September 1, 2011

Disparate Impact, Part MCXXXVII

The New York Times editorializes:
EDITORIAL
The Military and the Death Penalty 
Racism in the application of capital punishment has been well documented in the civilian justice system since the Supreme Court reinstated the penalty in 1976. Now comes evidence that racial disparity is even greater in death penalty cases in the military system. 
Minority service members are more than twice as likely as whites — after accounting for the crimes’ circumstances and the victims’ race — to be sentenced to death, according to a forthcoming study co-written by David Baldus, an eminent death-penalty scholar, who died in June. 
The analysis is so disturbing because the military has made sustained, often successful efforts to rid its ranks of discrimination. But even with this record, its failure to apply the death penalty fairly is more proof that capital punishment cannot be free of racism’s taint.

You know, if you do a study of star football running backs, after accounting for the circumstances, such as honors earned at that level, the whites will go on to be victims of racism in college, and then again in the pros. How do we know that? Because of disparate impact.

Alternatively, if one group has a bell curve shifted versus another group, the shift tends becomes more extreme the more extreme the selection critieria, whether for starring as running backs or committing heinous crimes. But, who could expect the New York Times editorial board to be familiar with and grasp the logic of normal probability distributions, as explained by La Griffe du Lion. Why should they? He's some pseudonymous academic.

61 comments:

CK said...

The Griff has not published anything new for the last three years.

Svigor said...

I oppose the death penalty because I strongly prefer limited government and don't trust authority to make such final decisions. I'd rather have the guilty go free. 'Course I also support an unrestrained right to bear arms, partly in the hope that the aforementioned free & guilty eventually run across the wrong hombre.

One of the earliest comments to the article points out that 7 people is an absurdly small sample size.

Nowhere in the article did I see "accused minorities suffer x." I only saw "minorities are more likely to". I.e., it seems no one sought to account for the disparate impact of nature on minority propensity to crime.

Duh.

NOTA said...

It's quite plausible that there might be discrimination by way of intuitive application of statistics in both cases. If you know that a lot more black guys that white guys will make good running backs, or turn out to be violent criminals, then you will find it more plausible that a given black guy fits one of thos categories, and less plausible that a white guy fits one.

There's an interesting problem there, which is seldom discussed--what would be a good policy to deal with large statistical disparities of this kind? On the one hand, it's intuitively a bad idea to tell people not to use all the information they have to make a good decision (and people concerned with making a good decision will almost always ignore such instructions). On the other, it must really suck to be a smart, non-criminal black teenager, and have the whole damned world just assume you're only in the store to steal something or stir up some trouble.

Anonymous said...

Kinda/sorta off-topic [although not by much], but Business Insider has finally woken up to the fact that if the Short game is legal [or at least not explicitly illegal], then there is absolutely nothing* to prevent a certain, ah, "class" of, ah, "businessfolk" to profiteer wildly from what we flyover-country hayseeds would call glorified barn-burning:

GOLDMAN: The World's Going To Hell In A Handbasket - Here's How To Cash In!
Henry Blodget
Aug. 31, 2011, 8:40 PM
businessinsider.com



*Well, nothing but a societal sense of shame - or, Jehovah/Yahweh forbid, a sense of horror - at the mere prospect of it.

But certain, ah, "classes" of, ah, "businessfolk" just don't seem to possess that sense.

bleach said...

WTF is with conservatives and these dumbass sports analogies.

Wouldn't it be more to the point to point out that whites have, since integration, always been a disproportionately large section of the combat arms, and a disproportionately large section of combat casualties, and the media still promotes the lie that minorities are used as cannon fodder?

The reality is that the trends in the military reflect those of civilian life. Whites are more liable to sacrifice themselves for the good of society, while NAMs are especially prone to act as predators and parasites within it. White conservatives that want to broach the Race Question would do well to raise this OBVIOUS and INDISPUTABLE fact.

Instead conservatives like Sailer would rather talk about football. And keep on losing America. You people are useless and deserve to be marginalized.

Mike43 said...

Look, I was a military commander, well schooled in the UCMJ and now, as a psychometrician, I can tell you that 2 things are certainly clear from this article:
1. The author does not understand the Uniform Military Code of Justice.
2. 15 cases is too small to make any type of generalization.

However, to admit would void an eye catching headline.

Anonymous said...

"The analysis is so disturbing because the military has made sustained, often successful efforts to rid its ranks of discrimination."

The military outright bans the bottom 80% of blacks(and 40% of whites for that matter) via what are essentially IQ tests. If only all businesses and institutions could so successfully rid themselves of racism and discrimination.

Fred said...

Not entirely off-topic, an explanation for why New York is the safest big city in America: NY Daily News: "Frisky NYPD cops near record for stops, records show".

"NYPD cops have stopped and questioned people at an increasing rate this year that could lead the department to set an all-time high by year's end.

More than 317,000 people were stopped, questioned and sometimes frisked from Jan. 1 to June 30, NYPD stats show.

That's a 13.5% increase compared to the first half of last year, which ended with a record number of people - 601,055 - stopped and questioned.

"Incredibly, the NYPD keeps setting historic highs for the number of people being stopped and frisked" said Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Dunn charged that cops are mainly targeting blacks and Latinos in the stops.

"Stops save lives," NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne responded, saying stops and other techniques have saved the lives of "2,500 young men of color" in the last 10 years."


On the surface, you might wonder why the powers that be go after FDNY so zealously on disparate impact (the Vulcan case), but not the NYPD. I think there's a pretty simple answer.

Fire is more of a risk in poor neighborhoods, where Somali immigrants packed a dozen to an apartment start a blaze by misusing a space heater or a hotplate. Fire isn't going to jump from the ass-end of Queens or the Bronx into the Upper West Side of Manhattan. But -- absent the NYPD -- crime will. So Manhattan's ultra liberals look away from their massive police force's illiberal, but highly effective, tactics.

NOTA said...

A very marginally related story was linked to from Goldblog. This is the story of how the New York Times hammered the Crown Heights riots into a very different shape than reality. The writer and publication have a pretty obvious bias of their own (it seems kinda unlikely that The Jewish Week is going to see riots where a lot of Jews get beaten up and a few get killed in neutral terms), but this is also a really fascinating look at how we get the kind of weird skewed picture of reality we see in big media. In this case, I gather the reporters on the street were reporting blacks rioting and terrorizing Jews, and the NYT was hammering it into story about racial tension between Jews and blacks, with the implication that both groups were about equally victims and aggressors. I would be very interested to see whether reporters in the recent riots in England experienced something similar.

Anonymous said...

More to the point -- he details that the MORE liberal the courts become -- the MORE extreme the disparate impact.

Progressives are innumerate.

That is fundamental.

Reg C├Žsar said...

And the "disparate impact" so visible in the issuance of the concealed-carry permits that might prevent many of these murders?

Jes' keep movin' along, folks... no racism here.

Jes' ask Rev'm Al.

Maguro said...

One wonders how the reserchers were able to "account for the crimes’ circumstances". Sounds pretty subjective.

steve burton said...

As a source of "news" stories, disparate impact can never be exhausted. There is no interesting or useful rule or standard in any area of life that will not have disparate impact on whites vs. blacks, men vs. women, jews vs. gentiles, hispanics vs. asians, etc.

Of course, only a very select subset of this inexhaustible supply will ever make it into the pages of the NYT.

Tanstaafl said...

"who could expect the New York Times editorial board to be familiar with and grasp the logic of normal probability distributions"

I do.

Stop making excuses for them. They aren't ignorant of what they're doing. And frankly, neither are you.

You don't need mathematics to see that they're hypocrites. They treat different races to different standards while decrying exactly that.

John said...

Could you rewrite this sentence, please:

Alternatively, if one group has a bell curve shifted versus another group, the shift tends becomes more extreme the more extreme the selection critieria, whether for starring as running backs or committing heinous crimes.

Anonymous said...

OT:

Kiss of Death: A Parasite Threatens Latin American Immigrants

http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/08/kiss-of-death-a-parasite-threatens-latin-american-immigrants/244278/

Hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. could be infected with the deadly disease known as Chagas—and most of them don't know

Thripshaw said...

The use of "Disparate Impact" as a tool to measure "hidden racism" and correct it through legal discrimination against Whites and males is appalling.

If people knew how employment law, etc. actually works in the courts, many voters could be motivated to vote against it. HBD doesn't even have to enter into the discussion.

