionate to their numbers in society.

    So do young white men. So do young hispanic men.

    MOST black men do not committ crimes. EVERY black men is a unique individual and must be treated as an INDIVIDUAL and not based on his race. His race tells us NOTHING about him as a person.

    The reason that young black men committ crimes disproportionate to their numbers is an interesting topic. It is not – let me be as explicit as I can – because of any genetic causes.

    But it WAS NOT Bennett’s topic. His topic was the amorality of using utilitarianism when enacting public policies.

    This psychoanalysis of Bennett is interesting but gets us nowhere.

  136. 136
    rilkefan says:

    “Right now Bennett is acting like he’s shocked—shocked!—that he’s being misunderstood … and then refusing to back down from what he said.”

    He’s apologized about the offense people took, but I don’t see why he should back down from a true statement. You want him to lie to make people happy?

  137. 137
    Darrell says:

    MOST black men do not committ crimes. EVERY black men is a unique individual and must be treated as an INDIVIDUAL and not based on his race. His race tells us NOTHING about him as a person.

    The reason that young black men committ crimes disproportionate to their numbers is an interesting topic. It is not – let me be as explicit as I can – because of any genetic causes.

    Eric, good post. But don’t let the lowlifes intimidate you into walking on eggshells when discussing issues involving race. You seem to be bending too far backwards to demonstrate you aren’t a racist (my opinion).. thanks to those on the left who are so quick to throw out their baseless smears of racism. It’s their way of discrediting those they disagree with to silence debate.. it’s who they are. Doubt me? Then re-read this thread

  138. 138
    Slide says:

    the Death of Outrage 2005

    Bill Bennett – degenerate gambler, spewer of racism
    Karl Rove – under investigation
    Scooter Libby – under investigation
    Bill Frist – under investigation
    Tom Delay – indicted
    Rush Limbaugh – drug addict, under investigation
    Chris Cunningham – indicted
    David Safavian – arrested
    Lawrence Franklin – arrested
    Jack Abramoff – indicted
    Memogate – Senate computer theft scandal
    Indian Gaming scandal
    Halliburton no-bid scandal
    Halliburton overcharging scandal
    Iraq missing oil money scandal
    New Hampshire phone jamming scandal
    Medicare bill true cost scandal
    Bogus news reports (propoganda)scandal
    Armstrong Williams scandal
    Ground Zero unsafe air scandal
    Yellowcake scandal
    Case for Iraq war scandal
    Revealing CIA agent scandal
    Abu Gahrib scandal

    Ah, yes, The Death of Outrage

  139. 139
    p.lukasiak says:

    Put aside what you think Bennett was saying, and look what Bennett was actually saying.

    I did. Bennett said if you killed all black fetuses the crime rate would go down.

    That is a racist remark, pure and simple.

    I’m not surprised that a white guy from West Virginia doesn’t get it.

  140. 140
    Darrell says:

    Looks like leftist protesters really are a bunch of filthy animals who don’t bathe

  141. 141
    Jack Davis says:

    How is a true statement racist, P.Lukasiak? The crime rate among blacks is much higher than whites. That is an absolute fact, period. I’m sorry if you don’t like it, but it isn’t any less true because it’s non-PC.

    The authors at Freakonomics showed that less babies born to single-parent families caused a reduction in crime. They didn’t mention race, of course, but you don’t have to be a Rhodes scholar to figure out that many more black families than white ones have just one parent. I wish this were not the case and maybe someday it will change, but right now this is the reality we live in.

  142. 142
    rilkefan says:

    Slide, coulda sworn Abramoff had been arrested in connection with either his financial corruption network or the mob hit his company paid for.

  143. 143
    Slide says:

    rilkefan:

    Slide, coulda sworn Abramoff had been arrested in connection with either his financial corruption network or the mob hit his company paid for.

    you may be right. I was suffering from GOP corruption sleaze overload. Almost everywhere you look you see the GOP doing something dishonest, sleazy, illegal, or immoral. Everywhere. EPA? you have Brownies changing the scientific reports to reflect their policy objectives. You have career statisticians told to not report their findings by other Brownies in the Justice Department. You have actuaries told they would be fired if they report the true cost of the meidcare bill by yet other Brownies. Etc etc. They are the most dishonest gang of politicians (saying quite a bit) that has every been in power. Oh… lets not forget the Ohio rare coins scandal.

    Johnatan Alter has a piece in Time Magazine about the corruption of the Delay era in the House.

  144. 144
    John Cole says:

    I did. Bennett said if you killed all black fetuses the crime rate would go down.

    That is a racist remark, pure and simple.

    I’m not surprised that a white guy from West Virginia doesn’t get it.

    Thanks for the refresher course in left-wing identity politics. Bonus points for continued inability to undertsand Bennett’s argument.

  145. 145
    Ancient Purple says:

    I’d say, having marched with King gives him at least one free screwup 40 years later.

    That would be true if Bennett were not the arrogant asshole that he is, complete with wearing his morality and “virtue” on his sleeve while looking down on the rest of us.

    Who the hell is Bennett to be taken seriously when he tells us how sinful we are by not meeting his standards of virtue while rolling dice and sucking up free gin and tonics at the casino?

    His blatant Phariseeism negates anything he did 40 years ago.

  146. 146
  147. 147
    Andrei says:

    The crime rate among blacks is much higher than whites.

    And of course, the fact that as an overall crime statistic as cited in the FBI report I linked to showing that 70% of those arrested for crime were white in 2002 means nothing. I also suppose that knowing that 40% of the prison population is black as opposed to 45% being white means nothing.

    So tell us, why do people insist on bringing up the fact that blacks as a percentage of their own race commit more crime in this country? Tell us exactly why it means anything in the total picture of what is going on in America with regard to crime.

    Are you suggesting that if the black population rose from 13% to 50% of the total population, their crime rate would remain constant? If you are not suggesting that, then exactly what does it mean in the grand scheme of things then? Why is it important that “the crime rate amoung blacks is much higher than whites” as opposed to saying the “crime rate amoung the poor is much higher than amoung the middle or wealthy class”?

  148. 148
    p.lukasiak says:

    Thanks for the refresher course in left-wing identity politics. Bonus points for continued inability to undertsand Bennett’s argument.

    John tells us first to concentrate on what Bennett said—so that I what I concentrated on — he used an obviously racist remark in trying to make a point about something else. Since we know that what Bennett said is obviously racist (i.e. it assumes the genetic criminal predisposition of blacks) Hohn wants to change his argument—-we have to IGNORE what he said, and focus on “understanding his argument”.

    I understand his argument John. That doesn’t make his statement any less racist. Why don’t you understand that?

