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01/23/2005

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Palooka

"I am saying it is unreasonable to fear that your neighbor could be a terrorist. It is unreasonable to permit our civil liberties to be infringed because we are afraid of terrorists."

It is not unreasonable to fear that your neighbor could be a terrorist. It is unreasonable to fear that your terrorist really is a terrorist merely because he happens to be an Arab or a Muslim. Whether it is unreasonable to permit our civil liberties to be infringed depends on what the standard for reasonableness is. That will vary with our fear. At a certain level of fear, we will give up all our civil liberties and permit martial law to be imposed. How reasonable it seems depends on how afraid we are of terrorism; how reasonable it is depends on how likely the terrorism we fear really is. How likely must it be for us to be legitimately afraid? How afraid must we be legitimately not to care? If we're really afraid, does it matter that we don't have any civil liberties? Not if we don't care, it doesn't. So why would it matter what whiny Arabs think if we're really afraid of them?

Ken Klineman

"Settled bias in society tends to reduce opportunities for minority students from birth on through life. Our goal should be and is to reduce this bias."

Doesn't affirmative action take that bias for granted rather than seek to eliminate it? (In other words, you can't have affirmative action without the presumption of black inferiority.) Isn't that the same problem with profiling of terrorists? We're tarring every Arab with the same brush. Oh, all blacks are probably poor and stupid; oh, all Arabs are probably religious nutcases with bombs strapped to their belly; oh, all fencers are less masculine than all soccer players. Why are stereotypes valid heuristics? Is Hayek running the TSA?

Daniel Chapman

"Who gets to say that race is more pernicious than which sport you play? You claim without proof that race is worse, but I think the fencer would disagree with you."

The Constitution and Civil Rights Act of 1964 say that race is more pernicious.

Palooka

FYI: A commenter has taken it upon himself to assume my identity. The last two posts, and who knows how many more, are not mine.

Palooka

FYI: I was just kidding before. Every post that bears the handle "Palooka" is mine.

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