It's WRONG, period.

Are you listening, Republican Party? (OF COURSE NOT!)

map said...

I don't understand this paragraph.


The photo takes us into the very moment of a murderous crime as nothing else has ever done (from the nature of the victim's wounds, as shown in other photos, the assailant was clearly attempting to kill his victim, but failed). Normally we see murderous thugs' faces in mug shots, taken in the police station after their arrest. Here we see the thug's face in the instant after the act, cold, devoid of humanity, the face of a killing machine. This is the face that Bob Dylan, in "Walls of Red Wing," promised us would "meet you on your crossroads," if we did not adopt the proper compassionate attitude toward blacks. That was in 1963, and whites embraced blacks all-out, just as Dylan and all other liberals demanded, and look at the result.

Looking at the would-be killer's face, and at the bloody knife in his hands, and at the street scene behind him, now we know, more than ever, what Britain did when it needlessly imported blacks into Britain during the last 60 years. Yes, of course, not all blacks are lowlifes and criminals. Some blacks are civilized; a few are even pro-traditional British culture. But the immigration that brought that small minority of civilized blacks into Britain also brought in the black savages and the general black population that spawned more savages. The only way not to have turned peaceful Britain into an island of black savagery was not to allow blacks to mass-immigrate into Britain in the first place. And the only way for Britain to stop being an island of black savagery is to reverse the process that brought blacks there, in as humane a manner as possible.

Of course, I don't expect Britain or other Western countries to follow my advice, whether with regard to blacks, or Muslims, or any of the other unassimilable peoples the West has invited en masse within its borders since the mid twentieth century. It is more likely that the West will not act to save itself until the problems attendant on multiracialism have become personally unbearable to a significant number of whites. But such is the power of liberalism that even that might not be enough to turn things around; remember that liberalism tells whites that they deserve to be reduced to misery, deserve to be punished, for their past and present crimes against blacks and other nonwhites, whether the crime be slavery, or discrimination, or imperialism, or apartheit, or not doing enough to help nonwhites, or just the crime of being whites in a historically white majority country. In which case the liberal West, transfixed by its own guilt and its need to be supportive of blacks and other nonwhites no matter how anti-white, threatening, or violent they become, will keep sinking into multi-tribal Third World mayhem, until the separation of peoples will begin under conditions of such horror that all expectations of humanity will be lost. The West will not give up its liberalism, until the liberalism has worked itself out to the final catastrophe.

David said...

Not sure I understand your point. I haven't read the study referred to, but from the NYT account I presume it compares whites and non-whites convicted of murder, and otherwise equalised with respect to the circumstances of the crime. I don't see what 'bell curves' have to do with this. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

I am not sure that I understand how a shifted bell curve would affect this outcome. Also, because of testing, isn't the universe of soldiers (viewed by race or by its entirety) likely have a higher than average IQ?

Anonymous said...

I try to look at racism and discrimination in good faith, but a liberal/progressive focus on whites vs. blacks sentenced to the death penalty signals something else.

We're talking about a tiny population (death row) that I think should get a tiny amount of attention, unless this is really about something else.

To what degree does racism (or reverse racism) effect promotion to first line supervisor? Stuff like that. The issues that effect the vast majority should receive the vast majority of our attention.

Hopefully Anonymous
http://www.hopeanon.typepad.com

headache said...

mmm, i think the nyt knows the score exactly, but intentionally keeps feeding us this shit with a poker face. they have an agenda, and they are not flinching for a moment. you have to admire them for their ideological doggedness.
just saying.

Anonymous said...

London is no longer an English city and that's how it got the Olympics, says John Cleese

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2032956/London-longer-English-city-thats-got-Olympics-says-John-Cleese.html#ixzz1Wne7bGgb

Chicago said...

Don't forget, the father of the great Emmett Till was hanged for the rape of a couple of Italian women and the murder of at least one while part of the Army occupation force.
Blacks in the service have been notorious for raping local people, as well as for other misdeeds. The media has always portrayed them as being noble soldiers who only wish to defend their country. The reality is much less charming. I'd like to see a tally of all the half-breeds the blacks have spawned everywhere they've been stationed.

Anonymous said...

