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Bloggingheads
05-29-2008, 08:12 PM

allbetsareoff
05-29-2008, 11:44 PM
MacDonald is one of those right-wing "thinkers" who recite and repeat talking points and dismiss or talk over the points of their interlocutors. In this case, she spends most of the hour not taking yes for an answer. This was a waste of Kleiman's time, and ours.

look
05-30-2008, 12:10 AM
MacDonald is one of those right-wing "thinkers" who recite and repeat talking points and dismiss or talk over the points of their interlocutors. In this case, she spends most of the hour not taking yes for an answer. This was a waste of Kleiman's time, and ours.

It may have been a waste of Kleiman's time, but not mine. He put out a lot of information, and I really appreciate how completely logical and calm he is. He gets in great zingers, too, as when he said crime in NYC has gone down even though the rate of black children in fatherless homes is still 70%.

elementaryteacher
05-30-2008, 12:13 AM
This was one of those heaven and hell experiences for me. I love watching Mark Kleiman and find him thoughtful, even when I disagree with him. Heather MacDonald however was a low-caliber guest who seemed to be invited based on her recent article. She blew all credibility in a number of ways. The coup de grace was when she said, "I don't want to get into defending the numbers..." Excuse me, but don't argue social policy if you aren't prepared to discuss the numbers, and their relevance and accuracy. Other points against her...

1. continuously bringing up the ACLU as a bogeyman. That suggestion that they would fight ankle monitors for parolees based on their stand against cameras in public spaces was a logical mess, and seemed to be an almost perfect example of a straw man argument;

2. In her dismissal of Mark's points about small things, like classroom discipline, that can make a difference in crime rates, she brought up a good social science point (that is especially true with studies in classrooms) that things that are effective in small studies may not hold out in larger contexts. However I see from her Manhattan Institute page that she covers the education beat. If she spent any time looking into classroom discipline, she would know that positive approaches to behavior management (rewarding good behavior, putting more of your effort and attention to good behavior) will net better results that focusing on punishment, no matter how sure and swift. In general, the state of research in education is crappy, and not in great repute, and difficult to reproduce, but she seems to be below even that level.

3. She has missed a lot of the complexity of the relationship in poor/high crime communities with the criminal justice system, which is typical "tourist" behavior. She says she goes to community meetings and never sees people complain there about incarceration or the justice/court system, they just want more police. She is mistaking wanting more policing for wanting criminals locked up. This is NOT always the same thing in some people's minds (sometimes it is). They want more police and less crime, but that may NOT mean they want more people locked up for a longer period of time. Having lived and worked in these communities, the relationship with the criminal justice system is complex, and often nuanced.

I think she is right to point out that the higher crime rates suffered by these communities are a national shame, but Mark is the only one offering some concrete solutions to this problem.

Wonderment
05-30-2008, 12:31 AM
They want more police and less crime, but that may NOT mean they want more people locked up for a longer period of time.

Exactly. It's true that people in under-patrolled areas often want a more visible police presence and safer streets, but that doesn't mean they want more arrests. Good community police work doesn't mean making more busts.

And even if some people did want more arrests, that doesn't mean that they want those arrests to turn into incarcerations.

And even if they did want incarceration, that doesn't mean they want the incarceration to be in a horrible facility.

And even if they didn't care about the facility, that doesn't mean they want the prison system to fail to rehabilitate prisoners.

fedorovingtonboop
05-30-2008, 02:49 AM
i have to give praise to macdonald for pointing out that the criminal justice system isn't some huge conspiracy. whoever commits the crime should go to jail regardless of race. white people probably get off more often because they tend to have more money but 12% of the population committing 52% of murders or whatever the stat was is undeniably ridiculous.

osmium
05-30-2008, 09:06 AM
that statistic about only 3% of violent and property criminals being in jail and 2% of burglars has to have something wrong with it.

here is the calm part of the diavlog (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11427?in=00:03:49&out=00:05:35) where it's discussed, and here's the more heated part (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11427?in=00:39:24&out=00:40:25).

this has to be a misinterpretation of data--the statistical version of a "they're everywhere trying to get me" kind of emotion.

i think there was a difference in the way mark and heather were using the numbers off the top of their heads, because mark was dividing 3% into the total prison population, rather than the violent offender subset, but still, i seriously doubt that can be anywhere near correct.

i went looking for the numbers at the JFA institute (http://www.jfa-associates.com/publications/#pppsm), but there is so much stuff there. can heather or anyone else point to the relevant study so we can read it?

