The Darker Side of the News

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Andries
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Andries » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:36 pm UTC

Sorry, off topic, will post elsewhere
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:39 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:Is it even valid to scale national statistics down to a small number of cases over a short time period like this? I'm no sociologist, but clustering like this happens by chance a good deal more than intuition would suggest, so I would imagine the confidence intervals would be too wide to make meaningful comparisons.


You can't do solid stats with such small numbers but you can do a back of the envelope calculation to take an educated guess about whether it's in the same sort of order of magnitude ballpark as what you'd expect.

You also have to take into account that *any* unusual cluster could be spotted and pointed out. A trans man each week would have stood out as well if someone just dredges the data and grabs anything that looks unusual.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Andries » Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:55 pm UTC

I find the whole recourse to statistical reasoning quite odd.

Firstly, the original claim is not based on statistical analysis. It is based on a series of murders that apparently are targeting transgender women because of their sexual identity. Whether this is true or not is another matter, but if it is happening - and it is happening here in South Africa - you can't make that fact disappear by blending it into the statistical background.

So all this statistical responding misses the point. The argument being made is not statistical. It is that black transgender women are killed because of who or what they are; and this is , as far as we know, not something that is happening to, for example, straight white men. And the 'once a week' point is simply that four such women were already killed the first four or five weeks of 2015.

Secondly, as the cited article makes clear, the statistics are in fact problematic. When transgender people are killed, their transgender identity is usually not recorded, or recorded incorrectly. In fact, if you read the article, the writers are specifically protesting against the fact that murders of transgender people are not being recorded as such.

So, counter to HungryHobo's point, the problem is precisely that the murders don't stand out. They are, according to the activists, statistically invisible.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Chen » Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:11 pm UTC

Andries wrote:So all this statistical responding misses the point. The argument being made is not statistical. It is that black transgender women are killed because of who or what they are; and this is , as far as we know, not something that is happening to, for example, straight white men. And the 'once a week' point is simply that four such women were already killed the first four or five weeks of 2015.


Looking at the statistics allows verification that yes the are being killed for who they are. The site in question is notably biased so verifying things is a good idea. If the numbers of murders correlated exactly to the demographic numbers that we'd set to black transgender women, then in fact it wouldn't be notable. That said it is NOT in line with those numbers so it very likely is due to who they are, that they are being murdered.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:19 pm UTC

Andries wrote:Firstly, the original claim is not based on statistical analysis. It is based on a series of murders that apparently are targeting transgender women because of their sexual identity. Whether this is true or not is another matter, but if it is happening - and it is happening here in South Africa - you can't make that fact disappear by blending it into the statistical background.

So all this statistical responding misses the point. The argument being made is not statistical. It is that black transgender women are killed because of who or what they are; and this is , as far as we know, not something that is happening to, for example, straight white men. And the 'once a week' point is simply that four such women were already killed the first four or five weeks of 2015.


Yes, the first article was not a stats analysis. It's an argument from the heart but the heart is really really really awful at giving you good information.

If you don't even attempt to do the math then you end up doing things like jailing innocent women for no good reason or seeing serial killers in the mist.

As it happens the back of the envelope calculation supports your position so it seems like it somehow offends your sensibilities that people are thinking rather than blindly following you.

People who fail to fall back on basic numbers based reasoning are, not to put too fine a point on it, the source of a lot of awful decisions in the world.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Andries » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:32 pm UTC

I am not saying statistics are irrelevant; I am not even saying that the claims in the article are correct and true. I am just saying the claims are not statistical claims. They need to be interrogated, sure, but they need to be interrogated on the basis that they are made (as far as I can tell).

My impression - and I may be wrong - is that the response in respect of whether the murder rate is statistically proportionate or not - was made without even reading the article that Rath358 posted.

(PS - and my sensibilities are not offended; and I don't want people to follow me, blindly or not. I just think that if people respond to a claim, they should actually take the trouble to make sure what the content is of the argument they are responding to)

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Chen » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:43 pm UTC

The article said one murder per week. The statistics show that everything else being equal, well that one murder per week is pretty disproportionate so clearly something else is going on. Seems like a good use of statistics to back up the talk in the article. If it had come out the other way it would have been an indication of another sensationlist journalism piece, which are all to common nowadays.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby HungryHobo » Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:48 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Your numbers are way off, anyway, Hobo.