    Nothing is more discouraging than self-described intelligent people (“Look! I’m a college professor”) who will go to any lengths to excuse the racism in others — nor, of course, is anything so indicative of their deep seated racism.

  149. 149
    demimondian says:

    I’m kind of torn, Darrell. Part of me wants to carefully go through and repeat the claims you’ve made about how “some people want to blame the government for their crimes” and the like, and then say: “are you telling me that when you say of a people that they won’t take responsibility for their own actions, and are criminals in disproportionate numbers, and, and, and… I shouldn’t conclude that you’re arguming they’re inferior?” Because you have said all those things, and someone who took what you said seriously would conclude that you had directly implied would conclude that you were arguing that blacks are inferior.

    But I’m not going to do that. You see, I genuinely _don’t_ think you’re a racist. I genuinely think that you believe yourself superior to everyone else. I think you’re profoundly wrong — but I don’t think you’re a racist. So I’ve got nothing to apologize for, and you’ve got nothing to fear.

  150. 150
    Slide says:

    rilkefan ok… another one in the arrest column. Speculation today that both Bush and Cheney may have been in on the orchestrated Wilson smear. Conspiracy? Unindicted co-conspirators? hmmmm… the mind boggles.

  151. 151
    p.lukasiak says:

    How racists argue…

    Put aside what you think Bennett was saying, and look what Bennett was actually saying.

    of course, when its pointed out that “what Bennett was actually saying” was racist, the argument changes…

    Bonus points for continued inability to undertsand Bennett’s argument.

    See…. now, were supposed to IGNORE what Bennett “actually said” and concentrate on his “argument.” Bennett’s “argument”, however, used a clearly racist and factually inaccurate example to make its point (The point could easily have been without the descent into racism.)

  152. 152
    demimondian says:

    Oh, nonsense. His blatant Pharaseeism means he’s wrong on some things, having been right on others.

    I’ve got no use for the man. He’s a hypocrite, slime, whatever. He’s a dry drunk when it comes to gambling. His moralizing posturing nauseated me back when he was just one of Silber’s clique at BU, even before I found out about his little “issue”. In fact, I can’t say I think anything less of him for his addiction: after all, he never did lose more than he could afford, as far as anyone can tell.

    But morality and immorality aren’t measured on a scale. You’d need to be able to measure the consequences of actions forever or absolutely understand motivations to balance them out. We can’t do that, and we shouldn’t, in general, try.

  153. 153
    EricH says:

    “Speculation today that both Bush and Cheney may have been in on the orchestrated Wilson smear. Conspiracy? Unindicted co-conspirators”

    Umm, don’t you think Fitzgerald would have had Cheney and Bush testify to the Grand Jury before indicting them? Letting them give their side of the story?

    But neither were called before the grand jury.

    And that if – IF – Fitzgerald were to indict Cheney and Bush that this information would have been on the front page of the NY Times today. Not going to keep that secret for long.

    If conspiracy for smearing folks was a crime, Sidney Blumenthal and Hillary Clinton would be doing life at Lorton Penitentiary.

    Anyway, my guess is that your “speculation” originates from members of the thorazine wing of the Democratic Party.

    And what the hell is a “co-conspirator”? How does that differ from just a “consipirator”?

    Pedantic minds wonder.

    EH

  154. 154
    Darrell says:

    I’m kind of torn, Darrell. Part of me wants to carefully go through and repeat the claims you’ve made about how “some people want to blame the government for their crimes” and the like, and then say: “are you telling me that when you say of a people that they won’t take responsibility for their own actions, and are criminals in disproportionate numbers, and, and, and… I shouldn’t conclude that you’re arguming they’re inferior?” Because you have said all those things

    Except I didn’t say all those things, you are simply making sh*t up again because at your core, you are a dishonest scumbag.

    Because you have said all those things, and someone who took what you said seriously would conclude that you had directly implied would conclude that you were arguing that blacks are inferior.

    So anyone reading what I wrote seriously would conclude I was arguing “blacks are inferior”. I see you lack the honor to admit that you took an unfounded cheap shot trying to smear me as a racist. You made the smear because you are a race-baiting sack of shit, nothing more

  155. 155
    Daren L says:

    Man at a party with friends and his wife.

    Man: You know I bet if I punched my wife in the mouth that would get her to shut up. But that would be morally reprehensible to do, and I would never hit my wife.

    Wife: I can’t believe that you would say that, I’m offended that you would talk openly about punching me in the face.

    Friend: Well, Wife you didn’t listen to his WHOLE statement, he said it would be morally reprehensible. He was just stating a FACT, because he’s a big guy and if he did punch you in the mouth I bet that it would make you shut up. I can’t stand that everyone is so P.C., he was just making a truthful claim and again why can’t he just talk about PUNCHING you in the face, it’s in his right to make thought expirements.

  156. 156
    Slide says:

    Question for John. Is this comment offensive?

    If we killed all the vets returning from duty in Iraq, we would reduce the incidence of mental illness in this country. Of course that would be very hard to do and it would be morally reprehensible but we would have alot less nut jobs.

    It meets your standard. Returning vets have a much higher incidence of mental illness than the general public. Eliminating them from our “population” would result in less mental illness. Its a valid correlation. So, it would be ok for, lets say, Al Franken to say that? you would not have any problem? Just asking?

  157. 157
    Darrell says:

    Daren, your analogy was not bad, but would have been more accurate if the husband was on a talk show in which the topic was wife-beating.

    This flare up over Bennett’s comment reminds me of David Howard, the former aide to DC mayor Anthony Williams who lost his job because he used the word “niggardly” in a memo. You can chalk that one up to the leftists who attribute racism to anything they disagree with or don’t understand.. and make no mistake, these hateful smears of racism come virtually entirely from the left

  158. 158
    rilkefan says:

    Slide, is the above meant to be in response to anyone proposing to not kill vets because of a side benefit? In the Bennett case, the answer is in fact yes, on utilitarian grounds, to improve S.S., in a climate where abortion (==killing vets) is actually a common occurence (1/4 of all pregnancies end in abortion).

    Also note that you’ve had to avoid making a parallel statement to exaggerate – the “at least” clause.

  159. 159
    John Cole says:

    It meets your standard. Returning vets have a much higher incidence of mental illness than the general public. Eliminating them from our “population” would result in less mental illness. Its a valid correlation. So, it would be ok for, lets say, Al Franken to say that? you would not have any problem? Just asking?

    If Franken followed up stating that it was morally reprehensible, and that he used the example simply to demonstrate a point about utilitarian arguments in moral dilemmas, I would have no problem whatsoever. Actually, I wouldn;t even need him to follow up and state it was morally reprehensible, if I had been listening to his whole argument.