Whatfur
05-30-2008, 09:25 AM
Debra Dickerson has some thoughts on Heather's Numbers.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2008/05/8122_heather-macdonald.html

Been waiting for Ms. Dickerson's return here...this would have been a good
venue...although Mr. Kleiman is great in spite of my disagreeing with much of what he says.

Is it just me, his appearance, or his politics that have me seeing Kleiman in some candlelit back room plotting something with Lenin and Trotsky?

piscivorous
05-30-2008, 09:41 AM
He is statuesque so he fails to send out the anticipated subliminal signals that are expected, even in this semi-conversational setting.

osmium
05-30-2008, 10:05 AM
Is it just me, his appearance, or his politics that have me seeing Kleiman in some candlelit back room plotting something with Lenin and Trotsky?

i dunno, he doesn't seem too revolutionary, being concerned with tracking people on parole and pee-pee testing. it's probably just the beard speaking to you. :)

look
05-30-2008, 10:48 AM
He is statuesque so he fails to send out the anticipated subliminal signals that are expected, even in this semi-conversational setting.The whole time I was thinking it was an unusual dialog. They were both so still and injected very little personality into the talk. Only at the end did she become a little impatient.

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
05-30-2008, 11:26 AM
After seeing Ms. MacDonald's first diavlog with Glenn Loury, I was thinking "it would be great to have her on with Mark Kleiman. Boy, was I wrong. Mr. Kleiman, as always, made some interesting points and arguments, but the main thing I learned from Ms. MacDonald was that I never need to listen to her again. I get it, you don't think the criminal justice system is racist. She continues to repeat this over and over again even though she hasn't found anyone to argue with her about that.

Actually, Mr. Kleiman magnificently shows the advantages (in a debate where one is trying to win over an undecided audience) to not being ideological. (And I say this as someone who is quite ideological myself). Over and over again, Mr. Kleiman made arguments based on research and evidence. He refused to feel he had to argue for anything that he didn't really believe in just because he had to be "on the other side" and readily conceded points to Ms. MacDonald where he agreed with her, making it much more effective when he disagreed. Ms. MacDonald, on the other hand, repeated her same talking points regardless of what was going on in the discussion, and rarely ever responded as if she even heard or understood the arguments Mr. Kleiman was making. At least to my ears, she came across as someone with very little actual concern about the people she kept claiming to have so much concern for, as she was utterly uninterested in anything that could possibly help them unless it was consistent with her ideological agenda.

I would still be interested in seeing someone defend the position that the criminal justice system is in some ways racist, but I'd rather see them do it in a diavlog with Mr. Kleiman rather than with Ms. MacDonald.

http://abunooralirlandee.wordpress.com

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
05-30-2008, 11:34 AM
Yeah, it's definitely not his politics.

Actually I think Mr. Kleiman's beard made me a lot more sympathetic to him initially, since I think I subconsciously assumed he was a lefty professor and when he seemed to combine that with having a good grasp of facts and research I thought this is great. It turns out, as I argued in my other post, that he really isn't much of a lefty at all, but actually non-ideological. But this initial impression I think gives him a more room to make proposals that would seem a lot more jarring coming from a right winger, I also think that despite his tough nosed just the facts style, at least to me, he communicates a lot more real concern about people who suffer from the problems he's discussing than someone like Ms. MacDonald, who constantly wants to tell you how much she cares for the people who are suffering. This is because, as I stated in my other post, he actually seems to care about solutions.

http://abunooralirlandee.wordpress.com

Abu Noor Al-Irlandee
05-30-2008, 11:42 AM
Exactly. It's true that people in under-patrolled areas often want a more visible police presence and safer streets, but that doesn't mean they want more arrests. Good community police work doesn't mean making more busts.

And even if some people did want more arrests, that doesn't mean that they want those arrests to turn into incarcerations.

And even if they did want incarceration, that doesn't mean they want the incarceration to be in a horrible facility.

And even if they didn't care about the facility, that doesn't mean they want the prison system to fail to rehabilitate prisoners.

