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Friday, October 22, 2010

From my friend Manny Klausner, he send this piece by Matt Welch at Reason.com concerning the firing of Juan Williams from NPR. I call it Political Correctness goes Westworld.

Matt calls it Juan Gone. Catchy. kind of rhymes with bong, which incidentally is part of this piece in the form of a YouTube clip from Herold and Kumar 2, the full airplane scene. NPR execs who fired Juan, idiots. But damn, are we messed up for not being miffed over this absurdity?

Juan Gone

Matt Welch | October 21, 2010

Here's a Washington Post headline for you: "NPR fires Juan Williams over anti-Muslim remarks." What were the "anti-Muslim remarks" in question? These:

"I mean, look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country," he said. "But when I get on a plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they're identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Williams then brought up a statement made in a New York courtroom this month by Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani American who pleaded guilty to trying to detonate a bomb in Times Square and was sentenced to life in prison.

"He said the war with Muslims, America's war is just beginning, first drop of blood. I don't think there's any way to get away from these facts," Williams said.

That latter half cannot be the objectionable bit, so we're left with this 21st century ask-the-ethicist puzzler: Is it now "anti-Muslim" to admit your anxiety when seeing an Orthodox-looking Muslim on Islamic terrorists' most infamous weapon of mass murder? I think if you stated that most Muslims are a threat (a much more declarative formulation than "I get worried" about "people who are in Muslim garb"), or that all Muslims should be singled out for special scrutiny, or that our basic policy problem is with Muslims, then you might be getting warmer. But later in the O'Reilly interview, Williams specifically repudiated all three of those sentiments:

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Botched Paramilitary Police Raids: An Epidemic of "Isolated Incidents"

"If a widespread pattern of [knock-and-announce] violations were shown . . . there would be reason for grave concern." —Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, in Hudson v. Michigan, June 15, 2006. An interactive map of botched SWAT and paramilitary police raids, released in conjunction with the Cato policy paper "Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids," by Radley Balko. What does this map mean? How to use this map View Original Map and Database


Death of an innocent. Death or injury of a police officer. Death of a nonviolent offender.
Raid on an innocent suspect. Other examples of paramilitary police excess. Unnecessary raids on doctors and sick people.
The proliferation of SWAT teams, police militarization, and the Drug War have given rise to a dramatic increase in the number of "no-knock" or "quick-knock" raids on suspected drug offenders. Because these raids are often conducted based on tips from notoriously unreliable confidential informants, police sometimes conduct SWAT-style raids on the wrong home, or on the homes of nonviolent, misdemeanor drug users. Such highly-volatile, overly confrontational tactics are bad enough when no one is hurt -- it's difficult to imagine the terror an innocent suspect or family faces when a SWAT team mistakenly breaks down their door in the middle of the night. But even more disturbing are the number of times such "wrong door" raids unnecessarily lead to the injury or death of suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Defenders of SWAT teams and paramilitary tactics say such incidents are isolated and rare. The map above aims to refute that notion.

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