    That it is morally reprehensible goes without saying. Which makes these ‘debate’ even sillier. Bennett was not advocating the abortion of all black babies- he was making a point, and there was no need for him to even say it is morally reprehensible. But he did, just to make sure hispoint was clear and not misunderstood.

    And folks manipulate it anyway.

  160. 160
    Pb says:

    EricH,

    co-” is a legal prefix meaning (in this case) “Associated in an action with another Fellow (co-conspirator)

    Also, given how tightly Fitzgerald has run his ship, not much would surprise me. However, if Bush or Cheney thought they were under investigation, I’d think that at they or their staff would be actively leaking, smearing, screaming bloody murder, etc., if they thought it would help them. It seems that Rove’s lawyer was doing that for a while. But really, I’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out–my crystal ball isn’t being too helpful on this one.

  161. 161
    ppGaz says:

    and make no mistake, these hateful smears of racism come virtually entirely from the left

    How can that be, Darrell? Racism is a pretty ubiquitous human trait. It afflicts all kinds of people.

    Why would all the criticism of it come from one side of a political spectrum? People on the right don’t see racism and attack it?

    Doesn’t compute. Help a brotha, Darrell.

  162. 162
    Slide says:

    ErichH:

    Umm, don’t you think Fitzgerald would have had Cheney and Bush testify to the Grand Jury before indicting them? Letting them give their side of the story?

    Read my post again, I said UNINDICTED. Don’t expect for a moment Fitzgerald to indict the POTUS or DICK. And Eric the purpose of a Grand Jury is not to let the target give “their side of the story”. Quaint idea though.

    ErichH:

    If conspiracy for smearing folks was a crime, Sidney Blumenthal and Hillary Clinton would be doing life at Lorton Penitentiary.

    No, it would be a conspiracy to commit a crime (revealing classified information).

    ErichH:

    Anyway, my guess is that your “speculation” originates from members of the thorazine wing of the Democratic Party.

    Actually, the speculation comes from something that Stephanopoulos said:

    [Stephanopoulos:] Definitely a political problem but I wonder, George Will, do you think it’s a manageable one for the White House especially if we don’t know whether Fitzgerald is going to write a report or have indictments but if he is able to show as a source close to this told me this week, that President Bush and Vice President Cheney were actually involved in some of these discussions.

    Coupled with a Washington Post story which said:

    But a new theory about Fitzgerald’s aim has emerged in recent weeks from two lawyers who have had extensive conversations with the prosecutor while representing witnesses in the case. They surmise that Fitzgerald is considering whether he can bring charges of a criminal conspiracy perpetrated by a group of senior Bush administration officials. Under this legal tactic, Fitzgerald would attempt to establish that at least two or more officials agreed to take affirmative steps to discredit and retaliate against Wilson and leak sensitive government information about his wife. To prove a criminal conspiracy, the actions need not have been criminal, but conspirators must have had a criminal purpose.

    EricH:

    And what the hell is a “co-conspirator”? How does that differ from just a “conspirator”?

    Here do some reading.

  163. 163
    Darrell says:

    Racism is a pretty ubiquitous human trait

    Nigga, please! I disagree that it’s so ubiquitous. There appear to be a helluva lot more accusations of racism, than actual acts of racism. Like those who accused David Howard of racism because he used the ‘niggardly’. I’ve seen countless examples of the left throwing out baseless accusations of racism against those with whom they disagree to smear them. You would have to look far and wide to find an equivalent example of a false accusation of racism coming from the right. I hope this clears things up for you ppgaz

  164. 164
    Slide says:

    John Cole:

    I would have no problem whatsoever.

    Right. [smile]

  165. 165
    jobiuspublius says:

    I’m sorry, but, I keep re-reading Bennett’s actual words, not just that of his appologists, and he seems a racist to me. I see a contradiction in his statments, that the Freakos caught and posted on their site. Because of the contradiction, I don’t buy his disclaimer.

    BENNETT:…that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up

    CALLER: …I don’t think that statistic is accurate.

    BENNETT: …I don’t think it is either,…because…there is just too much that you don’t know. But I do know … you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down. So these far-out, these far-reaching, extensive extrapolations are, I think, tricky.

    He thinks the Freako point of view is far-out, far-reaching, tricky, full of unknowns. The effects of aborting all black babies may seem simple and known on paper, but, I’m not convinced it is in reality. But, if it’s race based, I guess it has to be simple and well known because I don’t know statistics 101.

  166. 166
    ppGaz says:

    look far and wide to find an equivalent example of a false accusation of racism

    I didn’t say anything about “false”, Darrell.

    Racism afflicts all kinds of people. Why are people on the right not attacking it when they see it?

    What’s missing here? Surely you are not asserting that all accusations of racism are false, are you?

  167. 167
    Darrell says:

    The effects of aborting all black babies may seem simple and known on paper, but, I’m not convinced it is in reality

    Of course you’re correct. Not to be a Bennett “apologist” or anything, but in the context of commenting on Freakonomics’ cause-and-effect assertion that the increase in abortion was the cause for lower crime rates (advancing the idea that abortion is to some extent good for society), I believe Bennett felt compelled to make the case against that line of argument coming from Freakonomics

  168. 168
    jobiuspublius says:

    Bennett does not believe that:

    that one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up…

    Yet, aborting all black babies is an increase in abortion that he expects will reduce crime. Contradiction, what’s the differance? Race.

  169. 169
    rilkefan says:

    Slide, dude, JC was upfront in defending Durbin on similar grounds.

  170. 170
    Darrell says:

    Why are people on the right not attacking it when they see it?

    Can you give an example of the right knowingly not attacking an act of true racism when it occurred? It’s the left, not the right, who is making the comments about Condi Rice handing over her hair straightener, “house negros” for blacks who don’t tow the leftist line, and it’s those on the left who defended the accusation that Bush doesn’t care for black people. Show me equivalent examples coming from the right..

  171. 171
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell – Yes, I did get the sense that Bennett was concerned that people would conclude that abortion is good and that he wanted to argue against that. But, to me it seemed that he introduced that idea then set about to attack it while mentioning the Freakos. He did an incredibly sloppy job and it seemed to me that the wound up getting some of that slop on the Freakos too. Wow, what a messy tard. Then the cynic in me sees the timing of Bennett’s comment and has to wonder.

  172. 172
    Darrell says:

    jobius, Bennett was making the point that it is ridiculous and morally reprehensible to make the claim that abortion = less crime (and therefore is beneficial to some extent), EVEN IF it was true. Seems to me that the race baiters then swarmed him, probably to some extent because they couldn’t stand him to begin with, but also to shut down any possibility of honest discussion on matters of race. Look on this thread. I’ve had two lefty posters accuse me of racism without basis, even attributing words to me that I never said or implied.