Great points Wonderment. As someone who has lived in the inner city and spent sometime around community organizing, a rigid idealogue like me was often jarred by the somewhat contradictory messages that "the community" will put forth. You will have one speaker talking about how we need to stop the "criminalization of our youth" and another speaker talking about how "the police need to get the gangbangers off our corners" at a meeting and both will get healthy applause. Some of this is different segments of the audience, but a lot of people will applaud both. And one cannot forget that the same people Ms. MacDonald sees at the community meetings asking for more police are voting in overwhelming numbers for politicians advocating policies Ms. MacDonald would think are hurting their community, including arguing for less incarceration (and even arguing that the criminal justice system is racist.) The hurtful effects of crime are undeniable, but the notion that there are the "good people" in the community, and "the criminals" is obviously oversimplified to the point of nonsense. Many people will not fall 100 percent into one camp or the other and even more importantly the victim of crime can often be the mother or grandmother or cousin or brother of someone perpetrating a crime on someone else. And locking people up has a lot of negative effects on those close to them and therefore the community as a whole that have to be balanced against whatever positive effects it has in preventing them from committing crime.

http://abunooralirlandee.wordpress.com

rcocean
05-30-2008, 11:43 AM
Insightful and too the point. Her article was even better since she was able to expand on points and provide more supporting detail.

Hope she comes back.

elementaryteacher
05-30-2008, 01:21 PM
Well, she has at least one fan, lol.

Thus Spoke Elvis
05-30-2008, 01:33 PM
Make that two, though I think she's a much better writer than speaker. In her two diavlogs, she's been too emotive and long-winded for my taste. Hopefully she'll improve with time.

Tao Jones
05-30-2008, 01:42 PM
I hate to join in on the MacDonald bashing-fest (she brings up a lot of relevant points and it makes for a great diavlog, even if you agree more with Kleiman). Nonetheless, I can't let this one slide:
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11427?in=00:37:37&out=00:38:22

Community members who are in prison are still role models. The message they send to children in the community is that incarceration is normal. Part of being a member of the privileged class is growing up with the idea of serving time in prison being unthinkable. Seeing family members and neighbors sent to prison weakens the social taboo of being incarcerated.

Tao Jones
05-30-2008, 01:53 PM
P.S. I'd love to see more criminal justice-themed diavlogs on here. Really fascinating and the mainstream media does not go deep enough into this subject.

bjkeefe
05-30-2008, 02:34 PM
Shortly before listening to this diavlog, I listened to PZ Myers debating someone from the Discovery Institute. The parallels were striking, so much so that I could not bear to listen to this one all the way through. I think I turned it off when Heather said, "My experience is" for the fifteenth time.

Congratulations to Mark, as with PZ, for maintaining patience and composure.

My only question: who is Heather more afraid of, blacks or the ACLU?

No, I have another question: Is she related to David Thomson?

Whatfur
05-30-2008, 03:22 PM
Well, she has at least one fan, lol.

Actually she has a few, albeit I will agree the article was better...and Dickerson's article a nice addition to it.

In particular your jumping on her statement about not wanting to argue the numbers was a bit off the mark. For one thing, they were not her numbers but those of the left-wing...was it "Open Source"?, organization. Sure she quoted them but, I also believe, Mark twisted things slightly by applying the % to the whole prison population and not the subset it was quoted with, to come up with his disagreement...but that too is besides the point. Which was, regardless of the numbers, only a small percentage of convicted criminals are actually behind bars. So you may want to get hung up on 1.6% or 3% or whatever...she just didn't want someone else's numbers right or wrong to cloud the overall point.

Trevor
05-30-2008, 03:44 PM
While I sympathize somewhat, this attitude is probably counterproductive.

MacDonald probably feels she has to keep repeating her talking points rather than engaging in a substantive discussion because she's used to seeing her viewpoint dismissed as racist or something like it. I think you see this a lot with conservatives who, as allbetsareoff puts it well above, can't take yes for an answer. It's like there's a kind of PTSD from the '60s that leaves them fighting the same long-over battles 40 years after the fact. (You see the same thing from some liberals too of course, but since the capital-L Left lost most of those fights, they're much more marginal figures).

Scientists joke that progress is made "one funeral at a time" - that new ideas are adopted primarily through cohort replacement because no one ever gets bast their formative intellectual battles. The same thing is probably true of big ideas in politics. Who knows what hoary hobby horses I'll be riding, come 2048.

