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Facts! Facts? We don't need no stinking facts! We're journalists.

Actually, there is one section of the Republic (and most other newspapers) with well-researched stories done by reporters who know what they're talking about and back their stories up with cold, hard stats.

The sports section.

All I want is a reporter who covers, say, the military to know as much about the military as a sports beat writer knows about baseball. If you can't describe the infield fly rule, you shouldn't be on the Diamondbacks beat, and if you can't write accurately about Arizona's most significant and controversial law of the past decade, you shouldn't be writing about politics.

"A favorite tactic of tyrannical regimes is to make the laws so complex that everyone is a felon. Then when someone crosses the government, it can prosecute them at will." - Greg Patterson

Remember when you wrote that in regards to the U.S. probe following the S&P downgrade? It made a lot of sense. And it also makes a lot of sense if you're Latino and worried about being "lawfully stopped" so that cops can check your immigrant status. Why is it so easy for you to understand this concept when talking about credit rating firms when it goes completely over your head when talking about people with brown skin?

I know you like to read. May I recommend "A Peoples History of the United States" by Howard Zinn? You may learn a thing or two.

No offense, Dave, but you and everyone else who makes that argument are either ignorant or disingenuous.

I love how so many people were out there at the beginning crying about the vague terms in the law like "reasonable suspicion" that will allow -- or rather require -- law enforcement officers to act on the raging racism they all have inside them. I have heard it asked, referring to terms in the statute like "reasonable suspicion," "What does that even mean?"

The statute uses terms of art. That is, the words of the statute have been used in case law for quite a while now. What does it mean? Well, I could pull out cases that explain it and tell you exactly what it means and give you some examples. Anyone who has been to law school or is generally knowledgeable about legal issues (especially criminal law) knows this and is therefore being disingenuous if they argue or suggest otherwise. Those who don't know this shouldn't be arguing about something they don't know, let alone writing about it in the newspaper of record for one of the largest cities in the US.

And what does "brown skin" have to do with any of this? Legally, it is not an indicator as to whether a person is in the country illegally. It's usually that Robert Woodman character that comes on here spewing nonsense about race and color -- are you using the name "Dave," now, R.W.?

"bloggers are actually more qualified in the fields that they cover than journalists are, and as a result, the blogs are actually more accurate."

Let's take a look at this blog post for accuracy:


Mr. Espresso Pundit reports here that the Grijalva campaign is trying to steal the election. He passes along a blogger reporting an anonymous source quoting an anonymous source that thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms were turned in in Yuma County just before last fall's election.

Just making stuff up, indeed. The report was false. Just made up. A lie, in other words. Planted on blogosphre late on a Thursday afternoon and given weekend to mushroom into a gigantic conspiracy theory before the Yuma County Recorder's Office could debunk the story the next Monday.

Here's the Esteemed President of the Arizona State Senate, Mr. Russell Pearce, blasting away on Sonoran Alliance: http://sonoranalliance.com/2010/10/26/update-on-voter-fraud/. Mr. Pearce promises an investigation. Here are the results of the "investigation:" the blogger made the story up. Just making stuff up. Lying. Spreading a racially inflammatory story about mob of illegal brown people trying to steal an election.

And you read it right here on Espresso Pundit.

Let's see if Mr. Patterson runs a correction....ha, slay me. Abide by the standards he expects of others? Ha, slay me. Help spread a vicious racist falsehood, sure. Correct your mistake and apologize when you are proven wrong? He, slay me.

RgP - No offense taken. My name is Dave, not Robert.

Whether the law is vague or not isn't really something I brought up. If it hadn't been enjoined it would have given police the authority to check the immigrant status of individuals they had legally stopped. I think that's clear enough.

So, the only part of your argument that had anything to do with mine was the part about brown skin. You said, "Legally, it is not an indicator as to whether a person is in the country illegally." Here is where we start to disagree. You're legalistic and I'm realistic. You think that because it's not a legal indicator cops looking to enforce this law wont "lawfully stop" people with brown skin more often than white people. I'm realistic and know that cops are going to have a much higher success rate at finding undocumented immigrants if they "lawfully stop" people with brown skin. And since Greg was kind enough to point out that it is, "a favorite tactic of tyrannical regimes is to make the laws so complex that everyone is a felon," it is reasonable to expect that racial profiling wont be hard to do. But if you'd like to keep on believing that any talk about race and color is nonsense from the get go and that racism is non-existent in the police force, by all means, keep the blinders on. Just win your arguments by calling people ignorant, disingenuous and accusing them of spewing nonsense.

Dave, now you're just wrong about the law. A lawful stop was not the only prerequisite to checking immigration status. The officer also needs reasonable suspicion that the person is in the country illegally. I substituted "vague" where you said "complex," but I was talking about the same thing. The law is neither vague nor complex but clearly defines under what circumstances a law enforcement officer must make a reasonable attempt ("when practicable") to determine the individual's immigration status.

I never assumed that racism is non-existent in the police force. However, let's just assume every officer is a racist to give your argument it's best chance. You're still wrong. Acting on that racism is no more allowed or even enabled with SB1070 than without it. If you are being realistic, you'll admit that if an officer wants to racially profile, he/she will do so regardless of SB1070. SB1070 provided no additional legal ammunition for law enforcement.

Last, I wasn't attempting to win my argument by calling names. In fact, I gave two choices: ignorance of the law or disingenuousness. I then explained why someone making the given argument must fall into one of those categories. Yes, to an extent, I utilized a logical fallacy in my argument (I'll let someone else identify it), but it was not the ad hominem attack you suggested it was.

Okay, I understand where you're coming from now. We've had a bit of a misunderstanding. When I quoted Greg I was not trying to imply that SB 1070 was complex. It requires a lawful stop in order to check someones legal status. The implication was that a lawful stop is pretty irrelevant when laws (other laws) are so complex that cops can "lawfully stop" just about anyone if they want to. Go on a ride along or talk to an officer if you're in doubt about this.

Anyway, our disagreement is not about the vagueness or complexity of the law. It's in the enforcement of it. You touched on this in your middle paragraph so I'll break that down point by point.

"I never assumed that racism is non-existent in the police force." - Good, there's hope for you yet ;)

"Acting on that racism is no more allowed or even enabled with SB1070 than without it." - Agreed.

"If you are being realistic, you'll admit that if an officer wants to racially profile, he/she will do so regardless of SB1070. SB1070 provided no additional legal ammunition for law enforcement." - I agree with you on this as well, officers that want to racially profile probably do so already and SB 1070 did not start this. However, would you agree that it does raise the stakes? Prior to SB 1070 a racially profiling officer is not getting people deported in most cases. After SB 1070 that changes. Without SB 1070, racial profiling is ineffective at getting people deported. With it, it's a slam dunk. That puts people who fit the stereotype of an undocumented immigrant, legal or not, at a higher risk of profiling. And being a realist, that means people with brown skin. Immigration is a big problem but we don't need to solve it like that.

Kevin's right in one regard. It would be nice for somebody writing about media to, say, know what a nut graph is. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nut_graph

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