  173. 173
    Slide says:

    Darrell said:

    Bennett was making the point that it is ridiculous and morally reprehensible to make the claim that abortion = less crime (and therefore is beneficial to some extent)

    No. Bennett was not saying it was ridiculous and morally reprehensible to make the claim that abortion = less crime – he was saying that it would be ridiculous/reprehensible to abort black babies but he still maintains, as do all the Bennett apologists on here, that the claim is valid (and therefore beneficial to some extent.

    Bennett conceded that aborting all African-American babies “would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do,” then added again, “but the crime rate would go down.”

    .

  174. 174
    Slide says:

    Slide, dude, JC was upfront in defending Durbin on similar grounds.

    Dude, Durbin and Bennett are not comparable.

  175. 175
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell, I’m not a race baiter. No, you are accusing me of that. I just, finally, found the contradiction in Bennett’s statements, after two days of my alarm bells buzzing. He failed to make his point. The appologies made for him are much better than what he actually said and do not address his contradiction. No one is confronting that.

    What he said was racist. He may not be a racist. But, he doesn’t help remove my suspicions by ignorng his contradictions. It is possible that he is not aware of his contradiction. Hell, he’s so sloppy he may have been drunk. One has to wonder what’s happening.

  176. 176
    ppGaz says:

    Can you give an example of the right knowingly not attacking an act of true racism when it occurred? It’s the left, not the right, who is making the comme

    Okay, this certainly illustrates what a totally crappy medium this is for communication. Because I am not being understood at all.

    My question is, given the fact that racism is out there, why would all these “accusations” be coming from the left? Are there not people on the right who would see racism or possible racism, and speak out about it? And so, if there are, then are there not “accusations” coming from both ends of the political spectrum? That’s a rhetorical questions since nothing else would make sense.

    So, if that’s true, are you sure that 100% of unwarranted claims of racism come from the left? How can that be, Darrell? Are you saying that people on the right only make these claims when they are true? And that only people on the left make them when they are not true?

  177. 177
    jobiuspublius says:

    Correction: No, you are NOT accusing me of that.

  178. 178
    rilkefan says:

    In my view Durbin and Bennett each said something true that is painful to many. While Durbin said something we all agree should have been said, JC‘s erstwhile allies had a hissy-cow. A full-on media-storm hissy-cow. JC had the integrity to stand up and call BS on them, as he has against them on a full range of other issues you and I agree on. He makes mistakes, of course, and clings to them because he’s stuck on bad logic, but calling him out on the thought-experiment you cited is just unreality-based.

  179. 179
    EricH says:

    Slide:
    Taking my pedanticism first:

    (1) With all apologies to Google, there’s no such thing as a co-conspirator. A conspiracy necessarily involves two or more people. Each person is a conspirator. A co-conspirator is a redundancy and the “co” prefix is superfluous.

    Wake up in the back of the room, please. This will be on the final.

    (2) Don’t you find it odd that, according to your sources, Fitz. would name Cheney and Bush as un-indicted conspirators and yet he never asked either to appear before the grand jury to discuss their roles in the matter? Not likely.

    In fact, impossible.

    The Plame affair is a Rube Goldberg series of events and contacts, questions and answers, reporters and sources exchanging information. A labyrinthian mess. Fitz. would want the top guys to talk if he was going to charge them with anything. He’s not going to go after Bush and Cheney without making absolute certainty he’s got them.

    Now, if we read that he’s gone back and re-interviewed the two, you might have something.

    (3) You cite Stephanopoulous’ cryptic comments about a source and then mention the W.P. piece that mentions several sources who give details as to where Fitzgerald is taking the investigation. And yet you also say that Fitzgerald has kept a lid on the release of information. Hmm?

    Okay, fair point. Fitz. had squashed leaks but there’s been quite a bit of news coming from the people testifying and from their lawyers.

    Seems to me that if Fitz. was zeroing in on the really big boys – and not just Rove and Libby and Fleischer – the same sources cited above would have mentioned it. Lots of information has come up – not from Fitzgerald – but from lawyers for people testifying.

    And Steph’s delphic “Bush and Cheney discussed this” means what? Discussed what? Wilson’s piece? The Niger story? I doubt that Steph. would have tossed his little throwaway line had his anonymous (ain’t they always anonymous?) source had more dirt on the big boys.

    My best guess is that Rove and Libby will be charged with conspiracy. It’ll be tossed out by the judge much like Delay’s charges.

    Too much talking through my hat from me on this.

    Tom Maguire at Just a Minute has lots of details on the Plame matter. Good source.

    EH

  180. 180
    ELINOR DICKEY says:

    I am amazed by the extent to which you fail to grasp William Bennett’s point. Mr. Bennett views abortion as barbaric. As far he is concerned, and as far as I am concerned, abortion on demand has resulted in something that is not all that different from the abortion of all black babies. The number of babies aborted — murdered — each year is about the same as the number of African-American babies born each year. How is what Bill Bennett suggests all that much more morally wrong than what goes on now?

  181. 181
    Slide says:

    Can you give an example of the right knowingly not attacking an act of true racism when it occurred? It’s the left, not the right, who is making the comme

    How about this for starters:

    Millions of Americans vilify Richard Nixon as a power-obsessed megalomaniac whose presidency sank in the mire of Watergate, or memorialize him as an historic icon and world-class statesman. Few remember Nixon as a bigot who cynically fanned racism, manipulated white voters and prepared the ground for the conservative assault on civil rights, affirmative action and social programs. That Nixon resurfaced again with the release of more batches of Nixon House Nixon tapes by the National Archives. In one tape, Nixon is stone silent when White House advisor John Erlichman rants that blacks are sexually degenerate, have no family values, and live in filthy neighborhoods.

    Nixon did more then simply sit by and passively listen to anti-black tirades by a trusted aide; he frequently spewed those same offensive racial epithets himself. In previous tapes released by the National Archives, Nixon told Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, “Henry, let’s leave the niggers to Bill and we’ll take care of the rest of the world” while working on his first presidential address to Congress. Nixon repeatedly referred to blacks as “niggers” and “jigaboos” in other conversations with Kissinger. Nixon later complained to Erlichman that Great Society programs were a waste “because blacks were genetically inferior to whites.”

    Nixon’s newly released taped comments were much more than one man’s loose lipped, racial abominations uttered in what he thought was an unguarded moment. Those remarks and the narrow racial mindset behind them fueled the Republicans party’s opening bash of civil rights and social programs, and laid the groundwork for the repressive national security state.