The point is, I believe that MacDonald can be a more engaging guest with a valuable perspective if we can get her off the cable talk show schema. It's hard to find fault with Kleinman's almost yogic patience, but the discussion did seem to be almost entirely on his terms. Does MacDonald have a pet policy she'd like to talk about? Maybe if she had a chance to come prepared with a study about a pilot program to reduce single parenthood (just to pick up on something she mentioned), she'd feel more in control of the direction of the conversation, and more willing to go off-script.

bkjazfan
05-30-2008, 03:53 PM
Heather's point about the preponderance of crime in black neighborhoods are committed by young black males is one she makes over and over again. We all know that's the case and most of us know it's not politically correct to emphasize that. Sure, the likes of Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Julian Bond will never say or admit to it that I know of. If they do bring it up it's to understate it not over overstate it like MacDonald does. To use an old saying: "she is riding a horse to death" on that one.

John

osmium
05-30-2008, 03:56 PM
Scientists joke that progress is made "one funeral at a time" - that new ideas are adopted primarily through cohort replacement because no one ever gets bast their formative intellectual battles.

god how morbid! and i'm in 100% agreement.

Whatfur
05-30-2008, 04:12 PM
I hate to join in on the MacDonald bashing-fest (she brings up a lot of relevant points and it makes for a great diavlog, even if you agree more with Kleiman). Nonetheless, I can't let this one slide:
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11427?in=00:37:37&out=00:38:22

Community members who are in prison are still role models. The message they send to children in the community is that incarceration is normal. Part of being a member of the privileged class is growing up with the idea of serving time in prison being unthinkable. Seeing family members and neighbors sent to prison weakens the social taboo of being incarcerated.


I have to be honest here that when I heard her make that statement I did not quite understand it...nor do I still...thus I also do not understand how yours is counter to it.

...or maybe I should say...I understood her to say (that she had heard others argue) that an unintended consequence of someone in a community going to jail was the removal of them as a positive role model or the wiping out of possible positive effects they may have had on that community had they continued there. I am not sure I heard her argue one way or the other ...however except to add there was little statistical evidence to support this idea and that it was hard to believe someone who had done enough wrong to be incarcerated could possibly have been that positive an influence.

Your point makes some sense, but I am not sure it is contrary to hers.

What am I missing?

bjkeefe
05-30-2008, 04:18 PM
Trevor:

You make a fair criticism of my comments. I suppose if I had not heard Heather saying the same exact things the last time she was on (with Glenn Loury), I might have had more patience for hearing her out.

I also would admit that I was a little hyperbolic in comparing her to someone from the Disco' 'tute. She probably does have some evidence on her side, and there are probably a few points that she makes that I wouldn't dispute.

Unfortunately, her manner of discussing things is just completely off-putting. In between the straw man arguments, her claims that her occasional visit to some community meeting or random conversation with some cop counts as evidence, and her overweening attitude that race has absolutely nothing to do with anything, she obscures anything potentially useful that she might have to say. I just cannot get past the feeling that the Institute for Gated Communities trots her out because her debating techniques tend to create the impression that she "wins."

This is a subjective response, I fully acknowledge. I register my distaste as a member of the audience who would prefer to see other diavloggers.

jklugman
05-30-2008, 04:47 PM
i think there was a difference in the way mark and heather were using the numbers off the top of their heads, because mark was dividing 3% into the total prison population, rather than the violent offender subset, but still, i seriously doubt that can be anywhere near correct.

Osmium's right. If you do the math right, in Heather MacDonald's world 14% of the US population (43 million people) are property or violent offenders. That does strain credulity.

People in local jails, 2006: 770,000
Percent of local inmates who are property/violent offenders: ~50% (2002)
Number of local inmates who are p/v offenders: 770,000*.5 = 385,000

People in state prisons, 2006: 1,250,000
Percent of state prisoners who are property/violent offenders: ~70% (2004)
Number of state prisoners who are p/v offenders: 1,250,000*.7 = 875,000

Number of federal prisoners who are p/v offenders, 2006: ~26,000

Total number of prisoners who are p/v offenders, 2006: 1,286,000

Total number of people who are p/v offenders in Heather MacDonald's world: 1,286,000/.03 = 42,867,000
Percent of the US population who are p/v offenders in Heather MacDonald's world: 14%
Total number of people who are p/v offenders who are out on the streets, in Heather MacDonald's world: 41,581,000

Whatfur
05-30-2008, 05:46 PM
Osmium's right. If you do the math right, in Heather MacDonald's world 14% of the US population (43 million people) are property or violent offenders. That does strain credulity.
...
Total number of people who are p/v offenders who are out on the streets, in Heather MacDonald's world: 41,581,000

Again they were not Ms. MacDonald's numbers nor the point she was trying to make, but...as the above was a mishmashofbs I figured I would come up with the value that stuck in Heather's head.