The only meaningful statement in this entire ball of fluff is that no one in the military has been executed in fifty years. The End.

Anonymous said...

Of course, if it could be demonstrated that the death penalty (after controlling for all factors) was disproportionately executing white males, then you wouldn't here a whisper from the 'great and good', no matter how big the disparity was.
They simply would not give a damn, be totally uninterested and wouldn't let it merit a sentence on the bottom of page 37.
In short, it simply wouldn't be an issue.
I don't have the figures about any so-called 'racial disparity' (oe even 'gender disparity') of those killed in Afghanistan - this simply doesn't seem to exist, or if it does no one gives a damn about it.This is the surest sign possible that white men are being 'killed disproportionately' - though not being cry-baby wusses, white male military men take it all in their stride.
If the 'disparity' worked the other way, well you'd better buy earplugs to keep out the NAACP, SPLC, Sharpton etc screams.

carol said...

I'm on the edge of my seat waiting to see the comments!

SF said...

How big is the sample size? I can't remember the last time I heard about a military court issuing a death penalty. One of the problems with the Major Hassan case is that murder, no matter how heinous, is punishable by life imprisonment. Treason, punishable by death, is much harder to prove.

Currahee said...

The military has executed exactly no one in the last half century.

Lord Haw Haw said...

I say, my dear boy, are you there?

Anonymous said...

The dam has been broken

Depaul U no longer worries about ACT & SAT. To help minorities.

http://tinyurl.com/3rjonxj

Anonymous said...

Why do you ignore the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow? People who inherit wealth and a cultural learning do far better than those who start from Zero, that's what slavery and Jim Crow does to you. You're starting from zero.

Also, ask poor people.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

They want some things to be true. Therefore, they are true.

Remnant said...

Bringing the following interview of a Washington "insider" on Obama to Steve's attention, if he isn't already aware of this.

Who the hell knows if any of this is true? The "insider" certainly sounds like something of a sociopath, so I wouldn't be surprised if it is all lies, but who knows.

If anyone can make sense of this, it is Steve. The meat is really in part three. Links to all three parts below.

http://newsflavor.com/politics/white-house-insider-the-obama-plan-part-one/

http://newsflavor.com/politics/us-politics/white-house-insider-the-obama-plan-part-two/

http://newsflavor.com/politics/us-politics/white-house-insider-the-obama-plan-part-three-2/

Kylie said...

"that's what slavery and Jim Crow does to you. You're starting from zero."

You might be, if those systems were still in place. But they aren't and haven't been for decades so why the use of the present tense? FYI, slavery ended nearly 150 years ago, Jim Crow nearly 50.

You yourself are obviously starting from zero and unlikely to budge from it, but not for reasons having to do with either slavery or Jim Crow.

Broken Clock said...

People who inherit wealth and a cultural learning do far better than those who start from Zero, that's what slavery and Jim Crow does to you. You're starting from zero.

How did England become more advanced than Nigeria?

How is it that blacks do poorly no matter which country they live in, "legacy of slavery and Jim Crow" or not?

How is it that black children adopted into white families still manage to do worse than the white children in those families? (I've seen this with an adopted minority in my cousin's family.)

How is it that no matter how badly they complain about "racism" and "oppression," that blacks all over the world insist on moving to white countries?

How is it that black immigrants to white countries almost never, despite all their bitching about oppression, move back to the country from which they came?

Jerry said...

The best way for right-thinking people to make progress is to move on... stop reading the NYT, stop thinking about their idiocies. When I grew up under Communism, no one cared about the official line. Don't things like that get old after you do it a few times? Easy outrage, nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Hello? Steve, are you still there?

Kylie said...

"mmm, i think the nyt knows the score exactly, but intentionally keeps feeding us this shit with a poker face. they have an agenda, and they are not flinching for a moment. you have to admire them for their ideological doggedness.
just saying."


Why? Why should I admire people who devote themselves to wrongdoing?

Next time, try just saying something else--anything else.

Anonymous said...

Is it racist to say that maybe those bastards really deserved to die?

Anonymous said...

"On the other, it must really suck to be a smart, non-criminal black teenager, and have the whole damned world just assume you're only in the store to steal something or stir up some trouble."

Hey, Nota, have you ever noticed that most black thugs don't look like "smart, non-crimnal[s]"?

Yeah, not a given, but true enough most of the time that most "smart, non-criminal" black teens whose appearance and language doesn't scream "thug" aren't assumed to be thugs.

Duh.

Anonymous said...

Typical liberal military-bashing.

Ever notice how liberals always paint the military as being nothing less than fascist, but praise public education to high heaven?

The military is harsh - but fair. I wish I could say the same about public schools. Liberals never give anyone credit for abolishing the (military) draft of grown men -but see no problem with public school meatgrinders swallowing up millions of children.

Svigor said...

On the other, it must really suck to be a smart, non-criminal black teenager, and have the whole damned world just assume you're only in the store to steal something or stir up some trouble.

True. At least full disclosure lets this teenager direct his response where it belongs. It would put the burden of responsibility back where it belongs, and re-introduce the possibility of self-policing.

However, to admit would void an eye catching headline.

#5.
Slipping Bullshit Into Your Subconscious

Svigor said...

Why do you ignore the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow? People who inherit wealth and a cultural learning do far better than those who start from Zero, that's what slavery and Jim Crow does to you. You're starting from zero.

Also, ask poor people.


Might as well ask why leftoids ignore the legacy of leftoidism. Blacks have gotten worse as racial leftoidism has flowered.

Thripshaw said...

Hey, Steve have you seen this New York Observer piece that claims Walter Isaacson changed the name of his Steve Jobs book because of you?

It would be interesting to find out how accurate the claim is.

Svigor said...

Remnant, "Insider" is all hot air. There's never any beef with that guy. You could boil all three pages of that stuff down to a few short paragraphs.

Somebody who is who he claims to be could easily go on for a page with real examples of the race tactics he alludes to, for example. Instead it's all totally vague.

He's a useless tit, even if he is who he says he is, which I doubt.

NOTA said...

The thing about griffe du lion's posts that always bugged me is his reliance on comparing stuff in the tails of two normal distributions. The underlying idea there is sound--comparing the performance of blacks and whites at IQ 115 sort of tasks will look very different than comparing them at IQ 145 sort of tasks, as you'll notice if you go to an academic conference in a math or science field. But all his calculations and numbers seem like they must get less accurate as you get further away from the mean, because the normal distribution is a pretty good approximation for many real-world distributions close to the middle, but almost never far into the tails. When you're talking about the extreme outliers (serial killers, mathematicians who win the Fields medal, scientists who win a Nobel prize, pro and Olympic athletes, terrorists) you're so far out into the tails that theres no reason to think a normal distribution remotely catches what's going on.

NOTA said...

Jerry:

The problem is, the NYT also hires a lot of reporters, who are often the only good source of on-the-greound information about all kinds of things. A lot of that stuff simply isn't noticed and reported on unless it's someone's job to do the reporting. And they have some really good information sometimes.

The better answer, I think, is to recognize their blind spots, and to only use them where they provide some value--editorials and op eds don't--if I want opinions and "what it all means" analysis, I can get it better from blogs. (A surprising number of op Ed pieces are ghostwritten--maybe thats not too surprising--most people aren't really good enough writers to write for the NYT--but this undermines eir value as a source of firsthand commentary from Jack Welch or Warren Buffet or whomever). Commentary on surveys and scientific papers is better from technical blogs, and I prefer to just read the paper myself if it's something I can read. But on the ground reporting, reporting that's based on long relationships with power players in Washington--stuff like that from the NYT can be very good.

Antwahn de St. Exuberance said...

Sorry, I clicked on that Lion link, and it's pure gibberish. Maybe if you already know what the hell he's talking about you can understand what the hell he's talking about, but otherwise not. Which makes his post pretty pointless.

Svigor said...

NOTA, I wonder if the guy who came up with "Assassination Politics" was inspired by short selling?

Whiskey said...

Desiring "straight talk" on racial matters is a losing proposition. Look at the business the book (NYT Best-seller) and the movie "the Help" have done.

Spoilers:





The movie and book reach a climax when two Black maids beat a snobby White girl ex-sorority sister rival to the "hot" young White heroine. Who triumphs by writing a ... gossip book about the ugly treatment of the Black maids by her mother's friends, avoids a marriage, and goes on to become "an important and famous writer." Also all White guys are gay or evil/racist.

