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Profiling
Townhall.com ^ | July 24, 2013 | Walter E. Williams

Posted on 07/24/2013 4:34:23 AM PDT by Kaslin

In the wake of the shooting of a Nazi officer, Police Capt. Louis Renault played by Claude Rains in the 1942 movie "Casablanca," ordered his men to "round up the usual suspects." Was Renault engaging in some sort of profiling? He may have been, but what is profiling? Let's look at it.

We can think of profiling as a method to economize on information costs by using easily observed physical characteristics as a proxy for some other characteristic more difficult or costlier to observe. For example, say you seek to hire people to manually unload trucks containing heavy merchandise. I'm guessing that most would use sex as a proxy for strength and select men over the women. That can be called sex profiling. Of course, if you assumed that men and women have equal strength, you'd hire randomly.

You might say, "Profiling is unfair, and individuals should be judged individually!" Taken to the limit, such a position is ludicrous. Suppose police are trying to catch the criminal who just raped a woman in a city park. Would you want them to use sex profiling -- i.e., just round up men -- or should they round up everyone, regardless of sex? I'm betting that most people would view the latter as stupid. But there is a near equivalent in government. Ninety-six percent of the FBI's list of most wanted terrorists are Muslim, and most terrorist attacks in the U.S. have been committed by young Muslim males. Despite this, the Transportation Security Administration people behave as if each person who seeks to board a plane is of equal danger. That's why they search, frighten and inconvenience 5-year-olds and elderly people.

Some racial and ethnic groups have higher incidence of -- and mortality from -- various diseases than the national average. The Pima Indians of Arizona have the world's highest diabetes rates. Black males have the highest incidence rate for prostate cancer in the United States. Black males are also 30 percent likelier to die from heart disease than white men. Laotian, Samoan, and Vietnamese women have the highest cervical cancer rates in the United States.

Whether genetics, environment, or some other factor accounts for the association between race and the incidence of certain diseases, it is undeniable that such an association exists. That means an easily observed physical characteristic, such as race or ethnicity, can be used as a proxy for a higher probability of the existence of some other, more difficult-to-observe characteristic, such as prostate cancer, coronary disease, diabetes or cervical cancer. Simply by knowing a patient's race or ethnicity, a medical practitioner can be alert to and better customize a patient's screening needs. I wonder how many people would seek action against a doctor for medical profiling if the doctor recognized the association between race and the higher probability of a disease.

In a number of cities, there have been complaints of racism because some taxicab drivers turn down black fares. By simply knowing that a driver refused a black passenger, we cannot make an unambiguous statement about whether the decision was motivated by racial preferences. As early as 1999, D.C.'s taxicab commissioner Sandra Seegars, who is black, issued a safety advice statement urging the city's mostly black cabbies to refuse to pick up "dangerous-looking" passengers. She described "dangerous-looking" as a "young black guy ... with his ... shirttail hanging down longer than his coat, baggy pants down below his underwear and unlaced tennis shoes." Would anyone argue that black cabbies who turn down black fares are racists? A law-abiding black person denied a taxi is rightfully angered, but to whom should his anger be directed, at the driver who's trying to protect his life or at the people who've instilled fear by robbing and assaulting cabbies?

By the way, unlike us mortals, God wouldn't have to do any kind of profiling, because he knows everything. We mortals, with our imperfections, must find substitutes for his omniscience.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: health; profiling; racialprofiling; sexoffenders; taxis

1 posted on 07/24/2013 4:34:23 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

The way I hear it, profiling has kept terrorists from setting foot on an EL AL Airlines flight since the 1960’s...........just sayin.


2 posted on 07/24/2013 4:38:19 AM PDT by V_TWIN
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To: Kaslin

Walter Williams is a national treasure and an always welcomed breath of fresh air.


3 posted on 07/24/2013 4:41:39 AM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,)
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To: Kaslin
Trayvon Martin was profiling HIMSELF by doing some sort of a slow walk, in the rain, while looking at and into houses. Normal people try to get out of rain as quickly as possible.
4 posted on 07/24/2013 4:42:25 AM PDT by varmintman
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To: Kaslin

Profiling is an essential element in law enforcement.


5 posted on 07/24/2013 4:44:58 AM PDT by New Jersey Realist (America: home of the free because of the brave)
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To: varmintman
No way. Hannity said Trayvon was just trying to protect himself from the rain.

I don't know how much more of this stuff i can take...

6 posted on 07/24/2013 4:46:35 AM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,)
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To: New Jersey Realist

...and an essential element of OPSEC.


7 posted on 07/24/2013 4:47:13 AM PDT by gov_bean_ counter (Romans 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,)
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To: Kaslin

I think profiling makes a lot of sense. You may occasionally miss the terrorist who dresses like a socialite, but it will be occasional.