    President Bush had a once in a lifetime chance to repudiate Nixon’s repulsive racial legacy that influenced to one degree or another the administrations of Reagan, Bush Sr. and Republican strategy in the presidential campaigns against Clinton, and change the perception that the Republican Party is nothing more than a cozy, good ole’ white guys club. But Bush proved that he is more than fit to wear Nixon’s racial cloak. During the campaign he spoke at racially archaic Bob Jones University, ducked the confederate flag fight, and the issue of racial profiling. As president, he refused to support tougher hate crimes legislation, took nearly a week, despite the firestorm of public outrage, to condemn Senate majority leader elect Trent Lott for his tout of segregation, backed the lawsuit by white students against the University of Michigan’s affirmative action program, and nominated — and has gone to the barricades to support — racially controversial borderline federal appeals court judges.

    The crude, racist profanities that Nixon and his men spit out three decades ago in the cozy confines of the White House not only opened the door to racial contention and mean spirited bigotry but continue to shape and mold Republican party politics, and American public policy today. The tapes tell that sordid tale.

    .

  182. 182
    Darrell says:

    Correction: No, you are NOT accusing me of that

    Correct, I wasn’t accusing you. In the context of discussing the Freako’s assertion that abortion = less crime, since Bennett believes the means (abortion) are too abhorrent to justify the ends (less crime) even if true.. he made an analogy along those sames lines to hammer home how morally repugnant he thought it was to justify abortion on the grounds that it might reduce crime. I disagree that what Bennett said was in any way racist.

  183. 183
    rilkefan says:

    Oh yeah, a fine example of John making a mistake is his FEIGNed line above.

  184. 184
    Slide says:

    Erick your persistance has a certain appeal but you are wrong just about everything you said in your last post. Sorry to have to do this to you but you need a spanking

    Erick said all knowingly:

    With all apologies to Google, there’s no such thing as a co-conspirator.

    You better tell that to Webster’s and Princeton University

    Main Entry: co–con·spir·a·tor
    Pronunciation: “kO-k&n-‘spir-&-t&r
    Function: noun
    : a fellow conspirator
    NOTE: Under Federal law, a statement made by a co-conspirator during and to further the conspiracy is admissible as evidence, but there must be other evidence establishing both the conspiracy and the defendant’s participation.

    Source: Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law, © 1996 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

    co-conspirator

    coconspirator n : a member of a conspiracy [syn: conspirator, plotter, machinator]

    Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

    Eric’s second mistake:

    Don’t you find it odd that, according to your sources, Fitz. would name Cheney and Bush as un-indicted conspirators

  185. 185
    jobiuspublius says:

    Darrell, Elinor, I’m reading Bennets own words and the following is what they say.

    Bennett does not think it is accurate that:

    one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up…

    Bennett knows, i.e., is accurate and precise, that:

    you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.

    Yet, aborting all black babies is an increase in abortion. Bennett made a contradiction, not a point. What’s the differance between his two contradictory statements? Race. Bennett made a racist statement thru that contradiction.

    It is clear that Bennett is anti-abortion. But, that is not the charge leveled against him. The charge is one of racism or, at least, racist statements. The rest is a dodge.

  186. 186
    Slide says:

    hit that submit button by accident. But the point I was going to make is that I never said any source said that Fitz was going to name Cheney and Bush as co-conspirators. Please read a little bit more carefully Eric. It was just an idle (wishful)speculation on my part based on the other information that came to light today.

    Eric showing his ignorance again:

    Don’t you find it odd that, according to your sources, Fitz. would name Cheney and Bush as un-indicted conspirators and yet he never asked either to appear before the grand jury to discuss their roles in the matter? Not likely.

    In fact, impossible.

    Impossible? To NOT indict someone without them going to the Grand Jury? lol Anyway Eric, you might not know it, but people are indicted all the time without appearing before a Grand Jury.

    Eric again not using the old noggin:

    Seems to me that if Fitz. was zeroing in on the really big boys – and not just Rove and Libby and Fleischer – the same sources cited above would have mentioned it. Lots of information has come up – not from Fitzgerald – but from lawyers for people testifying.

    The leaks are coming from lawyers that know about what their clients were asked and what was answered. With these little snippets of information many are speculating where this is going, but no one can claim to know what Fitz is up to because he and his people are not talking. So no, it would not have likely been mentioned.

    Eric:

    And Steph’s delphic “Bush and Cheney discussed this” means what? Discussed what? Wilson’s piece? The Niger story?

    The wilson story created a “problem” for the white house. There were discussions on how to deal with it. Speculation is that those discussions resulted in classified information about Wilson’s wife leaked to the press in an effort to discredit his trip (nepotism or boondoggle). Steph was suggesting that Cheney and Bush may have been part of those “discussions” which may rise to “conspiracy”. In other words, that Cheney and Bush knew in advance and approved the releasing of Plame’s name to the media in an effort to discredit Wilson. Which if nothing else would make them big LIARS at the very least.

  187. 187
    Darrell says:

    Yet, aborting all black babies is an increase in abortion. Bennett made a contradiction, not a point. What’s the differance between his two contradictory statements? Race. Bennett made a racist statement thru that contradiction.

    I see your point, but I still disagree that his comment was in any way racist. When Bennett said

    “Well, I don’t think it [statistics that abortion reduce crime] is either, I don’t think it is either, because first of all, there is just too much that you don’t know”

    he claimed there are too many unknowns to arrive at that conclusion. He then went on to make a statement that aborting black babies would definitely reduce crime. He does seem to contradict his earlier statement about the unknowns, not much doubt about that.

    He did bring up the issue of race, which was the unspoken variable looming over the abortion reduces crime claim, but just because he used race to make an example, that certainly doesn’t make his statement racist. You suggest that because he used race in his example, that MUST therefore indicate something racist. That makes no sense to me unless you have more than that

  188. 188
    rilkefan says:

    jobius, my take on your point is that Bennett’s argument was: if you believe abortion policy affects SS, and that’s a reason to decide on abortion -> believing Levitt’s analagous argument is a reason to commit genocide -> utilitarianism leads to insane ideas. I don’t hold him to a strong belief in Levitt in the above chain, since he wasn’t explaining his position so much as discrediting an idea we all(?) agree on, that society shouldn’t be organized to maximize good for the majority by maximizing evil for a helpless minority. See LeGuin’s story “Those Who Walk Away From Omelas” for an example.

  189. 189
    ELINOR DICKEY says:

    Bennett’s points were two-fold : (1) that these sort of extrapolations are ridiculous and (2) that simply because something might “lower the crime rate” doesn’t mean you should do it. He was showing how barbaric abortion is by taking the idea to its logical conclusion. Many of you have, sadly, missed the point almost completely

  190. 190
    jobiuspublius says:

    rilkefan – no, my argument is much simpler and direct than that.

