Difficult Decisions

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Good morning again:

I write to recommend two important articles that offer considerable food for thought and discussion.

The first is an article in Slate titled, White People Are Fine With Laws That Harm Blacks. The author, Jamelle Bouie, discusses a new study

When I want to emphasize a point on criminal justice reform, I lead with the data. There are huge racial gaps in arrests, convictions, and sentences. I’m shocked by the statistics and assume that’s also true of readers.

But according to a new study from Stanford University psychologists Rebecca C. Hetey and Jennifer L. Eberhardt, the stats-first approach to issues of race and incarceration isn’t effective—in fact, it’s potentially counterproductive.

Yes, indeed, that’s what the researchers discovered. Their findings show that racial bias gets worse when whites see evidence of racism.

The second article is by Andrew Pollack in today’s New York Times: Ebola Drug Could Save a Few Lives. But Whose?

This article discusses the ethical issues involved in deciding who should receive dosages of new drugs developed to treat Ebola. Only a few dosages of two new drugs are available and the drugs have not been approved for use in treating Ebola. Whether they will prove to be effective is unknown. The two Americans recently transported to Emory University Hospital have received dosages and appear to be improving, which may or may not be due to the drug, and the decision to treat the Americans rather than Africans has been criticised.

Some of the difficult questions are:

Are the drugs safe to take?

Do they work?

Given the extremely limited supply, who should get the drugs”

Americans or Africans?

Health care providers or patients?

Newly infected or patients in advanced stages of the disease?

Young or old?

Warning: Due to a series of recent events we will be moving to a new community, which as yet is undetermined. We will continue to post articles as time permits, but we definitely will not be able to post daily. We will do the best we can, even if it’s only a drive-by to post an open thread.

Thank you for your patience.


11 Responses to Difficult Decisions

  1. Malisha says:

    Here’s a write-up that made me think hard. “Funny how the victim changed so quickly,” is the phenomenon that makes any kind of self-correction or co-correction impossible.


    “Not all men” is so irrelevant. “Not all whites” is so irrelevant. Fogen was NOT the victim; Dunn was NOT the victim; white men are NOT the victims of our society’s need to realize we are not OK.

    Psychopaths “out-victim” everyone. That is the heart of the problem. Our society and especially our court-system is abuser-friendy and psychopaths are perfectly at home there.

    There is always an “expert” to identify the scream as belonging to the terrified murderer who defends his own view of the world at the expense of the “threat” he has to kill to protect America.

  2. masonblue says:



    Order written on September 27, 2007 and faxed to my attorney four months before trial, issued January 28, 2008, three days after my trial. I was not informed about either order. The ‘sua sponte’ lie that was actually a post-trial agreed order, went all the way to the US Supreme Court.

    Stalkers take note: The hard copy for the third order is no longer inside our home. Your activities have been reported to the FBI.

  3. masonblue says:

    Crane-Station here, with a document dump. The hard copies for the following documents are also in another place far away, address unknown to me or to Fred. This is the Third Order. It is an order denying suppression, that is based on trial testimony and not on suppression hearing testimony. It was issued three days after my trial. I was not informed of this order. The problem is, that the order was written by the prosecutor, four months before my trial ever took place, and faxed to my trial attorney. He never told me about this order, and it was the subject of my petition for certiorari, to the United States Supreme Court. The US Solicitor General Donald Verelli represented Kentucky, in my sober DUI case:


  4. bettykath says:

    I’m really upset and angry that you can’t remain in your home and in peace.

  5. a2nite says:

    I hope you stay safe Prof. Thanks for all you do!

  6. aussie says:

    It is fear, not racism. The high % of blacks in prison is taken as evidence that they are criminal or dangerous. Very few people would understand how certain laws and procedures CAUSE that high percentage.

    Racial injustice is a problem the broader public doesn’t want to solve because they don’t know it exists. The questions in the experiments (about 3 strike laws and stop&frisk) are known to the EXPERIMENTERS to be involved in racial injustice. There is nothing to suggest any of the experiment subjects had any idea. They had just been given false numbers to inflate the “fear factor”. I don’t think the results justify their conclusions.

    • Malisha says:

      Very few people would understand how certain laws and procedures CAUSE that high percentage.

      This is the very reason that such studies must become well publicized and their implications must become well understood by the broader public.

      I don’t believe the broader public is unaware of the problem of racial injustice; they do not WANT to know about it because it implies (a) guilt and (b) accountability for change.

    • MKX says:


      Self-Confirmation bias is a big problem in any scientific survey, let alone an issue wherein humans are making a subjective determination based largely on perception.

      And any individual act is the some of many factors, thus allowing racists to “explain away” an act with some sort of “well if X was white and had done Y, the police would have shot him too”.

      No, it is not like that.

      What we have is a set of probability factors that sum up to create a resulting probability.

      Lets use a very simple example:

      The police spot a male reaching into his waist band. So what is the probability that the male will be shot?

      The first factor would be reaching into waistband:


      Another factor would be being black.


      Total probability would be

      R(x) + B(x)

      Or apply the “B(x) to the likelihood of being busted and severely penalized for using drugs.

      That is a whole series of acts wherein the “B(x) factor is multiplied.

      For example, what is the probability of the police stopping a male for drugs?

      For a white it is S(x)
      For a black it is S(x) + B(x)

      Then there is probability of conviction:

      For a white it is C(x)
      For a black it is C(x) + B(x)

      And the extra probability can reduce probability in some cases.

      For example, the video of actors stealing a bike showed, to me, that the probability of a pretty white blonde women being caught was clearly:

      C(x) – PWBF(x).

      And none of what I just wrote should be very hard to understand in the greater white community of “good” people.

      So I agree with Malisha, They WANT things this way and are to mealy mouthed to admit it.

  7. Malisha says:

    Racial injustice might be the main problem, but that doesn’t mean it’s the problem the broader public wants to solve.

    Exactly the problem. Racial injustice is the problem that the broader public wants to SUPPORT. They just don’t want to be identified as “bad” for supporting it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: