Lest You Think Smallholder Has Gone All Soft And Fuzzy

Memento Moron and I have a similar sense of humor. We both a family men, first and foremost. But we are poles apart politically.

Immigration is a good case in point. We hammered each other over the issue months ago.

(Self-congratulatory note to self: Bush and Congress did exactly what I predicted. Absolutely nothing of substance. Sure, we might have sent a few thousand guardsman to the border and generated a few headlines for the November election, but Congressmen are smart enough to know that illegal immigrants are good for the economy, regardless of what they tell their innumerate constituents during campaigns.)

For the record, I think Memento is misguided, not racist. Characterizing the opposition to illegals as boiling down to “brown people are icky” was too broad of a stroke in the same way as “liberals hate America” is too broad of astroke. A good proportion of both camps fit those stereotypes, but there are exceptions. Seriously, Brian, I consifder you to be one of those exceptions: I don’t think you are a racist. Can we bury the hatchet, please?

Having, one hopes, set aside the hard feelings resultant of my sloppy language (a proclivity reinforced by the hasty nature of the blogging medium), let’s return to misguided, shall we?

Brian writes:

a) San Bernadino County, CA, in response to jail overcrowding, has instituted a new program where sherriff’s deputies are trained to interview incoming inmates and screen for illegal immigrants and turn them over to the INS. Since the program was instituted, the county has interviewed 600 inmates, 500 of whom turned out to be Illegals.

b) The Center For Disease Control reports that juvenile hepatitis cases are far higher in the western and border states, which have higher illegal populations than the rest of the U.S.

I guess those two articles, and my decision to blog on them, proves that I, the San Bernadino County Sherriff, and the CDC are latent racists who think brown people are.. um, what’s the word? Oh, yeah, “Icky”.

Dealing with a) first. I guess Brian is still trying to fight the FBI. You see, when everyone was jabbering about the crime caused by illegals, I linked to the official government report by the FBI. Law enforcement data shows that illegal aliens are slightly less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens. Control for socioeconomic level and the gap grows. There are a few hardened narco-trafficers, but there are also native-born narco-trafficers. Despite what law enforcement says, the answer from the anti-illegal side is “nuh-uh.” Others go back to the old canard: If they are willing to break one law, they will be automatically break another law. This belief conflicts with reality - the government’s own statistics show this. In addition, the “illegals are more lawless and will steal your car” types are also blind to their own hypocrisy. I would wager that the vast majority of our readers (yes, you!) have, at one time or another, committed a victimless crime. This does not make us all more likely to commit armed robbery. The Minister of Propaganda, for instance, has violated 43 states’ restrictions on extra-marital hanky-panky. Yet he has not, to my knowledge, been knocking over liquor stores in his spare time. Absolutists who demand law enforcement and harsh punishment for every violation of law - “down with illegal border crossers for illegally crossing the borders” have yet to explain their plan for prosecuting the Minister of Propaganda’s sluttishness. Or, for that matter, prosecuting Polymath and my “experimentation” with alternative fuels.

Memento Moron, who refuses to accept the validity of the government statistics, gives us the San Bernadino Sheriff’s department screening process in order to refute it. His response - using a weak piece of datum to reinforce his own (erroneous) belief in the lawlessness of illegals reminds me of a quote I heard from Joel Salatin this weekend:

“Science can never convince. We only believe science when it agrees with our heart.”

True words.

But let me try one more time to lift the veil from Memento’s eyes. (I know that it is pointless, but hell, I’m a teacher. As a teacher you have to set aside cynical experience and opt for naive optimism on a daily basis.)

When the San Bernadino policemen, trained officers of the law, suspect someone is an illegal alien, they check to see if they are. Surprise, surprise, 500 of 600 suspected illegals are indeed illegal. Is this the whole sample of criminals? Do you think that they ran Bubba the uber-redneck through the screening process? What about Tyrone the stereotypical gang-banger?

In fact, I’d like to see the San Bernadino do a screenin for membership in black gangs. If they suspect someone of belonging to a black gang, they should check it out. If they do belong to a black gang, then that will prove, government statistics be damned, that black people are responsible for all crime in the United States.

We should also do a screening for white supremicist gangs. If someone is arrested with a swastika tatooed on their forehead, we should do a screening for membership in white supremacy groups. If it turns out that most do belong to the Aryan nations, then it will prove that all honkies are racist.

As for part “b,” I’m gobsmacked that Memento would even bring this weak crap.

Correlation, my friend, does not imply causation.

Click through that Wikipedia article. It is hi-larious.


Ice-cream sales are strongly (and robustly) correlated with crime rates.
Therefore, higher ice-cream sales cause crime.


Homer: Not a bear in sight. The “Bear Patrol” is working like a charm!

Lisa: That’s specious reasoning, Dad.

Homer: [uncomprehendingly] Thanks, honey.

Lisa: By your logic, I could claim that this rock keeps tigers away.

Homer: Hmm. How does it work?

Lisa: It doesn’t work. (pause) It’s just a stupid rock!

Homer: Uh-huh.

Lisa: But I don’t see any tigers around, do you?

Homer: (pause) Lisa, I want to buy your rock.

Didja miss me?

Anyone have a stick of gum?

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