To quote somebody who made a good argument and convinced me to go with a higher figure than the one I'd previously been going with:

gmalivuk wrote: 0.4% is the number I'm personally going to accept as reliable going forward. (It may even be an underestimate for the reasons described in that fivethirtyeight article


gmalivuk wrote:Even if there is considerable overlap between such people and those who identify as transgender, an estimate of at least 0.5% of people who can't be unambiguously described as "male" or "female" seems reasonable.


Also, as I mentioned, I was taking into account that murders tend to be skewed towards black victims, Yakk provided the more exact numbers and yes it's still somewhat more than you would expect.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:11 am UTC

Chen wrote:The article said one murder per week. The statistics show that everything else being equal, well that one murder per week is pretty disproportionate so clearly something else is going on. Seems like a good use of statistics to back up the talk in the article. If it had come out the other way it would have been an indication of another sensationlist journalism piece, which are all to common nowadays.


I am not sure.

Are we talking past each other?

As far as I can see, claim that someone is deliberately killing women for their trans identity is not the same claim as the claim that more than the statistical average of trans women is being killed.

If someone was deliberately murdering trans women because they are such, their claim that this is a problem would still stand even if, statistically, a similar number of trans women might have been killed in the same time for other reasons.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Yakk » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:39 am UTC

The article linked didn't talk about the other women being murdered explicitly "because they where trans women", other than statistically (murder rate of various subgroups). Analyzing the situation statistically seems to be the proper response?

There was implication, but no direct statement that I managed to find in my second reading looking for it.

"X black trans women killed already this year" is a statistical statement. Together with the outrage attached, it implies that trans women are being targeted, but it does not state it. A statistical analysis of "is that unexpected given demographics" lets us determine how strong of evidence it is that they are being targeted, or not.

Rath's post also highlights that stat. And says "what. the. fuck.". This implies that it is surprising. Should it be surprising? Stats can determine if it is remarkable, or just part of the sadness of big numbers.

"Penny Proud"'s murder is more strongly implied as targeted (in that the author of the piece expresses implied disapproval that it was not categorized as a hate crime).

The article is big on implying disapproval, without stating it. "Despite X, Y" implies that the author of the piece does not approve of Y, but does not outright state they do not approve of Y. So it is really, really hard to figure out what the author is actually saying, as opposed to implying, the entire article is almost all implication. The few actual positions taken are statistical ones (which makes this discussion on topic), victim lists and facts about victims, facts about investigations and murders, quotes from protestors/etc. And finally a vague call to action.

I'm really not sure what to discuss about the article other than the stats.

I mean, people dying is horrid; but the most interesting thing about the article is the implied, but never outright stated, claim that there is a lot of hate-crime-murders against specifically trans women of color.

We have limited tools to determine if this is true, and how big a problem it is, other than statistics.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Andries » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:11 am UTC

Yes, it was more strongly implied in the article cited than the others. And yes, the tone of both articles was very emotional; and the arguments being made were less than clear. And I am not saying stats are irrelevant.

I guess I am coming from a place where these kinds of hate crimes are common, and I do believe that it is a cause of concern. But everything you say is true. I will hold my peace now. 8-)

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Thesh » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:31 am UTC

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik ... olumn.html

Kansas Governor, with no explanation, reverses anti-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals. Speculation is that it's purely to distract from the failure of his economic policies.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby PolakoVoador » Fri Feb 13, 2015 2:39 pm UTC

Thesh wrote:http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-the-return-of-bleeding-kansas-20150211-column.html

Kansas Governor, with no explanation, reverses anti-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals. Speculation is that it's purely to distract from the failure of his economic policies.

Are LGBT individuals considered a protected group in the USA?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:26 pm UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:
Thesh wrote:http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-the-return-of-bleeding-kansas-20150211-column.html

Kansas Governor, with no explanation, reverses anti-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals. Speculation is that it's purely to distract from the failure of his economic policies.

Are LGBT individuals considered a protected group in the USA?


Sort of. For instance, discrimination by sex is prohibited federally, but that won't necessarily cover the T part of that.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Feb 13, 2015 7:48 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:
gmalivuk wrote:Your numbers are way off, anyway, Hobo.