According to the JFA institute:

The 3% incarceration rate is based on victimization. In 2006 there were
supposedly 25 million Victims of violent and/or property crime. Of these there were 13.7 million arrests with 680,000 resulting in prison or jail time.

prison/arrests... 4.96%
prison/victims... 2.70%

If you have a beef its with the JFA.

jklugman
05-30-2008, 06:19 PM
According to the JFA institute:

The 3% incarceration rate is based on victimization. In 2006 there were
supposedly 25 million Victims of violent and/or property crime. Of these there were 13.7 million arrests with 680,000 resulting in prison or jail time.

prison/arrests... 4.96%
prison/victims... 2.70%


That is an entirely different thing than what Heather MacDonald said (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11427?in=00:03:35&out=04:30):

Most criminals are not in the prison system. There is nearly twice as many people on probation right now as in prison. And the actual incarceration rate for criminals is very low. The JFA institute...estimated that in 2007 3% of all violent and property offenders were actually in prison and less than 2 percent of burglars in 2004 were in prison. Most people that are involved in crime are already in the community.

Saying that a low percentage of crimes result in prison time for the perpetrator is NOT the same thing as saying that a low percentage of perpetrators are in jail. For one thing, if a small number of people are committing the same kinds of crimes over and over again, if they are eventually apprehended it is possible for the percentage of offenders in prison to be high but the percentage of crimes that result in prison time be low. I'm not saying that is the case in real life, but only to illustrate that you cannot use the JFA statistics to make the statement MacDonald made.

I'm willing to give MacDonald the benefit of the doubt of this--when she writes up (http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=294274911882475) the statistics she describes them accurately.

Although I would think that when Kleiman twice points out the absurdity of her statements she would have been able to get her bearings and realize that she was misstating the statistic. I hope she really does understand the difference between what the statistics actually say and her misstatement, and that this was just a lapse induced by performance anxiety or whatever.

bkjazfan
05-30-2008, 06:47 PM
I have read her articles. Now, she has to get off her talking points of the high black illegitmacy rates, excessive crime in their communities, and get some new ones. I don't see the efficacy on pounding away on the same material all the time. She is starting to resemble Sean Hannity. Talk about a broken record. Enough already!

John

Baltimoron
05-30-2008, 07:55 PM
Now this was the type of diavlog I would certainly like to see more often. Better still would have been Kleiman vs another new book or article on the topic. Still, much better than the electoral stuff, which, along with Week in Blog I've decided just to ignore.

Still, the experience was bittersweet, because it dredged up memories of my post-collegiate internship in the Baltimore City Jail. I worked for an NPO contracted by the State to help reduce over-crowding in the jails (not prisons which, complementary to jails handle post-sentence inmates).

I wish after this diavlog I had kept records, but basically I interviewed 10-15 inmates a day and recommended candidates for early release. My recommendations were usually followed until the end of my tenure when I started dismissing cases at an increasing rate due to my own ideological crises and, I don't know, shell shock. I recall that most cases were drug-related. I spent a great deal of time, more than interviewing arranging rehab appointmnts and conducting oversight of rehab facilities and halfway houses. I also assisted candidates (who were basically on probation because the early release forms were undersigned by a judge) finding employment by physically driving them and helping them buy clothes, getting counseling, reading want ads, and generally avoiding recidivism. I was really a glorified social worker. My boss dealt with bounty hunters and sometimes re-interviewed tough cases.

One pattern I increasingly had problems with was violent resistance to police. Candidates either ran, struck, or used weapons after police apprehended them with drugs. Recidivism wwas also a factor I considered. Many candidates had been locked up for similar drug-cum-violence offenses before. There were also a limited number of petty theft and prostitution cases, but because the State put a fairly low limit on types of cases handled by the NPO, I mostly handled petty crimes.