    Darrell Says:
    He did bring up the issue of race, which was the unspoken variable looming over the abortion reduces crime claim, but just because he used race to make an example, that certainly doesn’t make his statement racist. You suggest that because he used race in his example, that MUST therefore indicate something racist. That makes no sense to me unless you have more than that

    He introduced race into the argument and made it the differance between his contradictory statements. If it’s about race, it’s racist, or is it racialist, as some one prefered. It’s certainly not about species, or food, or …

    Remember, racism is a host of contradictions and falsehoods. Don’t expect it to make sense.

  191. 191
    jobiuspublius says:

    Elinor, you are asking me to take your words over Bennetts.

  192. 192
    EricH says:

    Slide:
    Oy, the fact that a word is in a dictionary doesn’t mean it’s a viable legal term. I’m sure you know how dictionaries are made? Correct? Different ones have different standards when it comes to accepting new words or spellings or definitions. New words are added each year and old ones, no longer in common usage, are tossed out. Depends on the specific dictionary and the standards used.

    The word “pre-plan” is also in a dictionary even though there’s no such thing as a “pre-plan”. There’re only plans.

    Let’s toss this aside before Cole bans up for being boring asses. Well, at least me for being a pompous wordsmith.

    Re your speculation re Bush/Cheney: Okay, I thought you had some credible evidence. You’re just blowing smoke. The wish is father to the thought.

    Re Steph.’s cryptic comment: Again, Bush and Cheney discussed what exactly? Outing Plame? Responding to Wilson’s charges? Finding out who sent Wilson? Finding out what Wilson actually found in Niger? Steph. is blowing smoke again, a lot of that apparently going on right now. If his “source” had some substantive information on what Cheney and Bush discussed, he would have mentioned it. The fact that he gave no details as to what his “source” said they discussed is curious, no?

    Color me sceptical about Georgey’s “source.”

    Look, you don’t actually believe that Fitzgerald will go after Bush and Cheney unless he was 100% assured that he had the goods on them. No friggin’ way, to coin a legal term. He’s going to carefully and judiciously make absolute sure he’s got enough evidence on them. And that will entail, it seems clear to me, going back to them and interviewing them.

    He’s not investigating ordinary folks here. The usual rules and procedures aren’t followed. Cf. Ken Starr and Clinton.

    Enough nonsense from me, you can have the last word but I’ll pass on extending this any longer.

    EH

  193. 193
    ELINOR DICKEY says:

    Remember, racism is a host of contradictions and falsehoods. Don’t expect it to make sense.

    One might say much the same thing about the intellectual state of contemporary liberalism. It is a philosophy that asks to care about the helpless who have been born, but to stand by and do nothing as the helpless unborn are slaughtered.

  194. 194
    John Cole says:

    Elinor/Doug J.- Just stop it.

  195. 195
    Mike says:

    “John Cole Says:

    This is the most patently dishonest piece of crap you have ever written, Tim.”

    Oh c’mon, I’m sure he’s written something worst at some time, you just gotta look more.

  196. 196
    Ancient Purple says:

    But morality and immorality aren’t measured on a scale. You’d need to be able to measure the consequences of actions forever or absolutely understand motivations to balance them out. We can’t do that, and we shouldn’t, in general, try.

    Perhaps, but my point was to balance out the “he marched with King, so let’s give him a big old pass” diatribe.

    Kudos to him for marching with King. A pox upon him for wearing his virtue on his sleeve while telling the rest of us how pathetic we are for not being as virtuous as himself.

    So, I will ask my question again: who the hell is Bennett to tell us how we aren’t reaching his standards while he rolls the dice?

  197. 197
    jobiuspublius says:

    John Cole Says:

    Elinor/Doug J.- Just stop it.

    ROFLMAO. I knew it! Keep turning corners, Dougie. hehehe

  198. 198
    Kimmitt says:

    You know, I don’t think Bennett’s all that more racist than the next guy — and his history seems to be full of contradictory statements. But good grief, get out and say, “I can definitely see where someone might get the wrong impression based on what was said. It was an off-the-cuff comment meant to refer to Smith’s ‘A Modest Proposal,’ but it came out clumsily at best. I would be grateful for the understanding of those who listened to the program; after all, who among us hasn’t ended up saying something other than what we meant to say?”

    The fact that he hasn’t is, well, arrogant and dumb. And I just have much less sympathy for privileged, arrogant, and dumb guys getting pilloried.

  199. 199
    Cutler says:

    Yeah, he should have assumed people like you couldn’t follow it.

  200. 200
    Tim F says:

    Oh c’mon, I’m sure he’s written something worst at some time, you just gotta look more.

    Got what I wanted, which is a clear distinction between correlation and causation. Hell, after our spat he practically sounded like a liberal. Not that I can say it’s my doing per sepost hoc ergo propter hoc. Logical fallacy.

    IMO the least interesting argument is whether Bennett is a racist. Even if he’s David fucking Duke, he’s one guy with a listening audience that drops by half when one listener leaves the room to take a piss. FWIW I think he made a perfectly valid point about justifying immoral things for economic reasons. His statistics aren’t bad and his intentions are fine.

    It’s the interpretation of statistics by nonexperts where you runs into trouble. Blackness seems to correlate with crime indeed, but why is that? Some sort of inherent defect? Root causes? Seems like a minor point but policy-wise it makes all the difference in the world, so long as you define ‘the world’ as the policy gap that exists between Democrats and Republicans.

  201. 201
    Snorkel says:

    Here’s what I don’t get about Bennett: He readily accepts the premise that aborting all black babies would lead to a lower crime rate. Why does he so readily dismiss the argument given in Freakonomics that aborting all UNWANTED babies would lead to a lower crime rate? It’s certainly a reasonable hypothesis and all the data we have so far is consistent with this hypothesis.

  202. 202
    jobiuspublius says:

    Cutler Says:

    Yeah, he should have assumed people like you couldn’t follow it.

    No, he should have assumed that some people are more interested in what he actually said rather than what his much more eloquent appologists said for him.

  203. 203
    ppGaz says:

    According to Newsweek, 44 blogs are discussing this story:

    Number Two? Maybe not

    Here, it’s Bill Bennett’s fart at the dinner table.

    Hmm.

    The removal of Number Twos seems to be in its last throes.

  204. 204
    Darrell says:

    John Cole Says:

    Elinor/Doug J.- Just stop it.

    DougJ is a closet conservative that doesn’t realize it yet. I’m convinced of that. Not sure though why he chooses to post under such a variety of aliases though.. perhaps he’s an extreme eccentric

    Why does he so readily dismiss the argument given in Freakonomics that aborting all UNWANTED babies would lead to a lower crime rate? It’s certainly a reasonable hypothesis and all the data we have so far is consistent with this hypothesis

    I think Bennett was so appalled by the idea of aborting babies for the purpose of advancing societal goals (supposedly lowering the crime rate) that he dismissed any suggestion that abortion would be a viable ‘solution’ toward the achievement of those goals.