To quote somebody who made a good argument and convinced me to go with a higher figure than the one I'd previously been going with:

gmalivuk wrote: 0.4% is the number I'm personally going to accept as reliable going forward. (It may even be an underestimate for the reasons described in that fivethirtyeight article


gmalivuk wrote:Even if there is considerable overlap between such people and those who identify as transgender, an estimate of at least 0.5% of people who can't be unambiguously described as "male" or "female" seems reasonable.


Also, as I mentioned, I was taking into account that murders tend to be skewed towards black victims, Yakk provided the more exact numbers and yes it's still somewhat more than you would expect.

It's an order of magnitude more.

And the 0.5% number was the one I accepted as correct. But you calculated the expected rate of all murders of trans people and concluded that six consecutive weeks of trans black women being murdered wasn't really all that out of the ordinary.

(The average skew toward black victims roughly balances out the skew away from female victims, so I don't see how Yakk's numbers help your case at all.)
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby HungryHobo » Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:44 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
And the 0.5% number was the one I accepted as correct. But you calculated the expected rate of all murders of trans people and concluded that six consecutive weeks of trans black women being murdered wasn't really all that out of the ordinary.

(The average skew toward black victims roughly balances out the skew away from female victims, so I don't see how Yakk's numbers help your case at all.)


It puts it to within an order of magnitude of the expected and we have to account for *any* related cluster being newsworthy such as if it had been 4 trans men. Ie: the thing that draws your attention to something can't then be used to make judgements about it just as if you had a court case where someone was brought to the attention of the court by some 1/1000000 test you can't use that same tests to find them guilty.

Make sense?

Buy as I said. Still higher than we'd expect.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:32 pm UTC

Sure, I get the argument you're making, but I don't think it applies here. These six killings may have been what brought the pattern to your attention, but others of us have long known trans women of color are extremely disproportionately targeted by violence. This isn't the witness reports that got the guy arrested in the first place, it's his fingerprints at the scene.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:54 am UTC

2 shootings in Copenhagen.

1st shooting happened this afternoon; a meeting about free speech (including Lars Milk, who had an assassination attempt on him before)

2nd shooting was at a synagogue. Police not sure if it's related, but considering how rare shootings are in Denmark, it's pretty much assured.


So really, why is it that whenever there's a shooter, they go after the Jews too? Charlie Hebdo, and a Jewish shop. Mumbai, and a Chabad. Lars Milk, and a Synagogue.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Puppyclaws » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:06 am UTC

PolakoVoador wrote:
Thesh wrote:http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-the-return-of-bleeding-kansas-20150211-column.html

Kansas Governor, with no explanation, reverses anti-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals. Speculation is that it's purely to distract from the failure of his economic policies.

Are LGBT individuals considered a protected group in the USA?


This varies by state. I recently moved from a state with protections for LGB and also T people, to a state where none of those are a protected status and you can be fired for being gay. Many states have LGB protections but not trans protections. Notably although this article uses "LGBT" as a catch-all, the laws being discussed are really only about the LGB portion of LGBT.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Mambrino » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:55 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:2 shootings in Copenhagen.

1st shooting happened this afternoon; a meeting about free speech (including Lars Milk, who had an assassination attempt on him before)

2nd shooting was at a synagogue. Police not sure if it's related, but considering how rare shootings are in Denmark, it's pretty much assured.


So really, why is it that whenever there's a shooter, they go after the Jews too? Charlie Hebdo, and a Jewish shop. Mumbai, and a Chabad. Lars Milk, and a Synagogue.


Lars Milk


What.

Anyway, there was a third shooting, where Copenhagen police shot a man they believe was the perpetrator. The police thinks he acted alone.

EDIT: Okay, the police just stormed an internet cafe in Copenhagen. (So maybe they now think he wasn't acting alone).

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Lazar » Sun Feb 15, 2015 5:27 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:So really, why is it that whenever there's a shooter, they go after the Jews too? Charlie Hebdo, and a Jewish shop. Mumbai, and a Chabad. Lars Milk, and a Synagogue.