I don't recall a racial, or a gender, pattern right now. Every case, because I had to interview them, became unique. I met family members because the program required a legal chaperon, or else I would be responsible once these inmates left the building. Two cases broke me. An addict called once a week so I could dissuade him from making a buy. The guy was brilliant, and there was this increasing avalanche of moral rationalizations each week followed by threats to kill himself if I didn't help him. The last week he didn't call. That week also I interviewed a pregnant prostitute with a record of jumping jurisdictions who offered to give me a blowjob if I let her out. I had received a stern talk from my boss because my recommendations for early release were dipping below 40%, and he started countermanding my negative recommendations. I was offered a stipend to stay, I attended seminars and conferences to help me recover, but I left.

The confluence of drugs and the worst community and family conditions Ive still ever heard was a recurring theme. It was also clear from my field trips that facilities were undermanned and underfunded, because I had to track down my people leaving facilities without warning and I never talked to the same employees twice. Another common problem was that these people could nt read a newspaper to read the want ads. They had drug habits and children, who I saw when I went to their "homes", and they couldn't exist in society without some illicit act. There was also the symbiosis between the inmates playing the program and the program needing the inmates for its budget. There were a certain number of repeat candidates my boss recalled, and he just admitted them again.

I don't know what this means statistically, and there's much more to my nightmare experiences. But, I do recall that drug-related crime was most of my headaches. I quit smoking, though, and drank much less actually because of that experience. Unfortunately, I should have found another way to work my stress off.

Kudos, bhTV! More , more, more of these diavlogs!

Whatfur
05-30-2008, 08:11 PM
That is an entirely different thing than what Heather MacDonald said (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/11427?in=00:03:35&out=04:30):
...
I'm willing to give MacDonald the benefit of the doubt of this--when she writes up (http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=294274911882475) the statistics she describes them accurately.
...


Not to quibble, and I would not... if you had not first tried to beat her up with some pretty obtuse numbers and methods of your own followed by statements like "entirely different" and "absurdity".

It was Kleiman, as you point out, that attempted to wrongly define what her numbers meant...admittedly, she was not quick enough on her feet to hit the curveball he threw to fully recollect what the baseline of the percentage was. But like you, I think most can give her the benefit of the doubt.

Now you say:

Saying that a low percentage of crimes result in prison time for the perpetrator is NOT the same thing as saying that a low percentage of perpetrators are in jail.

You are "entirely" correct, however both statements do happen to be true so I guess I am not the only one quibbling. She does also refer to the data as an estimate and while you want to inject additional factors about repeat offenders getting counted, if one were allowed to do that one could also speculate say... that the 25 million was a low estimate or did not account for violent crimes in which there were 2 or more criminals involved. Quantitative methods are a wonderful thing. ;o) So again we are in a agreement that to use the JSA estimate as anything more than just that..weather it be you or Ms. MacDonald would be wrong.

Bottom line, and again, her point was that small number of offenders are actually incarcerated (whether it be 1.6, 2.7, 4.9, or even 10 %) while a much higher number walk the streets...and Mr. Kleiman did not argue with that nor could he.

graz
05-30-2008, 08:22 PM
Still, the experience was bittersweet, because it dredged up memories of my post-collegiate internship in the Baltimore City Jail. I worked for an NPO contracted by the State to help reduce over-crowding in the jails (not prisons which, complementary to jails handle post-sentence inmates).


I know this is a far cry in significance, but did you see this:http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/10158

harkin
05-30-2008, 08:29 PM
I remember one of Heather's older articles where she cited police officers in NYC saying that poor black crime victims were complaining that poor black perps were not being prosecuted because (of course) they were returning to the neighborhoods to commit more crimes in an endless cycle. It seems more are worried about and defending the criminals than the victims. Remember, 95% of black murders, robberies and assaults have a black victim.

The fact that there are those arguing that one should not be ashamed or criticized for commiting crimes and going to jail is hilarious and indicative at least partly of why crime continues to be a problem in poor urban areas.


Keep up the great work Heather. You can tell you've struck a nerve when those unable to counter with substance accuse you of using 'talking points'. You repeat your facts because the problems persist. I would call that being consistant.

Does that make three fans?

Wonderment
05-30-2008, 08:42 PM
Interesting stuff, Balti.

jklugman
05-30-2008, 08:51 PM
if you had not first tried to beat her up with some pretty obtuse numbers and methods of your own followed by statements like "entirely different" and "absurdity".

It was Kleiman, as you point out, that attempted to wrongly define what her numbers meant

I stand by my conduct on this board and my methods to get at a ballpark estimate of the number of violent and property incarcerated offenders in the US. If you have better numbers by all means please share them with me. The Bureau of Justice Statistics does not make it easy to figure these things out, if you have a better method please share it with me.