8 posted on 07/24/2013 4:51:52 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Kaslin

This article should be required reading for all the morons who run our government.

Thank you, Prof. Williams, for stating the obvious in terms that even a politician can understand.


9 posted on 07/24/2013 4:53:16 AM PDT by paterfamilias
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To: New Jersey Realist
Profiling is an essential element in law enforcement

It is also an essential element is personal situational awareness.

10 posted on 07/24/2013 4:54:27 AM PDT by Altura Ct.
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To: Kaslin

Past experience and observed normalcy is what allows us to operate throughout each day. We presume that light switches are up for on, yet we also know that a few light switches are 3-ways and may be up or down for on. We proceed with the expected, being correct almost always, yet we have the logic to adapt to the exception. Profiling is the same way.

People that don’t want to be profiled as thugs shouldn’t dress and act like thugs.


11 posted on 07/24/2013 4:59:44 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Kaslin

Good try but still not on target.

To reach a conclusion, one must sort through facts, make choices of available info. That is given a series of facts, one must discriminate between them to determine if acceptable or non acceptable, pertinent or not pertinent.

Black people hate discrimination as a process because it can make them come up short in the decision tree. Then it does the most unacceptable of all. It destroys the assumption that all blacks are equal. Discrimination allows treating a person with a hoodie differently from one not wearing a hoodie. It allows one to distinguish between a male with his underwear showing above a belt fastened below his genitals with a person fastening his belt around his waist.

Blacks wail and moan about discrimination because and only because, the process allows elimination that results is selection of a likely criminal and that criminal happens to be black.

Profiling is discrimination in a decision tree that is ordinary and necessary, especially when narrowing down the list of suspects.


12 posted on 07/24/2013 5:05:53 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Travon... Felony assault and battery hate crime)
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To: Kaslin
Ask the victims of the knockout game if they wish they'd profiled the gangs of thugs approaching them just before they got beaten into unconsciousness. I'd bet a month's pay they'd say yes.

Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!

13 posted on 07/24/2013 5:08:34 AM PDT by wku man (Amnesty? No Way, Jose (No Se Puede!) by 10 Pound Test http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsTUQ8yOI2c)
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To: Kaslin

Love me some Walt Williams!


14 posted on 07/24/2013 5:10:29 AM PDT by Dr. Pritchett
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To: wku man

well, everyone knows that blue-haired grannies are the ones playing the knockout game! Round them up. :p


15 posted on 07/24/2013 5:10:35 AM PDT by GeronL
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To: Kaslin
When my Dad was alive I used to take him down to Florida in January for some sunshine.He was in his 80's and basically confined to a wheelchair back then.At the airport,when I was pushing him through check-in and security the TSA would focus on that man...white haired,wheelchair bound.They did it every time.And when his artificial hip set off the metal detectors they'd spend even more time on him despite being told by me "he has a metal hip".

That's just a small example of how far this country has sunk into the abyss of "political correctness".

16 posted on 07/24/2013 5:12:13 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (If Obama Had A City It Would Look Like Detroit.)
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To: V_TWIN
Profiling relies on highly trained, perceptive personnel relying on HUMINTelligence.

While the Israelis use on HUMINT and Technology, it is the HUMINT interviews that filter out possible suspects.
Israelis know more or less what they are looking for, the US is not sure.

All Israelis who work for El Al or at Ben Gurion airport or at El Al facilities around the world all did military duty in one form or another - they know who they are dealing with and what they are capable of.

The last time there was a Hijacking at Tel Aviv was 1972 Sabena (Belgium) Airlines.

Israeli commandos disguised as mechanics stormed the plane and killed the terrorists. Who was in the raid? Both Ehud Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu was slightly wounded.
Profiling works, PC kills...go Israel!!

17 posted on 07/24/2013 5:12:38 AM PDT by Netz (Netz)
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To: Kaslin

“Profiling”=Using your common sense.

CAN’T HAVE THAT, NOW—CAN WE??


18 posted on 07/24/2013 5:14:47 AM PDT by Flintlock ("The redcoats are coming" -- TO SEIZE OUR GUNS!!--Paul Revere)
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To: Netz

Hey, thanks for the education. That was good stuff.

“Israelis know more or less what they are looking for, the US is not sure.”

Ain’t that the truth.


19 posted on 07/24/2013 5:15:16 AM PDT by V_TWIN
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To: bert
Correct.

I try to use an analogy when possible. If a person was armed and walking down the Appalachian Trail when a bobcat popped out of the woods on the trail in front of them which should they do: 1) draw their weapon or 2) wait because this might be "one of the good ones"?

I'm pretty sure I know what the survivor would do.