According to the German judicial system, attacking synagogues is simply a form of political protest. Netanyahu may be a bellicose nut, but Europe is doing precious little to disprove his claim that Jews are unwelcome there.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:06 pm UTC

So, would burning down a courthouse be a protest against the German judicial system?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Grop » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:17 pm UTC

Article says nothing about the reasons the judge thought that. I am pretty sure they had some arguments. The fact that these people charged with arson are German Palestinians (whatever that means) makes me suspect their motives may be different from your typical Jews hater.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby speising » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:33 pm UTC

is it somehow better to hate jews because you are muslim, than because you are aryan?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:41 pm UTC

Which is funny because most Aryans are Muslim; Iran is the Persian word for Aryan.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:04 pm UTC

Grop wrote:Article says nothing about the reasons the judge thought that. I am pretty sure they had some arguments. The fact that these people charged with arson are German Palestinians (whatever that means) makes me suspect their motives may be different from your typical Jews hater.

I don't doubt that they were angry about the Gaza conflict. That doesn't change the fact that it was an anti-Semitic act.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Carlington » Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:55 pm UTC

There's a fairly serious and ongoing issue there, in that people who oppose Israeli occupation of Palestine sometimes conflate Israeli with Jewish. Opposing Israel is one thing. Blaming all Jews for Israel's crimes is anti-Semitic.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Grop » Sun Feb 15, 2015 8:52 pm UTC

I don't want to argue against anything you guys said, and I agree with those words. I felt unsatisfied with this article containing only rant and no facts.

I certainly don't want to defend these arsonists who indeed picked the wrong target.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Diadem » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:16 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
Grop wrote:Article says nothing about the reasons the judge thought that. I am pretty sure they had some arguments. The fact that these people charged with arson are German Palestinians (whatever that means) makes me suspect their motives may be different from your typical Jews hater.

I don't doubt that they were angry about the Gaza conflict. That doesn't change the fact that it was an anti-Semitic act.

Ehm, yes, yes it does.

Or rather, it might. Whether something is a hate crime depends on the motivations of the perpetrators.According to the judge, in this case, the motivation of the perpetrators was not racist, but political. Hate crime is not determined by the act, but by the motivation. That always makes it hard to judge, especially in the case of Israel, where there is so often confusion between the country, the people and the religion. But roughly speaking, if this was done out of hate against Jews (either people or religion) it would be a hate crime, but if it was done out of hate against Israel, it is not. Israel not being a protected group. I don't know the fact of the case, so it's a little bit hard to judge, but I have seen no compelling arguments against the judge'd interpretation yet.

The argument in the article seems to be "Anything aimed at Jews is by definition anti-Semitic", which is rather absurd. Immediately following it with a Godwin doesn't help his case either.

Don't get me wrong. It's obviously wrong to firebomb a synagogue. But it's not like the judge let them off the hook. They were convicted of arson.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Mambrino » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:18 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:So, would burning down a courthouse be a protest against the German judicial system?


And what about burning Reichstag, oh wait.

[rant]
That line is just stupid, on multiple levels. 1) Trying to burn down buildings that (could plausibly) have people inside can't be an acceptable form of protest (okay maybe a contrived hypothetical philosophical scenario can be constructed, but in practice), no matter the reasons to perpetrators state or don't state. I have some difficulties understanding why judge would need to make any official statements about the motives of the attack other than establishing the intent of harm.

2) Also, one would imagine that a purely political protest would be directed to something that would primarily represent a political entity being protested against. For example, an office of a political party or e.g. Israeli embassy. Even a peaceful protest against Israel's acts in Gaza being held in front of random synagogue in Wuppertal would, er, at least very misplaced if the purpose of the protest was political. However, burning down an office of political party or an embassy out of political hatred would still be as reprehensible as burning down a synagogue out of religious hatred, the justice system shouldn't differentiate between the two. Even if for some reason the law would be more lenient to a person that burns down buildings "just because" without any other specific ulterior motives, both aforementioned scenarios would be a case of violence against basic political / religious expression rights.

3) And finally, I think there's a special name for this kind of fallacy. False dichotomy? As TheGrammarBolshevik said, it's not either-or question: It could still be anti-Semitic act even if it were a political act, too. And anyway, in the other direction, any anti-religion or specifically anti-Semitic stance, especially if there's any kind of course of action implied with it (and usually anti-$something wants to remove $something from the society or something done about it), it is still a political stance. Religious violence is most often political violence, too. It's not like religion isn't interleaved with politics.
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The above is a discussion on a philosophical level, though. The Jerusalem Post article was slightly more informative than the Daily Beast, but not exactly very detailed. Quick googling found Deutsche Welle reports. Was couple of Molotov cocktails a serious attempt? However, whoever does have Molotov cocktails around and merrily throws them around without intent of harm?