Kleiman and I took MacDonald's claim at its face. And I think the facts bear out that the statistic--as MacDonald's stated it--is absurd. I am not omniscient (and I suspect neither is Kleiman), and I did not know what the correct meaning of the statistic was until you posted it here. For that I thank you.

Baltimoron
05-30-2008, 09:15 PM
Thanks, graz! Actually, that diavlog did run beneath my radar. Thanks for another reason for useless nostalgia. Every time a non-Baltimoron talks convincingly about the Friendship City, I wince. I praise him for working in E. Baltimore. When I was a kid, South Baltimoron ethnics said no white guy would survive a drive through W. Baltimore at night. No one talked about East, as if we were trying to will E. out of existence. My parents tried to dissuade me from working in E. where the Jail is, and when my car window was busted they launched an intervention.

Aside from Moskos on drugs, what was interesting was the symbiosis between arrest stats and jail and prison populations, which reminded me of this NPO where I worked and our "customers". And, too, the lack of job skills. I thought my job was impossible because these guys were not going to become model employees. As sson as they left the Jail, and reentered their "homes", they were in another world again. I actually had a list of family members not to trust, and my boss a few times shook down a mother or uncle as a chaperon as a worse problem than the crime the inmate committed.

And, thinking again, I was always curious about the bounty hunters a part of the law enforcement process I didn't really consider before that experience. My job was all about paper forms, like rap sheets and court forms, but these guys just walked in, grabbed a slip of paper, and an envelope for previous work done. Scary white people they were, too.

elementaryteacher
05-31-2008, 12:10 AM
Dickerson's piece was not as telling as some of the comments there which show how by concentrating on the statistical subset of black crime, she ignores the even LARGER disproportionality between white crimes committed and incarceration.

Dickerson's piece also left me lukewarm (and I've enjoyed her divalogs in the past). She needed to have more stats and analysis. If you liked MacDonald because she said, black crime is a problem for black communities and black victims, Kleiman did not disagree with that point. If you wanted answer to what to do about it, MacDonald offers, convict and lock them up quickly (the sure and swift model of justice).

Kleiman offers points about how to educate the young (teach them good behavior), how to improve their brain development (reduce lead exposure), how to set up rehabilitation (longer, more personalized, and intensive parole), and improve parenting (home health nurse visits). And those were just asides in a conversation.

On policing there seemed to be little disagreement about the positive effects of community policing that relies on data analysis and good management. BUT THIS IS THE TAIL END OF THE PROBLEM.

The question is what are we doing to improve education (or educatability) so that folks have job skills. Here is a disturbing statistic about kindergarten readiness, from Eduwonkette:

"Culture is much easier to write about than structure - the reasons why black kids show up to kindergarten .4-.6 standard deviations behind white kids don't translate into a chatty crowd-pleasing story."

Kleiman is looking at those questions, I dislike MacDonald because she is not (in addition to practicing the "tourist school" of social science).

Whatfur
05-31-2008, 09:30 AM
...Kleiman did not disagree with that point. If you wanted answer to what to do about it, MacDonald offers, convict and lock them up quickly (the sure and swift model of justice).

Kleiman offers points about how to educate ... And those were just asides in a conversation.
...
Kleiman is looking at those questions, I dislike MacDonald because she is not (in addition to practicing the "tourist school" of social science).

First, Was it not Kleiman who was the proponent of the "sure and swift"? With MacDonald in agreement but playing devil's advocate a little bit as to how?

Second, Its too bad you had to listen to the first 50+ minutes as it seems the last couple minutes are what float your boat. Yes, a diavlog on prevention starting from birth (or conception??) for that matter would be interesting. I think to get down on MacDonald for not offering more solutions is also a bit off the mark. I too am one of the first who am rankled by people who are pros at pointing out problems and offer little on the solution side. However, generally this is because the problem is an obvious one and took little in the way of discovery work to reveal. In this case, MacDonald took on a task where the problem has been mischaracterized for decades up to and including Obama. So I don't really think she was even here to provide solutions but more to possibly listen to Kleimans's and agree when it seemed to agree with her research and disagree when it did not. I think that is a valid role, also. (i.e. What is... as opposed to what can be).

Also, the wrong diagnosis up front has resulted in the removal of many healthy gall bladders. If society continued to want to believe people like Obama, that the incarceration rate for blacks was just racist thing then without research like MacDonalds, would we not be creating solutions for imaginary problems and wasting time and money doing so??