Whiskey said...

The point being that Blacks by themselves do not really matter demographically or wealth-effect. The Pew Hispanic trust estimated that White Households median net worth was something like $134K, for Blacks it was $5K, for Hispanics $6K. Blacks are 12% of the population and declining (0.9% over the past decade).

These stories, these lawsuits, this reporting, is all focused on status games for Professional White women. Unlike men, this group of Professional White women are not going to be leading say, Starbucks or Whole Foods. They can't get status/power/respect by achievement, so move to various "racism" charges ... with the hyper-consumerism of female-based consumption (ala Steve's famous "So-and-So Researched this" commercial) acting like steroids for this natural impulse.

When women are focused on saving for kids college, education, retirement, and so on they act naturally conservative. The best thing to do would be to make the White male population sexy enough so that most young White women got married at age 25. When consumption and concomitant status games rule, Disparate Impact stuff rules. Because its all about who is more muy Moral.

Josh Weinberg said...

A Pretty College Girl agrees with the Bell Curve.

Ruka talks about race

Josh Weinberg said...

Another video, this time she is discussing human biodiversity.

HBD talk

Melykin said...

@Josh Weinberg

That Ruka girl is clever and brave. More power to her.

Mr. Anon said...

"Svigor said...

#5. Slipping Bullshit Into Your Subconscious"

And that very link from "Cracked.com" was itself thinly veiled propaganda - suggesting that you're crazy if you think the NYT is virtually an arm of the democratic party, or that you were getting sober, disinterested, unbiased news reporting back in the 70s, before the advent of cable TV and the internet. Why they even threw in that old line "Studies show that......"

Camlost said...

I'd like to see a tally of all the half-breeds the blacks have spawned everywhere they've been stationed.

For one, try the now deceased Rob Pilatus, one half of the group Milli Vanilli.

Fred said...

Svigor is right about "Insider". A lot of posturing but little substance.

Josh Weinberg must be the pseudonym for the 'pretty college girl'.

Svigor said...

And that very link from "Cracked.com" was itself thinly veiled propaganda - suggesting that you're crazy if you think the NYT is virtually an arm of the democratic party, or that you were getting sober, disinterested, unbiased news reporting back in the 70s, before the advent of cable TV and the internet. Why they even threw in that old line "Studies show that......"

Indeed. If you look at the examples used in that, and several similar articles, they're all blatantly left-wing.

Svigor said...

I'm just going to work up a copy-paste response to Whiskey's boilerplate, I think. In it, I will say "no, it's not the Professional White women," it's "the Jews." It'll have more support for my view than his does for his, of course.

Tit for tat, and all that.

NOTA said...

The cracked list of propaganda techniques didn't seem obviously targeted at the right, to me. Chanting slogans, us/them games, confusing the low-information voters with bullshit (slipping shit into your subconscious), installing a self-enforced censorship module into your brain, and using ridicule to rule some ideas/discussions off limits, all are common across all political movements I've ever heard of.

Svigor: Didn't the writer of that end up in endless trouble with the Feds? Whether or not you break any laws, if you creep out enough really powerful people, they will go to some trouble to screw you over. (Just ask Bradley Manning or Julian Assange.)

Around that time, there was a lot of discussion about schemes a little like AP for getting public goods funded--something where I set up a public open-ended offer that collects donations, and that offers to pay out it's donation pool to the first person to do some specific thing I and the rest of the donors want done. (Like if I wanted someone to translate Two Hundred Years Together into English, I might take donations, specify some process for declaring the work done, and pay off when someone provides an acceptable translation.). I think his idea is an extension of that idea, using your direct knowledge of when the person was going to die as a stand-in for having arranged it, since professional assassins probably don't want to show up at someone's office and claim their prize. FWIW, I don't think anyone has a clear idea of what it looks like when it's as easy to order someone's death as to, say, buy a used car or order a vacation online. I doubt that gives you a better world--most likely, it just means that the powerful live more and more in a bubble of security, unable to interact with normal people at all, while more and more political and social organization and argument and such is done anonymously. Prominent critics of powerful people and companies and other organizations would either be unfindable, surrounded by bodyguards, or dead.