EDIT

Diadem wrote:Hate crime is not determined by the act, but by the motivation.


Which is why the "hate" part in that sense shouldn't have anything to do with the law or courthouse IMO. "Sir, you ask, why I threw a Molotov cocktail at his religious dwellings? Well because I hate his religion / his headwear / I don't know." Psychology is fuzzy enough, finding out why people really do stuff or what were their real motives or thought process when they do something or anything isn't exactly exact science.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Feb 15, 2015 9:38 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:Whether something is a hate crime depends on the motivations of the perpetrators.
In German law, motivation doesn't matter for determining whether an offense happened, though it is taken into account when determining the punishment.

The argument in the article seems to be "Anything aimed at Jews is by definition anti-Semitic", which is rather absurd.
How is that absurd? That is literally the (modern) definition of antisemitism.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby speising » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:33 pm UTC

really? so, if i kill a man because he slept with my wife, and he happens to be jewish, it was an anti-semitic crime?

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:36 pm UTC

I took "aimed at Jews" to mean "aimed at Jews".
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Sun Feb 15, 2015 10:41 pm UTC

There's a de re/de dicto ambiguity here. If by "Anything aimed at Jews" you mean anything aimed at someone who happens to be Jewish, then of course that isn't always anti-Semitism. On the other hand, if you mean anything that's aimed at someone because they're Jewish, then it's hard to deny that this is anti-Semitism. And there's certainly no reason to think that the article is relying on the first interpretation.

Diadem's alternative proposal seems to be that something only counts as a hate crime if it's motivated by hatred of the members of a group. I think the counterexamples in the article dispatch that principle quite handily. A fake response like "teh Godwinz!" doesn't help his case either.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:00 pm UTC

Anything that targets a member of a demographic for being a member of that demographics is a hate crime. Is that really such a difficult concept to grasp?

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Qaanol
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Qaanol » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:03 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Anything that targets a member of a demographic for being a member of that demographics is a hate crime. Is that really such a difficult concept to grasp?

I agree that Super Bowl beer commercials are reprehensible, but a hate crime?
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CorruptUser
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby CorruptUser » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:07 pm UTC

Please don't be obtuse.

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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby EMTP » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:08 pm UTC

Diadem wrote: That always makes it hard to judge, especially in the case of Israel, where there is so often confusion between the country, the people and the religion.


Confusion, it must be said, that is encouraged and amplified by Zionists who claim that the Jews are a nationality and Israel represents Jews around the world.

That said, if you associated a synagogue in Copenhagen or Germany with the crimes of the state of Israel and its people, that seems fairly clearly anti-Semitic to me. Now, if the synagogue is raising money for Israel and recruiting people for Israel's Lone Gunman program, then perhaps it is not so cut-and-dried.

Arson aimed at houses of worship/killing people at worship is wrong regardless.

This category confusion is inevitable when you decide that your group is a religion/race/nationality/Japanese luxury car/etc depending on what identity is convenient to the claim you want to make at the time. No one claims that Americans hostile to Russians during the Cold War were racists. When you are in a deadly conflict with another nationality, a degree of jingoistic hostility is very common and not considered racist (although it's still not an attractive quality, obviously.)

So to say "We are a proud nation whose armies will crush our enemies!" and then to respond to opposition from the crush-ees with "How dare you be racist towards our poor beleaguered minority!" seems to me hypocritical.
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Qaanol
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby Qaanol » Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:17 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Please don't be obtuse.

I wasn’t being obtuse, I was being snide.

And in my snideness, I attempted to illustrate certain flaws with the proposed bright-line test for identifying hate crimes.
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Re: The Darker Side of the News

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:23 am UTC

You didn't point out any flaws in the "test" CU was actually proposing, though, you just succeeded in pointing out that his wording was a bit loose, because "target" and "demographic" can be used with other connotations than the ones he pretty clearly intended.
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