  205. 205
  206. 206
    Snorkel says:

    I think Bennett was so appalled by the idea of aborting babies for the purpose of advancing societal goals (supposedly lowering the crime rate) that he dismissed any suggestion that abortion would be a viable ‘solution’ toward the achievement of those goals.

    Aborting UNWANTED pregnancies, by definition, cannot be something that’s being done for societal goals – it’s being done at the individual level for whatever reason each individual may have. That’s the beauty of the pro-choice position. Everyone gets to have all the babies they WANT. Society doesn’t need to impose any solution on anyone, yet the crime rate goes down, producing a societal benefit.

  207. 207
    Slide says:

    EricH

    Enough nonsense from me, you can have the last word but I’ll pass on extending this any longer.

    I dont’ blame you EricH, a rather painful experience I imagine.

    You know you are a lot like Cole. Even when proven demonstrably wrong you just can’t bring yourself to admitting it. Co-conspirator is written into law. There is even a Co-Conspirator Rule regarding evidence. But….you persist in demonstrating your ignorance and obtuseness. My only question is why?”

    Federal Rule of Evidence 801(d)(2)(E) provides: “A statement is not hearsay if … [t]he statement is offered against a party and is … a statement by a co-conspirator of a party during the course and in furtherance of the conspiracy.” Fed. R. Evid. 801(d)(2)(E). An accused’s knowledge of and participation in an alleged conspiracy are preliminary facts that must be established before extrajudicial statements of a co-conspirator can be introduced into evidence. Bourjaily v. United States. These preliminary facts must be shown by a preponderance of the evidence. Bourjaily.

    The co-conspirator’s rule of evidence is that, once the foundation is laid to the satisfaction of the trial judge, the words and acts of each alleged conspirator in furtherance of the conspiracy are admissible against the others to show the content of the alleged conspiracy regardless of which of the conspirators was present: Ahern v R (1988) 165 CLR 87; Tripodi v R (1961) 104 CLR 1; R v Pektas [1989] VR 239; R v Su [1997] 1 VR 1; R v White [2003] VSCA 174. The finding of “foundation” is to be on balance of probabilities and is not a matter to be brought to the attention of the jury: R v Bacash [2001] VSCA 193, [2001] 3 VR 428; R v Atallah [2001] VSCA 194, [2001] 3 VR 437. Because the rule applies only to statements in furtherance of the agreement, it is usually inapplicable to a mere narrative of some past event: Tripodi at 7; Su at 40ff; P. Gillies The Law of Criminal Conspiracy (2nd ed.) pp 192-193. The rule is equally applicable where the conspiracy has been carried out and the substantive offence is charged as for instance in Tripodi.

    .

  208. 208
    John S. says:

    Says Cole the Defender:

    Bennett was not advocating the abortion of all black babies – he was making a point

    Yes. His point is that aborting black babies will reduce crime (if that were your sole purpose). It is the mere acceptance of such a ludicrous premise that I think most find disgusting (not the red herring of him advocating the action that John keeps throwing up).

    Except for Cole the Defender and Darrell the Thread-Queerer from the looks of it.

  209. 209
    ppGaz says:

    DougJ is a closet conservative that doesn’t realize it yet. I’m convinced of that. Not sure though why he chooses to post under such a variety of aliases though.. perhaps he’s an extreme eccentric

    This, Darrell, shall be your epitaph.

  210. 210

    Dawn Patrol

    Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics – from the MilBlogs, other blogs, and the mainstream media. If you’re a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link…

  211. 211
    Defense Guy says:

    Yes. His point is that aborting black babies will reduce crime

    If you can’t even understand the point of his argument, you should just keep your mouth shut.

  212. 212
    John S. says:

    If you can’t even understand the point of his argument, you should just keep your mouth shut.

    Oh illustrious speaker of truth and lighter of the path of wisdom, what is the point of Bennett’s statement?

  213. 213
    Defense Guy says:

    It is in the context of the conversation he was having with the caller, in which he is pointing out where bad arguments on abortion could take you. His point then is that the argument for aborting black babies to reduce crime is as specious as the argument that aborting babies has reduced the tax base. One bad example for another.

  214. 214
    ppGaz says:

    It is in the context of the conversation he was having with the caller, in which he is pointing out where bad arguments on abortion could take you.

    “Where bad arguments could take you?” We need Bankroll Billy to tell us that? Gee, how profound.

    I don’t see that the the Freakonomics book was arguing that society should endorse abortion in order to reduce crime …. rather, it appears to be presenting a particular view of certain correlations and suggesting that some old assumptions might have to be rethought.

    How one makes the leap from that, to Bennett’s tortured tableau, is a secret that right now lives in the convoluted folds of Bennett’s gigantic ego, uh, brain.

  215. 215
    John S. says:

    His point then is that the argument for aborting black babies to reduce crime is as specious as the argument that aborting babies has reduced the tax base.

    Except for one little problem…Bennett doesn’t seem to think that the argument for aborting black babies is specious at all. Or perhaps his own statement to that effect is being ‘misinterpreted’:

    But I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could—if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.

    That’s a funny way of stating that an argument is speciuous.

    Take your own advice. If you can’t even understand the point of his argument, you should just keep your mouth shut.

  216. 216
    Defense Guy says:

    Except he does:

    COLMES: Might give you an opportune to put them in context and explain.

    BENNETT: Sure. Well, the context was a radio show that I was doing yesterday, and the topic was abortion and we were talking about bad arguments in regard to abortion. A caller suggested he was opposed to abortion because he said if there were more babies there would be, eventually, more tax payers and a larger GNP, a smaller deficit. I said you want to be careful with that kind of argument because someone could postulate a situation where child’s not likely to be a productive taxpayer. I said, arguments in which you take something that’s far out, like the GNP and try to connect it up with abortion are tricky. I said make the case of abortion on the basis of life and protecting life. I said abortion is invoked in another way — you could make an argument that if you wanted to lower the crime rate, you saw the quote — you could practice abortion in very large numbers. You could do it in the black community. You could do it in other places. This is, by the way, the subject of a book for economics by a professor at Yale.

    I said, however, if you were to practice that, widespread abortion in the black community or any other community, it would be ridiculous, impossible, and I appreciate you putting it on the screen, morally reprehensible. So I think morally reprehensible, when that is included in the quote makes it perfectly clear what my position is. A number of the people whom you have cited as condemning me have not made the inclusion of that remark, and so they make it seem, Alan, as if I am supporting such a monstrous idea, which of course I don’t.

    Helps to have all the facts.

  217. 217
    John S. says:

    Helps to have all the facts.

