Arizona Reading Comprehension Fail

 Posted on January 04, 2010 in Uncategorized

After I wrote this post and asked her to comment on Defending People because her emails were not welcome, Laura Leighton sent me these two emails:

I saw your diatribe regarding myself and you are very wrong. It is "we" who respect our Constitution and demand our Constitution be obeyed. When radical extremists threaten to "push the U.S. into the sea" and "kill the gringos" disrupting a lawful meeting by cursing and yelling and the police are ordered not to do anything, that is NOT following the law. At the particular protest where this happened, one of these masked bandit radicals jumped in front of an 80-year old grandma right up in the 5′ little lady's face. She got so scared, she reached out to stop this young radical and happened to touch her mask which fell down. They arrested someone: can you guess who? They arrested the 80 year old grandmother who was sentenced to many hours of community service (as she had never in her life even been in a courtroom much less disobeyed a law). What is wrong with this picture? But then I am sure in your mind you will find something.When people violate our Immigration Laws by sneaking into the country, stealing our jobs, commiting fraud and sanctuary cities do nothing, that is NOT following the Constitution. When a Sheriff obeys the law and catches criminals, that IS following the Constitution.You may remember Chief Justice Ruth MacGregor passing around a letter with the purpose of changing the wording in our laws is showing partiality and Judges have no right to do such a thing, much less Chief Justices. That is NOT following the law.Yes, I live in Pima County and when I say "we" I mean the people of this state who live in his county can vote for him, but most of Arizona and the U.S. love and support Sheriff Joe because we respect the sovereignty of our nation which he is trying to protect.I am including an attachment for your perusal. It was written by the 5th Vice-President of the National Association of Police Chiefs of America. Is he lying, also – about child molestations? It appears you are not open to the truth and that will only serve to tear down this nation even more. It is a shame as we love our nation.

That email had, as an attachment, a Microsoft Works file. Who on Earth uses Microsoft Works? I couldn't open the file on my computer. Ordinarily I wouldn't bother with it (if she wanted me to read it she'd have sent it in.PDF format), but I figured, from the tenor of Ms. Leighton's emails, that it would be wrong in some amusing "Arizona is the murder capitol of the United States" way, so I fired it off to Andrea at; she converted it to a Word file and had it back to me in a minute; a PDF of it is attached.

The headline of the attachment was, 85% OF CHILD PREDATORS ARE CRIMINAL IMMIGRANTS (ILLEGAL ALIENS). That, I thought, was something worth looking into-the "stranger danger" myth writ large. The attachment had a link, which I followed to this article. The author, Jim Kouri, was fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police at the time. The headline of his article was, 85% OF CHILD PREDATORS ARE CRIMINAL IMMIGRANTS, without the definition of criminal immigrants as illegal aliens. Reading the article, it transpires that what Kouri means by "criminal immigrants" is not "illegal aliens" or "undocumented aliens" but "foreign nationals in this country whose child sex crimes make them removable from the United States."

"Foreign nationals whose sex crimes make them removable" includes all sorts of foreign nationals-even a Permanent Resident Alien ("green-card holder") is removable after conviction of a sex crime. So Leighton is making an overclaim about the content of Kouri's article-an overclaim that basic critical reading skills would have prevented.

Leighton asks, "Is he lying, also – about child molestations?" I'm going to have to say that, for the sake of sensationalism, he is. In his title Kouri is making an overclaim about the content of his own article. It turns out that 85% of people arrested by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Operation Predator were foreign nationals. Extrapolating from this and saying that 85% of child predators are criminal immigrants is like looking at sex crimes committed in Minnesota and concluding that 89% of child predators are white. ICE arrests a disproportionate number of foreign nationals because foreign nationals are part of ICE's special responsibility.

How meaningful is the 85% statistic? Well, here‘s an ICE fact sheet about Operation Predator:

Each year, millions of children fall prey to sexual predators... ICE arrested more than 10,700 child predators nationwide in its first four years.

If millions of children are falling prey to sexual predators, and ICE is arresting 2,675 predators a year, then ICE is arresting about one in a thousand sexual predators. Considering ICE's special brief, that's a statistically insignificant sample.

The truth about child molestation, as I've discussed here before, is that 93% of molested children know their molesters. Child sexual assault is overwhelmingly committed by family members and family friends, rather than strangers. Pretending, as Leighton pretends, that "85% of child predators are illegal immigrants" is counterfactual and counterproductive.

How Judge Donahoe, one of the targets of Joe Arpaio's attempt to subvert the Constitution by intimidation, is a threat to the sovereignty of our nation is far beyond me.

I wonder if Ms. Leighton is using the same constitution we are using.

A few hours later, Ms. Leighton sent me another email, reading in part:

The woman who wrote the article talking about: legal blogs that want to know why people aren't doing something about Sheriff Joe – was directly followed in the same paragraph by a statement where she says something about Atty. Mark Bennett's legal blog and so many of us assumed she was giving an example of what she had just stated.

The article to which she refers, by Dawn Teo in the Huffington Post, had a direct link to the post in which I attributed Warlord Joe's success to scared white Republicans; moreover, the link was live in the snippet of the article that Ms. Leighton included in her very first email to me.

So, to Ms. Leighton, Arizona is the murder capital of the U.S., and not only are reading the article and reading the Constitution too hard, but so is following the links.

Weep now for the Republic, for these are her voters.

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