20 posted on 07/24/2013 5:19:19 AM PDT by KenD
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To: V_TWIN
Israel has learned the hard way how insane the terrorists can be. This is a chronology of who they have had to deal with in some of the most outrageous, heinous crimes in history:

~1900-1940 = Roving bands of murderous Arab (they were not called Palestinian then) bands, random killings of Jews.

1940-45 = Nazi organized Muslim units killing Jews in Croatia for example.

1945-1962 = Egyptian funded and supplied “Fedayun: infiltrators into the young Jewish state, the precursors to the PLO. Random killing.

1962-1972 = PLO, PFLP-GC infiltrators, Hijackers. Random murder all over the world and in Israel.

1972 Black September of FATAH movement attack on Israeli atheletes at Olympic games. 11 dead Israeli atheletes.

1972 Japanese Red Army attack at Ben Gurion airport, many dead. “Bader Meinhoff” period.

1976 PLO+Germans Hijack Air France jet to Entebbe, Uganda, Israeli hostages freed in daring raid, all terrorists dead, Benjamin Netanyahu's brother (Yoni) killed leading raid.

1970-1978 = PLO in South Lebanon, attack Israeli coast + north.

1978 Coastal road attack on Israeli passenger bus by PLO causes Israel to invade southern Lebanon up to Litani river, hence Israeli operation called, “Operation Litani”.

1982-83 PLO attacks within Lebanon during Lebanon Peace for the Galilee war.

1983-present Hizbollah guerrilla state in southern Lebanon, attacks in Buenos Aires and all over world, including Bourgas, Bulgaria one year ago.

1987 First Intifada PLO riots bloodshed.

2000 Second Intifada PLO riots bloodshed.

1993-2003 Oslo Peace process = even more dead Jews than BEFORE Peace process.

100 years of horrendous, bloody provocations by the Arabs in the name of liberation has taught the Israelis how to deal with these SOBs.

The US unfortunately is in it's diapers on this issue but still living in denial...

21 posted on 07/24/2013 5:39:05 AM PDT by Netz (Netz)
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To: V_TWIN

OH! and I forgot the HAMAS scum, 1986-present suicide bombers...


22 posted on 07/24/2013 5:40:53 AM PDT by Netz (Netz)
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To: gov_bean_ counter

Hannity and O’Reilly keep spouting these inane things about the TMartin case. “Just staying out of the rain.” Hannity. (1)”Told not to get out of truck (2)It was wrong for Zimmerman to confront Martin based on his appearance.” O’Reillly.

They do know how to read. I assume they’ve read the transcripts and watched the case. I think they, too, know how to think and piece together movements.

None of the above by Hannity or O’Reilly is based on the evidence. It is done purely to pay dues to the current political correctness.

I assume their management has a hand in pressuring them to throw a few bones to the liberal and black communities.


23 posted on 07/24/2013 5:43:17 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for their victory!)
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To: varmintman

The Trayvon Martin case IS all about profiling; to the media, a caucasian male with a handgun equals a racist out to commit murder. What the left complains most vocally about is generally its own flaws.


24 posted on 07/24/2013 5:43:50 AM PDT by Spok (Generalizations are no damn good, including this one. -Mark Twain)
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To: gov_bean_ counter; varmintman
Yeah, it's called trespassing which the lefties refuse to acknowledge. He was on private property. Obviously casing houses.

The jewelry that Martin was suspended from school for was traced to a burglary about a block away from the school

Mystified by Hannity's position. It defies reality. 'Course I've given up on him a while ago.

25 posted on 07/24/2013 5:47:45 AM PDT by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux)
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To: V_TWIN

But the single GREATEST Killer of Arab Muslims has always been and will always be...MUSLIMS, not Jews.

Muslims profile Muslims and then blow themselves up in the other guy’s mosque - ain’t that sweet?


26 posted on 07/24/2013 5:53:24 AM PDT by Netz (Netz)
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To: Eagles6

Any sort of a url for the trace on the stolen jewels??


27 posted on 07/24/2013 6:43:14 AM PDT by varmintman
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To: Kaslin

Profiling is part and parcel of human nature. It is necessary for survival. Single women use it when dating and a father will use it when a male wants to date his daughter. Bankers use it when granting loans and employers use it when hiring. The examples can go on forever. Liberals don’t like it because it upsets their delusional world.


28 posted on 07/24/2013 7:05:45 AM PDT by odawg
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To: varmintman

http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2013/05/01/m-dspd-cover-up-the-curious-case-of-trayvon-martins-backpack-with-stolen-jewelry-and-burglary-tool/


29 posted on 07/24/2013 7:45:29 AM PDT by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux)
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To: Eagles6

Thanks!!


30 posted on 07/24/2013 8:37:11 AM PDT by varmintman
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To: varmintman

;-)>


31 posted on 07/24/2013 11:28:29 PM PDT by Eagles6 (Valley Forge Redux)
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