    Especially when those ‘facts’ come from FOX News and are given after the shitstorm has already erupted when Bennett – how did Colmes put it – was given the opportunity to put into ‘context’ and ‘explain’ his remarks.

    Your ever thorough analysis has convinced me that Bennett doesn’t really believe aborting blacks would lower the crime rate (even though he said he did).

    I’ll add that to the list of Defense Guy’s indefatigable ‘facts’ along with Ben Franklin being a chickenhawk.

  218. 218
    Nash says:

    (Might I add that most of the people outraged (SHOCKED! APPALLED!) at Bennett’s comments are members of the esteemed “John Kerry Nuance Brigades.”)

    ppGaz is precisely correct that you have completed the transformation into a parody of yourself, JC. You can’t maintain consistency for even 5 minutes anymore. Do you teach with those same reasoning skills?

    Back away from the keyboard and take a vacation, man. Jeebus!

  219. 219
    jobiuspublius says:

    Defense Guy:

    I’m reading Bennets own words and the following is what they say.

    Bennett does not think it is accurate that:

    …one of the reasons crime is down is that abortion is up…

    Bennett knows, i.e., is accurate and precise, that:

    …you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down….

    Aborting all black babies is an increase in abortion, which he first said does not reduce crime, then he thinks it does, if it’s all black babies. The differance? Race. Bennett made a racist statement thru that ridiculas and absurd contradiction not a point, not a reductio ad absurdum. He believes that racist statement, therefore, he is a racist.

    Bennett’s statement is a slippery slope fallacy:

    The slippery slope argument may or may not involve a fallacy (see the discussion on the two interpretative paradigms below: the momentum paradigm and the inductive paradigm). However, the slippery slope claim requires independent justification to connect the inevitability of B to an occurrence of A. Otherwise the slippery slope scheme merely serves as a device of sophistry.

    Or, Appeal to Ridicule:

    Appeal to ridicule is a logical fallacy which presents the opponent’s argument in a way that appears ridiculous and mocking it:

    * If Einstein is right that would mean that when I drive my car it gets shorter and heavier. That’s crazy!
    * If Evolution was true, that means your grandfather is a gorilla!

    This is a rhetorical tactic which attempts to inspire an emotional reaction in the audience and to cause the opponent’s argument to appear foolish and illogical. This is typically done by stretching the argument’s logic to an absurd extreme or presenting the argument in an overly simplified way. This should be contrasted with reductio ad absurdum which is a valid logical argument form. Ridiculing the person making the argument is specifically an ad hominem attack.

  220. 220
    Defense Guy says:

    John S

    You are as stubborn as they come when it comes to a position you feel is the right one. In this case, you just happen to be wrong.

    This just happens to be another time you ask for information and then cry like a little bitch when it doesn’t suit your worldview or perception. Try being an adult for a change.

  221. 221
    jobiuspublius says:

    Defense Guy, thanks for the facts. Now we have further confirmation that Bennett is a sophist out against “a professor at Yale.” The question is, exactly, why?

  222. 222
    Don says:

    I don’t think there’s any moral reason why he should apologize.

    Huh. When I offend people inadvertently I usually apologize. Is there some moral reason I shouldn’t? I could understand not being willing to do so if it was about some subject I felt strongly about – say, what an awesome sport hockey is – but about a choice of a bullshit hypothetical I didn’t care about?

    Personally I’d apologize and drop the subject.

  223. 223
    jobiuspublius says:

    Don Says:
    …Personally I’d apologize and drop the subject.

    Maybe he is feeling lonely, is paving the way for a book, is running interferance for his brothers client or his party, …

  224. 224
    John S. says:

    Aw…poor little Defenseless Guy.

    You whine more than a kid with a skinned knee. I particualrly find it ‘adult’ of you to falsely accuse others of things that you do, and then ‘suggest’ that they modify their behavior, which in reality is the behavior that you need to modify.

    Better luck next time, though.

  225. 225
    Defense Guy says:

    That’s all you got John S. Pathetic. It’s way too easy to move past what your current limited intellect will allow.

    Perhaps one day you will be able to see past the narrow boundries that your partisanship allows. Until then, continue to be the hero of your own little narcasistic play, it seems to work well for you.

    Facts you moron, they are the currency of those that seek truth. Propoganda and feeeeeeelings are for the lightweights, such as yourself.

  226. 226
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    While Bennett certainly wasn’t recommending that all black babies be aborted, there are still two genuinely quease-inducing aspects of what he said.

    (1) Why did he specify that aborting every BLACK baby would reduce crime, without mentioning the obvious fact that aborting every WHITE baby would also do so? This may have reflected some tendency toward racism on his part, or it may just be that he was thinking about the fact that the crime rate is higher among blacks and got his metaphors tangled.

    (2) “Morally reprehensible” seems an awfully mild way of criticizing a proposal to abort every single black baby. Would he have used the same bland term about aborting every white baby?

    I’m not going to jump up and down on him for this when there are so many far better reasons to do so, but I wish he’d clarify just what he was thinking. (Of course, if he actually WAS succumbing to some semi-conscious racist inclinations, he’ll never admit it now.)

  227. 227
    Stating the Obvious says:

    Wow, so many people falling over themselves to say that he was take out of context, etc.

    The man made a IDIOTIC statement. Regardless of what he was thinking, he said what he said.

    Bill Bennett is finished. and not just because he’s a crappy broke gambler

  228. 228

    […] What is most disheartening about this is that recently, the right seems to be just as willing to play this sort of game- rather than rejecting identity politics, we find self-styled ‘conservatives’ accepting this line of thought, and engaging in ridiculious exercises such as demanding an apology from Bill Bennett, who should have ‘known better’ that his argument ad absurdum as would be ‘portrayed’ as offensive and racist. […]

  229. 229

    […] The activist left has no problem launching disingenuous attacks.  And why would they?  We’ve shown a striking unwillingness to fight back, deciding instead to opt for a kind of linguistic “realism” that looks at the current state of affairs and throws up its hands in surrender. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] The activist left has no problem launching disingenuous attacks.  And why would they?  We’ve shown a striking unwillingness to fight back, deciding instead to opt for a kind of linguistic “realism” that looks at the current state of affairs and throws up its hands in surrender. […]

  2. […] What is most disheartening about this is that recently, the right seems to be just as willing to play this sort of game- rather than rejecting identity politics, we find self-styled ‘conservatives’ accepting this line of thought, and engaging in ridiculious exercises such as demanding an apology from Bill Bennett, who should have ‘known better’ that his argument ad absurdum as would be ‘portrayed’ as offensive and racist. […]

  3. Dawn Patrol

    Welcome to the Dawn Patrol, our daily roundup of information on the War on Terror and other topics – from the MilBlogs, other blogs, and the mainstream media. If you’re a blogger, you can join the conversation. If you link…

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