But to get back to your area of expertise...I am curious...to me in comparison to when I was in elementary/middle/high school, in a time (and place?) when teacher's did not think twice about kicking your ass if your ass needed kicking (and at a time and place where the parents either thanked them or were considered part of the problem and ignored) seemed to work better than the (YES ACLU inspired)kids-have-rights-too/huggy/feely/ego-stroking/ritalin pushing/teacher submissive environment that seems to dominate today. What do you think? I am more inclined to create order again first or at least in conjunction with the creation of red and blue teams.

dudeman
06-01-2008, 11:49 AM
So the liberal posters agree: The more liberal Kleiman is really smart, and his arguments are a valuable addition to the debate, leading to more awareness of the issue. McDonald's opionions are right-wing talking points they've heard so many times before, and well, isn't she kinda racist?

The bhtv posters are supposedly smarter than other sites' posters, but it's really just a big left-wing mutual agreement and admiration society disguised as an online discussion forum.

bjkeefe
06-01-2008, 11:50 AM
So the liberal posters agree: The more liberal Kleiman is really smart, and his arguments are a valuable addition to the debate, leading to more awareness of the issue. McDonald's opionions are right-wing talking points they've heard so many times before, and well, isn't she kinda racist?

The bhtv posters are supposedly smarter than other sites' posters, but it's really just a big left-wing mutual agreement and admiration society disguised as an online discussion forum.

If that's your take, then why do you spend your time here?

elementaryteacher
06-05-2008, 11:00 PM
I didn't call Heather MacDonald "conservative" or racist, just lacking in substance. What I said was that she has the "tourist" approach to social science in how she described high crime communities in this diavlog, and I stand by that. She has NO conception of the complexity of the relationship these communities have with the police and court systems, and simplifies things to, "well they want my approach because in meetings they are asking for greater police presence." They want many things, sometimes simultaneously, some that are mutually contradictory, and some of which are just not practical, BUT somewhere in that messiness is the possibility of dealing with the problem. I don't hear that from MacDonald, I do from Kleiman. If that makes me liberal, so be it.

bjkeefe
06-05-2008, 11:10 PM
I didn't call Heather MacDonald "conservative" or racist, just lacking in substance. What I said was that she has the "tourist" approach to social science in how she described high crime communities in this diavlog, and I stand by that. She has NO conception of the complexity of the relationship these communities have with the police and court systems, and simplifies things to, "well they want my approach because in meetings they are asking for greater police presence." They want many things, sometimes simultaneously, some that are mutually contradictory, and some of which are just not practical, BUT somewhere in that messiness is the possibility of dealing with the problem. I don't hear that from MacDonald, I do from Kleiman. If that makes me liberal, so be it.

Well said, ET. And don't apologize when you get tagged as a liberal. Wear that badge proudly!

Want some reinforcement? Watch this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0wi6QV88i0). (Crappy sound at beginning only lasts for a couple of minutes.)

edbarbar
06-06-2008, 01:23 AM
What was wrong with what she said?

I heard a lot of agreement from her with the ideas. It seemed to me she was concerned about the ideas being manipulated by leftists, and so evinced a reluctance to give up on something that works. People who are locked up aren't committing crimes on law abiding citizens.

Also, I like her POV. It seems to me she wants to give people the right to make their own reasoned decisions, not being trained and manipulated by "be good" games.

edbarbar
06-06-2008, 01:42 AM
I don't want schools brainwashing my kids to instill a morality or moral conduct. It's not the school's function. It's my and my wife's function. Or for religious people, it is their churches. I think Heather is arguing when the line is crossed, the schools ought to be able to appropriately punish. I think that is a good model, because it leaves morality with the kids, and the kids parents.

It's amazing that schools fail to educate children; rather, they indoctrinate them. How about this. Figure out how to educate children and make thinkers, then come back and argue for greater authority over children's morality.

bogart
06-09-2008, 10:47 PM
Two recent diavologs on Morality and not one mention of even the simplest hirearchy of moral values------From egocentric to ethno centric to world centric? Or from me, to you and me, to all of us. Aren't there specific morals and values at each of these levels?(which obviously could sliced and diced into many more than just 3) If one can begin to recognize at least these basic levels of moral development cross-culturally dose not that begin to clear up alot of the haze?